Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rules of the Road

It always amazes me how inconsiderate some drivers are. When I go cycling to train for my triathlon, I normally bike on roads with the cars. I have to do this to be able to get my mileage in. If I stayed in my neighborhood, I would only be able to get a mile in! When I do bike, I try to wear bright colors (think hot pink or neon green) and I even use my fancy hand signals along with making eye contact with drivers. Still, many try to just ignore me.

What irritates me most is when a driver passes me and it's as if they get closer to the shoulder and the speed up. There have been some times when I was pretty scared as some large SUV sped past me. It especially eats me up when there is no one coming in the other lane and the driver passing my doesn't move over.

I also love it when people yell at me to get off the road and onto the sidewalk because "I'm not a car." Actually, it's illegal for a cyclist to be on the sidewalks and a bike is considered a moving vehicle. I know, I'm just inconveniencing the masses by my traveling in the shoulder.

Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of nice, considerate drivers out there who let me get into the lane that I need to get into or let me go before pulling out onto the main road (Thank you!). Some people don't look when they pull into an intersection (or don't stop at the stop sign) and thereby almost run me over when I have the right of way. It would be on thing if I was travelling slowly, but I tend to ride between 15-20 MPH and for me, stopping takes longer.

I guess my point is that we should all be a little more considerate to riders and even joggers and walkers. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here, but being surrounded by 3000 pound boxes of steel while on a 10 pound bicycle is pretty intimidating. And really, I'm just trying to get a good workout, not piss you off.

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