Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Don't Be "Too" Kind To Cyclists

First, to my cyclist friends and industry colleagues I want to assure you I am not a turncoat. Lately I have seen a disturbing trend in some driver's actions toward cyclists. Frankly, some are just being way too kind!

Being a driver and a cyclist I've seen both sides of the fence. I have been irritated by some of those cyclists who give other cyclists a bad name as well as being damn near killed by drivers trying to beat me to a turn or just not paying attention and drift out of their lane toward me. I am also friends with a wonderful advocate for cyclists rights, Al Bastida who has fought long and hard to create and build his non-profit called Please Be Kind To Cyclists.

So what's the problem? What I've been experiencing lately is something that endangers more than just me and it's all because a driver, being all about the "Be Kind To Cyclists" mentality stops while exiting roadway to insist that I cross. Now this may not be such a big issue except that for the last 2 times I've been out on the bike they have stopped other traffic behind them, nearly causing a wreck. The first time this happenned I was already aware that there was a lot of traffic coming so I came to a complete stop, as far right as I could and wasn't even watching for an opening. I was amazed to have a driver come to a dead stop from 55mph and wait for me to realize they had stopped while they held up a line of cars behind them. OMG! Really? Have they really done something THAT bad that they need to endanger a bunch of people just so they can get some good karma? Not sure if that's gonna work. They may even become the target of road rage or be responsible for someone's injury or death!

Really, the cyclist can wait a few seconds for traffic to go by, just as they would do if they were in a car. It's not that big a deal. You aren't saving the world or anything, but you could be wrecking it for someone. Sure, it's okay to pay close attention to the cyclist along the side of the road. It's okay to make sure you give at least a 3' space between your car and the lycra clad wind sucker. It's even okay to be prepared to swerve if the oxygen deprived gear grinder suddenly loses focus and makes a hard left into traffic. But please, don't stop in the roadway out of the blue and hold up other traffic-goers who are not remotely expecting someone to come to a complete stop in a 55mph zone!

Please Don't Be TOO Kind To Cyclists, but please DO make a donation to Be Kind To Cyclists and remember it is totally okay to be too kind when giving financially.


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