Yes, We have to share..
I am a bicyclist and have been for the past 7 years, averaging 1,300 miles per year on the peddles. And since Spring is here I figured I can give you my thoughts on sharing the road with cars..
“Get off the Road, use the Sidewalk!”
That is the voice of a driver I witnessed who was trying to edge the bicyclist off the road with his car. Sadly he did not read page 89 in the NYS Drivers Manual and does not understand that even when we’ve grown out of the toddler stage we must share. Not only for the cyclist life, but also his own life who he is putting at stake. It’s easy not to care if we have not been put in their perilous position. We often do not think of the risk we pose to others when not sharing the road. We must understand their needs as much as our own for everyone to arrive at their destination safely.
If you were a bicyclist..
You do not and would not have the protection that the car has to provide, you are on two tires and must swerve suddenly or change your speed to avoid hazards. The right side of the road often contains hazards that will flatten your tire, you are not as visible as a car, the speed of the passing vehicle may cause you to lose control. If you happen to be hit by a car your injuries are going to be far more worse than anyone in a car with 4 walls surrounding them. When you see a bicyclist make sure you are thinking of their lives as well as yours, or even put yourself in your shoes if that makes you more aware of the dangers.
Understanding these Risks can give the driver wisdom in how to reduce the risk of cyclist with whom we share the road. Slow down and move over as far as you can when approaching a cyclist, their life is no less valuable than yours! What if you were on that bike? Make sure you give them space!!
I know firsthand and have seen much aggression, weather I’m driving a vehicle or on a bicycle. You should never be side by side, which should be common sense, but people don’t always use their heads. Drivers who are non-cyclist do not always realize the issues and dangers on the shoulder or even next to the fog line. There are holes, and huge cracks that are sometimes 1-2” and are very common and pose risks for the bikers balance. Many times vehicles tend to crowd the bicyclist off the road which isn’t good for either party. Cyclist are expecting vehicles to only pass when they can do so in a safe manner. Vehicles are allowed to cross the yellow line when it comes to cyclist, people and authority figures on the shoulder, it is actually now a law “The Move Over Law.” We need to be more aware, safer and make sure we are sharing, people’s lives are at risk if you are not doing so. STAY SAFE PLEASE.
Look before turns and moving in all directions, don’t forget to always check your blind spots. Bicyclist are allowed to share the road with vehicles and are supposed to obey traffic devices. You should understand the meaning of hand signals, which are their means of communication on the road.
Be Smart. Driving is never “All about me.” Let us all enjoy the journey, see you out there!!