More On Sharing The Road
Since my post last Friday night on sharing the road, I’ve seen several more things pop up on my facebook and twitter feeds relating to this topic, so I thought I’d follow up.
First, Dirk Friel of TrainingPeaks posted this video about his run in with a person who seemed rather upset that there were bikes on the road. More info is in the video descriptions, but they got the license plate and the State Police is now involved, as others apparently have had issues with this person.
It is a shame when drivers go out of their way to try to make a statement (what that statement it, I’m not sure) to cyclists and end up causing a dangerous traffic situation themselves.
Then I saw this article from the Washington Post: What drivers should know about sharing the road with bicyclists and vice versa.
Some VERY good points in that article – everyone should read it. If everyone just followed those guidelines, which are very simple, then all would be peaceful. Here are a couple of my favorites.
“Take the lane when you stop at a light or for a stop sign. Hugging the curb invites a car or truck to snug up against you, and that can be trouble when you both roll forward. The right hook — when a driver turns right and hits a cyclist who is going straight — is one of the most common crashes. Take charge of the right lane and pull off to the side after the light turns green.”
I don’t always take the lane unless I’m in a big group. It makes sense that you would be more likely to be seen by stopping in the middle, then pulling over.
And here’s another one I believe in:
Music may be your life, it may be the grease with which you glide from day to day, but it also may be your death when those earbuds drown out that delivery van. No, listening to music with one ear and for traffic with the other is not acceptable.
It would be great if every street had a bike lane and every road had a wide shoulder, but they don’t. Even when they do, there are things that you might not notice that push cyclists into the traffic lane. It’s stuff you roll over — potholes, sewer grates, pavement cracks, branches, broken glass, junk that falls off cars or out of trucks and the McDonald’s bag somebody tossed out the window.
Roads aren’t always clean, and while I will stay as far right as possible, if there is crap in the bike lane, I’m not going to ride over it. But I will stay as far right as safely possible.
And one more related to the video above:
Don’t count on a cyclist to hear your car coming from behind. A rider is hearing a lot more noise than you are inside the car with the windows rolled up. And some foolishly listen to music while they ride. But don’t lean on the horn.
The word is SHARE the road for a reason, and it goes both ways. Cyclists and drivers need to be aware of the rules of the road. It’s as easy as following the rules and laws for safer roads for all.