Monday, October 02, 2006

Unsportsmanlike conduct

This is a side story from Chesapeakeman last Saturday - it didn't really affect my race, so I'm just posting it separately as a side note.

I was riding along a very quiet backroad about 90 miles into the bike leg, so I wasn't exactly at the top of my game right then. There were perhaps 200 competitors spread over 45 miles of road, so race officials were rarely seen.

I was coming up behind a guy (30-ish male rider who looked in decent shape) riding next to his wife or girlfriend driving a van next to him, slowly, with the windows open and the flashers on, apparently talking with him. The van was driving in the middle of the 2-lane road with no shoulder and he was riding the bike on the right edge, so effectively 3/4 of a 2-lane roadway was blocked.

I could see them continue this way for about a mile - from when they first came into view on a very flat straight road until I finally got up right behind him.

I wasn't able to figure out how to go around safely, so I had to slow down, and yelled out, "You're blocking the road!"

The cyclist yells back at me, "Hey, relax!" which I found annoying. The woman pulled the van out to the left lane (fortunately there was no oncoming traffic) and I rode my bike between the cyclist and the van.

I yelled, loud enough so both could hear, "That is *SO* against the rules! You're blocking other riders!"

He yelled something else back at me, I think, but I rode away. I didn't get his race number. The good part of the encounter was that it gave me an adrenalin boost which allowed me to pick up the pace a bit for a few miles. But I still was a bit put out by the situation.

What would you have done?


Iron Pol said...

When he said, "Hey, relax," I'd have pointed out that I planned on relaxing at the end of the race. And that if he wanted to converse with the people in the van, there was likely plenty of room for him and his bike to relax there.

Of course, I tend to be talkative, and it takes more than 90 miles on a bike to take that out of me.

And I WOULD have gotten a bib number. The rules aren't there so people can be dinks. They exist for everyone's safety, observers included.

stronger said...

Stick in the spokes?

Mr Steve said...

Stick in the spokes....that is a good one. Getting the bib number would have been good and let an official know. Unless people are confronted about doing something worng, they will just keep doing i bet he will do the same behavior at his next race....

Comm's said...

Definitely report him but that is long term.

I would have done with you did, yell "on your left" or something like what you did.

His retort was rude and I would like to believe his spouse was oblivious to what she was doing, perhaps not understanding etiquette. His repsonse leads me to believe thats the case.

In any regard, I would have said pretty much the same as you.

You did right.

21st Century Mom said...

I would have yelled "On YOUR left and YOUR right and I'd like to come through, please! Don't hit me!"

If he yelled 'Relax' I would have gone for stick in the spoke because he would have deserved it.

Steven said...

All you really can do is holler "On your left!" and then remember the bib number for later reporting to officials.

Glad it didn't hurt your time, too badly.

BTW - excellent job in the Aqua Velo! You should be feeling really ready for IMFL.

runr53 said...

I'm a huge fan of confrontation, which goes against the politically correct ideas of most today. I like the stick in the spokes idea best! Just trying to figure out how you could do that from far enough away that you wouldn't get tangled up with him! Run Good!

Ellie said...

"COMING THROUGH!" Screw 'em.

I had a line of about 5 cars coming toward me when car #3 pulled out to pass the ones in front of her. She took up my whole lane. I had to put on my brakes and slow way down to avoid a head-on. She continued to pass the rest of the cars like I wasn't even there.

mipper said...

"LEFT!" and then Bold move of Eh-heeemmmmmm

Cliff said...

...i would have so tempt to yell profanity...

you did the right thing.

jeanne said...

B***ard!!!! oh I HATE it when people talk condescending to me like that. Relax??? this is a freakin' race!!

ohh yeah, turn that sucker IN.

people are such idiots.