What You Don’t Understand About Bikers

That's my bike! Mine's blue.

1. If you hit us with your car, we die. You, on the other hand, probably won’t. You’re safely in your car, and when you don’t give us enough space, our lives are actually in danger. So play nice.
Uh, also…I love my bike almost as much as you love your child. I mean it. That thing’s my baby. If you endanger my life, or the beauty of my bike, I’m gonna be mad. So please, refrain from cutting me off while I’m riding.

2. Bugs hit your windshield. Bugs hit our faces. We’re exposed to the elements while you hang out in your air-conditioned SUV. It’s hard to bike up a hill while it’s raining, cold, and windy. So if you just wanna be nice and give me that extra foot of space, it would be much appreciated.

3. Most of us aren’t idiots. We know what we’re doing, because we do it often. So even if some bikers do dumb stuff, you shouldn’t take it out on the rest of us. If you think we’re riding too far out in the lane, it’s most likely because we have to; road bike tires are really thin, and if we ride in that fine gravel on the side off the road, we can crash our bikes. So which would you rather deal with? A biker that you have to give an extra foot of space, or one who just crashed into the side of your car and now has a concussion?

4. Bike lanes don’t always work (see #3). Some cities do a great job of cleaning the sides of the roads and bike lanes, but a lot (including mine) don’t. So it gets a little tough riding with skinny tires over bottles, rocks, and other random crap.

5. We’re not something to be afraid of. Seriously, if you just give us enough room when you pass us you will be fine! And so will we. You sit in your car freaking out when you see a biker because AH, you just DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO! It isn’t hard. Just give us a couple feet of room and slow down a little. If a car is coming in the other direction, then just slow down more. You can’t possibly be in a big enough hurry to justify putting a biker’s life in danger.

6. Motorcyclists need to follow these rules, too. Here’s the deal: even though they’re smaller than cars, most motorcycles make really terrifying noises and aren’t as easy to hear from behind. So it’s really startling when a motorcycle (or a pack of them) sneaks up on you and barely gives enough space. Also, some motorcyclists do some crazy stuff. So motorcyclists: please stop swerving around the lane and just pass me with some courtesy. I swear, I’ve almost fallen off my bike in shock.

7. We bike because we really love it. It can get really dangerous for us to ride, and that’s usually the fault of jerk drivers, but because we love the sport so much, we go out and do it anyway. You must have something you love that much too!
Even though you think we’re annoying and don’t deserve to expect courtesy on the road, you should still help us stay safe.  So whether you think biking is stupid or not, you don’t have the right to pass by us too closely, throw things at us, yell and honk, or actually try to run us off the road.
I don’t care much about bull-riding, but I’m not about to jump in the ring and throw a rock at the rider.

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9 thoughts on “What You Don’t Understand About Bikers

  1. so, so true. the worst for me is traffic circles. the cars always try to beat me to it (and then edge me out!) and don’t get me started on people not wearing helmets. ;) my motto: “you might think you look stupid in a helmet, but you *are* stupid if you aren’t wearing one.”

    • right?! I hate it! it gets really really scary sometimes, and i’ve almost been hit once or twice. TERRIFYING.
      my dad was in a bad crash a few years back and his helmet definitely saved his life, so i totally agree with you on that too!
      thanks for reading!

  2. You are putting YOUR OWN LIFE in jeopardy riding on roads designed for motor vehicles. You slow people way down, and cause major traffic issues when traveling in large groups, or even small groups. Most people, I’ve found are too dumb to just go past you all without going into the other lane. You need to ride where there aren’t multi-ton vehicles. You talk about being mad when your life is endangered? You’re doing that to yourself by choosing to ride on heavily traveled roads that are occupied by CARS. Go find a track to cycle on, OR GOD FORBID YOU RIDE ON THE SIDE WALK! GET OUT OF THE FUCKING ROAD, it is meant for CARS traveling at high speeds. It’s meant for people with places to go and things to do, not for your recreational or exercise purposes. It is too dangerous. I would never ride on a bicycle down roads used by vehicles. Or I would use the side walk. I like preserving my life as much as possible. YOU are the one subjecting YOURSELF to danger when you ride out in the road. Do yourself and the rest of the people driving a favor, and ride your BICYCLES SOMEWHERE ELSE!

    • That was a terribly rude way to comment. There’s no need for profanity or anger here. I wrote a sensible post, and if you don’t like what I said, then that’s your problem, but I still believe it’s true and important.
      Riding on the sidewalk is illegal, because that’s were pedestrians walk.
      I ride in areas that are not heavily populated by cars, since I live in the country, but I still encounter rude drivers like you who attempt to run me off the road. If you don’t like that I bike, that’s fine, but there is absolutely no reason to attempt to hurt or frighten me when it’s avoidable.
      Roads were designed for vehicles, and my bike is considered a vehicle. Many people bike everywhere because they don’t have cars, also. So you need to calm down with your road rage and just respect bicyclists.

    • Lloyd–You are incredibly wrong. You should at least know the laws you obviously don’t obey. Roads were and are made for pedestrians, cycles, horseback, wagons mo-peds, cars, trucks, and more, including children that you want to grow up to serve in the army and pay taxes. I grew up never being driven anywhere. We walked or rode our bikes, and we were thin and fit kids. Bikes for recreation? I ride 12 miles each way to WORK. Are you retired or what? Try a little stress-reducing exercise on those roads you think you own. Maybe read Rules of the Road while you’re walking, but watch out for the people who want to teach you a lesson by going by you at 55 in a 45, 6 inches off your elbow, with 35 feet of space or more to their left. They’ll show you all right. Nobody’s slowing THEM down.

      Why do you think you have more rights than bike riders on roads?

      Some riders and groups can be real jerks, on the road, but they are a tiny fraction compared to the number of malicious, selfish drivers like you claim to be, who like the laws they like, and don’t follow the laws they don’t. Half the jerk drivers don’t even know they’re almost running people off the road, because they’ve never set foot on one to walk, or run or ride.

      P.S.–Nice language–really builds credibility.

      D.

  3. I agree!
    Also… If you parallell park on the side of a street with cyclists on it… loooooook before you open your door!
    and if you’re driving down a street with a bike-lane… it IS NOT your extra turning lane, so STAY OUT.
    Then again (because I drive as well as cycling)… you cyclists who think it’s justified to ride two or three wide and take up the entire right lane of a busy street… DON’T!

  4. I don’t bike because I find it to be really scary. True story. But I DO give lots and lots of space to bikers because I imagine how I would feel biking down the road which is usually something akin to terror. So, my terror fuels your safety. All things work in harmony. :)

  5. Riders use no gas or other energy needed to make a car. No air pollution–yes we are polluting the earth still.
    Riders stay healthy. We all pay for uninsured or even insured health care patients who are not fit.
    Does slowing down and waiting or going WIDE around a rider, walker or runner for five or ten seconds–even a whole minute once a month–really worth so much anger. Your mom, child grandchild to be, or even YOU if you’re smart, could be out there some day.

    We are all so selfish in our cars–we don’t treat each other so rudely in the store or on sidewalk. We get very rued and stupid and dangerous in our cars. I have come to feel more self-respect when I give people the space which costs me NOTHING.
    Take care–Doug

  6. Pingback: What You Don’t Understand About Bikers (via writer’s block) « conchsaladesque

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