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Old 08-12-02, 04:26 AM   #1
digger
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bad people at a bicycle fund rasier

I guess I am just a tad angry and frustrated and need to talk about it. Last weekend (Aug 10 &11) we had our 13th annual MS Bike Ride. There were 450 cyclists (last count) on a 85km ride to raise money and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis.

Beautiful day, light wind, hot excellent day for a ride. But I can't beleive the motorists on the road and what they did to the cyclistys and volunteers on this ride.

One of the flag-people was pepper sprayed by a passing motorist. A guy in a pickup stopped to ask a flag person what the ride ws about and then pulled out a can of pepper spray, nailed the flag person and drove off. What got me the most was that noone seemed to upset about it. I was thinkin' about dropping out of the ride if it was gonna get like this. But listening to everyone else they did not seem to talk about it much or seemed angry. Perhaps they didn't want this a$$hole to bring everyone down, hence didn't talk about it much....?

One guy screamed at me as he went by.

One lady stopped at my wifes rest stop (wife was volunteering) and said that we have to get control of the cyclists who where 3 and 4 abreast. That one I am not to upset about, as she was right. Alot of the cyclists where just not obeying the rules, weaving, riding 3-4 abreast and not moving over, etc. It pi$$e$ people off.

Other I was talkin to said some motorist screamed "get off the f---in' road!".

These where just a few I heard about, I am sure theres many more.

I am at a lost to understand why people would act this way to another group who are doing a fund raiser. It is only once a year, on a country backroad, on a weekend, with plenty of warning about what they would encounter (signs) on that road.

I am a bit miffed at the organizers of this ride also.
There was no police presents with the exception of leading the start group down the road for about 2km, other than that no police car passed me the 2 days of the ride, no police car at the major intersections, no rules of safety to follow for the ride other than "wear your helmet".

Has anyone else participated in fund raisers like this and has anything like this happened?

I am going to have a talk with the organizers as to advising people proper ettiquete on the road while cycling.
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Old 08-12-02, 06:12 AM   #2
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I can understand your frustrations, as I've been on rides where similar clashes have occurred. A lot of it, I'm afraid, is down to people who only cycle once or twice a year and choose charity rides to do it.

They don't know the rules of the road, hoon about in groups and are very dangerous.

Several times in rides last year I saw people brought down by contacting the bike in front.

it just winds up other cyclists and motorists
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Old 08-12-02, 08:04 AM   #3
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Originally posted by digger
One of the flag-people was pepper sprayed by a passing motorist. A guy in a pickup stopped to ask a flag person what the ride ws about and then pulled out a can of pepper spray, nailed the flag person and drove off.
Holy cow, man ... that is just amazing! I hope that @ least someone got this low-life's license plate number and reported the sub-human to the police. That's assault, and this joker should be held accountable.

Anywho, I can understand your disappointment, but donít let the jerks win!
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Old 08-12-02, 09:46 AM   #4
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It should be illegal (if it isn't already) to harass cyclists in the course of their activity, no matter whether it's a fund-raiser or just plain riding. Penalties should parallel road-rage.

If you are driving a car it's bad enough. But on a bicycle you are more vulnerable to intentional abuse. It's plain wrong.
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Old 08-12-02, 09:50 AM   #5
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other then the pepper spray incident, it is not uncommon for things like this to happen. using peper spray is assault and the person should be arrested and the flagger should press charges to the fullest extent of the law.

I've done a few group rides, and some had lots of rules and some had very few, but naturally cyclists should ride single file if a car is trying to pass, it's just common sense.

Perhaps the people who were yelling at the riders and volunteers had no idea what the ride was for, and are just angry at cyclists in general... who knows.

In some of the rides I've done I have seen cars almost hit cyclists, honk, yell and scream at them.

Here in vegas you get that on solo rides in traffic, there are just a lot of mean drivers out there, who think that you are trying to slow them down by riding on the road.

Hopefully you guys got the license plates of those who harassed you guys, and can turn it over to the police. Another idea is maybe to call the local newspaper and see if they will print a story on the ride and how the local drivers were, might be better then nothing
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Old 08-12-02, 10:21 AM   #6
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Not to excuse any of the vigilante motorists, but you can imagine the frustration of trying to cope with a seemingly-endless line of cyclists who, as you say, ride unpredictably and take up way more room than is necessary (other than to chat 3 or 4 at a time) or legal. Slow down, wait to pass, make a pass, speed up, slow down behind the next group of oblivious riders, wait to pass... repeat that twenty or thirty times... HMMMMM!

On the organized ride I did Saturday, I saw some of the same. Plenty of people riding two abreast (and three, and four), literally ten feet apart at opposite edges of the lane, and not moving to the right until a motorist was forced to brake from 45mph to 15mph behind them. I mean, am I one of the few who actually thinks about how others feel when they encounter me on the road...? Granted, I have a rearview mirror and know I'm being overtaken, but so did many of them. I had to pull my touring bike across the centerline into the left lane to pass some of these groups, since they didn't hear me coming. And evidently about half of the tourist set don't understand the significance of my "CAR BACK!" warnings, either. :confused:

I guess it comes down to people being people, on both sides of the fence. I certainly hope the man who did the pepper-spraying is charged with assault and learns to control himself, and I hope the ride participants start seeing through the eyes of their fellow citizens and disciplining their riding behavior a bit.
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Old 08-12-02, 12:40 PM   #7
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I mean, am I one of the few who actually thinks about how others feel when they encounter me on the road...?
No. I do. But then I signal for turns, stop for red lights and stop signs, etc. I'm wierd like that.
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Old 08-12-02, 03:40 PM   #8
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Originally posted by digger


There was no police presents with the exception of leading the start group down the road for about 2km, other than that no police car passed me the 2 days of the ride, no police car at the major intersections, no rules of safety to follow for the ride other than "wear your helmet".

Bingo! Enuff said.

A fundraiser with a permit? Roads should have been closed just as they do for a permitted parade.
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Old 08-12-02, 07:34 PM   #9
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No. I do. But then I signal for turns, stop for red lights and stop signs, etc. I'm wierd like that.
Self-discipline is something I admire, keep it up RainmanP
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Old 08-12-02, 08:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by mechBgon
Not to excuse any of the vigilante motorists, but you can imagine the frustration of trying to cope with a seemingly-endless line of cyclists who, as you say, ride unpredictably and take up way more room than is necessary (other than to chat 3 or 4 at a time) or legal.
...
I guess it comes down to people being people, on both sides of the fence. ...
I'm with you. Respect is a two-way street, so to speak.
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Old 08-13-02, 12:22 AM   #11
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No. I do. But then I signal for turns, stop for red lights and stop signs, etc. I'm wierd like that.
Why be normal?
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Old 08-14-02, 01:55 AM   #12
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That's a problem with fund-raising rides, especially the smaller ones where there is little police involvement. The big one we have here in the UK, is the London-Brighton, which is about 90km and something like 27,000 riders do it. There's plenty of advance notice, roads are closed in some areas, and at busy intersections, there are traffic police to control it all. Knowing that it is officially sanctioned and monitored as well, contributes greatly to its success. I can't say I've ever heard of a any bike .v. vehicle incident on the ride in the four years I've done it.

You will always get dorks wherever you ride. As for spraying pepper spray in your face, is that legal? Surely that becomes a criminal offense?
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Old 08-14-02, 06:40 PM   #13
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I haven't heard any news since. I do have to call the organizer but I am gonna leave her alone for a few weeks. She is very busy with the post ride money counting, fund raiser prizes, etc.

But on a good note we raised $294,000 for MS!!

I'll make another post down the road to let everyone know what has happened.

I don't beleive the flagger got the license number. But contacting the media about this is a good idea.

Thanks everyone.

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Old 08-15-02, 12:42 AM   #14
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But on a good note we raised $294,000 for MS!!
Well done! See, riding a bike can be fun, eh?
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Old 08-16-02, 03:19 PM   #15
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Sounds to me like this thing was just badly organised. In Brisbane they have the Brissie to the Bay ride to raise funds for MS. They start it early on a Sunday morning and have the police close the roads for the first few km to give the riders time to spread out a bit. The also have different options (10km, 35km, 55km) that use slightly different routes so as not to bunch the field too much.

Of course, this still does not excuse the behaviour of the morons.
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Old 08-18-02, 01:05 PM   #16
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No, I don't think it was badly organized, but I don't have anything to compare it with.

The area we ride has very low traffic but very few loops to do differant distances. Unless you head out and come back the same road. What happens is you ride from one town to another (85k away) attend a banquet and BBQ, stay overnight and ride back the next day.

I rode pretty much the same route today, looking out for this truck, fortunately I didn't see him.

I am gonna talk to the organizer about including some safety pamphlets in next years MS Rie package that goes out to all cyclists. I had written 2 safety pamphlets about 1.5 years ago which are now being used in the Drivers Ed handbook for this province. The provincial govt is also in the process of printing oout several thousand of these for distribution as an official govt document. I can get several hundred and give them to the organizers to include in the MS package.

I know that it is the drivers that need this more, but I believe tempers flared when alot of cyclists were riding 3-4 abreast, and not moving over to allow cars to pass. One of the organizers was asking the cyclists to please ride single file, when a vehicle wishes to pass.

Anyway, I'll see what they say when I bring it up.
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Old 08-19-02, 02:57 PM   #17
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We've got our MS 150 ride coming up next weekend (24/25), and the organizers already have large portable signs out to make drivers aware of what it is and what will be happening along the route. That is an example of good organization and planning. This ride typically has over 600 riders.

Hope I get my BF jersey in time to wear it, the mail is slow to get up here!
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Old 08-19-02, 04:00 PM   #18
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In our area we see a lot of cattle crossing signs, ocasional children playing signs and quite often signs which say watch for animals. The only signs I see regarding bicycles are painted on the ground in the rare bike lane.

Maybe an occasional "official" warning sign saying "Bicycles are Vehicles" or "Watch for Bikes and other Vehicles" or something along those lines would help.

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Old 08-19-02, 11:17 PM   #19
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Further to my previous post, in the mail today I got the last package of materials from the MS Society for the ride, and included were "tips" for the ride mentioning riding single file, obeying the rules of the road etc.

They're trying! I'll keep you posted with how this one turns out.
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Old 08-22-02, 04:29 AM   #20
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Yes please keep me posted. I'd be interested in seeing this pamphlet, as I have made 2 myself for the provincial government.
Can you scan it and email to me, or perhaps snail mail? I'll pay the postage.....if too much trouble that's ok.

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Old 09-07-02, 01:57 PM   #21
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I too did the MS Bike, but on the other side of the country. Our roads were not closed, I'm suprised that they weren't, since we didn't take long to do the bike, at least the roads with the hills and sharp curves.
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Old 09-07-02, 06:11 PM   #22
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Well that really represents the breadth of our country, from east to west and in the middle!

Our ride went off really well, with no bad incidents that I'm aware of. There ended up being over 650 riders out of about 740 who registered.

At the Saturday night dinner there was an appeal by the main speaker to stay in single file and ride responsibly. This was followed in general, with the only bunching up near the start. They attempted to alleviate this by starting in groups, with the faster riders going first, but there was still some passing of course, until everyone got stretched out a bit.
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