You have to push stupid to its limits to get a Libertarian to think “there ought to be a law” but recreational cyclists in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach have just about reached that level.
This picture was taken on my drive home from our last TLP meeting on Saturday morning on Elbow Road in Virginia Beach.
Seriously, Elbow Road. There is no shoulder, a half mile stretch of blind curves and, though most of the road has a 45mph speed limit, it is 35mph here. In this case, I saw them in the straight stretch before the curves and they were only an inconvenience, forcing me to follow them for about a mile at 12mph, but what if I had come upon them just after that curve? Would I have chosen to hit them, a tree, or an oncoming truck?
You could take pictures like this, and worse, all over rural areas of Chesapeake or Virginia Beach any Saturday morning, with small and large groups of cyclists holding up traffic and posing a danger to themselves and others riding on roads that are simply unsafe for cycling.
Use of the public roads is not a right, it is a privilege subject to certain limitations, such as being sober and obeying traffic regulations. As the law currently stands, what these cyclists are doing is legal, no matter how stupid it might be, but at what point do we make it illegal to be stupid on the roads?
So, should some roads be placed ‘off limits’ to bicycles?