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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301

    Mixed feelings about today's club ride

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    Today I was a corner monitor for the Katy Flatland's Century. My corner was at a point on the route that only the century riders would be going. The road going north and south where I was standing was 60 mph with decently wide shoulders. The cross street had stop signs and the speed on that road was 50 mph. I said all that because I was very proud of most of the riders, but there were a few that if I had been a driver I might have been tempted to run them over just on principle.

    A group of riders were coming down the cross street, the street that has the stop sign. There were about 30 to 40 riders in the pace line. They had to make a right onto the street that did not have a stop sign. Anyway, they came pelting down and I was telling them right turn and car left. Those yahoos just blew through the stop sign with a car coming down the cross street.

    This resulted in the car braking suddenly and swerving into the oncoming lane and one of the cyclists was yelling and cussing at the car. Like I said, I was tempted to get in my car and run him over myself. I just do not get it.

    Thankfully that was, the odd case. The majority of the riders followed the rules and were extremely friendly and courteous. I did my best to act the fool, cheer them on and make them smile. I yelled and rang my cowbell and told them how good they were doing.

    The other major downer was that one rider was in a very serious wreck. They called Life Flight, but the helicopter couldn't come due to the weather (It was storming in parts of Houston,) so an ambulance took him away to a trauma center. There were some nice people who lived near where he wrecked that held onto his bike until the sag vehicle got over there to pick it up.

    It was a really good ride and I had a fun time for the most part.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
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    2013 Electra Verse

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    329
    Sorry to hear about the injured rider- hope they make full recovery. I did the Cap to Cap century here in May and was horrified by some of the blatant rude riding, blowing through stop signs and riding 3 abreast when cars were piled up behind........Most riders followed the rules but the 10% who don't sure don't help our PR!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    I agree with you karens since it's the few unruly inconsiderate cyclists who believe they can do anything on the road.

    That sounded serious for the hurt cyclist.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    I see plenty of jacka$$ behavior on century rides. Some clubs around here have to send out notices to the registered riders telling them that there have been lots of complaints from residents during past rides and if they don't behave then the local governments won't grant the required permits to hold the rides in future years.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,811
    did the Katy challenge today on the 68 mile route, after riding the first 20 with the SAG guy and saw a lot of asinine behavior similar to what was described even in those distances. Apparently the pace line and the Hammer heads also consider themselves oblivious to warning about passing, speeding through stop signed intersections and around corners cutting off people and cars with or without the distance or the intermittent rain showers. The SAG guy got driven into a ditch by three hammerheads who cut inside him on a left turn and instead of staying out a bit(very quiet road)immediately cut him off and forced him into a ditch. He ended up extra wet and with a water logged cell phone. My own personal feeling is that since they always give out registration numbers, they ought to also make each rider sign a obey the rules of the road and road ride rules sheet when they receive numbers. That way people could report riders violating the road rules and report them and hopefully the ones that are members of team or bike clubs could be publically shamed or at least reprimanded.


    My ride could have ended at the door but thanks to the Sag guy, it was rescued and the rest of it although wet was pleasant enough aside from the usual idiots who ride up on you, draft for a while and then speed off so you can't catch up, pass in a long line on a narrow shoulder without warning and run the stop signs especially when the corner is only equipped with a volunteer and not a policeman as well.

    I walked out to the garage to start the ride and discovered that the bike had a flat tire. The SAG guy came out and fixed it in 15 minutes whereas had I been doing it, it would have taken and hour and a half at which point I would have called the ride. So SAG guy was my hero today.

    So aside from the rain, the rescued start and the fact that my garmin computer leapt off of my bike just before Pattison and it took me a while to find it in the weeds it was a good ride.

    Will I do the ride again, probably not unless it is specifically to do the century on familiar roads since there are other local rides which are more about supporting a charity rather than a bike club that also offer centuries and are not quite so big.

    SAG guy and I are both content with our ride, a bit tired and a bit sunbit but glad that we did it.
    marni
    Katy, Texas
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    "easily outrun by a chihuahua."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    This is why I don't do charity or big club rides. On the few i've done, chosen very carefully, I've seen a little of this behavior, but not too much. About 5 years ago, DH and I did the spring metric of one of the clubs I belong to. Two guys who we were riding in close quarters with stopped short and turned into a driveway, saying,"Oh we though this was the turn, and we did the same thing last year." They thought it was hysterical. Really, it was a smaller suburban road. The driveway did not look like a road. They caused me to crash into another woman, in an evasiv move, who was really banged up and her bike was jacked. DH fixed her bike and I gave her first aid, while the 2 azzholes rode off.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,632
    The one organized ride I've done had some of that behavior. One guy even went so far as to tell me that stop signs "aren't for us." We were on rural roads with lots of cornfields, so very low traffic, but low visibility at cross-streets because of all the corn. I found a different group to ride with!

    Hopefully the injured cyclist makes a full recovery.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

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    Saving for the next one...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    248
    I was really surprised at the outrageous behavior of some of the cyclists today. I don't remember it being that bad for the other century I tried.

    I remember talking to a cyclist that dh and I ran into at a park when we went riding on the 4th. He said that there are quite a few cyclists who like to do Katy Flatlands because they treat it like a time trial or race, rather than a ride - they want to beat their best time since they've been riding all spring. That probably plays into some of the antics we saw today.

    I will say that after we split onto the century route, most of the crazies had already gone ahead of us, and most of the cyclists we encountered were courteous. (I couldn't stop, Karen, but did you recognize me?? I called out!!)

    I do want to say that compared to the other organized ride I did, though, this one was really well supported!!! (Granted, my scope of experience was small . . .) The club did a fantastic job!

    We had one guy draft off of us for at least 10 miles. I never got a good look at him, since he stayed in back (I learned a new term! "Cadillacking"). Understand that neither I nor the person I was riding with are huge people - this guy, when he broke away, was a behemoth! As in, way over 6 feet tall and of a football player build! I'm thinking that had he taken his turn pulling, he would have blocked the wind for at least a few people!

    I was thankful for the rain - it was either that or the heat!

    And I made my 100 - woohoo!!
    "Susie" - 2012 Specialized Ruby Apex, not pink/Selle SMP Lite 209

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301
    FWIW I told the board members about the stuff I saw. NWCC is big on safety as a club and it's one of the things we're known for. I don't know what, if anything, can be done.

    Erin, after I got to that spot I was thinking to myself that there's no way I would want to stop there and wished I had told you not to stop if it was inconvenient, so I totally understand. I did hear you call out and then I wondered to myself....who is that? I assumed it was someone from the club.

    I'm glad you made your century. I was really impressed!
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    2013 Electra Verse

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,600
    Years ago, some of the rides I've been on have had warnings that highway patrol will be cruising the route to cite anyone who were not obeying the law. Car drivers and cyclist were fair game to them. And yes I saw bunch of guys getting a ticket for running a stop sign. Those tickets went on their DL and it doesn't differentiate whether it was a car or a bicycle. Ticket was expensive I'm sure and increased insurance rate too.

    You could ask local law enforcement to protect the cyclists and car drivers and to cite anyone breaking the law. That will put a damper on the yahoos!! Organization needs to put the warning onto the registration that police will be out to enforce the law and that they can be ticketed.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    There have been one or two centuries in this area where the local police have ticketed cyclists for running stop signs or red lights. Afterwards emails fly around the local cycling listservs with people complaining about it. If you strip away the whining, the emails always essentially boil down to, "I broke the law on purpose and got caught and I don't think that's fair, oh poor me." I have no sympathy for these people.

    I will say there are also rides in this area where we do not have these problems.

    Then there was the charity ride last April where I was riding on a narrow low-traffic road when a state trooper drove up behind me and told me to move to the shoulder. So I asked him what I was supposed to do when there was no shoulder, as was the case with this road. We had a long talk in which I thanked him for his concern for our safety and then reminded him that Maryland law specifies that when the lane is substandard width (not wide enough for a motorist to pass a cyclist with the legally required three feet of clearance) then the cyclist is not required to ride as far to the right as practicable. Good times.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    4
    Sometimes I don't understand the attitudes that some cyclists have. Why do they feel that if they are in a large pack that they can violate laws of the road and of common sense. Maybe they misinterpreted the OP and thought she was controlling traffic. I don't know but not a good idea if you're a civilian anyway. I'm a Highway Maintenance Manager and don't let any of my people out on the road without wearing at least class 2 reflective protective vests for maximum visibility. Motorists still run into us. Cyclists like to wear colors which blend in with the surroundings especially in shady, canopied spots. I guess they want to be cool looking. I prefer screaming yellow when I ride in traffic. Everyone please obey traffic laws. You'll live longer.
    Last edited by jsjcat; 07-22-2013 at 12:09 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301

    Re: Mixed feelings about today's club ride

    No, they knew I wasn't controlling traffic. It's very clear that we were there to give directions, that's it. I was just making sure they didn't go the wrong way. I was number 10 as far as corner monitors go, so they were very much aware that our only job was to give direction, ring our cow bell, and cheer them on.

    And FWIW all the corner monitors were wearing neon orange to make sure we didn't get run over.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ann Arbor
    Posts
    42
    I've gotten to the point where I call out "Stopping!" when approaching a stop sign when other riders are behind me. I've been shouted at enough by angry cyclists who had no intention of stopping at signs, so now they get my warning that I'm going to obey the law.

    I did my first century on Saturday (Holland, MI), and during the ride, there were a couple of guys who were just about to overtake me as I yelled out approaching a sign. Luckily they followed my lead. One or both of them would have been hit by a car which was shielded from view by a cornfield. The car did not have a stop sign in that direction. One of the guys said he was glad I said something because he wouldn't have stopped. I wonder if he learned his lesson.
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    2013 Velo Orange Campeur

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    4
    I know you were doing a good job. There are just so many different personalities and egos in this sport. My wife and I have met some very nice people and we have met some a$$#@&s. We have not gone on a bike ride yet where we haven't encountered a jackass(es). Either riding or in a vehicle. We even had a car with two young men come all of the way across the center line into oncoming traffic to try to run us off the road. At first we thought that maybe they were texting or something by the way they just drifted across the centerline right at us but the hand gestures and yelling they gave indicated otherwise. Now the bike riders are all different types. All I can say is stay alert to stay alive.
    Last edited by jsjcat; 07-25-2013 at 06:10 AM.
    2013 Trek Madone 4.5
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    2012 Trek FX 7.6 - Wife's

 

 

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