Letter To The Editor: Bike To Work Day … Disaster Waiting To Happen?

By CAT CHRISTOFFERSEN
White Rock

I am an avid cyclist, riding for multiple charity events and the like. I love road cycling and find a way to avoid vehicles for the most part (travel on less-used roadways, use a mirror to be safe, avoid heavy traffic periods, wear brightly colored clothing, wave at vehicles that pass me safely, etc.).

I did take part in ride-to-work day Friday and have a few comments. So many people read the Post, and hence I was hoping you could help me make this day (and every day) safer for cyclists. 

I rode my bike to work Friday from White Rock, choosing to take the Truck Route (more shoulder than Pajarito Road). Many drivers were pretty good about moving over for me, allowing me 3-5 feet of clearance.

There were about 15 percent of the vehicles that ignored my brightly colored clothing and very obvious flashing LED light and chose to drive very close to me, almost like they didn’t see me. Perhaps they were on their phone? Perhaps safety doesn’t mean anything to them? Perhaps they do not realize that a cyclist is a living, breathing person with family, and the consequences of hitting me with their vehicle are vast. 

A life just isn’t worth the minute saved by driving or speeding too closely by me.

One additional comment, most cyclists adhere to rules of the road (stop at intersections, stay to the right, etc. I am embarrassed and angry that some don’t, and I have personally witnessed a few bike riders becoming belligerent as I pointed out the rules of the road to them). On some of our county roads, there is a slight shoulder. Most cyclists will try to use that when necessary, however we tend to avoid them because of the volume of sharp debris that can cause us to have bike troubles, further putting our lives in danger while sharing the road with vehicles.

I wish the county would sweep the major roads more. I would gladly give up a sweeping of my street to have the truck route swept more often. 

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