The Chainlink

Rant/does anyone feel like this/halp advice plz

I've been in a terrible cycling funk. This year is the least I've ridden my bike within the past 10 years. I'm just so turned off from the misbehavior of drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike. My bikes sat for the majority of the summer, and it's so unlike me to not want to bike. Am I being defeated and weak, or am I being rational, that it's not worth biking if I don't feel confident about it? It sucks. I've been hit once. I've been in more close calls than I can remember, like many of us. My girlfriend was in a hit and run and ended up in the hospital a few years ago. So many cyclists are being killed or badly injured with no justice. Chicago kinda sucks in my perception. If you're still happy to ride, I'm jealous, I really envy your confidence.

I bought a new bike last week (mad props to Manuel at Johnny Sprockets!!!) and I was amazed by my level of excitement to have motivation to ride a lot again! Yet, I didn't ride it for a few days. Feeling silly about it, I kitted up and finally got on the bike and rode the LFP.

As soon as I get on, I end up trailing a slower cyclist hugging the left part of the lane, riding the middle line. He looks back for a second and seems to slow down waiting for me, and I call out "on your left!" telling him I'm about to pass. Makes sense, right?

Right after, he yells out, "IT'S ON YOUR RIGHT, ASSHOLE". wtf? Sure you can pass on the right when necessary, but there were too many pedestrians to do so safely. Since when do you by default pass on the right? I didn't even think at all and I flipped him the bird as an instant reaction. I consequently felt bad for doing that, but it was so natural haha. I guess I do that to drivers yelling profanity at me too easily, so as soon as I hear someone yell something negative at me while I was on the bike, the finger goes up. was to another cyclist. A meanie. A baddie. That sucked. I don't want to flip off other cyclists. Come on, dude. It's bad enough.

Since when is "on your right" the default? Is it just conditional, choosing which side to pass? "On your left", is standard for the most part, right? I'm just upset.

Chainlinkers, I'm so turned off from cycling here. Help. I want to love bikes again.


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YES. thanks :)

Well in certain countries you would...

ha...i knew this comment would happen.

This summer was pretty miserable with humidity; I'm riding a lot more, now. Shoalers, ninjas and other assorted can't/won't/don't stop jackasses seem to disappear after daylight savings time.

sigh, that is true. ironic how colder commuting can be easier commuting.

I agree, passing on the right is dangerous and bad behavior. There are always going to be jerks unfortunately - whether they drive a car or ride a bike. Try to focus on the many cyclists out there that are doing it right. Who do care. We see them here - thoughtful discussions, concerns for other riders, and generally love cycling. If you need to, ride somewhere nice on the weekend or do a social ride e.g. FBC is this Saturday. I know that helps me when I get into a mini riding funk. I remember why I do it and how much I love it. We do have an awesome cycling community in Chicago but yeah, jerks will be jerks. 

Thanks for your empathetic reply. I wish we all had the same commute and could ride in one powerful pack haha.

Oh, and congrats on new bike day. Manuel and Johnny Sprockets are pretty darned awesome. We have some pretty great bike shops in Chicago.

:D I'm so stoked. 

Ignore it all and just ride your bike. Things are resolved in life by working through the difficulties.
Don't flip off clueless cyclists, just say, "yo dude, we pass on the left here."
Ride on.


I need to work past being so jaded. It's like I'm always expecting BS so I find it more easily. In this case, I added to it. Like I said I felt bad after flipping the bird so naturally to the other cyclist. It's pretty revealing to me how unfortunately negative I have become while riding.


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