A video sourced from a bicycle-mounted camera recently surfaced on YouTube showing a pack of cyclists riding along Ocean Boulevard in Rye, New Hampshire, just before they raced past Rye Police Chief Kevin Walsh who was standing in the middle of the lane trying to make them stop.
At that point, we hear Walsh saying, “Pull over” while a number of cyclists were yelling expletives. Shortly after, Walsh jumps into his cruiser and blocks the road to stop the riders.
“You’re out of control,” one rider shouts to Walsh. “You could have killed somebody, standing in the middle of the road. Do you understand we can’t stop like a car?”
Welsh then tries to calm down the situation and explain to the riders that they were going too fast (29mph or about 47km/h according to the video), and occupying the entire lane, thus forcing motorists to cross into the opposite travel lane to pass them.
“You guys know, you’re experienced riders,” Walsh told them. “One of the things I ask of your groups, the group that you’ve got, break it out into five guys and stagger your start times.”
One of the riders yelled, “But we’ve got egos to prove!” causing laughter among his friends. Walsh ended up letting the bikers go with a warning.
“What they’re doing is racing,” the chief told CBS Boston. “What they’re doing is competitive bike riding. It was clear they saw there was a police officer attempting to stop them. They used inappropriate language, rode through me, I understand they can’t brake fast, they should have stopped but they didn’t, they kept on riding.”
According to a report from Seacostonline, the New Hampshire town passed a “controversial” ordinance requiring cyclists to travel single file on local roads, and while this does not apply to state roads like Ocean Boulevard, riders are required by the law to travel up to two abreast, but must form a single line to allow cars to pass when necessary.