Start Thursday, 6/24/21, 6AM 65 degrees
Finish 7:15 AM, 65 degrees
Cyclists on descent 22
Vehicles on descent 1
Ratio of cyclists to vehicles 22 to 1
I was introduced to Megan Hottman’s Summer Solstice affair this week for the first time. Many very experienced and strong riders are starting from the Beverly Heights parking lot at 6 AM every weekday this week. Other riders start up when they arrive in the next hour and half.
But I think on many of the riders’ second lap up a situation occurred that is the quintessential Lookout problem. A pickup pulling a trailer filled with lawn equipment came up behind a fairly large cycling group riding two abreast. I was descending into the situation of the pickup trying to get by the riders. I was pulling far to the right as the truck started to pass. The driver honked his horn and a cyclist shouted out a derisive term to characterize his behavior. This pickup was the only vehicle ascending in the 4.5 miles of Lookout at that time of day. It pointed out the fact that many cyclists have never tried to drive up the mountain when there is a lot of bicycle traffic. It requires remarkable patience on the part of the driver not to create a hazardous situation for descending cyclists. And again, the cyclists do not win this battle if there is contact with a multi-ton vehicle- no matter how ‘right’ you feel you are. Even Bill Plock, whom I met for the first time this morning, has had a bike/car accident on Lookout and he has been riding the mountain for years.
My suggestion is for cyclists to start yelling “heads up!!!!” – multiple times if necessary to alert other riders to become a line of single file cyclists so the vehicle can pass using the minimum amount of the center stripe or descending lane for the pass. The vehicle WILL PASS the cyclists. Keeping descending cyclists safe from ascending cars passing ascending cyclists while the ascending cyclists use the far right part of the road is the goal. Keep common sense foremost in your mind as you ride. DO NOT ASSIST in creating a situation for which someone else might pay the price.