September 8, 2013

Allen Afield: The road can go on forever for motorists and bicyclists

By Ken Allen

(Continued from page 1)

To be honest, though, whether I'm bicycling or driving a vehicle, I feel that often enough, folks from either side can challenge a saint:

For example, two bicyclists pedaling on the road where I live routinely travel abreast and block vehicles in the right lane for the full mile between a junction and my driveway. On my worst day I would never behave like that. Wherever motor vehicles can safely pass my bicycle, I get in single file to the right to allow passage by me.

On the other hand, when I'm pedaling through a junction and have the right of way, I occasionally have a problem with motor vehicles, pulling out in front of me, forcing me to stand my bicycle on end. I suspect many drivers may be unaware of how fast a topnotch road bicycle can travel, so they probably think my road bike is traveling 12 to 15 mph. On a flat, though, I may be sailing along at 25 to 30 mph and reach the vehicle much quicker than the driver expects.

Bicycles on public roads predate motor vehicles, giving pedalers a right to be there, and these machines continue growing in numbers every year. The solution to getting along starts with bicyclists and drivers showing mutual respect and understanding of road-user protocol, and that movement is gaining momentum -- a good thing for this growing sport.

Consideration from both sides creates harmony, and this fall is a grand time for motorists and bicyclists to think, "Let's all get along," to keep up with the increased bicycle traffic.

Ken Allen, of Belgrade Lakes, a writer, editor and photographer, may be reached at:

KAllyn800@yahoo.com

 

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