Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bikes, Cycles, Scooters, Oh My: How to Survive Each Other on the Road During Gas Price Surges

I like the most recent editorial in the Stamford Advocate. It’s balanced and makes a good point. We always hear, “Watch out for motorcyclists and cyclists!” but the editorial reminds bikers and cyclists to watch out for cars and trucks.

I’ll second that. I was surprised a couple of weeks ago when a cyclist in a fancy spandex outfit rolled up to a stop sign- and rolled right through!

Oh! I’m sorry! You looked all pro, so I thought that meant you’d follow rules at a busy intersection! Just in case I missed his first move, the cyclist also blew through the red light on route 1, rode against traffic for a few seconds, then swung wide across Rt 1 to the other side. I could tell the other cars were surprised by the Lance Armstrong poser coming out of nowhere with his erratic moves. Whoops! I’m just a cyclist!

No way. Riding like that can cause an accident. Unpredictable moves on the road are dangerous. Don’t surprise me on the road.

I don’t know what rules cyclists are supposed to follow, but I’m not going to look it up. The rules should be obvious: stop at stop signs and red lights. This isn’t the Tour de France! Rules for cyclists should be the same as for motorcyclists: obey the lights and stay in one lane. If there aren’t bikes lanes, and you’re in a road going 35 mph, do what drivers expect, and don’t act like you are Frogger.

With gas prices rising, more people are going to be riding bikes and motorcycles. We all need to watch out for each other.

My message to cars:
Please slow down! We’ve got to calm our lives down so we don’t drive like maniacs.

Message to SUVs:
Get with the program! Just because you are big and can’t see what is in your blind spots does not mean you should merge anyway.

To bikers, cyclists, and scooterists:
Drivers in this area are out of control. Do not trust them! I feel bad saying that, but I worry about you. And for goodness’ sake, wear your helmet. A man was severely injured this week when someone cut him off on Colonial Road, a road on which people, including me, go too fast. He was not wearing a helmet, and his injuries are life-threatening.

We all have to slow down, and we all have to watch out for each other.

Cyclists, don’t cut cars off.
Cars, don't cut motorcycles off. Don’t think just because bikes are small that they are always easily maneuverable.
Bikers... stop tailgating cars on 95! It boggles my mind when I see you do that. Don't you know traffic can go from 55 mph to stopped in an instant?

Also, cyclists, read my friend Christopher's post "The Cycling Doctrine: Pedestrians are Prey" about how you need to watch out for people when you're riding in parks.

Let's try not to kill and injure each other. Life is so lovely; let's make it last.

Photo Courtesy of Vincent Rodriguez Photography. Vincent is a local photog who has a website of cool shots of the J. Seward Johnson Sculptures that he updates regularly. He also has a book of photos taken in Stamford.

Check out Blog Stamford's Transportation section to read more about biking in the area, especially his post about trying to commute to work via Route 1 by bike.

Late addition: The Conn. Post reports that a motorcyclist collided with a tractor-trailor in Milford. Biker is seriously injured. It's really disturbing to have so many incidents in one week.

3 comments:

Vincent Rodriguez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Manager Mom said...

When I drive home on the Merritt, invariably I will see a motorcyclist drive right between the two lanes of cars at top speed... it REALLY pisses me off. I don't want to see anyone get hurt but if you ride like that, you can kind of expect to get what's coming to you...

Irenesbooks said...

I'm seeing more and more cyclists using sidewalks. It's outrageous!

As to rules, I think normal traffic rules apply to everyone.