A friend of mine posted a comment on facebook about cycling and cars. The conversation was a poignant reminder that there are people – possibly even in my own network of friends and family – who think cyclists should not be on the road, and are not willing to be safe and give them room because they don’t want to be inconvenienced. I feel extremely lucky to live in a state that has biker friendly roads. For the most part anyway, I feel safe riding my bicycle as long as I avoid rush hour traffic times, and as long as I stay on the alert. Part of staying alert is following the tips outlined on this website:
Anyone who rides a road bikes needs to read that website. Here is the link again:
My closest call was a Left Cross. I was at the end of a long four hour ride, and was very tired and dehydrated. So, my alertness factor was way down. I generally follow the rules for avoiding a left hook by watching for it, making eye contact with driver, waving to get their attention – and if I don’t get their attention, I slow down and prepare to stop. That day, I was not on the alert, and an old lady almost ran me over. Luckily I saw it in time and swerved. At the same time she also saw me and hit her brakes. My lucky day.
The other risky scenario that I encounter is trucks out by Jordan Lake trailing a big boat. Even if the driver is being respectful and giving me lots of room, they sometimes don’t realize how big their boat is and swerve back over too soon. I try to avoid Jordan lake at the afternoon hours on weekends for this reason. I wrote about this four years ago here:
Lastly, when drivers are nice to me and slow down and leave lots of room, I smile and wave. I never know if they see me, but I hope they do. Conversely, when drivers are rude, sometimes I flip them off. I try not to, because I know that will only justify their unsafe behavior in their mind because I am a cyclists being a jerk. Sometimes I can’t resist the temptation.
What do you do when drivers pass at full speed without leaving you any extra room? Or when they pull a right hook on you?