Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What's with "toy bike" riders? (Part 1)

On Sunday, I was riding north on Roosevelt Street. (For those not familiar, it's a 2-lane "collector" type street with nice wide shoulders in most places, and "fog stripes" at the edges of the motor lanes. I ride on it almost every day, year-round.)

I came up behind a group of four "toy bike" riders ... or at least that's the way most of the world sees 'em. They were on road bikes. They were no doubt headed home from their Sunday morning "club" ride. They had matching jerseys on, that said B O C in big letters. I'm assuming that's Boise Orthopedic Clinic. But I may be wrong.

They got my attention - and that of everyone coming up behind them - because they were riding two abreast, one pair behind the other. Two were to the right of the fog stripe, and two were next to them in the traffic lane. I watched in dismay as maybe 4 or 5 cars queued up behind them, waiting for an opportunity to safely pass. (They weren't going very fast - I was in my "Sunday go-to-meetin' clothes," incidentally headed for my Sunday meetin's... and I wasn't going very fast either, but I came up behind them.)

I am totally confident they were inspiring a lot of muttering among the motorists, about those %$&#@& bike riders.

Were they legal? Idaho law says it's legal to ride two abreast; however it also says they "shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic." So I'd say they could've been issued a ticket.

Was their "small talk" more important than being good ambassadors for the cycling community, and for Boise Orthopedic Clinic? Apparently they felt it was at the time.

Almost always, when non-bicycling citizens get together and complain about the behavior of cyclists, the topic of two-or-more abreast riding comes up. These arrogant (or maybe just ignorant) wankers are no friends to the transportation cycling community, that's for sure!


bob t said...

...they were riding two abreast, with two to the right of the fog stripe, and two next to them in the traffic lane.

This sounds like they were riding FOUR abreast to me, or am I missing something?

Bikeboy said...

Sorry, Bob.

There were two behind the other two. Will try to rephrase. (Thanks!)

db said...

Sorry, typos.

I live right off of Hill Road, off Castle. Same issue there, but with no bike lane and narrow shoulders.

I understand that these guys ride because they want to ride as recreation, and that part of that is the social element. I get it.

However, I know that that "formation" is cited about 50 percent of the time when motorists complain about cyclists (the other 50 percent is "they don't stop at red lights and stop signs").

I'd really be grateful if they'd stop that. Just because there's language that makes it, at times, legal, doesn't mean that it's a great idea.

bob t said...

Under some circumstances it may be better for a group to ride two abreast versus single file as shown in illustrations #5 and #6 here. However, it does not appear that safety or motorist convenience are in the minds of many group riders.

Bikeboy said...

Those are very informative illustrations, Bob. (A picture is worth 1000 words, huh?)

If there hadn't been a nice wide shoulder where these four riders could safely operate single-file, then indeed, the "pack" of 2x2 might've been the most expeditious.

Ironically, every one of those illustrated scenarios would be illegal, technically, under current Idaho law. Because it is illegal for a vehicle to cross the double-yellow line... PERIOD. If Senate Bill 1348 becomes law, that will be fixed, allowing a vehicle to pass a cyclist regardless of "pavement markings" when the coast is clear.