Is it arrogance, inexperience, or stupidity that makes some cyclists so careless?

16 Aug

Yesterday two cyclists ahead were pedaling along in the right-hand bike lane  at a good clip. Coming up behind I got ready to cautiously pass on their left. I take others’ safety very seriously, and I am very aware of the vulnerability of those on the roads who have no steel exoskeleton. Getting hit by a careless driver’s suddenly opened door was enough to emphasize that vulnerability.

Suddenly the foremost cyclist signaled left and immediately crossed my path to the left turning lane. Arghh! I would have hit him if I had already accelerated to the speed limit to pass! I hesitated in case the second biker did the same thing, but he was wiser and looked first to see what I was doing, signaled, looked again, and then crossed over as I waited for him. What was the difference between these two drivers? What was the first one thinking?

I hail the bike commuting revolution, commuted on my bike for years, and agree that automobile drivers need to share the road. But the way some cyclists behave on the roads, I’m afraid of what could happen to them when my sixteen year old son and other drivers in training encounter them pedaling around as if the road belongs to them. And, frankly, what can happen to the person behind the wheel who is held responsible for hitting a biker. And then there are the drivers who periodically lose their wits to anger when other travelers aren’t careful or courteous. There’s a huge difference between the risk of hitting another automobile and hitting a cyclist–namely possible injury and possible death, and cyclists ought to remember they are sharing the road with many less than ideal motorists. Cyclists, keep your lives in your own hands as much as you can–drive defensively!

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Posted by on August 16, 2012 in Places & Experiences


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