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NorCal attitudes...

Old 04-06-15, 10:48 AM
  #1  
cthenn
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NorCal attitudes...

Lately, it seems like more and more riders I encounter seem to have a chip on their shoulder, for one reason or another. I've been riding in the Bay Area for almost 20 years now, and it seems like every year, the attitudes of some (not all, not even most!) riders has gotten progressively worse. Just in the past few weeks, the following things have happened while out riding:

-I passed one rider who was talking on his phone (while wobbling slowly down the road). Guy aggressively comes back on me, rides right up next to me (very close) and starts ranting about "what the hell am I doing buzzing past" him while he's talking on the phone. Mind you, I went out into the middle of the traffic lane to pass, was not at all close to the guy. He then proceeds to ride off in front of me continuing to look back over his shoulder (while way too close in front) shaking his head and yelling some more.

-I'm wearing a replica pro jersey on a ride. So what...I'm a "poser" whatever, I don't care, it's a team I root for, and get bored wearing solid color jerseys. As I am about to pass another rider, he looks over his shoulder and sees me coming. Gives me the "A-ok" sign with his fingers (thankfully it was not the other kind of sign!!!), and then as I pass, he starts chastising me "hey, you must be a pro, you're so fast!" "How much do they pay you" and other snide comments like that. The guy was riding no hands, and just relaxing, and I was in the drops, so I guess I came up on him in an aggressive manner?! LOL, not my fault our speeds are totally different, but he seemed to take it like I was showing him up.

-Riding in the Oakland Hills, I pass a guy who is riding a road bike, wearing regular clothes and shoes. Once again, moments later, this guy rides up on my wheel, then rides up along side me. Doesn't say one word, just sits there next to me. I'm not playing this game, so I also say nothing. We just ride there side by side, two guys doing their own ride, but right next to each other. He's actually kind of pinning me to the edge of the road, because he's doing whatever speed I am, and won't budge. After maybe a minute of this, he suddenly drops back, and disappears, never having said anything, or looked at me the whole time.

And of course the people who think it's ok to sit on my wheel once I go past (even though I don't know them or know their riding ability to be so close).

It goes on and on. These are just the recent incidents. It's to the point now where anytime I ride up on people, I wonder "what's going to happen this time?".

Is this just me or do others feel like recently, riders seem to be a bit more aggro? I dunno, maybe I'm doing something wrong. If I am, enlighten me, because I don't get what I'm doing that triggers these kinds of responses. It seems like in the last several years, I seem to encounter more and more of these kinds of people, and I can't figure out what has changed.
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Old 04-06-15, 01:58 PM
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The weirdos or whatever you may call them come in all shape, size etc. and are not exclusive to our area, actually they have no frontiers--but count your blessings they are not in a car or truck!

As for the ones sucking or drafting your wheels is no big deal, I would be flattered if it were to happen to me, which is rare!

Stay safe.
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Old 04-06-15, 03:16 PM
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Oh, believe me, I get just as many wackos who ARE in cars...but it's the riders who seem to be changing lately.

Just as the Bay Area has weather microclimates, there are "microclimates" of rider attitudes it seems too. Generally speaking, riders in the South Bay seem to be more friendly, whereas riders in Marin seem to be very uptight (maybe it's all the tourists on rental bikes who don't have very good skills or etiquette, haha!). Peninsula riders don't seem to give off any vibe, one way or another. But for some reason, more and more East Bay riders seem to have an attitude problem.

The big problem I have with drafters is that I don't want uninvited guests on my wheel, especially if I don't know their ability. A lot of times, if someone does that, I'll strike up a conversation with them at a stop light or whatever, just to gauge their personality, but I'd prefer to not deal with people doing it in the first place...
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Old 04-06-15, 04:01 PM
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Poser jerseys stopped being a problem after LANCE! Nobody cares anymore.

I think you just happened upon a few jerks and reflexively assigned a geographical basis when probably none is there. The total population of cycling jerks is way up though... because we're not exactly a fringe sport anymore. Total number of friendly courteous riders is up as well.

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Old 04-06-15, 04:14 PM
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I don't live in the immediate Bay Area (I'm in the Fresno area), but did the Grasshopper Old Caz ride in January. It's a mixed surface ride in the NorthBay. I'm just a hack riding to challenge myself to survive the ride and have some fun. (and I did have fun) Many others were obviously seasoned cross racers. A couple of guys came up behind me on a stretch of double track. I hugged the edge to let them get by. As one of them goes by, he comments sarcastically how "GNARLY" my pulsing red tail light was. He said it again when they passed me again later in the ride. I never approached him about it, but I perceived his attitude as mocking. Maybe because I left the light on while on the trail? I was sure happy to have it when the route followed CA 116 along the Russian River and the cars and trucks zoomed by at 60+mph.
Maybe I was over sensitive or reading more into it than was really there, but it just struck a nerve. I'm just an old guy doing what I think I need to do to ride safely. Anyway, just one experience ......

Henry
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Old 04-06-15, 04:41 PM
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Haven't encountered crazy cyclists yet. I still encounter a lot of friendly fellows engaging in chats at traffic lights or asking if any help is needed when stopped along the road.

As per sucking your wheel I plead as charged especially if you are riding along Danville Blvd. I never objected to people sucking my wheel in the past. Now that I am rebuilding my form, any rider passing me on flat roads is fair game. If you are riding a team jersey the better, it boosts my self-esteem when I can follow a team rider's wheel. It may bother you that a late 50 geezer is able to follow you but you can always kick you speed up to eject me from your wake, and if I don't ask permission for staying it's because I am already out of gas.
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Old 04-06-15, 04:47 PM
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I don't care of ppl suck my wheel... actually I had a wheel sucker on Foothill in pleasanton on Sat... no big deal, I was just taking the long way to a shop ride. Only thing is because I'm not 100% sure you are wheel sucking...I'm not going to point stuff out on the road either.
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Old 04-07-15, 05:15 PM
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About the only thing from other riders that happens fairly often that sets me off is getting passed on a descent when the rider gives no vocal warning that they are doing so. These passes are usually done by male riders 20-40 years old.

While I frequently check behind me when descending, there are short sections of road where I have no idea if a rider is catching up to me. After getting passed by a silent rider I usually shout of something; I didn't used to do this, but I feel they're action is reckless--if I unexpectedly had to swerve to missing something like a branch or pothole--then we both could end up in the emergency room.
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Old 04-07-15, 06:18 PM
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Haven't encountered that in Sactown.
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Old 04-07-15, 08:15 PM
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I may be wrong, and since I wasn't there it's all the more likely. However, the instances mentioned by the OP all seemed to be the sort that can be eliminated or short-circuited with a bit of humor and a friendly smile/greeting. When someone asks what they pay you as a pro there must be some self-effacing joke you can make that will bring a smile to their face. If someone is upset because he felt you passed too closely, just apologize (even if you thought you gave him enough space). Once he calms down he'll likely apologize right back and acknowledge that he was all over the road while chatting about some distracting topic. When the street-clothes guy rides up next to you, give him a friendly hello, the kind you would give someone that you hoped was going to be your best riding buddy in a year or two.

I get it that when you're "doing your ride" it's a drag to pause the effort and interact socially. By all means ride your ride, but then don't complain that other people aren't overtly friendly since you're not meeting them halfway. A friendly smile goes a long way to creating good will. That's just my $0.02. Feel free to express that I'm full of it. (You may have to get in line.)
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Old 04-08-15, 01:05 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by gpelpel View Post
Haven't encountered crazy cyclists yet. I still encounter a lot of friendly fellows engaging in chats at traffic lights or asking if any help is needed when stopped along the road.

As per sucking your wheel I plead as charged especially if you are riding along Danville Blvd. I never objected to people sucking my wheel in the past. Now that I am rebuilding my form, any rider passing me on flat roads is fair game. If you are riding a team jersey the better, it boosts my self-esteem when I can follow a team rider's wheel. It may bother you that a late 50 geezer is able to follow you but you can always kick you speed up to eject me from your wake, and if I don't ask permission for staying it's because I am already out of gas.
I found it highly creepy when someone latches on to my wheel and just seats there. Also it doesn't take that much effort to ask if you can be on someones wheel. The out of gas is a poor excuse.

Anyway. I usually just listen to music and ignore people around me, unless they strike a conversation. If I wanted to be social I would join a group ride.

I only encountered two rude/crazy cyclists. One time I was doing a long interval and caught up to this rider on Kings Mountain Road (long climb). As soon as I did he picked up his speed and would ride parallel to me, and would cut every corner crossing double yellow. I mentioned that it's not that safe. Which set him off. Oh the racist **** that came out of his mouth.

Another time was on final stretch after four something hour ride, and just spacing out. Get passed by this rider. Whatever. At next red he slows down to a crawl at least half a block before the light. I cruise by him. Apparently that was a great injustice committed up on him. Oh the ramblings that ensued. Finally I picked up the pace to a point he just couldn't talk, and dropped of. At a next red light he ran the red just to get a head of me. Caught up to him again and mentioned that it was dangerous. I don't think he appreciated that either. lol.

Then there is usual macho bull ****. I had to tell few people that I am just doing intervals at set intensity and not racing them.
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Old 04-08-15, 01:54 AM
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Welcome to the Bay Area!
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Old 04-08-15, 02:26 PM
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I ride almost exclusively in the East Bay, and I haven't experienced any of this. My experience could be slightly different because I'm almost always the slowest one out there, I rarely pass anyone. Well, I did have an odd experience on Diablo a month ago, passed a couple on South Gate and passed another guy really struggling on Summit Road, but other than people on MUP's or using their bike for actual useful transportation purposes, I'm almost always the slowest on the road.

I am generally friendly and have either a wave or friendly greeting for those passing me and those going the other way. Yes, there are those who have no interest in communication, but they are in the minority. The only riders who really bug me are the big packs who for some inexplicable reason trust me enough to stay in a straight line and a consistent speed that they will pass really close, and cut in front of me with about 3 inches to spare. They are, of course, passing by me quite quickly when they do come.

I'm just not encountering the types you describe here in the East Bay.
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Old 04-08-15, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Poser jerseys stopped being a problem after LANCE! Nobody cares anymore.

I think you just happened upon a few jerks and reflexively assigned a geographical basis when probably none is there. The total population of cycling jerks is way up though... because we're not exactly a fringe sport anymore. Total number of friendly courteous riders is up as well.
Originally Posted by gpelpel View Post
Haven't encountered crazy cyclists yet. I still encounter a lot of friendly fellows engaging in chats at traffic lights or asking if any help is needed when stopped along the road.

As per sucking your wheel I plead as charged especially if you are riding along Danville Blvd. I never objected to people sucking my wheel in the past. Now that I am rebuilding my form, any rider passing me on flat roads is fair game. If you are riding a team jersey the better, it boosts my self-esteem when I can follow a team rider's wheel. It may bother you that a late 50 geezer is able to follow you but you can always kick you speed up to eject me from your wake, and if I don't ask permission for staying it's because I am already out of gas.
Originally Posted by blt View Post
I ride almost exclusively in the East Bay, and I haven't experienced any of this. My experience could be slightly different because I'm almost always the slowest one out there, I rarely pass anyone. Well, I did have an odd experience on Diablo a month ago, passed a couple on South Gate and passed another guy really struggling on Summit Road, but other than people on MUP's or using their bike for actual useful transportation purposes, I'm almost always the slowest on the road.

I am generally friendly and have either a wave or friendly greeting for those passing me and those going the other way. Yes, there are those who have no interest in communication, but they are in the minority. The only riders who really bug me are the big packs who for some inexplicable reason trust me enough to stay in a straight line and a consistent speed that they will pass really close, and cut in front of me with about 3 inches to spare. They are, of course, passing by me quite quickly when they do come.

I'm just not encountering the types you describe here in the East Bay.
+1 on the East Bay, all riders above, & me too, love putting in the East Bay miles.
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Old 04-09-15, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by gpelpel View Post
Haven't encountered crazy cyclists yet. I still encounter a lot of friendly fellows engaging in chats at traffic lights or asking if any help is needed when stopped along the road.

As per sucking your wheel I plead as charged especially if you are riding along Danville Blvd. I never objected to people sucking my wheel in the past. Now that I am rebuilding my form, any rider passing me on flat roads is fair game. If you are riding a team jersey the better, it boosts my self-esteem when I can follow a team rider's wheel. It may bother you that a late 50 geezer is able to follow you but you can always kick you speed up to eject me from your wake, and if I don't ask permission for staying it's because I am already out of gas.
OK, I respect your difference of opinion, and believe me, the wheelsucking thing was just thrown in as an afterthought. That doesn't bother me as much as the other stuff, which is clearly over the line IMO. On Danville Blvd is where I encounter most of this, and it's not a big problem there. The road is so damn boring and straight, it's ok to have a little mental excitement! The only thing I can counter that with is what about the perspective of the other rider? What if they don't want someone riding so closely? What if they are uncomfortable with that? It puts that rider in the awkward position of having to tell the wheelsucker to please don't do that. Which of course, could turn into a bigger problem. If someone is going to latch on uninvited, then at least there should be some friendly chatter at some point. Many times guys who do this just remain silent if we come to a stop light. Just say something like "hey, good pace" or "thanks for the tow!" would be good enough. That's all...just make it friendly instead of a competition.

Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
I found it highly creepy when someone latches on to my wheel and just seats there. Also it doesn't take that much effort to ask if you can be on someones wheel. The out of gas is a poor excuse.

Then there is usual macho bull ****. I had to tell few people that I am just doing intervals at set intensity and not racing them.
That's usually when I run into trouble. I usually run into these issues when I'm working hard. It's as if they think we are racing and I got the jump on them by hammering past. Just doing my own effort, there's nothing more to it, and if I happen to go by looking like I'm working hard, it's because I am, not because I'm passing you with attitude.
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Old 04-09-15, 08:45 AM
  #16  
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To be fair, I live in Walnut Creek, so obviously most of my miles are in the East Bay. Guess if I lived in Marin, I'd run into the same problems. If I spend most of my time riding here, then I'm going to encounter more cyclists in general. So, I take that part of it back...
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Old 04-09-15, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I may be wrong, and since I wasn't there it's all the more likely. However, the instances mentioned by the OP all seemed to be the sort that can be eliminated or short-circuited with a bit of humor and a friendly smile/greeting. When someone asks what they pay you as a pro there must be some self-effacing joke you can make that will bring a smile to their face. If someone is upset because he felt you passed too closely, just apologize (even if you thought you gave him enough space). Once he calms down he'll likely apologize right back and acknowledge that he was all over the road while chatting about some distracting topic. When the street-clothes guy rides up next to you, give him a friendly hello, the kind you would give someone that you hoped was going to be your best riding buddy in a year or two.

I get it that when you're "doing your ride" it's a drag to pause the effort and interact socially. By all means ride your ride, but then don't complain that other people aren't overtly friendly since you're not meeting them halfway. A friendly smile goes a long way to creating good will. That's just my $0.02. Feel free to express that I'm full of it. (You may have to get in line.)
It's not a "drag to pause and interact socially" at all. But at the same time, I disagree with the notion that if I don't outwardly express friendliness to every rider I pass, or who passes me, I am now "asking" for these kinds of responses. To me, no one deserves this kind of attitude unless something obviously warrants it. But just not saying "hi" does not justify it.
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Old 04-09-15, 08:54 AM
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LanceOldstrong, your sig is exactly the truth. It pretty much eliminates all the noise that is this entire discussion.
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Old 04-09-15, 01:45 PM
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a-holes have been around for a while
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Old 04-13-15, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cthenn View Post
But for some reason, more and more East Bay riders seem to have an attitude problem.
I'm from the East Bay and I don't have a ****ing attitude problem!!

Most of the people I encounter are friendly, but there's always the occasional jerk. I used to get annoyed that people I nodded/waved to on Diablo would never do it in return. Then I realized that it was because generally they were going downhill (while I was going uphill) and had a good reason to not pay attention.

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Old 04-13-15, 04:27 PM
  #21  
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Had a "trouble" free weekend, which was a change! To Pokeman, I tried to call out as I passed on fast descents, and it only comes across as yelling at someone. We are going so fast, I have to basically shout, which to me sounds like I'm basically telling them to GTFO of my way. (Maybe I have a mean-sounding voice haha!) I didn't think it was any better, so I'm just going back to *carefully* passing unannounced when I can on descents. If I ever pass you on a descent without saying anything, sorry in advance!!!

Edit: Did have one guy (in a car) tell me to "get on the effing bike path", but that's par for the course with drivers.

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Old 04-13-15, 08:58 PM
  #22  
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Speaking of passing people.
I was doing intervals on Kings Mountain Road. As I was doing one of the harder ones, I pass this elderly gentleman. I gave him space, and did nothing different then when I passed other cyclists (or was passed) during this day and all other days I have been on this road. Apparently this was grave injustice. He starts *****ing about how I should have said something. I replied "it's public road, pay attention." or something like that. He got even more indignant "I was paying attention, blah, blah, blah. It's common courtesy to whistle.". Just ignored him and continued with my interval. After few seconds he blew up and left me the hell alone. Special freaken snow flake. When I was descending, riding without hands munching on power bar, waved at him. I don't think he liked that either.
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Old 04-14-15, 10:34 AM
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To prove the point about making conversation/announcing when you are coming up on someone, here you have the exact opposite perspective. This comes from a blog entry I read a long time ago, but still remember it for how angry it sounded. Ironically, it was a post about being a DB on a bike...

Do you bark out “On your left!” with hostility to put fear into every person you pass even when there is ample passing space and reverberate with a secret sense of joy every time you do because being faster makes you a better person?
Do you consider your “training” of the utmost importance even though it is for no particular reason or goal except simply a hope that someday you’ll qualify for some currently unknown event that will make it all worthwhile?
Do you joy in offering mock encouragement to others such as “Oh keep going, don’t worry you’ll make it!” on minor obstacles such as small hills to reinforce your superiority?


Apparently some people don't want you to call out when passing, nor do they want you to be friendly and offer encouragement. Oh, and training/riding hard is not allowed. Point is, no matter what we do, there will be people who take everything the wrong way. That's why I keep quiet, just mind my own business. And if I do that, I shouldn't be berated by some person who has a crappy attitude, or have some guy latch onto my wheel like all of a sudden we are making the break at Paris Roubaix.
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Old 04-14-15, 12:57 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Lanceoldstrong View Post
+1 on the East Bay, all riders above, & me too, love putting in the East Bay miles.
You don't get it - you're the one with the "attitude" everybody is complaining about.



Before I get flamed, and so we are all clear, LanceOldstrong is one of the nicest, most considerate cyclists you will ever encounter (strong as hell, too). I consider him a good friend. But I would be sadly remiss in my duties as a lifelong smarta$$ if I didn't take the opportunity to tease him a bit, and I'm sure he will take this in the spirit in which it was intended.

Now get off my lawn.
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Old 04-14-15, 02:19 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by cthenn View Post
To prove the point about making conversation/announcing when you are coming up on someone, here you have the exact opposite perspective. This comes from a blog entry I read a long time ago, but still remember it for how angry it sounded. Ironically, it was a post about being a DB on a bike...

Do you bark out “On your left!” with hostility to put fear into every person you pass even when there is ample passing space and reverberate with a secret sense of joy every time you do because being faster makes you a better person?
Do you consider your “training” of the utmost importance even though it is for no particular reason or goal except simply a hope that someday you’ll qualify for some currently unknown event that will make it all worthwhile?
Do you joy in offering mock encouragement to others such as “Oh keep going, don’t worry you’ll make it!” on minor obstacles such as small hills to reinforce your superiority?


Apparently some people don't want you to call out when passing, nor do they want you to be friendly and offer encouragement. Oh, and training/riding hard is not allowed. Point is, no matter what we do, there will be people who take everything the wrong way. That's why I keep quiet, just mind my own business. And if I do that, I shouldn't be berated by some person who has a crappy attitude, or have some guy latch onto my wheel like all of a sudden we are making the break at Paris Roubaix.
Yep. I don't care if someone is faster or slower then me, just leave me the **** alone. I do my ride others can do their ride. I am not on a MUP, I am on public road with cars, other cyclists, random people who decided to walk on it. Expecting that people will announce themselves is just silly.
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