It's only appropriate, with this being National Bike Month, that I got back into the saddle for the first time in a while. I did so with a number of feelings of trepidation given what I've been observing in the world of bike commuting since stopping my full time cycling: lots more cyclists, but also lots more lawless riding and dangerous behavior.
I'm not proud to say that I've been one of those cyclists who has given scofflaws a piece of my mind while riding before for not stopping at signs/lights, sidewalk riding, etc. And I was sort of steeling myself for the need to do more of this as I pumped up my tires, oiled my chain, and ran through my ABC Quick Check this morning.
And I was VERY pleasantly surprised.
Not once did I feel the need to say a word. My 7:15 to 7:45 ride down High Street from Clintonville to German Village and the afternoon return trips were both met with only a couple minor scofflaws among the numerous riders I encountered.
OSU was the site of most of the flaws, mostly sidewalk riders - but it was all stuff that Bike OSU has well in hand. They've done a wonderful job at keeping bike riders there aware of the law and safety issues, so many kudos to them.
And the positive behavior I saw was great. Cyclists taking the lane, signaling, and proper lane changes were everywhere.
Another thing I noticed was that cars were giving a much wider berth to cyclists. They're getting used to us out there and are learning to do deal with the reintroduction of the pedaling set into the flow of traffic. It was pretty cool. The safety-in-numbers gig was in full force, for sure.
So kudos to Yay Bikes!, Consider Biking, and all the passionate folks who have done a great job of being positive forces for cycling in Columbus. It's a real change from my regular cycling days of a couple years ago.
People, Not Speed