I am assuming that most of you who are reading this post are bike riders, or else you probably would not be reading this blog in the first place. I mean, I’m interesting, but not that interesting. But I am hoping that I can reach at least a few vehicle lovers here on the internet to let you know what’s up.
Bike safety, people! It’s not just up to the people on the bike! I have literally only seen one guy on a bike hit a car, and that guy was an idiot – he was riding on a sidewalk, for one, and secondly, was going way too fast. He made a really wide turn and hit a car sitting at a stop sign. Everybody was ok, but if that guy had been riding the way he should have, none of it would have happened. The overwhelming majority of the time, bicycle riders are just merrily riding along and WHAM. You’re basically in a tank and I’m on some rubber and metal tubing. You will win, every time. So could you pay a little more attention, maybe? K thx.
Here are the things that bike riders really really want you to know:
First, you need to share the road. For real. Yes, we are slower than you but we have every right to be there too. We are supposed to be as far to the right as possible, in the same direction that you’re going (pedestrians are supposed to go against traffic so that they can see you). So don’t get on the shoulder to try and pass people or to get into the turn lane a little earlier. We expect you to pass us, but it would be great if you could slow down a little and also make sure you don’t hit us with your side mirror. If you’re going straight on a straight road, chances are you are going to see us regardless of what we have on (at least during the day). But if you’re making a turn, it doesn’t matter if I am wearing a neon vest, reflectors, and blinking lights. If you’re not checking behind you before you make that turn, I may be going face first into the passenger side of your car. Take that extra second to look before you turn.
Second, and this is a huge one: you’re a danger even after you’ve stopped the car. When you park on the side of the road, for the love of everything, please look before you open the car door! Your car on the side of the road makes the road narrower for everyone using it to begin with, and then you’re throwing open the door. It could be too late for a biker to avoid. Many countries where bicycles are more common, people are taught to open their door with their opposite hand. It sounds dumb in theory, sure. But your body is turned sideways, which means you are much more likely to see someone coming.
Third, there will be bikers out at night. We’ll do what we can to be seen, but please pay extra attention when approaching intersections and crosswalks. It will make us all a little safer.
Thanks for reading, and please do what you can to make the roads safer for everyone.