Brainless Cyclists

Posted by barb on Jul 30, 2005 in Biking, Random Thoughts |

Every public trail has them. They try to look like professional cyclists. They wear brightly colored jerseys and black cycling shorts, just like the professional and hard-core cyclists. They train hard like professionals. They bike fast, even on the steep grades, like professionals. But they are not professionals. In fact, professionals probably dislike these imposters as much as the non-professionals. Let’s call them brainless cyclists, or bcs for short.

What exactly makes them brainless? There are a couple things.

BCs are the cyclists who feel entitled to go 20 mph (or their normal riding speed) no matter the conditions on the trail. There are a hundred pedestrians on the trail? No matter, I’ll just weave between them like an idiot. The cyclist ahead of me is passing a pedestrian? No matter, I’ll just brush past them within an inch…maybe two. There’s a sign ahead saying that the trail narrows, so cyclists please dismount before crossing? Screw that, it doesn’t apply to me. Never mind that there is barely room for a single pedestrian; I’ll just be there for a moment, so they’ll hardly notice me.

Perhaps worse, BCs are also the cyclists who don’t feel like the rules of courtesy on trails apply to them. The foremost courtesy on the trail is to give a audible warning when you are about to pass someone. Andrew and I have bells on our bikes that we ring. Many other cyclists just say, “On your left”, or simply “left” or “passing”. The reason for this should be clear — if you’re passing someone, you don’t want to startle them, causing them to veer one way or the other. It is equally important to warn other cyclists as it is to warn pedestrians. The BCs, however, don’t see it that way. It’s too much effort for them to say “left” when they are passing, or perhaps it’s beneath them. I’m not sure which.

To these assholes on the trail I say, find another damn place to ride your bike. Find a nice quiet country road where you can be alone. As for those of us on the public trails, we don’t want you here.

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