Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Open Road: Sunday Ride

What would a WTOP traffic report sound like if this were your daily commute? Check the video...

One day out the year, cyclists get to see what it would be like to use the commuter routes that drivers do. BikeDC brings all kinds of cyclists out. Kids, older folks, speedsters, coasters, tandems, even a unicyclist was rolling along with the bikes.

Most folks were clearly experiencing biking bliss, many demonstrated great cycling skill and solid road etiquette, and then, there were the others.

To be clear, just a few cyclists out for the BikeDC ride exhibited the same behavior that many drivers do: aggression and entitlement. But wow, did one of these guys make an impression. Did anyone else get a load of the scream-y guy @ the Iwo Jima Memorial? Dear Mr. AngryLycraPants: Screaming "On Your Left!" at the top of your lungs while maintaining a high rate of speed is not the same as signaling your intent and passing safely. It's kinda like flooring it and laying on the horn. It's obnoxious and potentially dangerous. I hate being behind a pack of oblivious riders like anyone else, but screaming and racing up someone's backside is just as dangerous and ridiculous on a bike as it is in a car.

Most riders however, were like a young cyclist who pedaled alongside me as we crossed from Arlington back into DC. This kid was oh, maybe 11 maybe 12, and was on a road bike. He displayed rock-solid bike- handling skills and super road savvy. I don't know who taught him the rules of the road, but they did a good job, and I'd like to see a lot more riders like him on out there.

A big thank you to the organizers and all the volunteers, police and EMS workers out there who made this thing go: you stood out there for hours making sure that we got to enjoy ourselves--safely. You responded when a few cyclists met pavement (ouch!) and we know it could not have happened without people like you, willing to pitch in.

And a thank you to the drivers out there who tuned in to WTOP, listened up for that Weekend Wake Up Call, and adjusted their own driving plans so special events like this one could take place.

BikeDC 2011 from kate ryan on Vimeo.

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