By Pat Golden
Special to The Herald Weekly


I have been an avid cyclist both road and mountain biker for over 30 years. I have seen our great sport of cycling grow extensively over the years especially in major metropolitan areas like Charlotte.

My wife, Sabrina, and I will be riding in our 14th annual MS Ride this coming fall to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis, a disease we have a passion to help find a cure for.

I just rode in the Lake Norman Excursion Ride on July 12 at Lowe's Corporate in Mooresville, and it was an incredibly organized ride with over 1,000 cyclists.

One of the things that stuck out most in my mind is the fact that I saw so many cyclists riding three wide and not letting cars pass us by. 

Many newcomers to our sport do not know how to keep a line and stay as far to  the right as possible.   

The amount of cyclists getting hit by automobiles is staggering, and we must put a stop to the madness.

We must be more attentive to automobiles passing us, work with them as a team and not against them.  It is common courtesy to ride in a straight line and not three wide. Cyclists must learn the rules of the road, and bike shops should give more classes on this subject. 

They should even consider handing out some type of bike license that proves you took a test to be able to participate in group rides.

As you progress as a cyclist, you must learn when to pull in the front of the pack, move slightly to the left (only if it is a clear road) and let the other cyclists pull through.  This counter clockwise rotation is a standard for cycling and should be taught by all experts and shops around the country. This rotation works great on clear country roads when there are no cars behind you.

Let's learn to share the road better. It is a privilege to be able to ride these roads. We don't own them as cyclists we share them with automobiles and all the great people around Charlotte and the world.

 

Pat Golden lives in the Lake Norman area.