Rant: Bad cyclists

Twice while biking around Sunday, back and forth from the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market, I had to deal with two (on separate occasions) other cyclists in the bike lane against traffic. R Street is one way going west. I use that street for going west. But had to avoid a person coming at me heading east on R. On the way back from the market, another cyclist heading west on Q Street. It is bad enough that cars love to have one tire in the bike lane or use it for temporary parking. It’s enough to be concerned about being swiped by some idiot in an SUV who can’t stay in one lane or watch out for an opening car door. I don’t need other cyclists barreling at me head on.
If this keeps up I’m going to take up bike jousting. That bike lane is not that wide.
And while I’m at it. People, wear helmets. Against certain object like cars, or sidewalk curbs your head can bust open like a ripe melon. And with the people I see just biking against the lights and traffic on Rhode Island, I am amazed that there aren’t more bike accidents.

8 thoughts on “Rant: Bad cyclists”

  1. Thanks for urging folks to wear helmets. My SIL has a helmet that is scratched and cracked from a crash after spinning out on some loose rocks. And she said she wasn’t going fast at the time.

  2. And I hope your SIL is using another helmet now! (Make sure you don’t reuse a helmet after it’s been in an accident–it can lose some of the structural characteristics that protect your head!)

    /over-protective-aspiring-pediatric-emergency-room -doctor

  3. My forty-year-old Raleigh bike is my main means of transportation. I too am appalled at those who drive against traffic. It is suicidal to the rider and to on-coming bicycles. My rule of thumb is to slow down when one of these idiots approach me and stay nearer the parked cars tp force them into the on-coming traffic. For some reason, ghettofiers do it more than gentrifiers, but I can respond with equal quantifies of invective if it is inveighed against me. As an occasional motorist, I know that when I am pulling out of a parking place, I am looking behind me for on-coming cars to blend into the traffic, not an idiot bicyclist.

    My other gripe is with bicyclist who ride on the sidewalks. These are usually No-Hablos and Jennifers/Jasons whose mommies didn’t tell them they are grown up and can ride on the streets with the big boys and girls.


  4. If you figure out a way to get cyclists to observe common sense, let us know. I’m pretty sure that the high rate of cyclist splatterings has as much to do with cyclists own bad behavior as the lousy drivers.

    As a pedestrian in DC, I’ve learned to fear bicyclists more than almost any driver.

    Helmet: Naming no names…

  5. Brian — Thanks for your concern! Yes, my SIL immediately purchased a new helmet after she crashed. She just keeps the cracked one as a memento. I think she has show it to a few youngsters who think wearing a helmet is a bother or too dorky looking or whatever.

    Best of luck with your medical studies!

  6. Will you people stop bike-bashing me!? I know I’m guilty – on both counts.

    I do not recommend bike jousting. I tried it against an aggressive bike messenger once. I managed to knock off his mirror, but he followed me and stole my handlebars and back tire. Those dirtbags will get you.

  7. If you have the bandwidth, check out the first-person bike commute videos on this website.


    “Baltimore urban & cycling photography
    Do the worm on the accropolis
    slamdance the cosmopolis
    enlighten the populace”


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