A friend of mine, much into his sports cars, was complaining about having to share the road with cyclists. His argument, taxes paid by vehicle owners. Point taken. But what about the taxes cyclists pay as drivers and the obvious benefits. Improved health, lack of greenhouse gasses, lower traffic impact are at the forefront we should consider. Bicycles don’t wear roadways like trucks and large vehicles. Off-roaders may not have these problems. Maybe you want to leave comments.
Good relations-Share the Road
What can we do to keep good relations as cyclists? Is this a touchy subject? I’ve been on both sides, having to go around a group of cyclists holding vehicle traffic. Then having an inconsiderate driver almost run me off the road and there was plenty of room, just inattention. It helps that more areas are becoming cycle friendly. I’m out in the “boondocks” and some drivers just use these roads as a type of “autobohn”. Fortunately the increase in cyclists out here, is having an impact.
More Roadies Means Greater Impact
More riders in city and rural areas cause greater awareness for all who use the roadways. I’ve almost been run off the road, and know the frustration, but you learn to watch out for yourself. New laws in our State may be helping, making vehicles pass with three feet on the side. My friend has been venting about having to pass with so much space. It saves injury and possibly lives.
What Can I Do?
Keep your wits about you. Wear proper gear, helmet and visible clothing. Ride with traffic. In dusk, dawn and dark hours, use lights and flashers. Observe rules of the road. Be understanding that drivers may not see you, as aggravating as it may be. Look for comfortable equipment that may keep you safe – http://slocyclist.com/what-gear-youll-need-to-start-cycling-right-a-beginners-guide-to-cycling-triathlon/ . Get a good workout, ride and enjoy the overall experience; get home safe.
When you responded “Point taken,” to your friend’s tax argument, to what exactly where you conceding? Drivers only paying a road tax? Please take a look at this article so that next time this comes up in conversation with your friend, you can school him…
Thanks for the good info and I’ve forwarded it. I knew the gas tax didn’t cover what he argued, but now I have the proof. Much appreciated.
Glad I could help! I really hope the info opens your friend’s mind.
Johnny, thanks for bringing up an under-narrated topic, and thanks to above commenter Ray for the link they posted too. “Share The Road” does mean all of us, and roadies, (both single/individual riders and especially in groups), need to practice mindfulness and co-operate as amicably as possible with drivers….this includes making eye contact when possible, “holding” road-space for ourselves only when it’s simply too narrow or blind of a turn, giving a thumbs up to those who provide a wide berth, showing gentle gestures of respect, etc). Unfortunately we are increasingly placed into a “hyper-defensive” mode because so very many drivers are either hostile and / or distracted….in fact, society’s current full-blown EPIDEMIC of distracted driving is easily the top contributor to road biking’s decline in popularity and the subsequent rise of the Gravel/”All-Road” genre.
Your article begs the critical question: It is up to us, the brave roadies left, to figure out how we survive such a destructive and dominant car-culture. Equiping ourselves with worthy mirrors, dash-cams, ultra-bright blinkies (“daytime-flash” modes), fluorescent clothing, chunky tires, bright helmwts, etc, etc….these are now all de-rigueur requirements before even leaving the driveway! Learning successful alternative pathways and “cutties” to avoid corridors-of-death are also part of a modern roadie’s survival tactics. I’ve learned to take busses and trains, when they’re available, just to avoid particularly nasty sections of road, so my persinal arsenal includes a Clipper Card for bay area public transport. (You need something tougher than a fragile carbon bike for bus-racks and there’s only ever space for 2 to 3 bikes, so this would preclude most modern roadies and all group rides). Also, adapting to riding OFF a roadway’s surface is an additional neccesity: Thanks in part to the confidence gained from tubeless / larger tires, I have learned to enjoy the delicate art of hugging road shoulders and “riding the ditch” when necessary….How utterly absurd that we all have to engage in Paris-Roubaix’esque skills just to get from A to B by bike nowadays! What about newbies, how are inexperienced riders supposed to learn how to operate in such a way?…Even for the hardened warriors amongst us there is always the fear & trepidation of not knowing what obstacles are in the next ditch we’re forced into! There are no easy answers, we are in a full-on crisis of car-culture madness, and those of us who choose to buck it (by biking instead) must suffer humanity’s gridlocked bone-headedness along the way, (which, I’m afraid to say, your friend is a little guilty of, too). Education, (for all road-users), sounds great and all, but come on, look how stubbornly addicted to their phones most drivers are!….If they refuse to treat both themselves &/or their passengers, (let alone OTHER DRIVERS!) with respect, decency & common courtesy, then is it really ever going to be possible for cyclists to even have a chance? I look around, and see little to no hope for change anytime soon. Sorry, Johnnie, there’s way more of “them” and far too few of you. Saddest of all: Otherwise rational, calm and eco-motivated citcizens are scared to even begin getting out of gridlock to begin with! (Why wouldn’t they be?). Phew, what a rant, now I must go for a ride, (which will hopefully be survived), LIVE FREE OR DRIVE!