Sunday, December 16, 2007

Share the Road II

Check these out. If we don't speak up when we are put in danger, who will?

Velonews, Risks of Riding
Bicycling, Broken

I never got a reply to the email I sent to Allen's about nearly being hit by one of their tractor trailers. I guess they either just don't care or are too busy to worry about it. I posted the email in Bicycling's forum, and it is below.

I feel that I must relay to you an encounter I had with one of your tractor trailers between 1:00 and 1:30 in the afternoon on Sunday, December 9, 2007. First, let me say that I am one of many bicyclists in this community and ride nearly four thousand miles each year on the roads in and around Liberty and Staley. I fully realize that each time I ride I am putting my life in the hands of total strangers. I trust them to be sober, I trust them to be paying attention and see me, I trust them to afford me the same respect they give any other vehicle using the public roads. In short I trust them not to endanger my life, not to kill or maim me. Sometimes my life is put in danger, most times I think it is not intentional, but once in a while it is. In any encounter with a motor vehicle, I will come out the loser.

On December 9th I was riding on Rt. 49, just north of Liberty . I had come out of Hinshaw Shop Road as was heading toward Liberty . As you may be aware, this portion of road is straight for a long way with very good visibility. I could hear a vehicle approaching me from behind, and from the sound, it never slowed. I was also aware from the sound that it probably was a large truck. At the same time, another vehicle (an SUV) was coming toward me in the other lane. When the truck got to me, it moved slightly into the other lane, endangering the approaching SUV, and then quickly moved back into the correct lane. Although the tractor portion of the truck cleared me, the gap between the trailer and edge of the road was disappearing and I had no choice but to ride off the road and onto the shoulder in order to avoid being run over. I was, at that point going nearly twenty miles per hour, and was either skillful or lucky enough to keep control of my bike. Falling would most likely have put me under the wheels of the trailer. Your trailer. I did not get the license number of the truck, but I did note the Allen’s logo on it.

I am letting you know about this in the hopes that you might take the time to educate your drivers about bicycles, their legal right to use the roads and stress the responsibilities your drivers have to afford them, and really all other vehicles using the roads, the utmost respect. It wasn’t a bicycle that your driver almost hit. It was a person. It wasn’t an SUV that your driver almost hit head on (the SUV did, in fact have to take evasive action to avoid being hit as well) it was an SUV full of people.

I hope you will do your part in helping to make the roads safer for everyone

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