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Reply To: Music while you cycle

KenH, February 25, 2016 at 3:04 pm

jeffreydennis: Ask yourself this…if I’m passing you on the right, or splitting between you and your daughter, what are you doing that necessitates that action? Clue, you ain’t riding right are you.

So my riding partner and I were tooling along last year in a rare bubble of emptiness and while we may not have been absolutely as far right as we could have been we were well to the right of the centerline and there was no one else to the left of us. And we were riding too close together for anyone to go between us. We hear the call “between you” from somewhere behind and from comparing notes later I know we were both thinking the same thing: that sounds close but he can’t mean us because there is no room and no need, people could go by us on the left three or four abreast and the one to my immediate left would not have had to cross the centerline to do so. As it turns out there was indeed enough space to go between us because he did and he must have had perhaps a whole cm to spare on both sides. He zooms through the “gap” between us, gets fifty to a hundred feet ahead of us, and slows down to our speed and then below for a couple of hundred yards so now what, are we going to have to pass him? No, he suddenly veers sharply off to the left without warning and stops on the left shoulder, and we never see him again.

On RAGBRAI anything can happen and almost certainly does dozens of times every year. It does not matter if you are riding right or not, people are going to do this kind of stuff to you. You could be riding on the white line on the far right with nothing but gravel to your right and some fast rider who is weaving in and out of traffic who happened to get boxed in behind you is going to start screaming “ON YOUR RIGHT!!” at you. Been there, had it happen, told him I hoped he was riding a Pugsley!

I do my best to stay out of the way of faster riders and to be polite to slower riders. If I get boxed in and have to wait for a dozen pacelines to zoom through before I can safely get around the slow knot then I will rather than trying to bully my way through it. I can catch up with the rest of my crew quickly enough. But if you want to start lecturing people on riding right because you think they don’t respond or ride the way that would be most convenient for you then you need to spend a day, an entire day, riding at 12 to 14 mph. You will find out exactly how tiresome many fast riders are. Ride right is not always possible but ride nice is. No matter how fast or slow we go we should all strive to ride nice and keep the volume to a reasonable level!

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