This is my first year of being a bike commuter and seeing the resurgence of riders come out as the weather improves. It’s great to see, but it also brings up a lot of conflicted responses as I ride.
I’m a pretty law abiding rider. I stop at red lights, follow street flow of traffc, wear a helmet, and keep my bike well lit in bad weather conditions, which means not only at nighttime, but fog, rain, snow, etc. I’ll admit to going through a red light on occasion after coming to a stop at 2am coming home from the restaurant, but only after waiting long enough to realize that it was on a weight sensor.. and I was just not going to trigger it.(that is another rant for another day )
When fair weather cyclists come out, especially on nice days, I’m thrilled to see them, but I also now have another thing to watch out for aside from pedestrians and cars. I now have people riding down the street in the wrong directions, in my bike lane, I have people weaving across the bike lane as they get their bike legs back for the year, and coming out of side streets or between parked cars as another hazard. This all aside from the much debated red light running, no helmet, with/against traffic issues.
I don’t want to be rude, but most of the time I can do little more than bark a warning as I almost collide with, and avoid much of the above. Are there classes out there to educate cyclists on proper bike practices when the weather gets nicer? (or would there just be a bloodbath over the finer points of the curriculum?) How do you deal with the surge of inexperienced riders? It’s hard to educate in 2 seconds or less of interaction, what do you do?
So far I’ve been trying to at least include the relevant data of why I am barking at them… “Red Light!”, “Traffic Flow”, “Please pick a side of the bike lane” was surely the most articulate I have gotten so far. Does it get better as the weather improves? Or will I actually continue to miss my cold weather riding? (something I would never have told you would happen!!)
Tags: fair weather cyclist, new riders, whippersnapper
Posted in Commuting, education, Questions | 39 Comments »