Top 5 Things Stupid Cyclists Do

I love bicycling to work.  I love being outside.  I love that I’m being green and not using gasoline to get to work.  I love that I’m getting exercise.  I love that other people bicycle as well and that it is becoming a movement.  I love that there are so many cyclists that there are now bicycle lanes in many of the cities I ride through.

I do not love stupid cyclists.

While I was commuting on my e-bike today, I was shocked by the number of stupid cyclists I encountered on my short 30 minute trips to and from work.  I’m not talking about little kids riding their bikes on the sidewalk, but the stupid behavior of would-be commuters riding dangerously on city streets.

Here are the top 5 really stupid things stupid cyclists do.

#5 Riding the Wrong Way on a One-Way Street


This may not be a problem outside of cities, but the one-way streets I ride on to get to work are barely wide enough for the parked cars and the moving cars.  When a bike is heading the wrong way down a one-way street it is a menace for both cars and other cyclists, especially when they ride in the bike lane which is barely big enough for one bike, let alone two heading right for each other.

#4 Not Yielding When Entering a Rotary (Traffic Circle)

When you are cycling, you must obey the rules of the road. This includes yielding when entering a rotary.  Many car versus bike accidents in the Boston area are caused by a cyclist failing to yield and the driver not being able to avoid them at the last minute.  Boston has even compiled a map of bicycle accidents over a year period and 37% of those accidents involved cars.

#3 Riding at Night or Dusk Without Any Lights


Electroluminsecent wire makes my bike literally glow at night

You don’t need to make your bike glow the way I did with Electroluminescent Wire, but you should at a minimum have a front and rear light on your bike even if you are only riding at dusk.

My LED set ~$30


You can pick up an LED set of lights for around $15 on Amazon, so there is really no excuse.

#2 Not Stopping at RED lights


This is crazy.  I’m not talking about not coming to a full stop at a stop sign. Today, I saw three different cyclists, at three different stop lights, charge through a red light without so much as slowing down.  I almost crashed into one of them.  She appeared to be so shocked to see me that she clearly didn’t expect anyone to be in the intersection even though I was going through the intersection on a green light and SHE was running the light!

#1 Stupidest Thing Stupid Cyclists Do: Not Wearing a Helmet!

cracked head

Photo courtesy of TreeHugger

I don’t care how nice your hair-do is or how hot the weather is.  Wear the stinking helmet! You only have one head and the chances that you are going to be in some sort of accident are not small.  Unfortunate things happen while riding, many of which happen to even the best cyclists such as getting a flat, being doored (that is hit by an opening car door as you ride by), hitting a patch of sand or leaves or someone else running a red light!  When you are biking you don’t have a seat belt on and you don’t have a roll cage around you, so when you fall over, and it is inevitable, there’s a good chance your head may bounce off the pavement.  At commuting speeds, when not wearing a helmet, that could be fatal.  Yes, your IQ can get lower if your grey matter is on the street and not in your noggin.

Getting out of your car and riding a bike to work is good for your health, good for the planet and good for your pocket book, but please, please, don’t be stupid!

Happy Safe Riding!

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  1. Melissa B. says

    The helmet thing gets me the most, to be honest. Helmets save lives.

  2. I love that people cycle to be more green and healthy, but I hate when cyclists hog the road. Around here there will be a bike lane, but the cyclists insist on riding 3 or 4 bicycles wide so they’re way out into the street and they expect cars to yield to them instead of riding in line, in the bike lane. That’s my pet peeve!

  3. Well said, Jon! Many thanks. 6th peeve is cyclists who ‘pretend’ they don’t understand the rules of the road… Or act like they ‘re from a foreign country (“poor me, I can’t help cycling like this.. I don’t know any better”) Come on, everyone knows how to drive safely. Lets get it together before some political curmudgeon decides to banish us all from the roads.

  4. Rules of the road! But here’s the trouble: I got my driver’s license in MA many years ago, but I don’t remember seeing any rules about bikes. Just about other cars, and firetrucks and such. Maybe that has changed now, but older drivers like me wouldn’t know about the changes. Seems like both bikers and drivers need better road rules education, and enforcement.
    Oh wait. Isn’t Boston the place where a one-way street means that _most_ of the cars go one way? 🙂

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