Another View: Cyclist frustrated by bad manners from others

Another View
By: Charlene Miskimen, guest columnist
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A couple of weeks ago I participated in an after-work bike ride with a rather large group of cyclists — around 30 or so. The ride itself was terrific! The weather was perfect in the foothills. You know, not too hot or too much wind or too much humidity. Nor any fires burning to muck up the air quality. Perfect.
As the group milled around visiting with each other and getting caught up with the details of life, I observed several cyclists occupying the street six feet out into the lane. In fact, so far out into the lane that the car in their lane had to stop and wait for the oncoming car to go past so they could pull around the cyclists.
The cyclists were just talking and visiting like there was no care in the world. Like there was no vehicle traffic at all.
Fast forward 15 minutes as the group headed toward Auburn Folsom Road and I observed several people circling around waiting for the light to change to green.
You are probably wondering if any cars or other people were impacted. You would win that bet. In fact, again, not a care in the world for how their behavior impacted others.
Last, but by no means least, now it’s time for the speedy ride down Auburn Folsom Road, where several ride participants opted to ride out in the lane with, what seems, no look back to see how many cars were being held up.
Even though several cyclists were hollering the textbook “car back” verbal alert to move over and give the car some room to safely pass.
For those of you that know me, well, you know where I’m going. For those of you who do not know me too well, let me spell it out for you.
Honestly, I was embarrassed and aggravated. As one of those cyclists who obeys the rules of the road the situation was nearly unbearable. So, maybe cyclists don’t read this column — maybe they do and just don’t care to comment. Either way is fine, I suppose. After all, this is America and each of us is entitled to our own opinion.
But let me challenge you cyclists out there right now. Help me understand why it is so difficult for you to move over, stay out of the way or give room to passing motorists. Help me understand if it is arrogance or just a lack of concern for another person.
Do you hate cars and just want to give as many of them a hard time as you can? Are you thinking you would make a great-looking hood ornament?
Only you can answer the questions and I really do not mean to be disrespectful but seriously, you need to think long and hard about the answer. There is a lot at risk.
Charlene Miskimen is the ride director with Sierra Foothills Cycling Club and has been cycling for four years.