The good and the bad

Ten ways you make the group ride bad:

  1. You refuse to share the work. You sit in the entire ride, or most of the entire ride. The one or two time you go to the front, your efforts are feeble, and they end quickly. You are so afraid of getting dropped, getting tired, or feeling pain that you leave all of the work to others.
  2. You show up late. The ride leaves at 8:00, but you know it never really leaves until 8:10 at the earliest, so you fiddle with your saddle bag or your Garmin or decide that now is a great time to replace your cleats. Then you text the gang that you’re running ten minutes late.
  3. You don’t have a spare tube or a spare CO2 cartridge or a pump. Someone else will have one if you need it.
  4. You don’t say hello to newcomers unless they look fitter and faster than you. You especially don’t say hello to “dorks” because, you know, we’re still in junior high.
  5. You still haven’t learned how to ride in a straight line.
  6. You constantly drop your head to read your wattage, cadence, mph, kilojoules, distance, average speed, normalized power, heart rate, leaderboard status, etc.
  7. You overlap wheels then swerve when the guy in front moves over on you. For bonus points, you curse at him.
  8. You carefully avoid holes and detritus that the riders in front of you point out, but you don’t bother to point them out to the people behind you.
  9. You pass people at high speeds on the inside of tight downhill turns just because it’s “fun.”
  10. You don’t stop when people crash or flat.

Ten ways you make the group ride fun:

  1. You make sure your tires are in good shape, you carry a spare, a way to air it up, and something extra for the person who doesn’t.
  2. You drop off the back — miss the whole ride, even — when someone’s in trouble or needs help.
  3. You ride at the front.
  4. You greet newcomers and try to remember their names.
  5. You call shit out.
  6. You chastise people in private, not in front of the whole group.
  7. You show up on time.
  8. You understand the difference between group rides and training.
  9. You give the strugglers and stragglers a push from time to time.
  10. You put the group’s safety before your ego.

56 thoughts on “The good and the bad”

  1. Also good:
    Call out “last” when at the back of a rotating break.
    When about to get gapped pull off rather than just holding on until everyone behind you is now left to come around and cover your huge gap.
    Don’t ride in the left lane and then jump back in when a car approaches.
    Don’t yell at cars.
    Don’t yell at all.
    Commend the guy (e.g., Surfer Dan) who just pulls like a madman at any time – even if he doesn’t set a PR on the climb as a result.

    1. These are super. I have to yell sometimes, though, even when I shouldn’t. Old school “yelling with slobber is a great communication tool” even though it isn’t!

      Thanks for adding these!

  2. “…the difference between group rides and training”… …”the difference between group rides and training”… Wow, phrase that has a nice ring to it, you know?
    Excuse me while I wander away, marveling: Gr o u p ride groupridegroupridegroupride ga rooop rride group ride group ride group ride!
    (I think he’s got it! I think he’s got it!) (Or maybe not!)
    (To be continued…)

  3. Senior Geezer Johan


    “1. You refuse to share the work…” is just sugar coating the racer-azzhat-ego-shut-up-and-take-your-pull-or-you-can’t-ride-with-me persona. I prefer(it’s all about me) “Contribute according to your ability. Blah, blah, blah”. But I’m pretty much a socialist except when I’m not.

    “8. You understand the difference between group rides and training” AND RACING.

  4. I remember (it was decades ago) what a short-tempered, scruffy (but experienced) profis on the canal told me (on a group ride) about the jerk who was violating most of your list.(translated loosely from Flemish). “I am going to put that motherfucker down”…moments later when we exited the canal, he did just that, depositing the dude in a muddy/grassy ditch. I always watched my manners closely around that dude, after that.

  5. Just got home from driving along the Esplanade. You guys have got to start obeying traffic laws. As a group, bicyclist do not “share the road”, as you like to say. There’s millions of dollars of striping along the Esplanade and you guys ignore it. Stop signs? Ignored. I saw a mom crossing with a stroller today and one of you guys blew the stop sign and dodged her by 6″. If I were to dodge one of you by 2 feet you’d flip out. This is unacceptable.
    I called the police, who don’t really care all that much.
    I drive the Esplanade every day, and every day it’s the same thing.
    Feel free to berate me. You know I am right, and you, as a group, are douchés.

    1. No need to berate you. Anyone who can’t spell “douche” properly is his own public humiliation.

      1. Got it.
        One errant punctuation mark invalidates an entire valid complaint.
        Hope your health insurance is up to date. Because I drive lawfully, and you will lose when you douchés illegally ride into my path.

        1. One errant punctuation mark? That makes two, and we’re not even counting 3rd Grade flails like beginning a sentence with “because.”

          The illiteracy with which you present your case is the best indictment of all, because you’re both the author and the recipient of your own stupidity.

          And I like being threatened with physical injury by someone in a car. It’s so (how do the morons say it?) … “douché.”

    2. Yo Steve,

      As opposed to the many hysterical persons who live “near” the Esplanade or “around the corner” from the Esplanade and have the RBPD on speed dial, my postal address actually reads: Esplanade. Let me tell you what I’ve seen every single day for the last eight years, perhaps you’ve missed this stuff because you were too busy speeding up and down my street dialing the police on your cell phone. I see cars running the stop signs day and night. I see cars driving 40+ mph in a 25mph zone. I see cars darting into parking spots with no signal. I see cars ripping down the suicide lane for an entire block. So if you would kindly take a moment to un-wad your panties from your depends and try giving a call to the RBPD when you see a vehicle violating traffic laws that will actually kill someone, my 8 year old daughter, who crosses the Esplanade with me daily, would appreciate that.


      Just another douche bag with a spell checker and a bike that lives on the Esplanade.

      1. Hey, Dr. BB —

        Mr. G. is a troll, but thanks for the articulate reply. Unfortunately, he is illiterate and unable to follow an argument, so it will be lost on him.

        However, if you read his prior posts you will see that what he is really doing is threatening to kill or maim a cyclist. It’s great that he’s been so open about his homicidal intent because it’s allowed me to copy his IP address and archive his comments, so that if he’s ever involved in an accident this can be used in the sentencing phase of his criminal trial, much as Dr. Thompson’s prior road rage was used to obtain hard prison time for his felony assault against Ron.

        Thanks again for stepping up and refusing to be intimidated by threats of violence.

      2. I drive 25mph. I stop. I pay attention to pedestrian traffic and bikes. I have children and i cross Esplanade with them, as well. I am not the problem.
        You guys cannot admit for one small second that you ride like assholes.
        I made a perfectly valid point with one punctuation mark that I do for humor. You guys have made no valid points other than that I don’t give a fuck about being exact with my grammar when posting on inane blogs about riding a bike.
        Keep my MAC address. As I’ve said all along, if you ride legally, you are fine.

        1. No, what you care about are anonymous opinions because you are a coward. You’ve been invited to discuss your beliefs face to face. Clearly you don’t have any convictions or you would get up from your anonymity and meet the people you claim are causing all the problems.

        2. We are at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf every Saturday just before 8:00 AM. Please come discuss your points of view instead of hiding behind the screen.

          I posit that you are not interested in discussion, only blame. Please prove me wrong.

      3. “I drive 25mph…” says Steve Gallagher. If the posted speed limit is 25mph, that statement is all anyone needs to know about him.

        “I drive [the posted speed limit]!” You hear it squawked by the ignorant, and hissed by sociopathic bullies.

        When anyone says he drives the posted speed limit, and suggests it satisfies his duty of care when driving a vehicle on the road, it means he either (a) doesn’t know about California’s basic speed law (which, paraphrased, says: “drive no faster than the posted speed limit and slow enough to avoid endangering other road, shoulder and sidewalk users who may fall into your path”) or (b) knows about it but disregards it, hoping he can rely on a police investigation or jury contaminated with people like him when he kills the 4 year old child who chased a balloon across the road.

        You see, the basic speed law is the codification of humanity. It is pathetic that at some point the state had add to the vehicle code a requirement that people in cars behave decently. But it did, because of people like Steve Gallagher.

        1. Well said. All this coming from a guy who implies the right to kill you if you cycle “illegally.”

  6. Keep ignoring the issue.
    Because I will have some scratches in my paint to buff out, and you will have a funeral to attend.
    Gotta go. I have a funeral to attend. Its a friend who was hit by a bike while driving her Corolla.
    Oh wait. That’s never happened.
    Keep doing what your doing. Its working great irregardlessly.
    There’s some more fodder so you guys can ignore the real issue…

    1. Here’s the issue: You’ve shown up at the wrong party, unwelcome and uninvited. Arguing with you dignifies your ignorance.

      I’m having a lovely day after a lovely bicycle ride. It’s regrettable that you’re so eager to kill someone. Please pass on my condolences to those who have to live with you.

      1. Nothing but more vitriol.
        Here’s how you handle a douché like myself:
        “Thanks for the feedback Mr. Gallagher. As a member of the cycling community, I would like to offer my apologies for the rider you described. His riding was indeed rude, unacceptable and illegal. [Cycle Group] is working with other local riding groups to minimize these incidents through riding education that stresses proper riding etiquette, as well as lawful riding. Lawful riding decreases I injuries to riders, and presents a much better public perception of cyclists in the South Bay.
        Your use of “douché” is incorrect, however, in that the origin of douche is French, while the

      2. Dammit! Wasn’t done yet.
        If you guys had presented something other than the douchiness you presented, I might have felt bad.
        But all you did was prove your point.
        Did I just start a sentence with “but”?!?
        Ride safe.
        I know you won’t.

        1. Hi, Everyone!

          My name is Steve “Etymology” Gallagher.

          I only write English words according to their original French spelling, which is why I never go anywhere without my accents aigu and grave. Despite my learned French studies, however, I still don’t know the difference between a French noun and a French past participle, but I’m hoping you don’t, either, because I like to make shit up and pretend that it’s real.

          I also like threatening to kill people because, you know, I can.

          I also like commenting on blogs in between funeral services.

          Most of all, I like complaining about bicycles because they’re much more deadly than cars.

          I’m also illiterate.

          Thanks for your understanding.

      3. Entertaining, but still no mention of the fact that bicyclist ride like assholes in the South Bay.
        I’m not threatening to kill anyone. It is up to you to ride safe. If you don’t ride safe, you run the risk of dying. I will never hit a cyclist that is riding legally and safely.
        Keep doing what you’re doing.
        It’s working great.
        You are one halarous bunch.
        There ya go. Another gem so you can ignore the real problem.

        1. We are at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf every Saturday just before 8:00 AM. Please come discuss your points of view instead of hiding behind the screen.

          I posit that you are not interested in discussion, only blame. Please prove me wrong.

  7. Gallagher go get a hobby. It’s sounds like you could use one. Driving your car up and down esplanade getting even with cyclists riding “illegally” is not a hobby. Happy holidays

  8. Steve,

    You are correct. We have been ignoring the problem. Maybe because we felt sorry for you, kind of like the special needs kid who stumbles into the classroom mid-year: you don’t really want to make a point that he still doesn’t know arithmetic while we are learning vector calculus. But you insisted so here it is:

    Seemingly ordinary people like yourself get behind the wheel of a car and reveal themselves to be homicidal maniacs. They have delusional, irrational and deeply contradictory personal codes of conduct that they believe authorizes them to kill and maim with impunity.

    This is a deep sickness you have that cannot be cured by apologies, negotiations or admissions. You are going to continue to be a bigoted, psychotic, homicidal maniac who will continue to make excuses for the unjustifiably violent behavior of others. It’s like racial hatred, Steve. Bigots like you aren’t looking for parity, they aren’t looking to “solve” anything, and they aren’t looking for a mutual understanding. They are only looking for reprisal and total elimination of the thing that causes an emotion too powerful for their deficient self control to handle.

    There ya go. Now, show me how well you can ignore the real problem.

    1. Thanks.

      Probably too many long words, though.

      I noticed that he’s no longer an expert in French. He also dropped the “I’m going to a funeral” lie.

      He is plainly pathological. Lie, threaten, blame, beg for attention …

    2. I’m a bigot now?
      You still didn’t address the issue.
      You guys ride illegally, rudely and unsafe, then complain about how rude, illegal and unsafe people drive.
      The only one of you to pose anywhere near a valid discusson was the good Dr. BB, and he still just provided a straw man argument. At least his humor was intelligent, and he’s correct in that people do indeed drive poorly along the Esplanade. Just not me.

      See ya Saturday.

      1. Steve,

        Your sophomoric retorts are boring me but I feel oddly compelled to at least make my points slightly clearer since you seem unable to grasp more subtle context and ridicule. Furthermore, I am going to have to regress to sad, banal insults and cogent discourse to hurdle your dimwittedness. I suppose I should not have expected more from someone who starts a conversation by carte blanche labelling his audience douche bags, then claiming he was only looking for a rational discussion. Your stunningly witless bravado is matched only by the thickness of your skull: You are a champion, smashed-faced fucking idiot pal.

        I’m not sure you could stuff your retarded ass more full of straw than by proposing that cyclists think they can violate any traffic law without consequence and that, as a community, cyclists condone violating traffic law. Equally moronic is your assertion that all cycling/vehicle related casualties are the fault of scofflaw cyclists. Thank you for revealing that you are motivated by nothing more complicated than rage and ignorance.

        If you think that your attitude that cyclists deserve what they get from inattentive, belligerent and malicious motorists is going to engender you to a group who have buried or scrapped gravely injured friends and relatives off the road time and time again due to collisions in which the BICYCLIST WAS NOT A FAULT (caps for your benefit because I’m not entirely convinced you can read yet) then go fuck your mother. If she’s already dead be glad she didn’t live long enough to see what an ass-hat she raised. Or maybe she was the ass-hat that begat you so she would be proud indeed. Steve, Ass-Hat Champion.

      2. I thought you were better than that, Doc. No cogent thoughts in that post, whatsoever. Good thing I ignore grammar and punctuation errors and analyze the content rather than just hurl insults about accents and tildes.


        I’m done. See ya Saturday. I really, really, really hope you guys can have a sit down, rational discussion regarding cyclists and motorists in the South Bay. If you read through the comments, you guys have been exponentially more virulent than I, and you have blown out of proportion every little line of my grammer. I will admit that ending an establishing post by calling a group as a whole “douchés” [sic] is not a great way to foster healthy discourse. I don’t see how you’ve proven me wrong, though. I was quite irate at the bicyclist who nearly ran over the mom and her child, and rightfully so.

        Steve – The coward who just happens to be the only one who is using his real name.

        PS – Spelling “grammar” wrong is one of my favourite ironic misspellings.

        1. We are at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf every Saturday just before 8:00 AM. Please come discuss your points of view instead of hiding behind the screen.

          I posit that you are not interested in discussion, only blame. Please prove me wrong.

        2. Like how you shifted from calling names to disparaging name-calling.

          How was that alleged funeral you French-tweeted all the way through?

          Please email me your phone number to so I can confirm your identity and then publicize the discussion you’ve agreed to come to on Saturday.

      3. We are at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf every Saturday just before 8:00 AM. Please come discuss your points of view instead of hiding behind the screen.

        I posit that you are not interested in discussion, only blame. Please prove me wrong.

      4. One errant cyclist you witnessed being a douche. And now everyone who cycles there is a douche. Maybe you had a valid point maybe you didn’t but you lost all credibility, when you tried to transpose the behavior of that one cyclist on all cyclists. As far as punctuation goes I do not believe it in. I’m sure I violated many punctuation rules in this short post. I don’t care.

  9. It was a GORGEOUS day to ride in soCal. I missed riding the Esplanade today, but will ride there tomorrow, in the million dollar bike lane. I look forward to it! Hope to see some of you out there, too! (I’m sadly all out of feminine cleansing products, or I’d bring some, just in case.)

    1. Ha, ha! He’s afraid to talk in person. Just anonymous trolling, that’s all he can handle.

  10. You should be stoked that your fame has spread far and wide enough to attract trolls. The only thing I attract is a halo of flies. I had to through in some poopoo humour since you left it out.

  11. I had no idea there was millions of dollars of paint striping on the esplande that I ignore. Glad Steve brings hard facts to his post. He must spend time at RB city counsel sub committee planning and budget meetings too. Hey Steve go down the hill to the bike path where you will regulary see groups of pedestrians ignoring the expensive paint stripes and walking right in front of moms on a bikes towing little ones in a kiddie trailer. Im sure you would but that would require effort to get out of the car move on your own power.

    1. He’s going to show up next Saturday before the Donut Ride at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and lead a discussion about how we’re all assholes and he reserves the right to kill us if we ride “illegally.” Looking forward to it!

      1. Steve Gallagher

        Gentlemen –

        I will not be joining you on Saturday. I have a prior engagement, but more importantly I think it would be pointless. I’ve been doing a little research on your members, and there is absolutely no hope that a meeting would be productive. This will give you a chance to give some pats on the back about how you “won”, etc. Keep doing what you’re doing. Your public perception is just above the Affordable Care Act. :Thumbs Up!:

  12. Good

    11. You know how to pull through to the front of the group without making everyone speed up.

    12. You know how to listen when someone tells you how to do the above.

    13. You have fitted long mudguards to your bike in (UK) winter.


    11. You think you can get one more season out of those bib shorts.

    12. You wear white lycra instead

    13. You are careless with gel/bar wrappers.

    14. You think it’s ‘Pro’ to remove your gilet/rain jacket whist riding in close proximity to others.


    1. You turn up to a blog post about group cycling etiquette with an (possibly true but unrelated) anecdote about a bell-end on a bike who doesn’t respect pedestrians, make some sweeping victim-blaming generalisations based on this anecdote, and then expect to be given the time of day by the author and other readers of the blog.

  13. Bad
    1. You use red lights to move up and drop back through the pack whenever the pace is higher than 20mph.
    2. You fight like hell to stay up near the front, refuse to let people back in line, and never take a pull.

    1. You use vehicles / red lights to start a break or gain an advantage.

    1. Have fun and be safe! It’s a bike ride and you’re not getting paid millions to win the city limit sprint.

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