On my ride in to work yesterday morning (which I now discovered is 12.5 miles, thanks to a new CatEye wireless bike computer), I was feeling pretty good and got on the bike path about 30 or 40 feet behind someone on a time trial bike. It was a good carrot and I was able to keep him in my sights and gradually began reeling him in (I probably got some extra speed from following the Tour this week).
As I got closer, I thought about sitting up and just following closely but then decided to go to the big chain ring and chase him down. As I pulled up to him, I moved to the left, and as I was riding even with him shouted out, “On your left.” He mumbled something and started stomping his gears to pull ahead. I was already maxed out and was not going to catch him, so I just kept up the pace and made it to work. I had a good chuckle because I absolutely have no idea what he said. It got me thinking about cycling etiquette and some of the mind games that cyclists sometimes play on the road.
As a commuter, I am generally good about listening to my music and not getting sucked in to mind games, but at our lunch time ride it is “game on.” After a quick Google search, here are my top 5 (Okay so I only came up with 4. Note to self: don’t write blog post at the end of the day.) pieces of etiquette that a commuter should follow on the road.
- Approach any group of riders with extra caution, since the stupidity of a group of humans seems to rise exponentially with the number of people in the group.
- Ride right; pass left. Call it out if you can (with a smile, if possible).
- Claim the Lane.
- Have fun on your commute. Think of it as recess, and ride like you are 12 years old again. Relish the fact that you are one of the lucky few that get to ride your bike to work. While this is not exactly etiquette, you are more likely to race the other guy when appropriate and not take yourself too seriously. Staying loose and fresh will also keep you focused, which will, in turn, keep you safe.
I just found the website www.commutebybike.com and have to say that it is a good resource for all things commuting. Check it out and then come back and visit Bikewagon.com when you are ready to take the plunge into the world of commuting.
Be on the lookout for my next post, where I try and figure out what cycling clothing and bike parts I am missing.