Safety & Courtesy Enhance Reputation -Portland Bicycling Club

Safety & Courtesy Enhance Reputation

As we enter the season for organized riding events such as the Pioneer Century® and Ride Around Clark County, I wish to emphasize that our behavior on the road matters.

Not just for our own individual safety, but the safety of those around us – the greater whole. This includes other road users besides cyclists, such as pedestrians, car drivers, and livestock.

Some communities and motorists are already annoyed that we’re “hogging the road.” Outside of Portland Metro, bicyclists DON’T reign supreme. Let’s show the local residents that we appreciate their rolling out the welcome mat for us by being courteous and following the rules of the road.

Examples of cringeworthy behaviors on these organized rides: 

  1. Running RED LIGHTS. NOT OK! I’m not even talking about when no one else is around. I mean, all the cars are waiting their turn, following the law, and some cyclists just blast right through, as if they’re special. I’ve seen and heard the anger from car drivers, and I don’t blame them.
  2. Passing another cyclist while a car is already passing us cyclists riding in a line. Bonus points for when a car is in the oncoming lane and must swerve onto the shoulder when the car passing us swerves into oncoming traffic. What, why? Please, no!
  3. Refusing to leave the center of the lane and move to the right when cars are coming up behind and want to pass. Even when someone, usually me, is yelling “Car back! . . . .CAR BACK!”

The actions of one or a few can taint the reputation of many. Some of us are wearing our club jerseys, after all. Positive publicity please!

The Pioneer Century® is right around the corner. An effort has been made to include the local communities in the planning and spreading of goodwill. Let’s please show our appreciation and thank them for their hospitality, and use of the roads and facilities, through our actions of courtesy and following the rules.

Maria Sworske, Member at Large

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