First of all let me say this, I love that it's November and I can still ride my bike outside in Michigan without becoming a popsicle!
Unfortunately that's about where the happiness ends as I had several close encounters today where I was almost run off the road. I urge you to PLEASE be considerate of cyclists on the road. Most of us are just doing what we need to do to stay safe on the road. If you have to, imagine it's your mom, dad, brother, sister, friend, or even me on the bike. Would you still speed by if it was one of us? "Pass them like you love them." Honestly, waiting 30 seconds or even one minute is not going to cause you to be late for anything and that's all the time it will take. Have a look at the picture to the right and that's what it's like for us on the roads when cars whiz by without giving us enough room. We have no protection on the road and only take up a few feet of space.
Here was today's encounter:
I had several vehicles buzz right by me as oncoming traffic was approaching (and sometimes even when it wasn't). It's not even like I ride down the middle of the lane. Although maybe that would be safer because then the vehicles would be forced to either 1. Wait until it's clear to pass me or 2. Run me over...
After about a dozen vehicles passed much too close to me, I finally just sat up on my seat and did a hand motion like, "What the heck?" The guy flipped me off and I could see his eyes in his rear-view mirror so I waved at him "Come here." He pulled off to the side of the road and I slowly approached the car. I unclipped one foot from my pedal and scooted over to the window.
Todd (T): "Hi sir. I was just wondering why you drove so close to me."
Wife in passenger seat (W): "There was no room!"
T: "So you couldn't wait?"
Husband driving (H): "Well you should move over."
T: "Sir it's not safe for me to move over that far on the shoulder and I have every right to the road as a vehicle."
H: "And I have every right to pass you."
T: "Yes you do, but not on a double yellow line and not when oncoming traffic is approaching."
H: "Well you should still move over."
T: "So what you're telling me is that 30 seconds of your time is worth more than my life?"
W: "No that's not it at all."
T: "Then what is it? Because when you drive that close to me, you're telling me that is exactly what it is."
H: "Well there wasn't enough room and you should move over."
T: "I'm sorry, but it makes me sad that you think 30 seconds is worth more than my life."
*Man buckles his seatbelt and starts driving away*
T: "Just think about that for the next time please."
I finished the rest of my ride trying to be as cautious as possible. Luckily I didn't have much farther until I was home. I love being able to get outside and enjoy this beautiful weather on my bike because I know I am going to be stuck inside on my trainer all winter. However, it's the uncertainty we all face as cyclists on the road that forces some to stay inside year round; even on a day as beautiful as today. So again, I urge you to please be considerate and pass them like you love them.