The MS City to Shore Ride goes by my house every year. The organizers do a great job - an excellent job, actually - marking the route and staffing the corners.
But I have to tell you, too many of these riders are jerks.
Yeah, I know ... they're raising money for charity. And a 75-mile bike ride is nothing to scoff at it. But too many of these riders are completely oblivious to the people and homes they pedal by.
I can deal with the traffic issues. I don't mind (too much) waiting to pull out in front of my house as large clots of bicyclists go by. But it's the idiotic shouting that annoys me.
"Right turn! Right turn! Right turn!" I heard that all day Saturday as they went by my house. I realize that part of cycling is warning other cyclists of hazards, but there are arrows marking the course all over the place. There's a ride staffer at the corner showing people the way. And actually, at this intersection there is no choice but to make a right turn. Is it really necessary for every darn cyclist to yell "Right turn! Right turn!" Think about listening to that all day. Think about listening to that as you are trying to take the all-important Saturday afternoon nap.
Then there's the ride back Sunday morning. As they go by my house on the return route and the street turns into a slight incline, some of them start shouting "Hill! Hill! Hill!" (Or "Up!" "Up!")
Really, folks ... it's just a slight incline. And who needs someone to tell them that they are riding uphill? It's kind of obvious ... and not much of a hazard. What? Are they worried their pace is going to drop off? Puhleeze.
I say this as the owner of three bicycles and a cyclist myself ... although I prefer the less technical term of "a guy who likes to ride bikes." But you cover a guy (or woman) in spandex, put them on an expensive bike and let them think they are saving the world by going on a bike ride, and too many of them get way too full of themselves.
OK, rant over ...
My favorite riders are the folks on clunker bikes, wearing no spandex and obviously not in Lance-shape who somehow manage to complete the ride.
And then there's my favorite overheard line, from a ride a few years ago as a group went by my house and the riders got a glimpse of salt marsh. One rider said to another: "Is this the shore?"
Pedal on, folks ... but do us all a favor and lighten up, OK?