This won’t be a ridiculous treehugger post where we equate vehicles to pistols or rifles, because that’s silly, and only alienates participants of an important discussion.
Let’s face it, there’s a lot of angst out there about cyclists and their use of the road, and it’s building to a crescendo because cycling is growing in popularity again, or remains popular. It’s like going for a walk. Without the trouble of walking, is several times faster, and you get to buy a toy! You haven’t seen anything yet – wait until autonomous cars come along and the car automatically treats cyclists right! Then you’re going to see some anger.
I would like to make a few points about our equal right to the road:
- Do you really believe we have a desire to be on the same road surface with a person who is angered to a point of being willing to assault one of us, because they’re held up by 20 seconds waiting to safely pass us? Really?
- Yelling at us, revving your engine, and honking won’t work, not as much as you wish it would. We regularly hear of friends being picked out of a motorist’s grill and we still choose to ride. Your acting petulant isn’t going to have the affect you think it will.
- I’m not about to hang up my super-bike because you get a little pissy about cyclists. We are faster than most farm equipment and take up a fraction of the space and nobody would argue that farm equipment should be banned from roads.
- Here’s the important point though: Your anger is misplaced. You don’t want us on the road surface proper and we certainly don’t want to be there with you either! In my home State a past liberal Governor promised a three foot shoulder on every new road built. That never happened (though many roads in the north end of the State did get them). With a decent shoulder, do you think we would opt to ride on the road surface? It’d be a rare day and a big group that would get us anywhere near the road surface. Don’t be angry with us, simply because we’re trying to stay fit, be angry at your State and local politicians who keep us on the road surface. It’s their fault.
- Let’s look at another: You’re angry because you see a Cyclist in the middle of the lane, dodging potholes? I guaran-damn-tee you I didn’t cause the potholes with my bicycle, nor is it my fault the road is in shambles. We pick the least-traveled roads we can to get us to where we want to go…. We don’t want to see you anymore than you want to see us. It’s your local politician who has a responsibility to get the roads fixed. While they’re at it, lobby for a rideable shoulder too!
- Last point, you’re not really angry with us when you think about it, you’re angry with your local political system for not adding shoulders and for not keeping up on road repair. Take your angst out on someone who actually cares, because it isn’t that cyclist you see on the road every now and again. They’re just trying to live a happy, fit life.
- As a capper to this post, this last point: Cyclists aren’t from one party or another. We encompass all political ideologies. If you’re a Republican cyclist hater, chances are you’re buzzing a Republican cyclist, not an ignorant treehugger. If you’re a Democrat cyclist hater, you’re probably buzzing a treehugger, not some racist conservative. One thing is for certain, if you’re buzzing cyclists you’re the jerk and if you just happen to buzz one of us who has a camera on their bike or person (increasingly common nowadays), you just might wind up in jail where you belong.