I live 50 miles from the entrance to Yosemite National Park. I have beautiful places to ride and get to deal with tourist regularly that drive like complete idiots.
This morning I was on my bicycle just before sunrise. I headed over to Hwy 4 to spend a couple of hours climbing hills. Hwy 4 goes from the 99 freeway near Stockton, over Ebbetts Pass (Elevation 8750’). The part I ride on regularly has steep climbs and a nice shoulder so I am not too close to traffic. The traffic can include logging trucks, vacation RV’s and people in a hurry to go either to the valley or wine tasting.
At the top of the three mile climb is a viewpoint, Vista Point. It is a convenient place to take a quick break for nourishment or whatever is needed. After doing three climbs I stopped for a brief minute. I see a Nissan Maxima with Maryland plates (tourist) coming my way very slowly. The car came to a complete stop. It was sitting in the middle of the highway where the speed limit is 65 mph. and on a curve with limited visibility.
They were looking at each other and motioning like they were lost. And they sat. I couldn’t just let them sit there until a logging truck came by so I attempted to wave them into Vista Point. After looking at me rather stupidly they pulled in. I motioned for them to roll down their window. They looked at me with a vague lost tourist smile. I explained my point of view to them.
“I see people like you all of the time” I started. “You think your out in the country and the rules of the road no longer apply to you. You can’t just stop your car in a traffic lane and sit there, just like you can’t make u-turns on this roadway”. (Another tourist favorite)
I implored them to drive like they had at least a little intelligence as to not cause an accident. The driver just started to pull away.
He quickly stopped and backs up to me.
“I see a lot of bicyclist riding two abreast and that’s not safe” the guy says. “And sometimes they are not even in bike lanes!” Wow, this guy is obviously a deep thinker. “I’m not doing that, now am I pal?” Was my retort.
I continue with him, “It is stupid to stop in a traffic lane. You are going to cause an accident or kill somebody” I stated with a little increase in volume. I think he started to sense my urge to educate him on proper roadway etiquette by dragging him thru his window and rearranging his nose. No one wants to be beat up by a guy in spandex.
He hits the accelerator and yells out the window, “You are a rude cyclist”. I just smiled and went back to climbing hills.