I wasn’t planning on posting today, but a Facebook thread that was brought to my attention by my wife made me want to express my feelings on the subject in a venue where I wouldn’t be getting into a war.
The question was posted by one of our neighbors about why cyclists “insist on riding right on the white line… when you have plenty of room to your right?” I understand this is a perfectly valid question, especially for a “non-cyclist” Most of the responses were constructive and informative – especially from those who are cyclists. They explained that we actually have a legal right to ride in the lane (Utah Traffic Code 41-6a-1105), and that all of the road debris ends up on the right side of the white line, and much of that has the potential to cause flats for us cyclists.
Then you have those people who have to post comments which are neither helpful or constructive. Comments such as how cyclists give them a dirty look when they pass too close, or how they feel like “reaching out the window and getting there attention by smacking em on the but…”
Comments like that are what cause my blood pressure to spike, and foster the urge to write not nice things.
I know I’m preaching to the choir, but seriously?!? Are people that stupid? You wonder why we shoot you a dirty look when you pass us with mere inches between the mirror to your soccer-mom-mobile, or your oversized "I'm compesating for something" redneck truck and our shoulders? You do realize who will win in a confrontation between your mobile zoo and us on our bicycles? Is a scratch in your paint worth more than our lives?
And do I need to even say how extremely pissed I will be if I am *EVER* touched by someone in a passing car while I am out riding. If I don’t go down because of the ass-smacking – which is very possible and likely, you better hope I never, ever find you. Aside from being extremely dangerous, unless you have unnaturally long arms, you’re violating the 3-foot-law, and my personal space.
I spent the weekend up in Cache county riding 11+ hours over 175 miles between two states with approximately 2500 of my closest friends and I only heard a car horn once – and that wasn’t even in anger, it was more to say “hey, I’m here and you are about to do something potentially dumb” (towards another cyclist, not me). And, yes, I do admit that we as cyclists are not above doing stupid things.
I sincerely hope the originator of the Facebook post came away from the conversation with a better understanding, and I hope he, and everyone else realizes that the 30 seconds of delay that we may cause you isn’t worth our lives. We’re not obstacles between you and wherever you feel you need to be in such a hurry, and we’re not bicycles. We’re people.