Thursday, October 13, 2016

Where are we going in such a hurry?

This is in the nature of an editorial.

I often go out on our local multi-use path (MUP) for a nice leisurely ride. I am, of course, riding my incredibly stylish Big Rove AL. It's perhaps the most stylish bike on the path. I attribute that largely to the matte purple color and the incredibly cool BMX-style pedals. Oh, yeah, the Planet Bike fenders contribute their share of pizzaz as well. As do the Metropolis North Road style handle bars. Cap that off with my cycling uniform of jeans, t-shirt, and tennis shoes and, well, you can imagine the picture of ultimate cool that my bike and I show the world.

But for all my cool, I'm not a fast rider.  I ride at a casual, unhurried pace. And that means I get passed by many, many riders.  But even if were riding three times as fast as I do, I would still get passed by some riders. And those would be the guys "training" for...well, whatever they imagine they're training for.

When this happens, when I'm passed by someone who is riding on the MUP at over fifteen miles per hour, I think: what is the hurry? You're on a path with families, with little children and sometimes infants. Isn't there some place you can "train" where you're not endangering other people? Or are you more concerned with people seeing you?

On my local MUP where there are many pedestrians, someone put up a sign saying "Would you ride that fast past your granny?"

What was the point I was attempting to make? Oh, yeah...slow down you guys! No imaginary race or elusive Strava goal is worth endangering other people. If you're really training, do it somewhere where you can train under real racing conditions. The people on the MUP who see you racing aren't thinking "That guy is with his carbon bike and faux-racing-team-styled spandex sure is cool!" They're thinking "Hey, that incredible jerk came really close to my baby stroller!"

I'll repeat myself here, because I think I have a point worth repeating: if you were really training, you wouldn't do it where there are vulnerable, fragile obstacles like someone's aged parents or someone's small children. You want to do something really cool?  Then practice slowing down to walking pace and saying "excuse me" to the people you're attempting to pass. When you can do that, you'll be truly cool.


  1. I know, those instances are incredibly frustrating. For the most part, fast cyclists steer clear of our MUPs.

    1. You're fortunate there, then. I think as we see more people taking up cycling as simple recreation, the less we'll see racing on the MUPs. At least I hope so.