Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, June 21, 2008

What the... ?!

It was a good day for a ride, and I was rolling down a nice quiet road. I was looking around, and listening, listening to the birds and other natural sounds.

And then, I heard a jarring noise. It got louder, and louder, and then - it passed me. What was the noise? It was created by a person on a bicycle with an attached motor. This guy was cruising down a perfectly flat road, polluting the environment with both noise and odor.

Why? Why not just ride?

OK, OK, it's possible that the fellow on the bike had some kind of unseen disability. But I don't believe that a two-wheeled upright bicycle would be the vehicle of choice if that was the case. Yes, gas for the tiny engine on the bike probably costs less than the gas for a car or even a motorcycle. But turning those pedals would have brought some form of health benefit to the rider.

And then...

I came up on a group of three riders. One was riding sensibly, at the left side of the driving lane. The other two were blocking the entire lane, riding side-by-side. There are ways to reasonably ride two abreast (even though that's not allowed by the Massachusetts vehicle code), but these two women chose unreasonable lane positions. One was riding just to the right of the center of the lane. The other? She was riding right in the center of the road. It wasn't even safe for me to pass them, and it wasn't possible for cars to pass either on the narrow winding road we were on.

They were clearly focused only on their conversation and weren't paying attention to the other inhabitants of the road. I finally called out "car back" to tell them that there was a car very nicely hanging back and waiting to pass. They finally moved over, allowing the car - and me - the pass. Funny thing though - I'm a very slow (but steady) rider. It's not often that I pass people as though they are standing still!

My message to other riders? Please, please, please... ride safely, and share the road. Respect the larger motorized vehicles, and drive them to respect those of us who ride human-powered vehicles. Please...