My wife and I both ride bikes, as do most of our friends. We ride them to work and we ride them for exercise and fun. When we are riding on the street we always obey the rules of the road. We are courteous, friendly and very aware of the traffic around us. When I’m riding to work on my bike I’m saving gas, staying fit and reducing traffic. Traffic is made of cars. Cars are traffic. Not bikes.
On a bicycle I am easily passed by anyone driving a car. That driver may have to wait one or two seconds to pass me safely but ultimately I am not going to cause that driver any delay at all. The cars ahead of them might, but my bicycle and I won’t. That driver is not going to be late for work because I’m on my bike. Nobody has ever said to his or her boss, “Sorry I’m late, this cyclist was just awful this morning, he delayed me for half an hour.”
The Greenway alone sees 5000 cyclists per day. That’s a lot of cars off the road and I think it could be a powerful message if delivered the right way.
The rage, the name-calling and the threat of violence that is sometimes directed at me from a driver is completely disproportionate, inappropriate and in some cases, very scary.
More and more people are taking to bikes in large cities around this country to get to work and other places. How long before we can do so without fearing misdirected anger from drivers? Share this and let’s politely remind them that cyclists are not traffic. Cars are. Sure there’s some bad apples out there on bikes but overwhelmingly cyclists are good people from all walks of life. Your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers all ride bikes and we take cars off the streets when we do.
I want to live in a city where I know my wife will be safe when she rides to work. We’re not quite there yet.