Random notes for other cyclists

A straight fender over your rear wheel may keep your back clean in the rain, but anyone riding behind you will get a hard line of spray right in the face. Do other cyclists a favour and eliminate the rooster tail; get yourself a set of full fenders.

If you’re riding at night, you really need lights. You may be able to see without them, but you also need to be seen.

You’d find riding a lot easier if you just pumped up your tires a bit.

Please, can I put some oil on your chain? If I have to listen to that squeaking for one more block, I’m  going to have to take another route.

I realize that those damned ear buds have been surgically attached to your head since 2006, but at least pretend to pay attention to the world around you when you ride.

If yammering away on your cell phone is preventing you from riding in a straight line, either pull over or call back later.

No, I will not call out “passing on the left” whenever I overtake you, for the same reason that I don’t honk at every car that I pass on the highway. If you’re on the road, I expect you to be alert enough to know what’s happening around you.

I understand why you’d choose to wear a helmet, and I understand why you’d choose not to wear a helmet. What I don’t understand is why you bother bringing a helmet if it’s just going to swing from your handlebar like that while you ride. It’s the worst of both worlds.

If you think that crossing against a red light at the top of a T intersection is so harmless, maybe you can explain why you nearly rode straight into me.

I realize that you’re too super-cool to bother with courtesy, the rules of the road, and all that, but stop your bike for 20 seconds and let people get off the streetcar in peace.

If you’re going to make a U-turn on the bike path, look over your left shoulder first.

When you’re teaching your kids to ride, don’t tell them that cyclists “don’t really have to stop at stop signs.” They’ll figure that out when they’re teenagers, but in the meantime, you’re setting them up to expect something that just isn’t true.

When you’re teaching your kids how to ride, don’t tell them to ride on the left side of the road in order to avoid getting doored. Instead, teach them to keep a safe distance from parked cars and to be alert for people exiting vehicles.

I understand why you might want to ride on the sidewalk in certain places, but beside a perfectly good bike lane really isn’t one of them.

If you must ride on the sidewalk, please don’t careen around pedestrians like they’re part of an obstacle course; ride at a walking pace or learn how to schluff.

If the car driver ahead is signalling a right turn, don’t try to squeeze past on the right; wait behind or go around to the left.

If you’re moving out to get past a parked car, check over your shoulder to make sure that you aren’t about to ride in front of another cyclist. Or a car.

I’ve been using this post and ring all winter long. You’ve seen me using this post and ring all winter long. And now that the nice weather is here, I really don’t appreciate you taking my post and ring just because you get to work a few minutes before I do.

I really don’t mind stopping to help you patch up your tire, but seriously, how can you ride this far out of the city without carrying even a basic repair kit?

And finally, you may be all decked out with your team jersey, clipless shoes, energy bars, and carbon-fibre road bike, but this 40-year-old fat guy on a 20-year-old  mountain bike heading home for dinner can ride through Leaside faster than you. Bring it!

2 thoughts on “Random notes for other cyclists

  1. “Please, can I put some oil on your chain? If I have to listen to that squeaking for one more block, I’m going to have to take another route.”

    I find that Crappy Tire pedals squeak a whole lot more than a chain ever could, and no amount of lubricant can silence a squeaky SuperCycle pedal.

    My biggest problem with other cyclists is when they ride side-by-side on the bicycle path. They may feel comfortable with oncoming traffic wooshing close to them, but oncoming traffic might not feel comfortable with this arrangement. Usually, people who do this ride slowly, so passing them is also more of a pain than passing a single cyclist.

  2. All good stuff. I would like to add (or emphasize, and this kinda overlaps a few of your points): if you cycling on the street and you want to become a pedestrian or a (shudder) sidewalk rider, make the change…s l o w l y.

    Saw a guy riding along Danforth in the right lane, then at the red light, swiftly cut left along the pedestrian lane (no signaling), causing the car turning west off Coxwell onto Danforth to hit his brakes (there were no pedestrians crossing), which caused the car heading south on Coxwell to slam on HIS brakes. Then the cyclist calmly headed north on the sidewalk as if nothing was his problem. Grrrr.

    Sidewalk riders can maybe be tolerated, but when you add headphones and speed, you get idiots. And, again, cars can’t judge how fast a bike will go (compared to a pedestrian). I’ve seen too many sidewalk riders almost get creamed when turning into driveways parking lots, usually because there is not indication where they are going.

    And thanks for putting a name to schluffing…

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