Sharing the Road with Cyclists
The sun is shining and things are warming up. That means the cyclists are out and about. With that, we wanted to share a few possibly unknown or unrecognized things for non-cyclists to keep in mind to help them share the road in a friendly manner.
I can't tell you the number of times I have heard people saying things like "why don't the bikes just use the bike lane". The easiest reason for this is that it is simply unsafe for the cyclist in most cases. The shoulder of the road (just think to the right of the white line) is where the debris (dirt, rocks, sand, glass) from car tires gets kicked. This time of year is actually the worst. All of the debris has been kicked to the right side and been sitting there all winter. It has likely been months or even years since a street sweeper has been around to clean up.
The other item to note is the actual tire on a road bike. Often times cyclists will be riding on tires known as "slicks". These tires are preferable to cyclists because the lack of tread actually allows for greater surface area contact with the road. However, as you can see... they are exactly what they are called; SLICK. Imagine riding on these and hitting the gravel on the right side!
The next item to be aware of is within your own vehicle. This is called the "A-Pillar Blind Spot". The A-Pillar is the part of your car that is between your drivers door and the windshield. Depending on your car and the angle of the road with the cyclist position a cyclist can very easily hide within this blind spot. Move your head especially when coming to an intersection. Look right and left, and look again. See image below for an example of this blind spot.
For my road raging friends, just give them a little extra room, slow down passing, enjoy your drive and let the cyclist enjoy their workout! In 2018 just over 1000 cyclists (1014) died in accidents. Nearly 75% of those preventable accidents were with vehicles. Also worth noting that 87% of those were male deaths! So please share the road. Cyclists, please follow the traffic laws and men, please be extra careful we know you are more daring than the rest of us!