Has anyone else noticed more bikes on the roads this Spring? For the first time ever, I’ve found myself in a random queue of cyclists waiting for a light to change or for our turn at a 4-way stop. With this increased number of cyclists comes responsiblity. Like other road users, we as cyclists must play our part in the dance of traffic. Geoff Williams documented this encounter he had this morning at a 4-way stop:
This morning I just about got plowed over by someone on a nice
internal geared fendered commuter bike at a 4 way stop.
Way back in the dark ages of bike commuting around here, there were
never any other bikes, or so few that you would never see them, and
thus all you had to worry about when coming to a 4 way stop was
something with a big bumper.
I had come to stop, checked, no cars, no bikes, started going and boom
zipp here comes someone going so fast that if there was a car in the
intersection they would have had a hard time stopping.
It is tempting to run stop signs. Esp 4 way stop signs.
Please don’t. Don’t be that jerk. As more and more cyclists come out
and start riding in (yeah!) it is all of our responsibility to ride
appropriately. Stop signs aren’t suggestions. Do a rolling stop if
you want but you should always be able and prepared to stop when you
have a sign. Always.
Obeying the rules of the road also reduce your exposure and chances of
getting nailed by a car.
If this was the first time I’ve almost been creamed by another bike
flying through stop signs, maybe I wouldn’t be so bothered by it. But
it wasn’t. Sadly it might not be the last. I’d hate to see two bikes
get destroyed and people sent to the ER because someone in the cycling
commuter community felt that stop signs only apply to cars.
Geoff offers up a good reminder of why it’s important, both for your saftey and the safety of others to ride respectfully. It’s not okay, or safe, to blatently disreguard traffic control devices. If you are in such a rush that you feel the need to blow through these devices, then I suggest perhaps you remember why you are riding a bicycle in the first place. I for one get on my bicycle, because the journey is part of the joy. Don’t let your riding sucomb to a motorist mentality, where you allow the sites, sounds, and smells to be ignored. Instead, take your time and enjoy the journey, there are precious few things left in our hectic lives that you can do this with.