The Chainlink

To the group of cyclists that I passed on Halsted heading south, stopped at Archer.

To the group of cyclists that I passed on Halsted heading south, stopped at Archer.

The only reason that I am writing this is because one of your members decided to make a snarky remark out loud about calling out on the left, as I passed the front of the group.....

I did call out, "Passing on your left, Y'all !" as I approached your group from behind. I started calling it out as I cleared the viaduct.

Most of the ladies at the rear of your formation (some were 3 or 4 abreast in the right hand turning lane) heard me and acknowledged me. Hell, I even slowed down to about 8 km just to make sure no one made any sudden moves to the left.

I believe that you may not have heard my call out, due to the fact that the cyclists at the front were holding a conversation that resulted in a rather loud set of laughter. That may have been why you were unaware of my call out.

Either way, I did not cut in front of you or your group while you were moving (it was a red light), and the only traffic that had started moving was the beige compact SUV that had made a left turn from the northbound Halsted left turning lane, which I had let go by before I made my right hand turn onto SW-bound Archer Ave. while you were all still at the red stoplight.

Just because you were a bit surprised by a rider that was passing you on the left hand side, after calling out that they were passing you and your group, although you had been distracted by something else, was not a reason to get upset at that rider and make a snarky comment.

That being said, I am pretty sure that we as a community need to become a more friendly "family" and not get our "feelings hurt" by every last thing that we perceive to be against what we as individuals think/believe is the "right thing". You (meaning anyone reading this) are not always right. No one is perfect.

I am not a "bike ninja", I have several blinking lights on my bike at all times (2 red blinkers on the rear, and a 300 or 400 lumens flasher on the front....trust me, you can't miss me, I am over 240 lbs.), I have a fluorescent yellow helmet, and usually wear brighter colors (especially if riding at night), and I follow almost all the rules of the road (I sometimes "ease" through a stoplight or stop sign at 0130 hrs.), and am pretty considerate of other cyclists (even stopping to help others with some simple mech or flat issues - which is about the limit of my knowledge of repairs and such).

I apologize (even though I don't think that I should) if my passing you took you by surprise, but that was not my intent or my fault.

If it had been a person in a car, I would have stopped and asked why they hadn't left enough room on the right side for me to safely pass, or why they didn't have a turn signal on, or why hadn't they seen me in one of their many mirrors, or etc. I definitely would not have raised my voice or have been snarky.

Being nice to our fellow riders, it seems to me, should be the way to show others that we can get along with other fellow riders. This way, we can then have pedestrians/drivers/etc. treat us the same way that we treat each other. And I know that not everyone will be nice to each other, but it at least is a start.

I hope that everyone has a beautifully great day !

Respectfully,

Manny FU

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