May is National Bike Month, and I’d just like to thank the local drivers who see me on the road and make it a point to pass me safely! Ninety-nine percent of the cars I see when I’m riding are kind, courteous and aware of the 3-foot law, and I am very grateful for that! Here are a few things drivers might not be aware of when you see us out there: If I move into the driving lane instead of riding on the shoulder, it is because there are hazards (potholes, glass, branches, etc.) or, in the case of a winding downhill, it requires a bit more space to safely navigate the turns. If I appear a bit wobbly on a steep climb, well, I am a bit wobbly sometimes when it gets tough, but flying by me is a huge risk for you as well as for me. And if you are passing me and someone is coming toward us, please don’t end up with the three of us abreast when a slight decrease in speed would alleviate this.
If you are one of the drivers who is irritated that cyclists are on the road, please remember that yes, we have jobs and pay road taxes; yes, we are trying to stay out of your way; and no, we do not enjoy breathing the smoke you purposely blow in our faces to get even with the few seconds you wasted in slowing down for us. We are someone’s mom or dad and, if you have kids, I was their PE teacher. Running me off the road, now, wouldn’t that be embarrassing? And if the last cyclist you saw annoyed you, please don’t take it out on me. If you hit someone, chances are the cyclist will be seriously hurt, or killed, and that is something you would have to live with for the rest of your life. I have never delayed a car for more than a few seconds, so please think about us out there and drive safely.