I saw a tweet recently complaining about rude cyclists. Thinking it was another rant about bikes interfering with cars, I replied to the writer (twitterer? twit? This person is definitely not a twit) asking for clarification.
What I mean, she wrote back, are cyclists who are rude to other cyclists, not motorists. They pass without warning, don’t call out, “On your left,” and generally have an arrogant attitude toward others they meet on the road. That attitude could contribute to accidents.
I chewed on that for awhile, and tried to remember instances I’d run across where other cyclists were rude to me. But then I experienced first hand what I think she was talking about.
I was taking my weekly run around the Veloway, chatting with my friend David. The Veloway is wide enough for two lanes, with a white stripe painted down the center. Slow cyclists are supposed to stay in the right lane. In practice, things are less formal.
As we rode along, catching up (I hadn’t seen him in weeks), he was in the right lane, and I was in the left. We didn’t hear anyone, but suddenly, the call, “On your left,” came from right behind me.
Before I could react, a rider passed me on my left side. He was down in the drops, moving fast. I didn’t think much of it — the lanes are plenty wide enough for two bikes to pass without a problem. But suddenly, a second cyclist shot between us without warning.
He was obviously the riding partner of the first guy, and was going just as fast. I looked at David, and he looked back at me and raised his eyebrows.
“Good thing you didn’t move right when that first guy called ‘On your left,'” he said.
“I would have, but he was by me too fast,” I replied. “We could have had a pretty good crash there.”
The problem, as I saw it, was that the first rider indicated he was passing on the left, but his partner passed me on my right. Now, you never pass on the right. And this guy was more than a bike length behind his buddy, so why didn’t he grab his wheel and follow him around me on the left?
The whole thing left a sour taste in my mouth. I know I’m not the fastest guy out there, but I do get out of the way when faster riders come by. There was no reason for this cowboy behavior.
What kinds of rudeness from other cyclists have you experienced on the road?