In the last few weeks I’ve found myself in the middle of conversations with non-cyclists who complain about cyclists on the road. “They shouldn’t be there…there’s no shoulder…it’s not safe…get out of my way…”
In my experience most drivers feel like bikes don’t belong on the road. Bikes are obstacles, delaying your daily commute. The way drivers treat cyclists is somewhat unique. The anger drivers direct at cyclists does not, in general carry over to pedestrians and I imagine that drivers spend at least as much time, probably more, waiting for a pedestrian to cross the street as they spend delayed behind a cyclist; I’m not aware of any Facebook groups suggesting we run pedestrians off the road.
Most people are pedestrians almost everyday. They understand what it means to be a pedestrian, what it’s like to trust that the F150 barreling toward the intersection will stop when the driver sees you in the crosswalk. The pilot of the F150 realizes it too and, when he sees you there, ambling across the street (legally or illegally) he slows down, stops, let’s you get out of the way. In most cases there isn’t swearing.
And about three paragraphs from this point I realized I could rant on and on about cars and bikes and safety and sharing the road. Really all I wanted to do was post this slide show that Bicycling Magazine put together.