Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Please Share the Road: I Only Need a Tiny Bit

I was riding my bike today and was on a quiet section of road that happens to be a divided highway with a single lane on each side.

It is 15 feet wide and as I only need about a 3 foot strip to ride my bike that leaves 12 feet for a car to get by. In fact I have had 18 wheelers pass me on this same section and leave me plenty of room.

Today someone got behind me and just laid on the horn. I pulled in as close to the curb as I could but still the driver would not come by just kept laying on the horn. Only when the divided section ended did the car come along side.

It was a lady driver and through her open window she yelled, “You need to be on the sidewalk.” I called back, “Sidewalks are for walking.” “Bullshit.” was the last I heard as she sped off.

Excuse me, but that is why they are called Sidewalks. So that was what all the car horn honking was about, she really expected me to stop and move over to the sidewalk.

What happened to ‘Share the road?’ I was not impeding this lady; I was in no way endangering her. You never hear of someone in a car being killed by a cyclist; unless one hits you on their way through your windshield.

I am just out there getting some exercise; I’m not making noise or burning fossil fuel. And if I should unintentionally delay someone’s journey for a few seconds; at the end of the day in the whole grand scheme of things how important is it?.

I must point out that this kind of behavior is an exception, most road users I encounter while riding my bike in the Lowcountry are polite and considerate.


jaz said...

I've had this experience also when riding a bicycle. I remember plenty of times when people would swerve way over into the other lane to "miss" me when, in truth, they could have stayed exactly along their original path without even being close to me.

People are rude. When I lived in Oakbrook, by Summerville, years ago I used to enjoy going for walks. People (usually teenagers) would yell, "Get a car!" as they drove by.

It is called exercise, for Pete's sake.

jim nachlin said...

People do this to me all the time in NYC. Especially now that SUVs are so common, drivers don't have a good sense of how wide their vehicles are, and it's rare to find anyone in a car who takes pride in being a good driver.

Dave Moulton said...

You nailed it Jim; my thoughts exactly.

Lisa said...

People who don't know any better use the sidewalk - usually kids who have no idea that bikes are supposed to follow any rules of the road. I once got hit in my car by a 19 yr old cyclist. I was coming out of a parking lot on a one way road. I looked toward traffic...at that moment a cyclist on the side walk going the wrong direction hit my car and fell over. By the time I looked in that direction to pull out, the kid was on lying on the ground and I had no idea I had even been hit. The only clue I had was that her keys got caught in my tire and I heard an odd clanking sound that caused me to survey the scene in my rear view mirror. Now that was scary for me....I could have run over her!

Please stay on the road....sidewalks are for walkers!!

Scott B said...

We have the same thing in Dallas. I was in Isle of Palms for vacation this summer and fell in love with the new bridge and came back to being training for the Hotter'n Hell 100 in Wichta Falls. 3 lane roads and full of drivers who think they are at the Indy 500 while talking on cell phones. Most of the drivers don't even know the rules of the road as far a bikes are concerned and I get lots of strange looks when making hand signals.