Last weekend, a young cyclist was arrested in Seminole County after failing to pull over for law enforcement. The unfortunate event was highlighted by the fact that this young man was actually in a group that also included other riders and no one else was arrested (story HERE).
The blame shouldn’t fall on the kid. Let’s face it, there are a lot worse things an 18 year old could be doing than taking a bike ride with some friends. I hope everything works out.
But I do blame the bicyclist culture in Seminole County that regularly breaks traffic laws putting themselves and drivers at risk. My source of opinion is seven years of observing them every weekend.
We’re talking about groups of up to 50 or 60 bikes riding 3 or 4 wide down a busy street with no regard about the group of cars they’re holding up.
We’re talking about bicyclists that act like police convoys, regularly running red lights and stopping in front of cars to hold their hands out, so that the rest of their group can also ignore the law.
And sadly, we’re also talking about some of the worst groups of litter offenders in Seminole County. If you’re on a bike in a group and something falls, you leave it, you seldom go back for it.
Finally, these are far from humble athletes. This is an expensive sport where the driver is always at fault in their circles and they have their own attorneys to embolden them. “We have a right to be here too!” they’ll shout.
They’re right. But they abuse many of the laws that go along with it.
So, I hope everything does work out, and perhaps the state attorney can drop these charges on what from all accounts is a decent young man trying to start a life after relocating from Puerto Rico.
But it’s his older peers, that need to take a good look in the mirror and realize what kind of example their setting and what the rest of their community thinks about their behavior.