Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A road less traveled......


That is how I relate a car versus a cyclist. It isn't fair. A car operated by a single person can endanger the lives of countless cyclists...who have no chance at protection when a car comes from behind.

A group of people I know was mowed down like bowling pins last week. 5 innocent people were killed. 4 more lives nearly taken. All this by a single person in a truck. Last night a large group of cyclists finished the ride these 9 people started a week ago.

Last night....Chelle sends me a text asking it she was out of line with a post in response to someone calling out "asshole cyclists". The original post was ignorant. The person posting stated "these cyclists need to go to school to learn the rules of the road". This person also lumped all cyclists in to the "asshole" category. First a driver of a car....I know the rules of the road....and I know that cyclists....bicycles....have the same rights on the roads as other and motorcycles. How stupid is a person to think that because someone is on a bike that they don't know the rules of the road. Well, apparently stupid enough to not understand the rules of the road themselves.

Don't get me wrong....."people" make mistakes. Whether these people are on a bike or in a car. A friend made a mistake last year on his bicycle....he is now gone. His fault. The 9 people on their bicycles last week did nothing wrong....and 5 of them are gone. Not their fault.

So where does the blame lie. I guess it depends on whether you are a cyclist or a driver. But keep this in mind...most cyclists are drivers....but not all drivers are cyclists. The blame will be passed to the other category every time a tragedy happens. This saddens me. The cycling community gets a huge target on their backs any time someone effects the life of a driver. How? Well....lets think about it.....

Last night some dumb kid on a bike swerved in front of a car....nearly causing an accident. 10 minutes later an adult on a bike caused another incident with the same driver. Immediately in the eyes of this driver all people on bicycles are "asshole cyclists". So this driver.....maybe having a bad day a few weeks later.....sees me on my bike.....lumps me into that asshole category....and decides to take action.....drives super close and pushes me off the road and into the ditch.....or worse. The driver posts about asshole cyclists. The guy on the bike posts about asshole drivers. The wheels....go round and round.

I don't want to be a headline caused by the mistakes of other cyclists. I also don't want to be the reason someone posts about some "asshole on a bike" that wasn't following the rules. But, I do think the rules need to be cars....and bikes. The people I ride with know the rules...and follow these rules because we understand that a tangle with a motor vehicle isn't something we want to attempt. My question motor vehicle operators know the rules of the road? Do they know that bikes have every right to ride 2 abreast in the road?

If you cannot slow down for a group of people....and you complain that they are making you late...maybe you should leave earlier. What if there was a tractor blocking your way? Would you plow through the tractor.....or would you complain about how they take up the whole road?

Bottom line....cyclists are people. Co-workers, moms, dads, grandparents, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, doctors, probation officers, janitors, tax payers.....politicians.....

To drivers: Next time you see a cyclist....slow down....give room.....picture this person as your your your significant other.....

To cyclists: obey the rules. Don't give drivers a reason to lump us all into the "asshole" category. Ride safe. Ride smart. 

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