Letters to the Editor

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STP: Once again, riders took over the roads

Letter by Jill Milner, Spanaway on July 20, 2010 at 2:44 pm with 21 Comments »
July 21, 2010 9:14 am

We are sure that all the folks who participated in the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic had their own brand of fun this past weekend. They were, once again, at least in the Spanaway area, oblivious to the road rules that we are all supposed to abide by.

They were riding multiple riders abreast, didn’t stop at stop signs or lights, wouldn’t yield right of way to vehicles when they should have, etc.

My family and I tried to avoid the road crush heading toward the air expo Saturday by taking state Route 507 (Spanaway-McKenna Highway) towards Roy to go through the east gate at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and out the front onto Interstate 5 to head south.

It was around 9 a.m., and there were hordes of bikers. Most were riding single file, but there were still clogs of them taking up more than half of our lane.

As we were poking along with the other vehicles they were impeding, a female rider suddenly caromed off other riders and crashed directly into the path of the rear wheel of the trailer in front of us. She avoided being run over by maybe an inch or so. Luckily, there weren’t any oncoming cars, otherwise I might have hit her.

We are so happy that they enjoyed their trip. One of these years, it would be real nice if the others using the road would be able to enjoy it as much.

Leave a comment Comments → 21
  1. tubbythetuba says:

    Following the Horde down Pac Ave, they had a very nice bike lane that they completely ignored. Those people seem to think traffic laws don’t apply to them. I say this as a biker that rides my Trek to work and other places for exercise.

  2. Yuppie scum cyclists think they own the roads and sidewalks. They cant decide which to hog, so they take both. Mostly nerdy little creeps with Mac computers whose life span is normally shortened by their spouses and friends going postal on them. Justifiable homicide I say. Ask me how I really feel about them. Even worse in Oregon where any one of them run down by a car suddenly gets nominated for saint hood.
    I think Hell is full of Huffys.

  3. pazzo242 says:

    Hell is full of Huffys–because Huffys are garbage. Get over it people and join the party. Cyclist have all the right in the world to take up a lane….waaan, waaan, waaaan!

  4. Usually Pacific Northwest bicyclists are Darwin Award recipients. It’s the natural order of things.

  5. donjames says:

    Hell on earth is a PC. As a life-long cycling enthusiast (and 25 year Mac user) I agree with the majority sentiment here.

    pazzo242, sure this liberal state says you have the same lane rights as vehicles (in most cases), but this free republic also says you have the right to be stupid. Go ahead, knock yourself out – prove Darwin’s theory of natural selection.

  6. denismenis says:

    Jeez. One day a year. Get over it. (..and no, I don’t ride).

  7. Sumner401 says:

    Just when I think
    what won’t they whine about next? ‘ I get my answer.
    Gawd people, stop with the whining!

  8. Just like any mob who somehow believe that larger numbers imbues them with the right to be selfish and rude – masses of cyclists on a mob ride always include some idiots who ride dangerously.

    I ride (off-road) in groups of 2. Any more than that is annoying.

  9. spotted1 says:

    10,000 riders on the road. Well publicized event. It has happened every year for what 20? 30? years? The route is well known.

    The same people complain.

    You know, guys in big ugly 4 X 4’s who think they own the road annoy me too…People who drive 80 – 90 down I – 5 weaving through traffic are not safe as well…People who talk on cell phones while driving those speeds are unsafe…women applying make-up while driving are a hazard…

    I am sure that we can all find something to complaing about…This was a known event, not a surprise to anyone…quit whining…

  10. Bb- Agreed- in the common sense times, cyclists would ride on the left shoulder, facing traffic so everyone could actually SEE everyone.
    Today they ride on the right (wobbling back and forth over the white “line”) often obliviously ignoring the concept of safety in favor of some absurd notion of displaying their PC “right to be stupid”…

  11. smcelhiney says:

    Larsman, it’s never been legal to ride against traffic, under your premise everyone should just drive towards everyone else so that they can see each other. They also don’t belong on the shoulder, they belong in the lane… where you can see them and where the impatient driver behind you won’t kill them when they try to illegally pass you on the right.

    Jill wanted to avoid the crush of cars and got caught in the crush of bikes, yet believes for some reason that the bikes shouldn’t be there and I quote
    “Most were riding single file, but there were still clogs of them taking up more than half of our lane.” Our lane? They were the traffic, and it should not matter to a car/truck if there is 1 or 10 across (yeah, two is the legal limit). If you want to pass them, CHANGE lanes. Don’t try squeezing past. If there isn’t a place for you to safely merge back in… don’t do it. Pretty simple, it’s in that manual you were supposed to read when you took your driving test.

  12. smcelhiney says:

    IQof88, I believe your nickname, just spewing out hatred and trying to demonize cyclists. I’m 46, most of the cyclists I know are older than me, and in fantastic shape, school teachers, firemen, architects, government officials, dock workers, clergy, mechanics…. can’t say I know any yuppy scum and the majority of the ones I know have been married happily for decades (26 years myself).

    Aren’t any more idiots on bikes than their are walking around or driving cars.

    Tubby, so what if they weren’t in the bike lane on Pac Ave? There is no requirement to use a bike lane and with that number of riders, taking the right lane (leaving one for cars to pass safely) seems like a logical choice.

  13. cadana1961 says:

    Sorry Jill, like you, I live in Spanaway, but my son and I went thru the back gate off of Military Road and avoided all of this havoc! Only time I crossed paths with these cyclists was at Pac Ave and 176th … It was quick and painless and I was out of their way and visa versa … My trip was planned by research via the JBLM Air Show 2010 web site and found out I had several alternatives at hand, including 2 entry points into McChord (front gate/back gate) as well as taking the bus from 2 different locations in Lakewood! From Spanaway, heading thru Roy/McKenna to go thru the frontgate at McChord AFB was simply taking the long way to go the short distance …

  14. For all those who are saying that bikes have the right to use the roads too, no the don’t…it’s not a right. Having said that they do have the privilege. They also have the responsibility to follow all the rules of the road while they are using it. That includes a minimum speed rule, not impeding traffic. If they can’t go as fast as the posted speed limit they need to get out of the way of traffic.

    Unfortunately police don’t ticket bicyclists like they should, otherwise there would be a lot of money flowing into the coffers every time one of these bike groups take over the roads.

  15. Sorry, but this is the information age, sweetheart. You could have looked into where the bike race was routed and avoided it. Don’t you have a GPS in your car? You would have been able to take a hundred different ways to the air show. Come on, one day a year you have to complain? Those bicyclists have to deal with people in vehicles complaining about them EVERY SINGLE DAY!

  16. Drivers who can’t figure out how to pass me when I am as far over to the right as possible are really annoying. Pass the cyclist with care – but don’t tailgate him.

  17. Cyclists clearly have no sense of humour and cannot comprehend sarcasm.
    Probably still whining at the loss of Conan O’Brien too.
    IQof87(got dumber reading this blog)

  18. pazzo242 says:

    “If they can’t go as fast as the posted speed limit they need to get out of the way of traffic.”–Stupidity reigns

    Guess what, just like the cars I pay my tab fees and taxes at the pump so I have the RIGHT to ride my bicycle on the road, because I paid for it! The only reason people want to complain because it is a huge and popular event that happens one weekend every year and the whiners want to complain about a limited inconvenience–get over it!!

    Do people complain about other 1-day events–noooooooo. How about on South Hill when the stupid county gives permits to do construction on every major throughway AT THE SAME TIME! Now that is something to complain about. Whose brain child is that?

  19. pazzo – unless the permits for the one day event removed all motorized vehicles from the road or the laws of physics were revoked and a small wheeled object wouldn’t be severely damaged by a collision with a much more massive wheeled object, the participants in STP who didn’t follow the rules of the road and basics of self-preservation were acting, not only in violation of the law, but as completely arrogant fools.

    As a rider who has to deal with drivers with no sense, I really get angry at bikers who flaunt the rules and create bad press for the rest of us. Even in a mass ride you must stay to the right and ride single file when motorized vehicles come from behind.

  20. hensandducks says:

    Share the road guys and try to be safe as you can in doing so.

  21. Single-file riding is NOT a law. Read it and weep, Jill!

    RCW 46.61.770
    Riding on roadways and bicycle paths.

    (1) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place shall ride as near to the right side of the right through lane as is safe except as may be appropriate while preparing to make or while making turning movements, or while overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction. A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway or highway other than a limited-access highway, which roadway or highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near to the left side of the left through lane as is safe. A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway may use the shoulder of the roadway or any specially designated bicycle lane if such exists.

    (2) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

    By the way Jill, did you happen to be riding in a blue 4-door sedan last week and introduce yourself to Mr. Ron Wingerson? You seem to have a lot of animosity toward those folks on 2-non-motorized wheels. Your frustration got the best of you and you wanted Mr. Wingerson to know about it.

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