I made a run for carry-out food this evening, and while driving home, I saw something that teed me off. A cyclist was in the bike lane on the four-lane street I was in, but was riding against traffic.
There are bike lanes on each side of the street. The direction of travel is clearly marked by arrows. The lanes are in generally good condition — not too much grit or gravel — but they’re wide enough for only one bike. And this guy was traveling in the wrong direction.
He was on a higher-end hybrid bike. Wasn’t in cycling clothes, but normal street clothes, wearing a baseball cap instead of a helmet. That’s fine — he’s perfectly capable of deciding what safety measures are appropriate for him. But in this case, he would have caused problems for any cyclist who rode in the right direction in the bike lane. Or, he would have caused a problem for himself, because if he met another cyclist, he would be the one who would have to leave the bike lane and ride in the traffic lane — against traffic.
And there I was, in my car, windows up, radio blaring. I really wanted to yell, “Wrong way, you idiot!” or something equally derisive. If I had been on my bike, I certainly would have. But this was a missed opportunity.
Now, I’m by nature not a confrontational guy. Rarely do I call out other people’s behavior, and when I do, you know I’ve really been upset. But I’ve ridden with others who aren’t as restrained as I am. They’ll let other riders have it over what I consider minor, forgive and forget, infractions or breaches of etiquette.
Which camp are you in? Do you yell at other bikers when they do something wrong, or stupid, or illegal? Today’s incident gets me wondering if I should become more assertive out there.