Thursday, March 24, 2016

One Biking Rule

It seems many bicyclists have lots of rules for everybody to follow.  There's the infamous 80 some rules of the velominati; no matter if they're supposed to be serious on not, most of them should be broken as often as possible. Other examples abound.  I occasionally read one biking forum populated by hipsters turned randonneurs,  and discovered a couple of their rules: you should only use the drops when going uphill, and when fixing a flat you can't set your bike upside down, unless it's a BMX bike. Still trying to figure that one out.

Whoops. Not a bmx bike.

I used to get more irritated than I do now by things other bikers do that are frowned upon.  You know, things like weaving in and out of the parking lane.  Everybody knows you shouldn't do that.

Or other similar actions. One guy I used to see on Broadway by the Courthouse would stop in between the parking lane and the travel lane just before the crosswalk, look back for traffic, then cross the street when clear.  I'd just ride by and shake my head. Hello, there's a turn lane right there!

He might have been the same guy I passed on the Post Street Bridge (back when it was a two-way street) who did the same thing - I rode by and told him, I can't tell if you're turning or what.

Bicyclists can take the lane when preparing to make a left-turn.  Once on BikePortland someone mentioned they didn't feel safe if they had to stop while doing so with traffic coming up behind them.  Some disparaged them, and said they shouldn't be biking if they can't do that.

Well, sometimes I turn left here from Boone onto Elm.  Traffic after work heading west (towards the camera) can be busy, so I'll have to wait in the middle of the street for an opening to turn.  But you know what?  There's some traffic heading east, too and I don't like being stopped out in the open with speeding traffic coming up behind me.  I started to feel like that guy by the Courthouse.  So if traffic is heavy, I'll wait over in the parking lane until it clears.

(In other intersections and multi-lane streets, I'm a big fan of the box turn when it's tough to get over to the left lane or turn lane.)

These days, I'm more tolerant and understanding of bicyclers doing unorthodox maneuvers.  Go ahead and weave in and out of the parking lane, just be careful.  (Anyways, riding predictably isn't really what's going to keep one safe - riding defensively is.)

So, where was I - oh yeah I've narrowed all the bicycling rules and admonitions down to one:



It just makes me grumpy to be riding home on the Centennial Tail, or out on a weekend jaunt on the Fish Lake or Centennial, and have some bright strobe light heading towards me.  Not a big fan of super bright bike lights at night in the city anyway, but you don't need them on a MUP in daylight.

It's so embarrassing when I forget to turn off my light when entering Riverfront Park or the CT and I break my own rule.  I'll see that half-irritated/confused look on the faces of cyclists heading towards me and go Doh! Sorry!

If you're still with me, a Bonus grumpy grouch section:

I checked the velominati website to see how they spell velominati, and was immediately put off by the opening words of the 3/23/2016 post titled Window Shopping:

One of the great dichotomies of being a Cyclist is that of our commitment to suffering paired against our fastidious attention to our appearance. We sacrifice endlessly for the sake of our craft, suffering hours on end in horrendous weather 

Biking is mostly fun, I still don't get this it's all about suffering biz.

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