RED, RED, LIGHT


Dear Diesel,

I don’t have enough experience to know what to do if I’m crossing as the light is turning when riding with a big group… should we slow,stop, go? I would like to learn…

Dear Newb,

Good question, and one that will be answered differently by different groups.

Let’s start with this… nearly EVERY, person I know who has been hit by a car has been a chronic red light runner.  This is not scientific, just think about the habits you are developing as a person, and as a group.

We’ve all been on rides where every light is run, especially if the leaders have a chance to gap off the rest of the group.  This is their norm.  Personally, I stay clear of these rides as much as possible.

You, however, are referring to the most polite and social ride in the Northern hemisphere: The TMWC.  The standard is held quite high to not run red lights, or ride dangerously in traffic.

Regardless of the ride culture you are in, running red lights is dangerous.

The leaders have a responsibility to keep the group safe.

Only a knucklehead attacks knowing the light is going to change… this is the same cat who doesn’t point out holes and glass hoping the rest will suffer the consequences.

Regarding the video footage in question, at the 1:06 mark the light is clearly red.  The guys slow and go… my guess is that is because the leaders stayed on the gas.  If the guys who went through first, sat up to wait the rest of the group probably would have stopped at the light.

It can also be equally dangerous to hit the brakes hard if you’re in the front as other riders may not have your quick reflexes, or worse, they may not even be paying attention to the lights.

If you happen to be at the front and you know the group has no chance to stop in time, just roll through and wait.

If you have a decent gap, no need to wait.

Ultimately, it’s a judgement call.

Same for the guys in back:

The myth that as long as your connected to the group you won’t get nailed by a car has been proven fatally wrong on Como Street.

If you’re kid/lover/besty was behind you what would you do?  Probably stop, if possible.  If not, wait on other side of the light.

Rules to LIVE by:

  1. Slow up if you know the light is going to change.
  2. Stop if you have time and think the group can stop.
  3. Wait on the other side of the light if the group gets split.

Most of us will fail at it more than we’d like… do your very best to get it right…

… let’s redline the green lights, and keep the asphalt black …

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