The below quote is pulled from the Ottawa Citizen that by chance found its way to my inbox this morning. It is very fitting as only last night while riding home from work the reminder of personal safety was rudely reminded to my senses. A car, not thinking, took a right hand in front of me only after passing me 3 minutes before. Fortunately I ride my bicycle the same as a motorcycle… as if I was invisible. While the car drove past me and slowed down I was also slowing ready to react. Would most riders react this way? Unfortunately I don’t believe so.
The driver was in the wrong, and if I had been hit or hit the car the law was on my side. I can’t afford that, nor do I want to put myself at the jeopardy of a 1,000+lb automobile. My helmet can only save so much of my body! Read on for the article from the Ottawa Citizen.
I am a life-long cyclist and lover of two wheels, using them for sport, touring, commuting, and anything else I can.
When I am on the road, of course I appreciate drivers with that extra sense of awareness making the roads safer for cyclists.
That said, my first priority is to ensure that no dispute, without exception, will ever occur on the road between me and a driver. I don’t care if I am right and the driver is wrong, because if a dispute occurs on the road I will be the loser — and big time. Cyclists need to use more preventative and defensive approaches to avoid any such disputes.
For example, when riding towards an intersection, you must be fully aware of any possibility that a vehicle from behind may make a right turn in your path.
When riding on an urban street with parked cars, slow down, keep space and keep a strong eye out for anyone in their parked car who could potentially open their door in your path.
When riding on busy suburban roads with painted lines indicating bike lanes, treat these not as your right, but rather as guidance after you are certain a lane-changing driver is aware of your presence.
When riding in the countryside, if two wide vehicles are approaching from front and back and will likely meet close to you, then be prepared to move off to the shoulder.
Image Source : KansasCyclist.com