02 August, 2016

Road Rage

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted here! My apologies to my regular visitors. Been living life and enjoying miles on the bikes. Yeah, bikes, and there are more of them than before. It's all good - more to follow in this soon.

But I digress...

It seems lately that the auto/cyclist conflict is escalating. This seems odd to me, especially in the wake of numerous well-publicized cyclist deaths, like those in Kalamazoo earlier this year. I would think these events would heighten awareness and perhaps even improve safety on the roads.

Nope, that assumption would be wrong.

Last night I did a group ride with the Ann Arbor Velo Club. Our group of rough 15 riders were all safe, courteous, and on the lookout for potential problems. We rode a single file paceline, even when there weren't cars around. We generally kept on, or near, the white line. And at the mid-point one of the organizers reminded us about the next section of road and the importance of being a good citizen of the road.

And, for our efforts, what did we get? Several full-out acceleration, way-to-close, yelling out the window passes. A person backing out of a pizza place who looked at us, and then still backed out in front of us.

Yes, I get that many cyclists SUCK at obeying the rules of the road (see the above NSFW video). And, I know we slowed down your drive ever so slightly. But really? That makes a red-faced rant, the full horn, and a double-bird thrown my way justified?

I've written on this topic before, so it's not news. What's struck me in recent weeks is how much I'm enjoying my gravel and mountain bikes. When I ride gravel, I see 10-15 cars per RIDE, as opposed to 10-15 per MILE on a road ride. And, on the mountain bike trail - ZERO cars! I flat-out feel safer when I'm not on the road.

I'll be moving to a more rural part of the area soon. I'll be near a top-notch mountain bike trail, miles of gravel, AND some good roads, too. I'm sure I'll still ride all three types, but I see the proportion of gravel and trail riding to increase.

Oh, yeah, I scored a SWEET mountain bike. More on that later!