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:


Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)