Saturday, August 30, 2014


      Just when you think you've seen (or heard) it all, I had another first while on a club ride.  I don't usually ride Parmer Lane, and especially not on Saturday morning.  However, the Bicycle Sport Shop has their Saturday ride up and down Parmer, and my schedule called for an easy one-hour ride.  Well, I figured the 25-mile beginner ride would be easy enough.  BTW, I had two hard interval sessions the two previous days, which is why I was due for an easy ride.
     So, I determined I'd be an unofficial sweep for the beginners.  As we tooled along, three folks dropped back, as did I.  At a red light, where the wide shoulder turned into a right-turn lane, the three folks stopped.  Experienced riders will usually, if there is room and only a couple, line up behind each other on the lane divider, thus allowing cars wanting to turn right free access.  Our beginners did not.
     A mini-van was between me and the other three and the driver got out and addressed me (who was actually on the line in straight lane), saying that the three should have stopped out of his way (or words to that effect, I take my hearing aid out when riding, but I got the gist of it).  I smiled and shook my head in agreement; no sweat off my nose.  But then, some lady in a pick-up in the left lane rolled down her window and yelled at him to get back in his car, that the cyclists had every right to do what they were doing.  I looked over and gave her a thumbs-up, and noticed she probably hadn't been on a bike in years (but who am I to judge a book by it's cover).
     Fortunately, the light turned green and we all went on our respective ways.  I'm sure the driver was just using the situation as a teachable-moment, he wasn't belligerent or unpleasant; and I'm sure the pick-up lady also saw a teachable-moment in that drivers really shouldn't be jumping out of their cars to address cyclists.  I hope the bike shop doesn't receive a complaint call (I did have on my BSS jersey), but if they do and read my post, they can properly address the problem.  
     Yes, I bailed on giving my own teachable moment, mainly because the three were perfectly within their rights and it really is a personal preference; besides, some situations call for just the opposite.  It was neither the time nor place to instruct them on some of the niceties of mingling with vehicles.

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