Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sharing the Road

Wow! Perhaps it's the time of year. Bikes are everywhere! Yesterday on the bike ride home from the office, I took my normal short jaunt along the Greenbelt. It's a detour that's normally worth the extra distance because it puts me away from noisy heavy traffic. But yesterday it was like Rush Hour Downtown! Heavy bike traffic in both directions, merging from the side paths. Lots of casual cyclists who aren't paying enough attention for the circumstances.

Bikes are in the news.

There's a story on SLC's Deseret News website today: "Sharing the road with bicycles." (Click HERE to read.)

It's about Dwight Butler's near-disaster when his bicycle and an automobile collided at an intersection, and how his helmet saved his bacon... or at least his brain. (His bacon was apparently skinned up.)

Dwight owns a bike store - Wasatch Touring - and apparently is an avid cyclist. But according to the article, he "usually rides on the sidewalk."

What's with that?

As of this moment, 56 comments have been posted. And, based on the comments, I'm thinking that bike transportation in Boise is perhaps more cordial than in Salt Lake City, or Provo.

It's hard to believe that anybody would prefer to live in a place where the streets are so dangerous it's both unsafe AND illegal to ride a bike on those streets! Yet some people don't hesitate to say bikes don't belong.

Yep - bicyclists and motorists. Hatfields and McCoys. "Yanks" and "Johnny Rebs." Catholics and Protestants. Rush ditto-heads and Obamalamaloids. Muslims and Jews. Never the twain shall meet. (Or perhaps, as I suspicion, the worldwide web is just a particularly uncivil place. But then... the "mean streets" can be uncivil places, too.)

I sincerely hope that my riding practices aren't often the source of all that motorist frustration and hostility... or the "focus" of their anger.


Anonymous said...

Too many bicyclists ride irresponsibly, and I for one am not going to swerve to avoid hitting you - thus putting untold others at risk of injury or death - because you are too foolish to ride properly.

I WILL feel bad for you when they pull your twisted, bloody body out from under my vehicle.

I WILL cry for your friends and family.

And then, I WILL get over it, because it was YOUR fault.

Bikeboy said...

Sorry to have to tell you, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous... but you have NO BUSINESS on public roads!

I for one am not going to swerve to avoid hitting you... (ostensibly because you're worried about the "untold others" you might endanger)

I mostly bicycle, but I also ride a motorcycle, and to a much lesser degree, drive a car.

Almost every day, I have to compensate for careless and/or unlawful vehicle operation. Granted, the stakes are much higher when I'm on my bike. But I can't imagine having an attitude that if somebody else does something improper, they deserve to pay with their life under my wheels. (That is borderline psychotic.) I will do anything in my power to avoid an accident, no matter who's at fault, or which person is driving the biggest vehicle.

40+ years of 2-wheel riding has taught me to be aware of what's happening ahead, and to the right and left, and from behind... so I can hopefully have an escape route for 'most any situation.

Suggestion... hang up the keys.