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The 5 Most Annoying Things Bikers Do

Bike to work this week. Just don't be a jerk about it.

by
Hannah Sternberg

Bio

May 14, 2013 - 10:36 am

4. Zipping down a crowded sidewalk at racing speeds

Even though it’s technically against the rules in some places (including D.C.), I don’t oppose people who choose to bike on the sidewalk. In fact, I think it’s a great alternative for people who aren’t in shape enough to keep up with traffic, and I don’t blame them for trying to keep themselves and others safe. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to race down the sidewalk as if all pedestrian traffic ought to dive out of your way. If you’re on the sidewalk, be prepared to pedal along at a walking pace until there’s enough space to get around people comfortably (don’t squeeze them), and then when you do pass, give them a ding of your bell or a toot of your whistle first so they’re not startled when a bike appears next to them.

3. Spandex

I don’t care that it wicks off moisture or keeps you warm on chilly mornings or makes you more aerodynamic or never gets tangled in your gears. We do not need to see your balls. Put on a pair of basketball shorts.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
this is what i dont understand
one of the first "rules" i learned on my bike as a youngster was to avoid crashing and running into things especially if the object is a car

screw the right of way- running into a heavier object will hurt oneself-- nature's law-- simple as that

my biggest problems with bicyclists are specifically the ones who will forsake natural law in order to claim some kind of imagined moral/lifestyle superiority from the ether

curious thing here in cali that i've noticed over the years-- it is those on bikes who use it as a means of conveyance rather than recreation who are much more aware of their surroundings and blend in much easier--

i have much more faith in the guy riding his bike one-handed while holding a surfboard under the other arm than the trio of newbs in their brand new cycling outfits riding 3 abreast with your run-of-the mill lance armstrong wannabe trailing the trio getting ready to pass

granted- most of the cyclists (the ones who actually look like athletes on bikes and know what they are doing) will go unnoticed as most of the complaints refer to the posers and holier-than-thous
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
A motorcyclist friend of mine was held up on a winding road by a group of "Spandex Nazis" who were riding abreast outside the bike lane. He gave a little honk on his horn to get their attention and they refused to move over. He finally found a place to safely pass and one of the bikers gave him the middle finger. My friend then stopped about 1/4 mile ahead and waited for the bicyclists upon which time he yanked the "finger waver" off of his bike and then tossed the bike into a roadside ditch. The other bike riders didn't do anything - my friend is not a person you want to mess with on any level. Message delivered.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (57)
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The writer forgot to mention the sanctimonious sneers affixed to the faces of these bikers. The faux moral superiority projected by these folks is every bit as nauseating as the Spandex. I've been wondering, can modern-day cyclists not ride a bicycle unless clad in Spandex? I seem to remember that we wore all kinds of clothing when we biked. Perhaps we were more adept back then.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm an avid bicyclist, and I agree 100% with every word in Sternberg's article. (Okay, ALMOST every word--reasonable people can disagree about whether everyone should be required to see my balls.)
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
sorry, you've never done any distance cycling. Those shorts are necessary for anyone spending hours in the saddle. They are specially designed for the sport, and work exceedingly well. If you don't like them, just don't look. I see lots of folks dressed in deliberately ridiculous clothing walking down the streets in any city, with clothing that suits no purpose other than "making a statement". Runners wear "running shoes", not cowboy boots or suede high heels. Cyclists who ride for fitness or the sheer pleasure of knocking off miles at a time wear cycling shorts. Get over it.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am an avid road cyclist.. upwards of 5,000 miles a year on the roads. Self-preservation dictates that I ride sensibly and predictably. about 150K miles in my life and never in a tangle with a car yet. Some close calls, jerk motorists. Most state laws define a bicycle as a "vehicle", demand they ride on the right side WITH traffie, ON the roadway, and observe traffic control devices. Most areas, cops WILL ticket for blatantly running lights and stop signs. I with they'd ticket for riding on the wrong side, at night with NO lights or reflectors, and on the sidewalk. When I am driving, I often find cyclists cruising down the sidewalk, against traffic, and blasting out into the crosswalk as if they are the only thing moving on the planet. Sooner or later, they WILL end up roadsplat, no one to blame but themselves. But the lawyers will grab hold and make a scene for the innocent motorist.

On the other hand, when I am out in remote areas, come to a 4 way stop, can see for half a mile in every direction, nothing larger than a bumblebee coming from anywhere, WHY in the world do I have to come to a complewte stop? THIS is stupid. Or, how about left turn lanes... with sensors that do NOT pick up bikes, especialy the ones with less than two pounds of ferrous metals? I make sure traffic is clear, and go.

As to spandex.. Hannah, you obviously are deluded. True cycling shorts have a thick pad lining the crotch area. No way can you detect, even with careful study, any part of one's anatomy contained within. Basketball short WILL reveal that which you do not wish to see, AND provide the user, when cycling, with rather intolerable side-effects in a very unpleasant area. Cycling shorts are specifically designed for the activity, NOTHING works better, nor protects one's delicate parts (men and women). Methinks you've either seen non-cycling spandex, or are looking for more over which to have a whinge.

I could write a column about jerks driving cars on the road and their terrible conduct toward cyclists. Grantes, far too many cyclists ride about with a nasty 'tude", deluding that they are the centre of the known world. Sooner or later, Darwin's theory on natural selection will be proven once again. Some riders deliberately inconvenience, and even taunt, motorists, and some motorists thus have a burr under their saddle blankets to even the imagined scors. Stupidity on both parts. but we who watch out for motorists suffer from the angered motorists. Jerks abound both in the saddle AND the driver's seat.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Interesting.

Where did this comment go? Was it selectivily deleted? It was up for several days. PJM editors, Like a Virgin.

Here you go folks -

Why not run "The Single Most Annoying Thing That the PJM Editors Do Do".

What's with this numerology Jones? Is the licking Letterman boot? What the hell is this? Is PJM - a self help/ political advice/tell you how to count to 10/editor personal playground or just the "conservative" version of the Vagina Monologues w/male makeup?

Jeez, does "somebody" (the Rozanski - Hanscom axis of evil) know that this "nowness" can be as lame as Mrs. President's "Let's Move" gig on a teleprompter.

No offense Ms. Sternberg.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Spandex is comfortable and functional. You cannot see balls because there is a shield in the crotch of cycling shorts called a chamois that is protective for saddle chafing. Plus, why are you staring at our crotches anyhow? Learn more about serious cycling and you won't make so many stupid comments. Looks like you could use some exercise.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was in a taxi in Beijing when a cyclist hit the side of the taxi and took off. The taxi driver followed the cyclist and then used his taxi to run the cyclist off the road and knock him over. Then the taxi driver got out and confronted the cyclist. There was yelling (in Chinese). Then the cyclist handed over money to the taxi driver – compensation for scratching the door of the taxi. We need more drivers like that here in the U.S.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
You left out one more important issue:

6. If you get heavily perspired while cycling on a hot day, find some place where you can take a shower or sponge bath before starting work. The rest of us don't have to smell you either.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
when one is in good shape, one's perpseration does not smell badly. Its the ones who are NOT in shape, and sweat toxins, that stink. Few places have such facilities, though.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've got a loud minority of these cycle fetishists in my town that are demanding more cycle lanes along with mass transit and sustainability. They recently had a love-in to honor their number who had fallen to some of our notoriously bad drivers and serial-killers. Their political tilt is obvious with a capital "duh".

You want a "bike-friendly town", try Bejing.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh man! You have GOT to drive those people out of your town as soon as possible. They always start by just dribbling in - but soon they are on your city councils and school boards and that's just the beginning of your nightmare!

I'm tellin ya, shotguns and pickups and run those posers out of your town!
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some of us are trying, but our marshmallow rino repub leadership loves all their marxists ideas. "Sustainability" is another route for local politicians to "Keep it in the family" and keep most of us serfs. And they have the cycle nazis and a few notoriously famous professors and architects helping them.
I keep writing my councilman to stand up, grow a pair and stop this marxism.

They demand to ride bikes anywhere, anytime (21 y.o. coed at 2 AM for example) and then wonder why they tend to loose (die) when it comes to minor road accidents or trying to run a way from really bad people. (Coed on bike E-Z prey for crazed serial killer in pickup. Very sad, but very true.)
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48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
First off - I love PJMedia. Secondy, persons who ride bicycles are not bikers. They are cyclists. I ride a motorcycle. One who rides a motorcycle is a biker, or a motorcyclist.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
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