Newspaper Article Archive of
I don’t know how many of you read letters to the editor in a daily newspaper often. I don’t read very many, but once in a while if the title the paper puts above the letter intrigues me I read on.
That happened one day last week. I was perusing my Gazette when I noticed a letter complaining about bicycles not stopping at stop signs. I’ve been complaining about that for years.
If I could get somebody to pay me $1 for each time I see a two-wheel stop sign runner, I would have a load of extra cash.
Being close to Iowa City, we are inundated by stop sign ignoring bicycle riders at this time of year. They have been out on the roads even in the heat and humidity.
I don’t mind so much coming upon a cyclist from behind. Single, or even two on the road going my direction or coming from the other way are usually no problem. If they are riding side-by-side they usually get single file to make it easier to pass them.
It’s these groups of 10, 15, or 20 or so that I hate to see. I don’t think any of them have ever read a book of the rules of the road. The only rule they seem to follow is “We own this road, it’s our own private road; and it shouldn’t have cars around us at all.”
There has been more than one incident where a bicycle challenged me to my side of the road. The first time I can recall a real problem was probably 30 years ago or more. I was on my way back to Nebraska a little earlier than normal that summer and RAGBRAI was coming east.
I thought it would be interesting to see a lot of bicyclists going down the road so I headed for where their route was going that day.
They were scattered all along the highway coming my way, as I expected them to be. But they were scattered all over the road, coming toward me on both sides, and the ones on my side were not about to get over where they were supposed to be. It seemed like they were almost daring me to hit them.
Another instance was in Lone Tree a few weeks ago.
I was coming into town on a Sunday morning. I noticed a horde of cyclists approaching the four-way stop from the south. Not only did they not stop, they were speeding up as they approached the stop sign and went roaring through like they were on a freeway.
Except for one. For some reason he was straggling way behind, and we arrived close to the same time. He stopped to make sure I was going to and then went on north. He had arrived at the corner a few seconds ahead of me so he had the right of way.