It's a nice morning, it's cool out, but not cold, the streets are quiet, all is well. I exit one of my neighborhood streets on to a local arterial and find myself behind a pod of about 6 cyclists. They were either college or high school kids. They stood out to me a bit because they were all wearing helmets, which is pretty rare with anyone younger than me.
So I'm behind them thinking to myself, God I love this town! Look at all these bikes on the road! This is great. Then all 6 of them run a 4 way stop taking the right of way from 2 cars that were there before them. I now define this as a critical ass ride.
This is why no drivers trust me to not be a douche in intersections. This is why I have to wave them through in order to encourage them to properly take their right of way.
So I proceed on my way, a bit less enthused about all the bikes on the road than before and I pull up behind another cyclist at the stop light. Something is strange about him, because he's dragging his feet.
Turns out, this guy rigged his bike as a single speed but not a fixie. He basically did the poor man's single speed by ripping off his derailleurs, selecting a gear, and cutting his chain to fit. Wait for it.. he also removed all his brakes.
Now if you are running a fixed gear (eg. you can't coast and every pedal rotation directly relates to a wheel rotation) you can effectively brake using only backpedaling pressure on your bike. (with lots of practice)
This guy didn't have that either. He was literally riding a bike with no brakes in traffic, and apparently dragging his feet on the ground when things got rough.
I weep for my species.