I’d like to add a little bit to Mark Devolder’s article, which could be subtitled with a paraphrase from his text: “Why you couldn’t pay me enough to ride a bicycle in Los Alamos County.” (link)
Mr. Devolder hits many nails on the head, but I’d like to add a few more. In the spirit of his article, applying makeup with the aid of the rear-view mirror while in motion in morning rush-hour traffic is also double-plus uncool. Mr. Devolder mentions his motorcyclist friend. That’s my theme here, but the hazards are the same for bicyclists, too.
In decades past I was an avid motorcyclist, on and off road.
Why I no longer ride on the road:
- First came anti-lock brakes. The average clueless driver became subconsciously dependent on them, flying up to intersections and coming to a stop unknowingly with the aid of their anti-lock brakes on a regular basis. Now add a little water or sand to the road surface and it’s bye-bye cyclist (motorcyclist or bicyclist).
- Second came cell phones. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who uses their cell phone while driving should – well, I’ll tone it down for the sake of publication – lose their driver license for a year.
- Third came infotainment centers in automobiles, on the front dash at that. I’d quit cycling on the road by then, (no) thanks to cell phones. One can wonder why they (don’t) put those in passenger airliner cockpits – apparently it’s not okay to kill too many people at once, something like that.
And in the meantime pickup trucks and SUVs got bigger and Bigger and BIGGER while the intelligence and attention spans of their drivers, on average, decreased proportionally, or more.
Finally, it’s not necessarily safe to be a law-abiding pedestrian, either: a quick way to commit suicide is to assert one’s rights as a pedestrian crossing to the east on the crosswalk on the south side of the roundabout on San Ildefonso, for one notable example – one could reasonably come to unfavorable conclusions about the characters of very many North Mesa residents.
Oh, and on busy roads I ride my bicycle on the sidewalk, as is (or at least was, I’m told) recommended by our LAPD – they’d know as well as anyone just how bad things really are.