The weather is (finally) cooling down, and that brings more people on the roads and trails.
A while back I posted on the lunacy of cyclists here (not knowing hand signals, riding against traffic, riding on the sidewalk etc), but today I saw some new ass-hattery on the canals in Gilbert/Mesa.
First, I was passing a slower cyclist. Wide open path, plenty wide, and he was well to the right. So I called out “On your left” and breezed by. I am no longer surprised by cyclists wearing earphones, but as I was passing at 22+ mph, with a bit of wind noise in my ears, I could clearly hear his music. Wow, that is one dude who will be having a date with a set of hearing aids.
I never ride with headphones/earbuds. Running? sure, I jam out, but cycling on the road, and even on the car-free path of the canals, you need to be aware of your surroundings, and you can’t while blocking an essential part of your sensory input.
Second, some jackass with his little kid trailer on his bike just pulled across the trail (there was a bridge). No looking at what he was riding into. The fool was fiddling with his smartphone, headphones in, and completely oblivious that he almost took out someone walking on the path as well as making me jam on my brakes hard. He never once glanced up from his phone.
Third, as I was approaching a street crossing, a couple were riding on the sidewalk, the wrong way (against traffic). I am usually looking left to get an idea of when it is safe to cross. I was luckily able to see them in my peripheral vision and stop, but again, completely oblivious. They did say “sorry”.
Why the hell do people (adults) ride on the sidewalk. There are bike lanes all over this town. I swear the police could make bank just hassling stupid riders.
Fourth, the group riders. I cut slack for families with kids. Nothing like a family outing, and they are usually very polite as you pass (slowly so as to not scare the kids). But today, there was a jackass pack. I saw them pass me the other direction before I made the turn, so I knew I would see them again. But maybe not, they looked pretty serious, so I hoped that they would stay well ahead of me. Alas, my fears were confirmed. I caught them almost instantly, and had to trail them for far too many miles until I could pass them at a major road crossing.
These idiots were riding 2 and three abreast, taking the whole trail. They were going fast enough that it would have taken a heroic effort to blow by them cleanly, but they were slow enough to let them comfortably talk while they rode. And they were about 3mph below my “pace” so following them really sucked.
I will admit it, I am not a group rider. Even riding with one or two other people is something I don’t like to do. I consider bicycling to be me, the bike, the road, and the elements all out there doing battle. I get in a groove, and I keep pushing myself. It is why I like running, and hiking as well.
I don’t hate coming across groups of riders, but I do try to get by, or redirect my route to not be caught up in their ride. Not my thing, but more power to them. I do hate groups who are completely oblivious to their surroundings, and who are completely inconsiderate of others.