Saturday, July 24, 2010

Troubling...

This seems to be happening far too often lately. Of course there are the usual comments of bikes not belonging on roads, and roads are made for things with motors. Well, they are not. Roads are made to facilitate travel. They are a huge network of public transport, open to whatever mode of travel the law allows. Bikes are specifically included in that.

Also troubling is the comment by the Highway Patrol officer. His statement that the bikers were riding "where they should have been, single file and on the right hand side of the road" doesn't accurately reflect the law here in NC and misleads motorists into believing bikes need to be "out of the way". Bikes here are entitled to the whole lane. Always. No exceptions. No vague "ride as far to the right as possible" like so many states. I ride about three feet into the lane because that makes me an obvious obstacle that needs to be dealt with, rather than something that can be squeezed of the road because of oncoming traffic. It doesn't always work.

I have not been riding quite as much this year due to this unbelievable heat and the poor air quality that goes with it, many days with severe thunderstorms, a back injury in June that needed to heal, and also kept me from participating in the NC State Games, so there was no third gold medal third gold medal. This year, though I have noticed far more aggressive and dangerous driving directed at me than ever before, and I am at a loss to explain why. I also see more bikes on the road, which should, in theory, lead to safer cycling as motorists become more accustomed to seeing bikes.

I still believe that some sort of public service campaign, like those that have been so successful for drunk driving and seat belt use needs to be launched, along with real enforcement and penalties for harassing, endangering, injuring, and killing cyclists (and pedestrians). It needs to be nationwide and it needs to be overwhelming in it's visibility. So, how do we do it? Maybe then the roads will become safer for what they are intended for - traveling from one place to another, however you choose to get there.

I've also had writers block, as the lack of updates shows.

Oh, I want Andy to win. Hope he's learned to time trial.

1 comment:

A Midnight Rider said...

Any new road construction in this state has to allow for bikes. All the secondary (main)roads have extra wide right hand lanes that are designed with bikes in mind.

The state highway has a bike stenciled in the right lane at every intersection signifying it's a bike lane and with a scant few exceptions, motorist have no problem sharing the road.

It's easy and a pleasure to ride around here.