Drivers vs. bicyclists: The new Hatfield-McCoy feud
The New York Times ran an excellent story about the worsening feud between drivers and bicyclists around the United States as more Americans take to bicycles to be “green” and/or to save money on gas. Brief mention of Portland, my neighbor to the north. Gives people an idea of what I deal with every week when I ride my bike to work, especially when the bike lanes disappear in two spots on my ride.
For my part, I promise drivers that I will always use hand signals, follow all city and state laws, never try to squeeze by you and always use a bike lane when one is available. All I ask is that drivers give me just as much space as they would another car. I’ve been nearly clipped by cars and monster SUVs who don’t feel like fully changing lanes to go around me, and I can tell you that it’s scary. Throw in the drivers who honk, curse or yell at me or the ones who speed up suddenly and then cut me off or the ones who just plain don’t see me (like the one who pulled out in front of me last week, the promptly turned in front of me, forcing me to slam on m brakes), and you can see why I’m nervous out there.
I’m not going to stop riding, and as gas prices continue to rise (I don’t think the recent decreases are here to stay. Sorry, SUV drivers.) I think we will start seeing more and more bicyclists and motorcyclists. Let’s share the road, OK? Truce?