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It?s that time of year when everyone loves to be outdoors and enjoying the beautiful weather.
This also means we?ll be seeing more cyclists and motorbikers on our roads, too. Every motorist and trucker will have to be on high alert and patient when we encounter other road users. We must share the road with all users and this includes all vehicles such as bicycles and motorcycles.
Having said that, it also behooves the cyclist to ride with a lot of common sense and skill. Unfortunately some cyclists seem to have a self-destructive streak of stubbornness.
Recently, while driving down a narrow scenic rural road, I encountered two cyclists riding side by side. While I was still a good distance back so as not to startle the cyclists, I gave a short little toot on my horn to alert them to a vehicle coming up behind them.
They continued to ride side by side instead of tucking in behind one another to give larger vehicles plenty of room. This to me would sound like the smart thing to do. Was their conversation that important that they couldn?t think of safety?
I had to pass them in the oncoming lane which I usually do anyway. I, too, am a cyclist and I appreciate all the room any motorist or trucker gives me. Moving over and passing them in the oncoming lane for me was not the issue. Cyclists who are brave or crazy enough to ride stubbornly in the middle of the lane is the issue.
Yes, the cyclist had his right to the middle of the lane. However, this isn?t a story on right of way. It?s an article on street smarts and self-preservation.
Most Wheels readers will know how I lament about the sorry state of driver training in this province and the high number of erratic, distracted and impaired drivers we have on our roads.
I often hear from cyclists themselves about how they fear motorists and will complain about close calls and even the odd case of abuse, and rightly so.
With that in mind, I would think every cyclist would do whatever they could to give larger vehicles plenty of room for error.
This cyclist I encountered was pushing his rights but when you are on a bicycle and you encounter two tons of steel and glass with no idea who is behind the wheel, it seems to me like the worst time to push your rights.
This is not the first time I have encountered cyclists on roads who will stand their ground and defiantly ride the centre of the lane.
If we lived in the ideal world where we didn?t have impaired, distracted or even raging motorists and truckers, that would probably be OK to do. But on our roads, standing your ground may only get you six feet under the ground.
When I ride my bike I don?t ride within my rights. I ride within my mortality.