Marx wrote:The Hell Ride is great. World reknowned & in some respects a tourist attraction. It encourages a healthy lifstyle & the only opposition I hear from it are from NIMBs (which is something you get from just about every type of sporting or entertainment attraction you can think of).
I'm not sure running red lights at high speed would be considered a "healthy lifestyle" and whilst it may be world reknowned, it may not be for all the right reasons.
I appreciate there are riders out on Beach Rd that are doing the right thing but reading that large groups of riders are running red lights, passing slower riders like they're holding up traffic (traffic being the faster riders), and even riding on the wrong side of the road to pass "slower" fast riders is absurd.
I know that Beach Rd is a mecca for cycling and I have ridden this way a few times and the number of traffic lights etc can be a pain - but if you choose to ride this location you should be prepared to put up with the lights and obey the road rules. I am surprised the Council and/or Police haven't tried to do anything about this (though they may have and I just don't know about it - I am not a local).
It is annoying that as cyclists we get a hard time from other road users about being on the road and the moment someone does the wrong thing cyclists in general are seen as the bad guys - not the individual or individuals doing the wrong thing.
It also doesn't help that the road infrastructure hasn't really been designed with cycling in mind (other than perhaps some cycle lanes here and there).
Traffic lights don't pick up a waiting cyclist at the line and most dedicated cycle lanes come to an end at most roundabouts, but resume from the exit of the roundabout.
Whilst having a dedicated lane within a roundabout doesn't really make it any safer for the cyclists, it may mean that some drivers respect that a cyclist is riding in "their lane" as they go through the roundabout instead of getting upset that we're slowing them down and taking up the lane (which we often need to do in order to stay safe).
A very complex issue, which I don't think will see a great deal of improvement in this country anytime soon....
None of this however condones a group of cyclists using public roads as their own raceway (unless these roads have been closed to the public for said event).