Car Up?

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I went on a ride yesterday with a bunch of folks I have mostly never ride with. They turned out to be one of those “car up” groups. It sort of drives me crazy. The constant car up, car back, stopping, hole, ect. thing. I’m so used to riding in groups where nothing is ever said, unless someones seems to be in mortal danger, that with people are yelling every other minute, it initially scares me and eventually bugs me.

I know how this starts and it is somewhat common throughout the country. I don’t get it. Especially car up. What is the purpose of yelling car up? Telling the guys you are with to not peel off into the oncoming traffic. I always think, “boy, I was lucky they yelled because I was just about ready to ride for a while in the opposite lane.”

We went to eat after the ride at a local brewery in Hayward, The Angry Minnow. It is obvious that people are doing this vocalization to look out for the safety of the other riders. I asked if they actually thought someone was going to be riding over the center/yellow line. They said maybe. If I see someone that is riding or I think for some reason is maybe going to ride over the centerline, I’d said something more like, “WTF are you doing. Get back on the right side of the road.” Car up doesn’t really come to mind when I see something dangerous happening.

Stopping is another “saying” that is pretty valueless. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to be riding with a bunch of guys that can’t tell when the riders in front of them are stopping for a stop sign. Braking. The same thing. Can you imagine in a criterium everytime you pulled your brakes, you have to say braking.

You get my point. I’d like it if guys I’m riding with yell something if I’m running a stop sign and don’t see a car barrelling down on me, but if that isn’t the case, then maybe we can just go out and ride our bikes.

Some local photos.

Oyvind Solvang. Norwegian skiier. Super athlete. But, not such a MTB rider. It is most likely his own tread print on his shirt from his front tire. Probably not easy to do.

Nice camo, North Woods ride.

Stopped by the CXC training center and watched a painful VO2 max test.

Typical morning. They stare long enough and eventually someone will walk in the woods with them.

The boat repair project is getting a little more serious. Note to self, wear long sleeves and pants when sawing fiberglass next time.

10 thoughts on “Car Up?

  1. Kimberly

    That is TOO funny! Jock and I were riding in Carmel the other day and he’s pointing at every pothole, signaling stops, turns, yelling car back (all in complete sarcasm)….laughing so hard I almost wiped out….nothing like a TDF racer mimicking the “car up groups”. I’m in the WTF group!

  2. Chris Young

    Thanks for expressing your frustration with the ride. However, considering that at least four cyclists have been hit by cars in Hayward (Hayward Wisconsin, population 2,000) this summer alone, including a hit and run, and a few riders in this group who can’t seem to stay in their lane, I can understand the irritating call-outs.
    Sorry Dude.

    Chris @ New Moon

  3. Michael Fatka

    Steve I don’t think the “Car UP” thing should bother you that much…….you are wrong on this one girlfriend….It is about awareness and its practice does save lives …. also it is not just about errant riders haplessly drifting into the left lane as you make it seem… I have seen it happen a lot so I am sure your anecdotal testimony is not accurate….
    I think nowadays it is more about the oncoming vehicular traffic coming across the yellow line….. drunks, texters, cell phone users,- morons of that ilk….
    i will place a link /url address here-in and hope it works …… otherwise type into your browser….. viewer caution is advised for graphic violence….many of you may remember the horrific event in early June 2008 in Mexico just across from Brownsville I am not saying I know what happened then but maybe, just maybe a cautious shout by someone may have bought these guys a second or two of precious time and things could have been different……

    I personally don’t like the shouts either but it’smart ….. It works and people become aware potential dangerous situations…..

  4. Brent

    Sometime annoys me too but only because I am an idiot. With ALL DUE RESPECT the way you put it and have expressed it seems arrogant. You maybe have way too much experience to be commenting on the way people with less experience…which would be everyone. In otherwords, we are on the same page, only because I am an inexperienced annoyed rider and you are too experienced… but again, when I read this post I only thought, what an ego.

  5. Slick

    Yup, you came off a bit snobby, elitist, etc on this one, Steve. Consider that the majority of bikers are not pros, nor even serious amateur racers. They are average Joe’s, who lack your skills, experience and sixth sense. Calling out car back, stopping, etc (even car up, although I agree that one is a stretch) helps those average Joe’s, wankers and sometime-enthusiasts stay upright, keep all their skin on and, in some cases prevent serious injury or worse. Most commonly, though, I suspect it just gives them a little more peace of mind (whether valid or not) to make them feel a bit safer, relaxed, confident and have more FUN on the bike. And that ain’t bad!


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