|Me and My Ford Ranger|
See, I don't always wear my Stretchy Pants &
I do drive a Motor Vehicle
I would like to point out that I could say the same thing about school systems for the same reason,,, but I do agree that bike lanes are a waste of money here in Indiana because we already have laws in place that make them unnecessary - but that will be the subject of another blog.
I would like to point out that my groups ride primarily in rural areas (We do frequently have to ride out of more populated areas to get to less traveled parts of the country. This is mostly due to parking issues) Incidents with motorists (i.e people yelling at us to get on the sidewalk - not legal or safe in most municipalities - swerving at us, laying on the horn, waving at us with one finger, etc.... ) tend to happen no matter where we are and are in the minority. But that does not excuse the behavior of that lower crust of society, particularly when it occasionally puts my riders in danger. Surprisingly a lot of Motorcyclists seem to be in this group. Many people don't seem to realize that all of us on "bicycles" in our tight clothing also drive cars and some of us ride motorcycles as well.
Todays subject is unsafe behaviors by motor vehicles. One of the unsafe behaviors that we frequently observe is passing when it is not safe to pass. For example on blind curves, double yellow lines, with vehicles approaching (I particularly do not want to share the lane when the passing vehicle is having to negotiate both myself and oncoming traffic - formula for me to get hurt)
Just last week, I had a young driver (whose father obviously was instructing) pass me on a double yellow (it was a safe enough area, but he cut in before he was clear of me and nearly took me down) Way to go dad!
The following incident happened last month to a friend of mine on a rural road out near Coatsville, IN (you can see the area in question on google maps at https://goo.gl/maps/vzloj )
- The lack of interest/response by law enforcement - they could have at least pretended that they cared - they could have at least given the alleged offender a strong talking to or lacking that gumption, sent him a strongly worded email.
- The fact that law enforcement in this case seemed more concerned with property damage than a threat to life a limb
- This particular deputy's obvious disregard of the fact that the "10 year old" was supervised by an adult and the fact that Father and Son were acting safely within the law, while the motorist in question was doing neither. I could make the case that it is not safe for a 10 year old to be riding in a care on "Heritage Lake Drive" when there is the risk of being run off the road by oncoming traffic. Seriously? This woman works security for this community? Again, at least act like you care instead of trying to ignore the issue and put in lame opinions.
- Riding the wrong direction as if you are a pedestrian. This is extremely unsafe as walkers and runners can easily step off the road as a car approaches, but especially when there is a curb, this is not practical for a cyclist, it is a very dangerous practice and illegal.
- Running stop signs, I understand the urge to roll a stop sign and conserve momentumm, but we are doing this for fitness as well as fun so at least put your foot down. I see plenty of cars roll stop signs as well but that does not make it safe.
- Riding unpredictably in general. I see cyclists riding around bike trails (not on but in the street on the wrong side looking like they are going to get on a trail only to swerve away at the last instant! What's up with that?
In my opinion, cyclists who ride safely and are extra alert for faux paux by motor vehicles avoid a lot of grief, but can only account so much for their safety when motor vehicles pull dangerous and illegal stunts.
What is the answer to all this? Education!
Put the effort into educating motorists and cyclists alike as to what is legal and acceptable behavior and I believe we will not only have safer highways for cyclists but for everyone who uses them.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages all road users, including motorists and bicyclists, to respect each other and foster a safer transportation environment. Bicycles on the roadway are, by law, vehicles with the same rights, and responsibilities as motorized vehicles.
Be nice to each other :)
Until next time,
Happy trails and safe riding!
- Why greenway trails and bike lanes are not the answer in my next segment
- What is average?
- 3 for 3 don'ts
and much more
Got a topic you have questions about, send me a message or post in comments and I will do my best to give you a solid answer