At This Point I Think They Are Messing With Me. Bike Riding 101 Violations On My Way Home Last Night

10 minutes of this last night on my way home.  I couldn’t photoshop photos this bad.

Isn’t this Bike Riding 101 that you ride single file?  This isn’t the Tour de France where you’re trying to get around other bike riders to win the race.  This is out for a goddamn bike ride practice.  There are no sponsorships for getting around the guy in front of you.  You are training and you are supposed to ride single file.  So while I’m behind you for 10 minutes and the cars are piling up behind me why is it that you continue to ride side by side holding conversations?  In what inconsiderate city state or town is it considered polite to take up the whole lane and make the motor vehicles pile up behind you?

Didn’t I call it yesterday in the Obnoxious Bike Rider Rant that the more stupid the bike riding outfit the more they hog the road?  Maybe it’s the spandex cutting off the oxygen to their brains.

Or maybe what is more likely, they read my Obnoxious Bike Rider Rant and now they are just out to fuck with me.

Arghhhhh!

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32 comments

  • The universe is out to get you, Joey! Just kidding. Where I live (unfortunately not in Gloucester) we have the winding single lane roads. We don’t get bikers as much as you do, but the drivers who insist on driving 40mph in a 55mph zone, drive me batty. I don’t drive like an old lady, so I let it really bother me. It can ruin a day, quickly.

    But to have this happen to you right after your rant is definately KARMA. And a little funny for those of us following your blog! Thanks for helping me get out of MY rant over slow drivers this morning by sharing this. It made me giggle!

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  • The good news is that Good Morning Gloucester has a lot of fans that are grape smuggling bicyclers. The bad news is they know what kind of truck you drive.

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  • hey Joey, Paul Boudreau from Gran Prix of Gloucester here. In short, the state law says riders can ride side-by-side BUT, here’s what I tell all my club riders (and thankfully I don’t see any of them in your photos):

    “I know 2-up is within the law, but USE YOUR HEADS. Rush hour on busy skinny streets, not making friends/helping cyclists’ cause”

    As a motorist and a cyclist there are jerks on both sides. I want you to know, as the largest cycling club in Essex County, we at ECV tell our members to obey the laws of the road. We need to do our part.

    Hope to see you at the beer tent in the fall at Stage Fort!

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    • Hey thanks for the reasoned explanation Paul. As I said before I’m all for all forms of Bike Riding, and I say it’s fine to ride side-by-side just like the law states, but all I ask for is common courtesy if a motorist is behind a pair of bikes for 10 minutes going slow and respecting the bikers it would be nice if they got single file so I could get by and have everyone safe.

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  • Can’t decide which is more dangerous, driver in a 4,000 lbs car using his camera, or cyclists riding 2 abreast on 20 lbs bikes. Maybe if the driver got on a bike he could fit into some spandex rather than make fun of it.

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  • Really unbelievable how the cyclists just “take over the road” … gee man :( bad bad bad

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    • And don’t forget people not paying attention, weaving all over, following too close, cutting others off, texting, recklessness… And those are the ones driving the cars! bad bad bad…

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  • Joey, Don’t be such a douchebag.

    You can see in the pictures there aren’t any bike lanes. So instead of bitching and moaning and tagging this as “obnoxious bike riders”, you should learn to share the road and don’t be such a whiny cry baby.

    Seriously. Where the hell do you expect them to ride their bikes?

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    • What part of the post didn’t you comprehend?
      Where did I say they shouldn’t be on the road?

      What I’m asking is to ride single file on narrow roads so the traffic can pass.

      There was no need for me to have to go well below the speed limit for ten minutes if the bike riders last night would have been single file. But they rode side by side and often times three across while I stayed behind them the whole time instead of trying to floor it to get around them.

      Did I type it in Chinese or something?

      Did you even read the post?

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  • Joey, I race bikes all over Mass. and around Boston. I also commute to work and frequently drive in the city and surrounding suburbs. The behavior of these cyclists is within the letter of the law, but isn’t really respectful. Unlike many cyclists, I believe our right to the road also implies our obligation to show respect to other road users. If I can make it smoother for all road users by riding tight double paceline or single file, I will. Similarly, I expect motorists to only overtake when it is safe with clear visibility.

    I also want to commend you on displaying patience and respect to these cyclists, regardless of their inattention to it.

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    • Thanks for “Getting It” Steve.

      Biking is great on so many levels, fitness, outdoor activity, transportation, zero negative impact on the environment.

      All I’m asking for is common courtesy.

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      • Just like common sense, it’s not really that common any more…

        I hope that you can chalk this one up to a little Karma and bad luck, and hopefully encounter more courteous riders in the future!

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  • hey Joey,

    I do understand your frustration … I once heard some wise words: all bikers should be forced to drive sometimes and all drivers should be forced to bike sometimes.

    That being said, we all know the rules of the road and we all know what courtesy is. Clearly this group of cyclists was out for a “hammerfest”. I mean, there’s your answer right there … look at those pictures … that’s a group of men. You wonder why they are all bunched up and passing each other? That’s what men do. This is not about BIKES. LOL

    I’d appreciate it if you can rework this piece to be more on point, starting with this title:
    At This Point I Think Those Guys Are Messing With Me. Dude 101 Violations On My Way Home Last Night

    best,

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    • I believe they think they are in the ‘tour de france’.

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    • If these guys were “hammering”, they’d be drafting, and if they were drafting, they’d be tight. They’re not tight, they’re all over the place. That’s not two abreast, that’s an amoeba. I’d say it’s a casual group having a chat, and clearly not paying attention. Women riders who are new & / or oblivious do the same thing. It’s not gender-specific, it’s ignorance.

      Also, Joey, cyclists wear spandex because a) it’s more comfortable on the nether regions, and b) so we don’t sound like a parachute flapping in the wind at 20mph. It’s definitely not for the “look” or the fashion. Trust me.

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  • I’ve been both a motorist and a cyclist for more than 37 years. I live by bike and work tirelessly to support cycling rights and to improve the facilities. But I understand Joey’s frustration. The same courtesy we give each other when holding a door at a coffee shop for one another is the same courtesy we need to apply on the road. These guys should be riding tighter and recognizing that everybody, whether on foot, on bike, or in car, is simply trying to get somewhere. A little patience on the part of motorists helps. A little courtesy from the cyclists also helps. We’ll work on our end, Joey.

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  • Hi Joey – I was on this ride. What was going on with this ride was practice of a double pace line where riders come off the front of the line and peel off in another line. Doing this creates a double line. These guys may be a little ragged, hence the need to work on it perhaps. This was being practiced on little used side roads and it was NOT rush hour. My guess it that these cyclists, for right or wrong, did not realize you were politely driving behind them or they would have gone to single line mode to let you buy. Thank you for not trying to get too close and for your patience.

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  • Joey-

    This was a ONE time clinic to help some guys get through a planned 200 mile ride. Yes riding single file is something I always advise. This however was pace lining in practice and not something that happens routinely. Unfortunately it happened to cross your path but was a necessary practice for these guys. The roads chosen were back roads to stay away from the flow of most traffic.

    As far as guys in spandex messing with you… if you do ever come up on cyclists riding two up a friendly beep is usually all it takes to have them quickly go single file. Sorry for any inconvenience.

    -Phil

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  • Now you’ve done it, Joey. You will never again be able to mention the word “bike” on this blog without rousing the sociopathic keenings of these narcissists.

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    • “sociopathic keenings of these narcissists”? I thought the responses by most of us were thought out and respectful.

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  • In Washington State they mandate a little courtesy in situations like this – from the drivers license manual: “If you are driving a slow moving vehicle on a two-lane road where it is unsafe to pass, and five or more vehicles are in a line behind you, you must pull over and stop when safe to let them pass.”

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  • We should adopt the Washington State mandate! Slow automobiles are a much more frequent impediment than bikes. Every once in a while, when a car at the head of as long line of traffic pulls over and lets everyone pass them, it is like a breath of fresh air: Just common sense and courtesy. If you want to drive slowly, or check out our beautiful scenery, please do; but if you pull over once in a while to let people pass, you will see even more, reduce the pressure from a long line behind you, and make an awful lot of people happy. Give me slow bilkes over 15/20 mph automobiles any day!

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  • Wow, a thread where bikers and auto drivers are getting along. Cool. Two things on my wish list as I do a clockwise circumnav of Cape Ann on a bike.

    1) As a biker I want to be as far right as possible with my tire about 4 inches left of that righthand white stripe. I want cars to be able to easily pass but I also need a place to bail to the right if something bad happens (freaky dog, car, turkey, cat, broken glass). The current worst place in the Cape Ann Loop is the high grass alongside the road across from Good Harbor Beach. One pass with the DPW mower would help. If I am on the white line right now the grass is whipping my right ankle and if something bad happens I am going into unmarked territory and I am sure I’ll end up with poison ivy in my shorts. If all Public Works could think like a biker when they mow would help a ton.

    2) I wish my car and every car had a second horn. A polite bell ring or toot. Joey didn’t hit his horn because to do that seems kind of obnoxious with a full car horn and Joey is the least obnoxious person I know (unless he is ragging on my patè or duck. ;-) ) The problem is that modern cars are virtually noiseless. You don’t have to be an electric Prius to be not heard but for the hissing radials. I like to be a foot or two out from the white line and relax until I hear/sense a car behind me then I pull to the white line. If cars had sleigh bells …

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  • Rumor has it, there are some major Bike Clubs on the North Shore who are in the process of planning a Bike “IN” at GMG Headquarters. Spandex Mandatory!
    Will keep you posted as I spread this rumor.

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  • Hi, found your blog whilst searching for Tour de France stuff.

    I have tried to sum up my experiences here, from a cycling perspective (different country but quite often the same situations/misunderstandings arise):
    http://downfader.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/explaining-to-non-cycling-drivers-why.html

    I will say three important things however: please be careful – dont use cell phones and cameras to take pictures in a moving vehicle. Its not just the cyclists you have to think of, yours and other driver’s safety is also important.

    Secondly from the pictures it doesnt look more than two abreast. Thirdly the road doesnt look that busy – I dont know the law on your side of the pond but surely there is some leeway for using the other lane to overtake?

    As for Spandex. Lycra.. we tend to wear it for a reason – not to show our bodies off but because it cushions the seating and wicks away the sweat. Its also more aerodynamic and comfortable over a longer distance (I will wear it if riding more than 5 miles, certainly if doing a 30 mile loop).

    Most cyclists are drivers, interestingly. So they’ll understand what its like behind the wheel. Certainly in the UK.

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  • I wonder why it matters from a motorists perspective whether the cyclists are one or two across? Aren’t you supposed to change lanes to pass anyway?

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