Well folks, I am back. It was a long, cold, hard winter, and I did little riding so I had little inspiration. But alas, spring has sprung, the pollen is flying, and I am back on the bike as well as the keyboard.
This installation has been inspired by two separate events that occurred in the same week. The first was a Facebook post by a friend of a Lexus with a fancy bike rack and a “Share the Road” license plate that was parked very poorly, thus using 2 parking spaces. The other happened last Thursday when a pickup truck came off the road and into the grass to try to block my progress. Which leads me to ask, where does sharing the road begin and end?
In the first instance I responded and stated that at least the poor parking job would not kill anyone, but cyclists get killed and injured by motorists who refuse to share the road. But if we as cyclists want the motorists to share with us, we need to take care in how we drive and park to show that we are practicing what we preach. Cyclists can be their own worst enemies when it comes to positive PR from our word and actions. Let us remember that “sharing” is always a 2 way street, even though many of us treat it as a one way and then boldly feel it’s our right to ride against the flow.
The second instance just makes me see red every time I think about it. Traffic was backed up at a traffic light on an uphill stretch of road. In that area there is sufficient berm to ride a bike past stopped traffic instead of being stuck sucking exhaust fumes. According to the way I read Title 40, Chapter 6, and Article 3 of the Georgia Code I am legally able to use said berm to pass standing traffic so that is what I was doing. As I was riding I saw the pickup start to inch to the right in an attempt to block my path so I went into the grass. The truck then continued into the grass and I felt he was at that point trying to hit me. I was able to avoid him and get back on the road and continue my climb to the light. This is by far some of the worst road rage I have experienced.
I am not really sure why this driver committed this act of Road Rage against me and I wasn’t about to stop and ask. Maybe he has encountered some of the same “head up their butt” cyclists that I have. Maybe he wasn’t able to find a parking space due to a poor parking job of a cyclist’s car. All I know is that the law here in Georgia says that we need to “share” the road and that means everyone need to do their part.
According to Dictionary.com:
verb (used with object), shared, shar·ing.
to divide and distribute in shares; apportion.
to use, participate in, enjoy, receive, etc., jointly
So as cyclists we need to share just as much as the motorists, if not more. We need to be vigilant about following the law so that we can have a leg to stand on when needed. We need to be vigilant as ambassadors of our sport and lifestyle. And we need to keep our heads on swivels because there are people out there who wish to harm us.