Al Pacino in Spandex biking on Longboat Key

Editor & Publisher

The bicycle sign debate of late raises an issue of both danger and tolerance. And perhaps the emphasis has been all wrong.

I have recently taken to watching bicyclists and motorists interact on Longboat, the Ringling Bridge and St. Armands. And let me say, while on the whole bicyclists are respectful of the dangers and the autos whizzing by at twice their speed, a few think they must behave like a cross between Lance Armstrong, Al Pacino and a mid-life crisis wrapped up too tightly in Spandex.

I am talking about, for one, those who feel their rear ends deserve to butt into traffic. You can already hear their whiney, “It’s as much our road as anybody’s.”

On a drive Wednesday to Sarasota from the Centre Shops, I saw a total nut pull at 30 mph between a Mini and a Lexus. He proceeded to keep up sandwiched at 35 mph between the two vehicles. The drivers looked terrified and confused. Then the cyclist looked back at his friend whom he left in the dust and pumped his fist into the air.

Next, going over the Ringling Bridge, three are biking side-by-side and blocking the right-hand lane. The one jutting out was not oblivious to the fact he was blocking traffic, he had the special attitude. I am sure if anyone looked at him he would offer up his “Little Friend,” the middle finger.

I mean no disrespect to the majority of cyclists — those whom ride neatly in the bike lane displaying a blend of athleticism, exercise, and respect for the road and traffic surrounding them. It is the other ones who need to be called out for what they are — rude and dangerous. Those who stick their butts over the white line should be ticketed for failure to maintain speed. After all, if a scooter, a tricycle or wheelchair was over the white line blocking traffic the police would assist and intervene.

Let’s demand our police start ticketing and educating the rear ends of our renegade cyclists before a fatality and the blame game begins.

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Longboat Key News

3 Responses for “Al Pacino in Spandex biking on Longboat Key”

  1. Cindy says:

    You make some good points. How about including the laws pertaining to how the cyclists should be crossing the bridge and what how the motorists should be treating the bicycles. That would be a true public service and help to educate everyone.

  2. Chris Hope says:

    Absolutely spot on with this article. The nonchalant attitude of these people will eventually come back to bite them in the ass. Not least of all on St Armands where the majority (and I do mean majority) of drivers remain oblivious to the simple concept of a roundabout – after all these years! The locals are just as bad as the tourists. I wouldn’t WANT to ride a bicycle in this area – between the obnoxious cyclists and the inept motorists it is simply a death wish.

  3. Michael says:

    Great article. Good news in part is the Ringling Bridge is slated for work April 12, to upgrade biking lanes apart from pedestrian walkways, and this will at least vastly improve the safety of all in that area. Only solution for arrogant byclists is ticketing, which as all know these days, is a long shot.
    Thank Jon Thaxton for the bridge awareness.

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