The Chainlink

Now that I have been riding many miles from Lincolnshire to the South Loop, all up and down the Lake Shore Bike Path, and recently, in the Loop - I question the observable etiquette among pedestrians, drivers, and the fellow cyclist.

Recently, I've frequented the Dearborn bike lanes... they're ok. Some deep manhole covers, puddles adjacent to the curve, drivers blocking intersections when their aloof notion kicks in and ignore the fact that the yellow light immediately leads to the red STOP light, which means, STOP, blocking intersections and the bike lanes. 

Anyway, I've recently observed lack of etiquette from some cyclists... let me explain some of my observations (and I hope they read this).

In no particular order...

A couple of days ago I was crossing with the green light, Dearborn and Monroe - guy cyclist with headphones decided to stop ON the bike lanes. I was coming in fast and a pedestrian looked at him and me and the conflict that could have occurred. The guy was so clueless - I immediately went in front of him so he'd know he was blocking the lanes. I just kept riding home.

Maybe he was thinking about the delicious dinner he was going to devour later… Or pensive and in peace listening to Yanni's Greatest Hits. 

Yesterday this happened at the same exact intersection. I got the red light and I stopped along with two other cyclists (one was on the phone with his ear and shoulder holding the phone conversation together - I don't get that!). Anyway, what happened was that a female rider decided to carefully weave through traffic and into the crossing pedestrians. She almost hit a man that was just walking west on his right of way in the crossing. 

She looked fit/toned on her fixie. Denim shorts, muscular calves, tanktop, army style backpack - and yes, a helmet. 

My assumption is that she either didn’t care because she looked like a “pro,” or because she had the diarrhea and needed to find a bathroom… I eventually lost sight of her down the path.

Makes me think. She could have waited just those few seconds to cross safely. Bicyclists either follow the rules or they don't. Did she have etiquette. No.

Back in April, I got rear ended by a woman on a Divvy bike at the bicycle stop light. I felt the jolt, saddle hitting my left buttcheek - I quickly turned around (going north on Dearborn - intersection with Wacker) and she immediately said: I thought you were going to run the red light! I was just following!

I said: I don’t run red lights because I don’t want to get hit by a car!

She said in a shy voice: ok… sorry.

Etiquette is key during the busy day here in Chicago - use it. Can save your life and make one look less as a jerk, and as a respectable cyclist that attempts to follow the rules. I sometimes brake those rules if its late at night and the next car or pedestrian are blocks away. 

I have a reputation to keep because of a certain product and website that are bicycle related - and I don't and can't tarnish that by allowing idiocy and an accident that could have been prevented haunt me.

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Took this footage on my way home from work today. Enjoy:

Cool video, but almost unbearable with the sound on. ;)

Thanks for posting anyway! When life enables you to ride a bike home from work, life is good. :)

Thanks. I wish the audio was better. I will set up the camera elsewhere next time.



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