Sheriffs stop Tuesday Morning Ride

A motorist snaps a photo of the Tuesday-morning ride taking up the entire lane along Kinney Road.

A motorist snaps a photo of the Tuesday-morning ride taking up the entire lane along Kinney Road earlier this month.

Pima County Sheriffs Deputies stopped the Tuesday Morning Ride this week after seeing the group ride four abreast and cross the center line.

The Pima County Sheriffs department became involved when a motorist sent photos of the riders riding four and five abreast earlier this month.

Here’s an email from Ryan Roher who is the Sheriff’s Department liaison to the Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee.

I wanted to give you an update. We did enforcement yesterday on Gates Pass. Deputies observed the group once again riding 5-6 across. Motor Deputies rode by the group and they got the hint and returned to 2 abreast. At McCain and Kinney the group however once again returned to 5-6 Abreast. Deputies stopped the entire group and explained the situation. Apparently we had one dissenter but the rest of the group applied some peer pressure and listened to what the Deputies had to say.  One of the motor’s also saw a couple riders going left of center which is when the entire group was stopped.

Several stops on cars were also made and several citations for various infractions (especially speeding) were given. It did not appear that any cyclists were issued citations during the enforcement period.

Were you on the ride? Is the description accurate?

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12 comments
E
E

I'm not sure what to think of this.  Just because there are a lot of cyclists versus a few cars (Suzanne's comment below) isn't going to work so well when it's a few of us and a lot of cars, as is usually the case.  Also, when I am riding my bike on the road I am trying to get somewhere unharmed, and what I want more than anything else is respect from the motorists so they will pass me safely.  I want them to understand that I have a legitimate right to the road, too.

Here, these cyclists are not using the road to get somewhere, they are using it for exercise.  Is that a legitimate use?  Maybe so, and certainly many motorists use the roadways for recreational driving.  However, they aren't slowing down everyone else, like this large pack of cyclists is.

Just because these folks are on bikes doesn't mean they are in the right.  I understand the quandary, but this is a case where I see the point of the motorists behind them.  They are obstructing other traffic so they can recreate on the roadway.  Something about that rubs me the wrong way.

MikeMcKisson
MikeMcKisson moderator

@EI keep coming back to the idea of what is safest for all involved. As many have pointed out, technically even one cyclist out there would make it illegal to pass on a double yellow line. 

More importantly, though, I can't get over the fact that I think it is safer for everyone to pack up than ride two-by-two. It's got to be easier for a motorist to pass a group bunched up vs. a group stretched out for a mile.  

I know what the law says, but that doesn't mean it's the safest thing to do and doesn't mean it shouldn't be changed. 

zz
zz like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@E But they are going somewhere. Does why they are going determine their right to go? I' m going somewhere every time I get on my bike and sometimes I may slow traffic. Does my purpose then come into question and subject to some value judgement? This group moves as one and has a benign purpose. Is a disgruntled motorist enough to deny that right?

Empire1
Empire1

sunfrog...Move to Idaho if thats how you want to ride.  Bicycles are to obey the laws like cars, "Share the road" ...remember?

3wheeler
3wheeler

@Empire1

You say those who want the Idaho stop law should move to Idaho.  Don't you understand that Idaho didn't have the Idaho stop law until they passed the Idaho stop law?  That's pretty basic logic.  If Idaho can go from treating cyclists like cars at stop signs, to legalizing what we actually do - then Arizona can do the same.  It is completely within our legal rights to desire a change in our state's law.  Also, did you catch what I said?  Idaho merely legalized what cyclists habitually do at stop signs.  Because cyclists only stop to avoid a collision,  and collisions with cars at stop signs are rare, the law did not cause an increase in collisions in Idaho.  Because the law only legalizes cyclists making judgments that they are already making, there's no reason to believe the Idaho stop law would bring an increase in collisions in Arizona either.  After all, cyclists know they'll come out the loser in a collision with a car, so we try very hard to avoid it.  As for your admonition to share the road, why does a car get 10 feet of room and a bike is lucky to get 3?  Who is it that's having trouble with sharing the road?  If 20 cyclists, or more, are out riding and you get stuck behind them in your car, just think that you're behind a farm tractor.  Since tractors have gas engines, I'm sure that'll make you feel just fine.   20 humans, who vote, who are out using the road, must be as important as a farm tractor.  I drive a car far more than I cycle but I've never been upset about waiting behind a group of cyclists.  In fact, I find joy in watching them.  Find a little joy, drive patiently behind a group of cyclists.

sunfrog
sunfrog

I like what 3wheeler said. How do we make it so?

cancinc
cancinc

I'd like to see the sherriff's out at Mt. Lemmon a bit more, as the tack tracks continue. I've heard 2 separate reports this week of people finding tacks placed in the bike lane and not one or two.

Apologies for being off topic

Nate
Nate

@cancinc but what if the COPS are laying down the tacks?! PLOT TWIST!

3wheeler
3wheeler

I think the law should be written to allow full lane use when 20 or more riders are together.  If we had that AND the Idaho stop law, we'd be in good shape.

Suzanne
Suzanne like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

ZZ's comment on this last time was the best: we need to think in terms of numbers of road users (people, not vehicles) in our consideration of road sharing. This also comes to mind when I hear complaints about buses causing traffic congestion downtown. Um, what? So here's a fun experiment: What if each and every rider on that Tuesday morning ride went out in a separate CAR, and drove along that road at 1 mph BELOW the speed limit, keeping safe and consistent following distances from one another. How would the entitled commuters like that behavior? (OK I am guilty of a comment not relevant to the request also, but...)

Gabrielle
Gabrielle like.author.displayName 1 Like

I know you are asking for people who were there. I was not. Sorry. Just wanted to say that if the Sheriff's department did, indeed, also deal with motor vehicles breaking the law well, then they were doing a balanced job that morning.