but often, riding with groups, I find fault with my peers . . . often for not riding single file when there is traffic.
The error does not all lie with the motorless two wheel riders, however.
The other day I was out with my wife and a woman hollers from her car “Ride single file like you are supposed to.” At the light I spoke with her — or tried too — she was near hysterically angry. “We were riding single file” I said. She denied it.
Only after she pulled away did I realize that her pique was that we were NOT as far too the right as the road allows. The gutter is all chopped up and unsafe on that road. Maybe next time when I speak with driver I should ask what they really meant.
. . .
A few years ago, a car squeezed up on the left of as we neared an intersection . . . causing some heated words on both sides. This time, however, the driver said to us “If you had expressed yourselves (us the bicyclists) more civilly, I’d probably have agreed with your point. But, by using the language and tone you did the conversation degenerated.”
One of the riders did take the time to clear the air . . . but I did not forget the driver’s point. Verbally insulting language will never win. While reasonable language may not win either, it does have a better chance.
. . .
One day a police car came up the road to find our group of 15 scattered all over the place. He stopped us all and gave a deserved chewing out. He did not ticket anyone. Everyone was duly chastened.
When the police car drove off, the group rode off single file . . . but not more than a quarter mile. Probably because Murphy was riding with us.
And we wonder why some drivers get so angry at bicyclists.