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Wednesday, May 26

share the road

it's pretty rare for me to get on my soap box and rant about anything, but.... i want to talk for a moment about cycling and cyclists.

the very first time i got on my road bike i experienced the most frustrating, disheartening, and dangerous road rage that i have ever encountered. husband and i were riding single file on a small country road when a jerk of a driver got up right behind us and laid on his horn. the driver was apparently angry because we were going too slow for his taste {oh, i am so sorry my legs can't compare to your engine-generated speed} and he couldn't pass us on a double yellow line....
i get it.

i mean we all hate being stuck behind the 18-wheeler or the old man going 20 miles an hour, and being behind a cyclist is no different. i get that. but here's the thing... when this guy laid on his horn, i almost face-planted off of my bike into the pavement. which would have put me directly in the path of his vehicle. and that, my friends, would not have ended well for yours truly. it's already a bit unsettling to hear a car come up behind you when you're on a road bike, so imagine how much more startling it is to have a horn blaring in your ear.

and aside from danger factor, it's just plain rude. i have just as much right to be on the road as you do mr. automobile. and as for all of you athens kids with your "get your lance-armstrong-wanna-be-ass off my road" stickers, well, you suck.

so, the moral of the story is this:
share the road.


yeah, it's inconvenient to have to pass a cyclist, but what is the difference in that and in passing a slow-moving car? besides, cyclists just want to enjoy the outdoors, the nice weather, and get a good workout, just like the rest of us.

*EDIT: Because you all have such great comments on this post....
I completely agree with those of you who are frustrated by the cyclists speeding through red lights and not obeying traffic laws. The responsibility swings both ways here! Also, I really disagree agree with those cyclists who decide that a ride through down during rush hour on the busiest street is a good idea....

xoxo

image copyright he&her photography {athens twilight 2009}
copyright Hiking in Stilettos


8 comments:

Claire Kiefer said...

It's true. We're so hurried in this life that we can't be bothered to wait . . . although I would never, EVER honk my horn at a cyclist (actually, I never honk my horn), I've felt that frustration sometimes at being stuck behind a biker . . . but you're right! Patience and sharing and kindness! Then again, I live in San Francisco where bikers are higher-class citizens than car-drivers. :)

Slightly Undone said...

I feel ya, I've never laid on the horn but I've for sure been a douche and all road-ragey about it. In my defense, it's only when the chosen route is a two lane uber-busy road...during rush hour. :)

Valerie said...

Oh my gosh. People can be so rude! My husband was hit by a car once, seriously injured and in the hospital for 2 months, and the guy got out and said, "LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO MY CAR!" And it was absolutely the driver's fault! Can't we all share the road people? Sorry you had to deal with that!

xo
Valerie

McMel said...

you are AWESOME! my husband and his parents are serious road cyclists (my father in law bikes to work almost every day of the year- snow and all) and I myself am hoping to take up cycling this summer, but it's the other drivers who terrify me. every time my husband goes out i get all scared because people drive like idiots! one time he was riding with his parents and another drive rode by and yelled out the window "it's called a bike path!" RUDE! cyclists have just as much of a right to the road as cars! i have taken on a whole new view of cyclists since i met my husband, and seeing them on the road makes me a better driver. i wonder if that guy even thought about the repercussions before he honked at you?!

of course another thing regarding cyclists that bugs me are those who DON'T follow the rules of the road. there are so many people (at least here in Illinois) who bike w\o helmets, bike at night wearing all black and no reflectors, bike down busy highways. those people give real cyclists bad names.

preach on!

Ashley said...

i say a little prayer every time frank goes out for a bike ride...which is everyday. he's had people deliberately come at him. and has been hit by a drunk 15 year old girl coming home from the club in miami when he was out training...

slow down people. it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt...

Jinah said...

Oh my gosh, sweetie, I'm so sorry!! I have also been extremely frustrated with the rudeness of drivers lately. I am wishing and hoping I can move somewhere that is walking and public transport friendly in the future.

Maine Mummy said...

Whenever I see the share the road bumper sticker I think of the cyclists I see in town on a weekly basis who risk their lives by blasting through red lights and cutting across traffic jams. I think we all have a lot to learn. (and I wish I had the leg power for cycling!) :-)

Ace said...

I totally agree on both sides. Myself and most of my friends are avid bikers and I'm all for sharing the road. However, I'm also all for bikers obeying the rules of the road. No speeding through red lights, I don't care if no ones coming. It puts everyone at risk and scares the ever loving crap out of me. And don't worry about your soap box, I'm constantly yelling at my driving friends and my biking friends.