Critical Mass – Phoenix

As a nationally certified cycling safety instructor I was intrigued by Critical Mass’s endeavor to improve cycling in the Valley, so I participated in Friday night’s ride. To the consternation of leaders I stopped for red lights, but I also stood up to motorists that were trying to endanger cyclists by not following the rules of the road.

I fully support the effort Critical Mass Phoenix to bring attention to the lawlessness of some motorists relative to the legitimate use of bicycles on the roads, but not by breaking the law ourselves. How many law obeying and innocent motorists were wrongly delayed and inconvenienced and are now generally resentful of all cyclists? I believe it’s the wrong message.

One reply I received was that the group was akin to a long limousine, the front of which entered the intersection on green, but the rear completed on the red. No, we are all separate drivers of our bicycles and are not joined by a steel frame. Hence we are individually under the rules of the road. Another reply was that keeping going on a red light kept the group together. I have led and been on other rides that stayed together by lawful means.

We all need to follow the rules of the road.

Gene Holmerud

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