Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Bane of my Existence

Fall is setting in here.  Nice breeze blowing today and no humidity.  I went to town, and I noticed immediately that Fall must really be here because the bicyclists from the city are starting to appear. Like Stink Bugs, first there are just a few but soon they will be everywhere.  On my way in, I came up on two of them riding side by side in the middle of the road.  If they had ridden single file, as the law requires, I could have gotten by but you can't pass blind on these mountain roads.  So I just pulled up right behind them and shifted down. The truck makes a lot of noise and they got the idea.  It was nice to pull past them in low because they got a good smoking with diesel fumes. One good turn deserves another.

Two of them is nothing. Before long, there will be groups of 50 or more. They don't even make a pretense of getting over.  That's really stupid, because what they don't know is that a lot of locals drive way too fast, and these same locals make the curves by swinging into the oncoming lane on corners. This means, on a lot of blind corners, that Billy Bob comes around the corner in his pickup, only to find a crowd of bikers swarming in the space he thought he could cut into. It's not that rare for one or two of the Stink Bugs on the outer edge of the swarm to get picked off by a mirror or a left front bumper. Since they put themselves in danger through their own arrogance and disregard for others, I look at it as the Cosmos keeping Karma in balance.

With those who exercise some courtesy and share the road, I have no problem.  But those who come up here in their BMW's with their little bike racks,  and roll out on our highways like they were bike trails, let the shards fly as they may.


  1. Bikes are a big deal around here too. They aren't required to ride single file here though, so we get huge clots of 20 or 30 riders in a pack taking up the whole lane. On country roads theres often no way to safely pass so you're stuck driving along at bike speed.

  2. We have signs on all our roads showing a bicyclist and the signs say "share the road, ride single file." The spandex suit people just blow them off. A bunch of us raised hell at the county commissioners office because the Sheriff's Department won't write tickets when these guys block the roads. But you can guess why, the handful of people who own all the tourist oriented businesses here, like hotels, restaurants, gift shops, et al love those little bicycle people. If you give them a ticket maybe they won't come back and spend money in our business! We commoners don't count at all except at property tax time.

  3. We have cyclists along our road too, they ride in groups and it is annoying to say the least especially when there is a lot of traffic :)

  4. They were the same way when we lived in Italy. You couldn't get anywhere near the beach in summer because the bike clubs filled both lanes of the road going out there. Must just be something to do with assertiveness but bike vs car usually ends badly for the bicyclist.

  5. You need to build a couple of outriggers with limber cane poles and hook 'em on the passenger side of your truck....flap, flap, flap.

    1. Well, I used to shift down into third when I passed a bunch of these guys, and just really give it the pedal. That caused my truck to pump out a huge black cloud of diesel smoke, like an old World War I Destroyer laying down a screen. Then I had the engine worked on and it wouldn't do it anymore. Runs better and cheaper but I miss that capability.