Most of you know Kathy and I are cyclists. I know there are people out there who dislike bike riders, especially the ones who seem to hog the road.
Cyclists can be rather snotty I understand that. But both drivers and cyclists really need to learn to pay attention, understand the laws and give each other a break.
I get just as upset as you do when I see the cyclists who ride down the wrong lane, on the curb, or fail to obey traffic laws.
But those people are not the folks I’m talking about in this blog. I’m talking about those of us who ride on the open road and abide by the rules of the road. If you don’t know the difference learn it. That’s like me saying all drivers are rude to cyclist, that’s simply not true but a growing number of drivers are becoming rather hostile on the road and to be honest it scares me.
I’m not going to stop riding my bike and I don’t expect you to stop driving your car but I do expect respect for me, my wife, the other riders out there, other motorist and the law.
We went on a ride on Sunday along the Oregon Coast and experienced the nastiest drivers I think we’ve ever ridden with. (But I’ve experienced them here as well.)
They were passing on corners, endangering other motorists, themselves and us.
Let me explain a couple of things: A bike is to be in the bike lane if riding in that lane is not hazardous.
WHAT YOU DON”T SEE FROM YOUR CAR
Often times bike lanes are full of junk, debris and large rocks. If there is no bike lane bikes have access to the traffic lane and motorist are not to pass if passings endangers the bike rider. In some states that means if your car is close enough that if I lose control on my bike and you hit me, you are breaking the law.
ARE YOU REALLY IN THAT BIG OF A HURRY?
We experienced drivers passing within inches of our bikes. We felt trucks with trailers (motor homes) wisp past us leaving literally inches between our back tires and their bumpers.
We watched drivers pass when there were yellow lines on our side of the road and as they’d pass would cut in real close to make a point. Many added a honk and still others, the really intelligent ones flip you off and some spit at you. Yes, these are adults.
We saw one guy pass us, forcing a car coming the other direction, to move into the ditch to avoid getting hit.
I DO PAY TAXES!
Please motorists don’t start in with the lame excuses that cyclists don’t pay taxes. I drive, I use my fair share of gas, I pay gas taxes, property taxes and business and income taxes. I’m as taxed as you and besides this is not a tax issue this is an issue of safety, kindness, sharing the road and following THE LAW.
Go back and look at the picture I posted up top. That is the shoulder we experience on may roads in Oregon and with budget cuts road conditions are getting worse. We can’t always ride in the shoulder because THERE ISN”T ONE. And for those who say we shouldn’t be on the road, we’ll guess what, you are wrong. We are here and we are here to stay. You will be seeing more of us so you might at as well work with us rather than try to kill us.
SOMETIMES WE DO RIDE OUT IN THE ROAD TO PROTECT OURSELVES
Cyclists are not asking for special treatment but the law says “share” and that’s what we need to do.
Why are you in such a darn hurry anyway? What will you feel like when you cause an accident killing you, your family someone else’s family and a couple of people on bikes?
Sharing is a concept we all understand but apparently some of us don’t like to put into practice.
Once at the swimming pool I asked a grown man if he would share his lane in the pool. The man turned to me and said: “I don’t like to share.” I turned back to him and said: “Neither did I and then I turned three years old.” At that point I jumped in the pool.
Come on guys give us a break. Use yours, slow down, wait to pass until it’s safe and stop acting like cyclists are the enemy. Learn to share the road it is the law.