Just to fill in people on the happenings at Columns the first weekend of the new ordinance.
There are two new temporary signs at the beginning of Columns. One is a “Your Speed Is Sign,” which I thought meant a new game to see who could get the high score. Sadly, it does not pick up cyclists well, if at all. Maybe we could complain and get a more sensitive sign. The other sign says “Buckle Up,” “Bicyclists Single File,” and “Strictly Enforced.” A friend and I rode Saturday and when traffic was clear rode side by side on our warm-up lap talking, yet were not banished. The auto traffic was much closer to the speed limit the entire weekend and motorists were on their best behavior.
I think there were more police than cyclists for much of Saturday morning. For parts of the morning there were four Cobb County Police cars circling Columns. What a ridiculous waste of manpower! There were also two police on mountain bikes who made one (1) lap before leaving. The female officer seemed to have a lot of trouble figuring out how to put her helmet on, so I am guessing they were not very experienced. I doubt they would be chasing down any law-breaking triathletes. When they first showed up, I reminded them to ride single file. They did not find that too amusing which meant passing them on the road and saying “Hey, be careful, the pigs are undercover out here,” would probably not go over well. When I left for the Airport Ride on Sunday, I only saw one police car. I am sure this increase is temporary, although my previous prediction of no increase was wrong so don’t believe anything I say.
(Speaking of the Airport Ride, is it now officially over for the season, since DST came early?)
If you do cycle out there and get a chance to talk to the police, thank them for being out there. Be friendly, or at least wave hello at them. Encourage them to keep an eye out for speeders and aggressive motorists. I doubt they are thrilled with having to patrol the area.
One good thing is that there was no large, organized group of runners that have become a very common on weekend mornings. I understand they have started a permit process for these. While I do like the charity groups and all the good they do, the congestion their huge groups caused was becoming dangerous. Without a group Saturday, the going was much smoother for everyone else on the road.
There was one altercation Saturday which sadly involved a cyclist, or pinhead, on a Bianchi who was threatening three runners for not staying single file. He ended up getting off his bike, throwing it and charging the runners. The male runner shoved him back, and so the cyclist, or pinhead, pulled out a pen and paper and tried to get his name. Invariably the police became involved.
#1 The ordinance as written does not mention runners.
#2 Everybody needs to worry about themselves, and not other people.
#3 Don’t be aggressive like the motorists we complain about.
#4 Don’t make cyclists look bad.
Remember on Tuesday it is the “Georgia Rides to the Capital.” With all the issues facing cyclists, this might be the time to take a morning off from work and make ourselves visible. If nothing else, get involved with a local advocacy group, join or donate some money. Oppose all elected officials who are not pro cycling, including all 5 on the Cobb Commission.