Wanted to share what happened last night during a group ride, in hopes that it brings awareness to the rest of us, who actually want to enjoy a ride and come home in one piece. If we continue to allow what you are about to read, then shame on us and the consequences that are sure to follow.
It was horrific on many levels with a total disregard to traffic laws, safety, common sense…and I can go on and on. Let’s just say that a group of riders must have been told that this ‘shop’ ride was going to be an re-inactment of the Athens Twilight or Roswell Crit races. Hey, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to go fast; I use to race motorcycles at speeds of 200+ mph. BUT, I don’t throw everything out the window JUST to go fast…or faster. That’s just plain stupid.
On 4 separate occasions, when we approached stop signs, all 4 times there were vehicles already there, and therefore CLEARLY had the right-of-way. Even though this ‘band’ of riders seemed to slow down, and to all of us behind them, to eventually stop, they barreled right into the intersections. Though it may not be the most correct way, however, when the lead person(s) approach an intersection and they continue, the general consensus is that it is safe to follow them with the peloton right behind them. I personally saw quite a few facial expressions of those in the vehicles…and it wasn’t positive ones. If that were not enough, the final stop sign we approached was where it dead-ended into a main road, which obviously vehicles on that road having the right-of-way. Therefore, you would think that as we approached this sign, that we would stop, especially when there were at least 3 vehicles approaching to our left; not sure if the ‘band’ of riders even thought to look right. Yep, you guessed it; they barreled thru the stop sign, directly in front of those vehicles, causing them to abruptly stop. The part I hate about this is if you are riding in the middle of a peloton, then, if you even think about trying to stop, not only do you cause potential injury to yourself, but also you create a very high likelihood of countless rear-end collisions. It’s almost like you have no choice but to ‘roll with it’.
If THAT were not enough, the same ‘band’ actually surrounded a van at a stop sign in front and on the left side, blocking the van to move when the main road was clear. Even though all of us was yelling at them to move and let the van go (which the van was stopped at the stop sign BEFORE these guys rolled up), they totally ignored us and acted like they had supreme right-of-way at all times.
Anyway, these incidents really fired up countless folks on the ride, including myself due to the absolute disregard to traffic, putting everyone riding behind them in harms way and the whole gammet. After the ride ended while in the parking lot, there were many sounding off about the recklessness of this ‘band’ of riders. My guess is if you have been riding group rides long enough, then you have experienced some sort of incidents like these. They are un-excuseable, incredibly dangerous and are what fuel motorists to continue to have a bad rap against cyclists and their rage keeps on.
My hope is if you have been on a group ride where this kind of stuff happens, that the organizers of the rides (bike shops, individuals, cycling clubs, etc.) have the backbone and common sense to un-invite cyclists like this and begin to preserve what little the cycling community has left, as it relates to correctness on the roads and sending the RIGHT signals to motorists that we are doing OUR part by upholding, not only traffic laws (since we are considered a vehicle) but also adhere to the GA laws that relate to cyclists.
Oh, yes, there are several and I hope you take the time to read them…and then adhere to them.