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Open Letter to all Bay Area Bicyclists

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Open Letter to all Bay Area Bicyclists

Old 10-05-14, 12:50 PM
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Open Letter to all Bay Area Bicyclists

Just because you _can_ ride fast does not mean you may do so any where, any time!

I ride slowly, but I ride far and high, on roads frequented by serious roadies. Yesterday I was forced off the road once, into a ditch once, to a stop once, and simply passed rudely, dangerously, closely countless times by people passing too close or in too heavy traffic. To the woman in blue kit who passed me double file and wobbling going up the path to the Golden Gate Bridge only to slam to a stop ten feet after you passed me, shame on you! To the club who called, "On your left," on Bridgeway, expecting me to disappear (the bike lane was disappearing 50 feet in front of us) shame on you! To the man in red and black kit who passed TO MY RIGHT and then swerved in front of me to make a turn onto Miller from the Sausalito bike path, even though I was riding at the right edge of the path, shame on you! To the man in yellow kit who brushed my elbow going up the Panoramic highway, shame on you!

I respect and envy your ability to go fast, but when you are in a narrow street-side bike lane, with car-doors opening and heavy traffic, you just can't go as fast as you want to, anymore than you can go as fast as you want to in your new Ferrari on 101 during rush hour. DON'T expect slower riders to dematerialize in front of you. Not in heavy traffic on the bridge, not in heavy traffic on Bridgeway, not in heavy traffic on Valencia Street, and not on the MUPS.

I respect and envy your ability to go up the mountains quickly, but don't pass someone wobbling up at three miles an hour with inches to spare. I know you don't want to lose momentum, and there was a car behind us, so you wanted to keep right, but I could have wobbled into you, bring us both down. And don't yell at me to get out of your way: I have just as much right to pedal up the mountain more slowly than you do as you have the right to pedal up more slowly than the cars. And you have just as much responsibility to pass me safely as the cars have. (Does the 3-foot rule apply to bicyclists passing other bicyclists?)

Slow down on the bridge! And don't terrify the tourists. Sure, 2/3 of them haven't been on a bike in years. If you terrify them, they'll stay off their bikes for more years. If they enjoy the day, they may become cyclists themselves, growing our constituency, making the roads better for all of us. Show off later, not on the bridge.

Slow down on the MUPS! (I'm thinking about the rants a few years ago in this forum about the American River Trail speed limits.) Don't terrify the little kids and the parents. The Bay Area is a wonderful place to ride. There are hundreds of wonderful places for us to go as fast as we want on our bikes. There aren't that many places for the people who are not yet fast and confident. Mups are where people go to become cyclists. Roadies belong on the roads.

.endrant Thank you for reading this far.
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Old 10-05-14, 02:31 PM
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I apologize on behalf of all bay area bicyclists.
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Old 10-05-14, 08:50 PM
Family, Health, Cycling
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Please accept my apology for the bad apples of our sport that do not use common courtesy.
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Old 10-05-14, 09:07 PM
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Ditto & Amen.
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Old 10-05-14, 10:14 PM
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Well they're behaving just like rude cagers Teach. So you have the right to call them a$$ holes and to give them the finger. They'll understand.
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Old 10-05-14, 10:57 PM
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Probably the cyclists your complaints are about aren't the type to visit this forum. I personally can't stand riders (usually men in their 20s) who startle me by passing me with no vocal warning on a road like Stevens Canyon or Page Mill (and I'm not a slow descender). Didn't used to, but now I shout out at them when it happens--maybe they're just ignorant and need to learn little a little puppy, I dunno.
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Old 10-22-14, 08:10 PM
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Sorry to hear about your experience. At least you're not commuting on the streets of SF (or maybe you are).
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Old 10-23-14, 09:52 AM
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If I was able to ride fast I would slow down after reading this. Alas, any slower and I'd be doing a track stand.
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