Now before I begin, let me say from the outset that I like bicycles and as  a kid I drove mine everywhere.  Someday I’ll have to tell you about my old  J.C. Higgins.  As an adult, I would take my kids for rides on my bike with a special child seat attachment.  In other words, I had a lot of fun with bikes over the years and regard them as an economical form of transportation and a great way to get some exercise.  But I draw the line there.  I have no delusions that I’m a world class athlete peddling in the “Tour de France” dressed in spandex and “Alien” shaped helmets riding on thousand dollar designer bicycles.

In my area on Saturday mornings it is not uncommon to find a pack of bicyclists commandeering the local roadways in what I call the “Tour de Farce.”  I find this particularly odd in light of the fact that our county spent a lot of money building a 34 mile trail to accommodate bicyclists and joggers, thereby providing a well paved riding trail that is safe and doesn’t interfere with mainstream traffic.  But the “Tour de Farce” couldn’t care less about the trail and, instead, dominates the local roadways.  If you have the audacity to try and pass them, you are either given a dirty look or the one finger salute.

I think people dressed in the “Tour de Farce” costumes believe they own the road and that motorists should be subservient to them.  Let me give you an example,  recently I was coming home after work and came upon a “TdF” bicyclist in the bicycle lane next to me.  As I was approaching my right turn to enter my neighborhood, I realized I had to stop to allow the bicyclist to travel on.  If I didn’t, I would have surely hit and injured him.  So as I slowed down and stopped before turning into my neighborhood, I half-expected the rider to say, “Gee, thanks (for looking out for me).” Instead, the bicyclist looked over at me with disdain and plainly said, “Jerk!” I was taken aback by this as I thought  I was doing him a favor.  This is not the first time I experienced something like  this with a bicyclist and I’m sure it won’t be my last.

What the “Tour de Farce” types don’t seem to understand is that the roadways belong to everyone, not just them, and they need to obey the same rules as the motorists.  Not long ago, I saw the Saturday morning pack go by and, as usual, were riding outside of the bicycle lane.  Shortly thereafter, I returned back that way where I noticed the paramedics treating one of the pack bicyclists who was evidently hit by a motorist.  While the pack appeared irritated by the accident, frankly, I wasn’t surprised.

Offhand, I don’t really have a problem with the “Tour de Farce” types.  It might even be fun.  But I think it’s rather reckless to drive on the roads when there is a perfectly good trail nearby offering safety.  If you want to ride on our roads in Florida, where we have drivers from all over the world  particularly the chilly north, you’re taking your life into your hands.  As for me, I’ll take my chances on the trail.

Such is my Pet Peeve of the Week.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor,
Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field.  He can be reached at [email protected]

For a listing of Tim’s Pet Peeves, click HERE.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Tim Bryce.  All rights reserved.

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