I took a ride around town today, not my town, but a town nonetheless. On a one-way street with multiple travel lanes and a bike lane, I was passed by a group of six cyclists on the right while riding in the bike lane. OK, I know I’m not the fastest cyclist out there, but I have issues with this encounter.
- Passing on the right
- Passing within a bike lane
- Passing closer than 3 feet
- Watching other cyclists go through a red light just to catch up with the group.
Apparently, there was motorized traffic in the travel lane and the cyclists that passed me did so on my right to avoid the motorized traffic. When doing so and doing so rather close, it somewhat forced me to maneuver out of the bike lane and into the travel lane. I signaled as best I could to the motorized traffic, which I’m sure if they were paying attention knew why I was entering the travel lane. No one was hurt, but seriously, use the travel lane to pass a cyclist in a bike lane.
I stopped at a red light and watched this group continue on their way, not surprised to watch two run the red light just to catch the group. I remembered why I don’t care for group rides. I thought about how silly it seems for cyclists to ask for laws and considerations when we can’t even follow the basics of traffic law by stopping at red lights. I thought about how I get painted into this law-breaking cyclist stereotype just for being on a bicycle, and I thought about this while waiting for the light to turn green.
Thankfully, the remaining miles of my ride were without incident and without witness to bad traffic behavior. I did, however, wonder if any cyclist riding the roads would make it their personal best not to go the fastest, not to have the highest average, but to obey traffic laws. Let’s challenge each other, shall we?
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