What drivers need to be told!

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by greatmeadows, Apr 18, 2003.

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  1. greatmeadows

    greatmeadows New Member

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    The following letter to the editor represents my thoughts on this subject. I intend to submit it to as many local papers in my area that will print it. If you think this is a good idea and will do any good feel free to do the same. Either use my letter as is or feel free to edit in your own salient remarks on the situation.

    Gene (Taiko, bikeE NX)

    To the Editor:

    Admittedly I represent a small minority here: adults who use their bicycles for transportation, specifically commuting to and from their place of business. Let’s start with a little bit of education: bicycles like other slower moving vehicles are permitted on most state and local roads as a matter of law. The only restriction is that they obey general traffic rules and if it is safe for them to do so stay to the right so as to allow faster moving vehicles to pass.

    Riding a 30lb bicycle and competing for the same space with 3 to 6 thousand LB cars and trucks is no contest. We tend to stay to the right most of the time. However there are occasions when we need to occupy a little more space than the extreme right, (no political pun intended.)

    In order to be seen by motorists we like to ride a good 3 to 4 feet from the edge of the curb or shoulder. Using our ears and rear view mirror when a faster vehicle is approaching to pass, we usually oblige by moving over as far right as possible. Keep in mind however, we are only obligated to do so as long as it is safe for us to do so. Situations that do not spell safe are heavy sand, broken tree limbs and debris, frozen surfaces, potholes, glass and broken pavement. Under these circumstances, we try to maintain our position until it is safe for us to move right.

    Don’t make matters worse by honking or worse crowding us with 2 tons of heavy metal. 50% of the passenger cars on the road today are either SUV, s or light trucks that further exacerbate the problem by being wider than most roads were designed for. Sometimes you will need to cross the centerline in order to safely pass. If another vehicle coming in the other direction prevents that, slow down and wait until its safe to pass. Give us the same respect you would the occasional farmer moving his tractor a few miles up the road at his max speed of 15 miles/hour.

    Many of you may feel that bike riding with traffic is not safe even if it is legal. That’s surely a defensible opinion, but think a bit further, if you’ve already identified something as being a bit risky, why do you participate in making it more so via your aggressive behavior? Slow down, give us some room. There aren’t that many of us.

    One more request: while the average driver tends to stay in the middle of the lane while at speed, slowing down for a light or intersection causes a significant minority of you to veer right and hug the shoulder. (Some kind of primordial fear of the left going on here?) Please don’t do that, I need that lane to proceed.

    One more thing: we have allowed our entire culture, politics and economy to be driven and dominated by the automobile. While I deplore this state of affairs and in some small way am trying to demonstrate an alternative point of view I don’t think I should have to compromise my physical safety to do so.
     
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  2. Gary Mc

    Gary Mc Guest

    Gene,

    This letter would be too long to make the cut in our local paper. Plus it would be hard to convince
    the readers to take the time to stay with it. I would guess that to make any difference you would
    have to "keep it simple stupid." You might just want to make the point that you drive in accordance
    with the same laws as motor vehicles and need to be accorded the same respect, with maybe and
    example or two. Then, maybe a punchline could be added about the danger of honking at a cyclist.

    I might send a copy to a local city councilman.

    Gary McCarty, Greenspeed GTO, Salt Lake City

    greatmeadows <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > The following letter to the editor represents my thoughts on this subject. I intend to submit it
    > to as many local papers in my area that will print it. If you think this is a good idea and will
    > do any good feel free to do the same. Either use my letter as is or feel free to edit in your own
    > salient remarks on the situation.
    >
    > Gene (Taiko, bikeE NX)
    >
    > To the Editor:
     
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