Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stupid Bicycling: Chapter 1

If we cyclists expect motorists to take us seriously, shouldn't we display common sense whenever we ride?

I've decided to chronicle the random acts of stupid bicycling that I witness so that whoever reads this blog (mostly me) will remember to avoid them.

For instance, I definitely won't be like the ninja-salmon cyclist I saw recently on Westheimer while driving home from an extended day at work.

Today, I saw three particularly egregious acts.  One of them potentially put me in danger . . .

While riding on the multi-use path at Barker Reservoir, I saw a paceline of cyclists in full kit cruising at a respectable road speed.  On the road, that would have been great.  On a trail that caters to pedestrians, skaters, and cyclists, it was almost criminal!  What a bunch of pansies!!!  If you're that afraid of cars, take up mountain biking.

Stupid trick two was a a couple of  time-trialers hunkered over their aero-bars.  I believe one can safely ride at higher speeds on the north side of the dam, but having one's hands away from the brakes given the amount of two-way traffic there is strikes me as foolish.  Perhaps a long stretch of country road with a low volume of traffic is a better idea.

The grand finale is a guy that I passed on my return trip.  We were riding into a headwind.  We were both about the same size.  He was riding a skinny tire rig with a nice 52-tooth big ring; I was riding my CrossTrail on the 36-tooth ring.  After a couple of minutes, I notice him drafting me.  That would have been OK except, (a) he didn't ask and (b) I didn't know him.  Fortunately, I had strong legs today.  Otherwise, he might have ridden straight up my butt had I decided to coast a bit.

To add insult to injury, as we round the corner and head south along the dam's eastern side, he pulls out, passes, and says, "Thanks for the pull," without bothering to return the favor.  Of course,  I said nothing, and I probably should have . . .

I wonder: Would I be a bad person if I carried an incredibly loud air horn and sounded it as an "idiot alarm" when I see stuff like this?