Metropolis

In Defense of “Shoaling”

Bike snobs hate it. It’s also necessary.

The Spokes Man is Slate’s biking advice series featuring Henry Grabar on the dilemmas of urban bikers.

Like a branch reaching for sunlight, bike riders at a red light will creep steadily forward until they are waiting right in the middle of the intersection—blocking pedestrians and cutting off other bikers in the process. The practice is hated by bike snobs, who’ve termed it “shoaling.”

Is it really rude to other bikers who arrived at the light before you, not to mention pedestrians in the crosswalk? The Spokes Man assess in this episode.