The last few days have been extremely hot. Tuesday 96F. Wednesday 94F. Both records. That probably isn't the only record broken. As I biked around town, yesterday evening, I had more company than I ever remember. Everywhere you looked there were bikes. Crowd's of them. I think it's funny because 90's with high winds, isn't the most ideal riding conditions. I'm thinking "Why don't you folks ride when it's 50's or 60's(Heck! This winter 20F was optimal for me.). It's really much better riding then." But something about looking a gift horse in the mouth.
As I made my way through downtown, I noticed that most of these folks are "Newbies". I'm not saying that they haven't riden before, but that they are just getting back on their bikes after a long winter hiatus. I know from past experience that when I got back on my bike, it took awhile to get back my riding form. I'm not bragging , but with Harvey, I was riding one of the heavier, more upright bikes out there. Still, I was the faster than most bikes out there. I realized that people were looking around at other bikes to figure out what they were supposed to do.
Here's were the learning part comes. It dawned on me that I needed to become a better example for these Goslings. Most of the winter, I could ride how I wanted, because there weren't that many other bikers on the roads. Lonely sometimes, but free. Now, with these mobs of bikes, some sort of etiquette needed to emerge. My freewheeling days were had to be curtailed, or these folks might learn bad manners. And bad manners can get you hurt. People are very much like Monkeys(no offense to the Monkeys). They watch what others do and mimic that behavior. I don't want to overstate my importance, but one of the people these summer riders would be watching, was me.
So, I started stopping at almost all lights, even if there wasn't a car in sight. I watched out for riders, letting them pass first. I didn't rush to pass the slower bikers(I did pass them eventually, because I'm sure they didn't want me behind, riding them). I smiled and chatted people up at stop lights. And except at a few fun hills, I took it easy on my ride.
It seems that every year I see more cyclists on the road. That's a great thing. I love it. But more bikes, means that people need to follow more of the rules and put more effort into watching out for others. If I follow my own advice, I'm sure it'll go a little ways towards tipping it that way.