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.
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).
Or, 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.