Monday, August 25, 2014


     Those of us who can handle our bikes with some degree of proficiency are sometimes annoyed by motorists who are overly cautious, to the extent they lurk behind and refuse to pass us on a road, even if there is no opposing traffic.  On several occasions I have had to stop, dismount, and move off the asphalt before they would go by.  I used to wish they would just drive their car and not worry about me.  But as I've gotten older (don't like the word "mature"), I refuse to let these folks get to me.  After all, I haven't been in their shoes, plus there are many cyclists who are unable to hold a straight line and wobble in the road and the driver may not have evaluated my abilities.  I'm all for drivers being as cautious as they feel necessary.  This is juxtaposed to those drivers who are so confident that they don't mind seeing how close they can get their mirrors to my ear.  Those folks still annoy (actually, incense) me.
     This subject comes to mind because of an incident yesterday, which I will relate as told to me, because I was a little bit down the road and not an actual witness.  It seems our group was at the side of a busy highway (65 mph speed limit), waiting for traffic to clear so they could safely cross to the other side and continue our 40 mile ride.  Two cars topped the rise and approached the place where our group gathered.  The first car apparently reduced speed (I assume did not brake thus turning on the brake lights) but the second car did not.  The result was a horrific rear-end collision, with parts flying everywhere.  The fire department was a block away and an ambulance was immediately on the scene; I was told there were no serious injuries, the air bags worked.
     Those who hate cyclists will irrationally blame us just for being there.  And, truthfully, we all feel badly about what happened.  But had the first driver not worried about us and continued on, the accident probably wouldn't have happened.  And, of course, the second driver bears all the responsibility because he/she wasn't paying enough attention to what was going on in front of him.
     Anytime we cycle with vehicles, it is incumbent upon us to not give ANY indication that we don't know what we are doing.  Hold your line steady; make no sudden, unexpected moves; be respectful of vehicles and drivers (even if they sometimes don't deserve it).  Don't YOU be the excuse somebody uses as the cause of an accident.

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