SHE SAID: Share the Road

I have it easy.  Road biking in Vermont is a pretty friendly experience.  Drivers are incredibly generous for the most part and used to groups of multi-colored, spandex wearing bikers on the shoulders of the road.  I have heard that biking in the South is not as enjoyable.  One friend recounted getting beer cans thrown at her from passing trucks (I don’t know if said truck had a confederate flag sticker, but it would complete the picture), horn honking and getting the finger on at least an hourly basis.  Come to think of it, I have never biked with her, so I can’t speak to her modus operandi on a bike, but I’m going to assume that she wasn’t riding double on a busy road or riding in the middle of the road, and therefore, was unnecessarily harassed.

Hnidy ... biking

However, I have been harassed on a bike while minding my own business, riding close to the edge all by self, and let me tell you, it’s scary as all hell.

Drivers who buzz us.  Yes.  You are bigger.  Your truck (isn’t it usually a truck!?) could flatten me in no time and I am aware of that without a reminder.  Also, you are faster.  Impressive.  Thank you for the demonstration.  Go away now.

You could also send me spiraling over the top of your vehicle, over the front of my handlebars, over the guard rail and into that rapid river flowing a few hundred feet below, into that ditch, wrapped around that mailbox post, that tree, that telephone pole … trust me, I have considered, envisioned and have a substantial amount of  both fear and respect for all the possible situations.

Your trailer is impressive, and no, I was not expecting it or the 4×4’s it was carrying.  Thank you for giving me such an up close look at them, I think one is leaking oil.  I generally don’t like having to ride my bike that was designed for pavement on the gravel threshold, but when you give me no option, it’s a thrill to hope I a) stay on my bike and in case of a fall b) don’t fall into the road.  Also, UPS truck driver, did you even see me?  I think your cab brushed the fingers on my handlebars.  I’m all for experiencing firsts … but that was a little too freaky for me.

I don’t understand the road rage towards bikers.  Even if someone is riding double on a busy road, there are a million better ways to handle the situation before buzzing someone on a bike frame that weighs under 20 pounds who is riding with the traffic.  Honk, give the finger, yell “ass-hoooooooooole” out the window, curse under your breath, write a blog post about how annoying road riders are, but don’t threaten us with the mighty force of your 4,000 plus pound vehicle.  It’s an unfair fight, and I didn’t bring my slingshot (my tire repair kit weighs in at a few grams and I was upset about that additional weight so the stone and slingshot got axed).

bikeOr, try getting on a bike yourself and experiencing the sublime beauty of a long ride’s scenery, the exhilaration of a few hours in the saddle, the idiocy of some asshole with a Hemi who is in a hurry and takes it out on you.

In summery, you do not have permission to buzz the tower.  That’s a negative, ghost rider, the pattern is full.

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4 Responses to SHE SAID: Share the Road

  1. Ben Brier says:

    I found myself reading this garbage because it’s Jerry’s (and Nifer’s apparently), and then I started to enjoy it. Keep the posts coming.

  2. Marina says:

    Ok, well said, Nif. I echo your sentiments completely. Drivers who buzz bikers should be shot. I normally don’t say stuff like that, but when you’re just out there riding and obeying the rules and a dumb-ass in a whatever kind of car comes too close, comes too close while blaring the horn, well it unleashes surprising rage. My worst experience was when riding down the hill into Johnson with Chip a grand-am or some POS buzzed us, then drove over in the dirt and was swerving kicking up rocks in our faces. I was livid and actually called it into the police. Nothing ever happened. Still I was so mad, and am only slightly less mad about it now.

  3. lester says:

    In the words of 1980s tough love: suck it up! Try riding a bike in a city before whining about how difficult it is to ride route 100 or 15 or whatever. At least you have a shoulder to choose to ride on.

  4. gia says:

    as a long time cyclist i have experienced all these scenarios. just the other day i had a cigarette- smoking tool in a gold grand am about kill me. he pulled right out from his stop in front of me. (i had the right away) thank god there was an opening to an alley that became my escape route. i called him a moronic f@*k and the guy sitting behind him at the stop found that hysterical. let’s see: yelled at on a weekly basis, i’ve had a friend get grabbed while climbing up through the sticks, i’ve had a pizza box chucked at me..from a dodge ram, i’ve been cut off, given the finger, ran off the road, “sneak-attack” honked at by a rig…which is unnerving at any time, (especially when your clipping along at like 35mph down a mountainside) that’s enough to make you dump your ride and piss your pants. i just don’t get all the hate. oh, and where i live, the majority of these dolts are rocking a confederate flag sticker on the bumber of their lifted trucksters. you’ll get a kick out of this: i skate outdoors and this past winter i had some under-18 punk asses try not once, but twice to hit me head on. i had a witness, called the cops as they were making pass number two. they actually turned around and came back at me. now imagine this…the cops did not a thing. i tracked down where the goons live and notified the police. who did nothing, “because they are minors”. their grandparents own a successful business in the town i live in; which is less than a mile from my house. now i get to enjoy working out in a hostile environment. people are so awesome.

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