Last week we had a fairly pleasant weather. I only had to wear rain gear for one of my commutes and it was warm enough in the evenings to leave off some of my layers. Though this is nominally an improvement for my commute, the warmer weather makes up for the marked uptick in bike traffic. That equals more people being rude on the road.
We have a lot of bike traffic here in Little Bay Root. Every year, there are more and more people choosing to ride their bikes for their daily commute. Though I applaud their choice to ditch the cars, the road facilities are not being expanded to match. This means that cyclists have to share increasingly crowded roads with cars and each other. Unfortunately, many people seem to think that there are no rules when they are riding their bikes. This leads to a lot of rude behavior that I really don’t have any patience for.
Every day that I ride downtown, I see cyclists weaving between cars, running through red lights and generally ignoring the traffic laws whenever they get in the way. As the weather gets better, more and more people switch back to their bikes and I have to deal with more and more law breaking jerks.
That’s not to say that all cyclists ignore the traffic laws, or that I’m the perfect rider. I make mistakes, misjudge lights and do occasionally bone-headed things. I do my best to stop when and where I am supposed to stop and to share the road well with other users, whether they be pedestrians or cars. Sadly it seems that many people ignore laws when they are riding their bikes that they would never ignore when driving a car.
Cyclists love to tail gate. From time to time I have to tell other riders to back off when they try to ride in my draft, just inches from my rear wheel. Sure, bike racers do this all the time, and so do race car drivers for that matter. Fortunately, most drivers realize that it is unsafe to draft, and against the law too. People riding their bikes seem to think it is totally cool to jump on a stranger’s wheel and expect them to not only pull them, but be happy to do so.
So there is a lot of traffic and I get cranky about it. Sigh. Luckily, it is all a good sign, since more trips by bike means less people driving their cars around. I’d love to see a drastic reduction in the number of cars on the road, so I have to continue to tolerate the bad-acting cyclists as part of the growing pains. Maybe someday, people will actually take cycling serious enough that they’ll stop acting irresponsibly on the road.
In the mean time, I’ll be that guy yelling at people who run red lights and asking other riders not to ride on my wheel.