Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Share The Road . . .

. . .not just in May because it's National Bike Month in the US (Who knew?) but all year long.  And the doesn't just mean with cyclists either.  Bikers (Motorcycles) and Pedestrians have a right to be there as do joggers and cars.

I've been reading articles about the subject as I'm about to head out and start riding on the roads too.  Well as soon as my helmet and gloves get here Thursday I will.  It's something I've always been careful about, then again I'm very careful when in the car in general.  Which I suppose is why I've managed to avoid getting tickets for so many years.  Then again I'm the brunt of jokes because I'm told I drive like the proverbial little old lady from Pasadena.  I think it has as much to do with not wanting to being in a rush, as it does with obeying the law.  I'm allergic to rushing.  Really, I'll break out in a rash.

Anyway, rushing not withstanding, it's as much about respect as it is about safety, and does have to do with rushing as well as law.  And not just with cyclists.  Bike riders are every bit as much in danger as cyclists and for the same reasons.  People who drive cars think they OWN the road.  In fact KTAR-FM guest host on an Arizona radio station said:

"The roads were made for cars. And bicyclists share the road, but sometimes they think they own the road."

The historical reality is that roads as we know them today started out because of wait for it... Cyclists!  Back before cars even existed dirt roads were fine for horse drawn vehicles.  Riding bikes however on dirt roads, especially in the rain?  Not such a good plan.  Cobblestones gave way to asphalt and or concrete.  Mind you it wasn't the only reason, but it was one of the reasons, and cars didn't even exist yet.  It started in Europe long, long before here.

And the irony?  Horses don't like cyclists!  Why?  Because they dart in and out, don't follow the rules, have no respect for horses...  Sound familiar?

So not only is the claim roads were created for cars ignorant, it's also historically inaccurate.

So we have that.

There is also the fact that trucks have no respect for cars, and so on.  Folks claim size matters, and it an age old problem, and it's not just limited to cars and two wheelers.  Respect is in great demand and amazingly short supply, and the supply is getting shorter. 

And the law, doesn't really care.  As a cyclist I can be arrested for DWI on a bike and it will carry the same impact on my license as if I was driving a car.  And of course don't even get me started on big rigs.  We all have to follow the same laws.

So let's ALL share the roads.  Drive defensively, consider everyone as you do regardless of what you drive.  And please keep in mind if your big rigs hits one of our "four wheelers" airbags aren't going to save us.  If your driving a four wheel vehicles, please keep in mind we don't have airbags to say the very least.

So everyone be more careful, more respectful of anyone you share the roads with.

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