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Charity Riders are the worst.(18 posts)

Charity Riders are the worst.Lowend
Jun 24, 2002 5:19 AM
I participated in Tour de Cure in NYC yesterday. A nice 50 mile route over the GW bridge through NJ and back. Charity riders are the worst at breaking rules. They ride in groups that take up a whole lane, run through stop signs and red lights. Some don't even stop to look and see if anything is coming One guy tried to pass a car on the left at a red light. Kinda of wished he got hit. I try to stay away from groups, but every time I'm waiting at a light, they cath up and just go right through the red.
You do realize...Wayne
Jun 24, 2002 5:39 AM
that for probably 50% of those people that's probably the only time they'll ride their bike this year!
Darwin Awards Ride ? nmLeroy
Jun 24, 2002 6:00 AM
re: Charity Riders are the worst.jromack
Jun 24, 2002 6:07 AM
At one charity ride, we got launched in groups based on your estimated time for the 100 mile course.

I had a lot of clowns on brand new Murray mountain bikes complete with knobby tires and a wide seat in my group.

At about the second rest stop, many of them finally dropped out.

I saw some real bizzare riding techniques that day. No wonder many motorists have a dislike for cyclists. Its the antics of these clowns that ruin it for the rest of us.
Have some charity man, a lot of us started that way.MB1
Jun 24, 2002 6:28 AM
We avoid doing those rides but encourage all our co-workers to do them. The riders are usually thrilled to be doing something so hard and may even start riding more.

Our sport always needs new riders. Give them a hand and a break.
I've gotta agree with you on both pointsPaulCL
Jun 24, 2002 6:47 AM
First, I don't do charity rides anymore. I hate hitting up my friends/family for donations. I don't like riding with a large group of inexperienced cyclists. I don't like rest stops every 15 miles (I know, I don't have to stop). I don't like sleeping on a gym floor with 300 stinky guys. It's just not my idea of fun anymore.

But, I agree that we should encourage and help our co-workers and friends to do them. Why?? first, so I don't have to ride'em. Also, to encourage more cycling. Encourage the healthy lifestyle. etc. My office recently put together a 'team' to do a MS150. I was pressured to ride with them - but refused. (Imagine riding 75 miles each day in 90 plus heat averaging 12mph!). I did offer my assistance as to 'training' and things to prepare on the bike. I privately told the organizer not to ask me next year.

So, don't do the ride, but do your best to get riders out on the road. Give them the encouragement and tell them the proper rules of the road. I'm trying to be an ambassador for my sport. Paul
Opposite of my experienceAlex-in-Evanston
Jun 24, 2002 7:08 AM
As far as being a menace on the roads, racers are the worst.

Alex
I'd have to agreeDougSloan
Jun 24, 2002 7:20 AM
...and what's worse, they (racers) should know better.

Nonetheless, it's probably wrong to label a whole group based upon a few observations.

Doug
Agreed...Ignorance is forgivable, Stupidity is not...nmJBurton
Jun 24, 2002 7:41 AM
me tootheBreeze
Jun 24, 2002 11:45 AM
Which "charity riders" are you refering to? I trained for a century this past spring with a well-known national charity group and proper road etiquette was drilled into us from day one. During the actual event the 200+ riders with our charity (from all over the country) were among the best behaved riders. The general "civilian" riders, racers and racer-wanna-bees were a much bigger hazard. I had fast race groups blowing past me with no warning, average joe (and jane) riders riding three abreast so I had to yell to get around them, you get the general idea.

Don't generalize all charity riders as beginners. Some of us have ridden at some level for quite a while. I took up road riding after years of mountain biking. I learn fast and I ride pretty fast too. As did others in my group. One of our riders finished the century in 5 hours, I did it in just over six. I chose to do the event as a charity because my father is affected by a chronic disease, not to get "free" training advice or help in finishing an endurance event.
These are opportunites to show what responsible cycling isbill
Jun 24, 2002 7:37 AM
about. Not everyone will care, of course, but good behavior is best taught by example. If a well-disciplined bunch of cyclists who obviously know what they are doing visibly adhere to the rules, are friendly and generous with help, gently remonstrate, drop the elitist BS, and lead by example, then you will (may?) see others fall in line. Unfortunately few experienced cyclists are ready to fill that bill.
I don't buy that this is about the ignorance or lack of respect of just charity riders. Why single them out? Lots of experienced riders think that the rules don't apply to them, blow through lights, etc. And are arrogant besides. It's largely a matter of inexperience or temperament. The former can be changed, the latter can be discouraged or tempered by example, but the experienced guys think that they are immune or better than that.
I just came off of the DC AIDSRide, and, for the most part, the less diehard cyclists were stricter about the rules than the more dedicated cyclists (sometimes to the point of being annoying and officious). And a lot of them were a lot more fun to hang out with than stone-faced elitist roadies.
re: Charity Riders are the worst.paulw
Jun 24, 2002 7:37 AM
I disagree but I only have one charity ride to base my opinion on. I've ridden the Pan-Mass Challenge for the last seven years. There are people who are a bit clueless but there are plenty of serious riders on serious bikes. Maybe it's that this ride is 112 miles the first day and 80 the second that keeps the experience level high, I don't know. However, I've seen remarkably little stupid riding behavior.

On the flip side, I've seen more than a few packs of racers taking up a whole lane of traffic and even crossing the center line. These packs won't allow cars to overtake them and often shoot stop signs. This usually happens at about 2pm on a Saturday afternoon. It's supposed to be about sharing the road.
re: Charity Riders are the worst.John445
Jun 24, 2002 8:05 AM
You are right about some things. This may be the only time in a year these people get out and ride. Instead of bashing them I would choose to commend them on, one, their generosity to help a good cause, and two, to suffer through a sometimes long ride on less than par equipment.

I ride some charity rides and have chosen to slow my pace down a little and organize, sometimes a group of maybe 25 ok cyclists into a revolving paceline. I try to go over some general rules and usually end up with a darn good group. Some of these riders eventually end up riding year round with my group or other local groups.

By understanding every cyclist is not at the same level and choosing to help lower level riders instead of complain about them, we can expand our wonderful hobby and way of life to a broader range of participants.

Just to set the record straight there are some people out there that fit the bill you describe. They span the entire range from beginner to proffesional and they know who they are. Avoid them and enjoy the rest.

Peace
John445
re: Charity Riders are the worst.jtolleson
Jun 24, 2002 8:20 AM
One trick that usually keeps you away from the weekend warriors... pick the longest option (usually a century) and start very early (6 am). You won't even see 'em. Anyone who is strong enough to be up where you are in the pack will probably know what they are doing.

Not only do newer riders usually choose the easier ride options, they often don't understand the value of the early start.

I would say that most of my organized riding is events with a charitable component, and I've met lots of strong, experienced, and respectful roadies that way.
You mean there's a 6 o'clock in the morning, too?djg
Jun 24, 2002 10:47 AM
(apologies to Bart S.)
Shhhhh .... it's my secret weaponjtolleson
Jun 24, 2002 3:12 PM
Now I shall have to kill you.
You probably have realized that to themelviento
Jun 24, 2002 8:45 AM
the main thing is the charity part, and the ride is just a byproduct.
Pick Your Charity Ride WellScot_Gore
Jun 24, 2002 2:22 PM
I just participated in an MS150. There were 2400+ riders. At this number of participants you get the full gamut of biking abilities and understanding of the rules of the road. I have to say the event organizers did a great deal to keep the entire event safe and legal. In addition to the 2400 riders they had over 500 non riding volunteers. A great many of those volunteers are dedicated to ride safety. At every major (and many minor) intersection there were ride volunteers who would control the intersection. They had a Gold Wing club doing sweeps of the route. The motorcycles sweeping the route did a great deal to keep the "Ride to Right" group think going.

If you were unhappy with the behavior of the participants on your ride, I'd shoot an e-mail to the ride organizers. There's a great many things they can do to encourage proper riding technique and it's in their best interest. A rider blowing through a stop sign and getting hit could completely wipeout any gain the charity hoped to make on the event. Even if they could make the waiver the rider signed hold up, the driver would probably have damage and injuries that would be actionable in court against the event.

My two cents

Scot