Saturday, March 19, 2011

I understand now...

I have often watched the debate between cyclists and drivers with a little bit of sympathy towards the drivers. After all, I am a driver and have never liked bikes much.

The last time I rode a bike was at Maine Morgan Horse Show in 2007. It was eight in the morning, horses were fed and stalls were clean. With nothing left to do, I decide to entertain the rest of my group by hopping on Megan's (around age ten at the time) pink bike that she named Nomar. Since the bike was named Nomar and I loved Nomar Garciaparra (former shortstop with the Boston Red Sox) I sang John Fogarty's song "Centerfield" while I rode the bike around the barns at the horse show. The people in my group were not the only ones who were entertained.

But on the road, I don't have much appreciation for cyclists, despite having two brothers-in-law and a sister who all pedal. Our roads are narrow and windy and I view the bikers as "one more thing."

Then, Outside magazine published an article in their March issue about the war between cyclists and motorists. It made me appreciate the perspective of the cyclist. Should we really blame them all for a few that make life difficult? What would drivers say if all drivers got a bad name for the few drivers out there?

I began riding again and realized the fields were too muddy and I would need to ride down the road to the dairy farm. Maybe it was reading the article about cyclists, or maybe it was that I hadn't ridden on the road in awhile, but I found myself a lot more wary about the cars out there.

Don't get me wrong, there are some great drivers in this town. They slow down, drive in the wrong lane (even on the narrow and windy roads) and smile and wave at me. But then there are others, that go whizzing by me, hit the gas when they are halfway past me and don't give me a lot of room. Thankfully, my horse is pretty traffic safe. But to all of you cyclists out there...I understand now.

2 comments:

  1. Great Post!
    It is good to be in both situations..understanding fully.

    I often ride the road with my mare going to a trail system or other destinations. I wear my ORANGE BRIGHT/NEON vest and even some "Cashel" flashing lights. But some drivers...even with a waving hand signal, from me-won't slow.
    My mare is like your horse, traffic safe...but she does feel my pensiveness with being mad at a car even.

    I'm a driver and a rider...I believe we all have the same amount of time and need to be courteous/safe to EVERYONE. I get off the road and stop, while trucks/ cars pass...I always wish them well, as they do the same for me!!

    One thing I have thought to do for the ones you see coming that apparently OWN the road(you have no right to be there). You know those child flags, atop a long pole that get mounted on the bike, for visibility sake? I want to carry one for the same reason..and if a car is not getting over or slowing...it will go into thier lane-as A TOLL GATE-...it'll hit their car, or they can get the heck over!

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  2. Thank you!! The toll gate idea is awesome :) Not quite sure what my horse would think, but we could work on it at home first. We live in a semi-rural area that is in between two universities, so sometimes its pretty scary out there. I walk my dog on the road, but the dog can climb onto a stone wall with me pretty easily - the horse doesn't have as many options.

    The pictures and blog posts on your blog are great. I love that you have so many "ears" shots too, those are my favorite.

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