I appreciate the public efforts of Bowling Green drivers and bicyclists to cooperate. But from my perspective it’s mostly illusion. I ride my bicycle several days a week. Most days at least one person passes within six or eight inches of my handlebar. Not infrequently someone passes while ignoring oncoming traffic, leaving me plenty of room, but forcing an oncoming car to yield their own lane by slowing abruptly, veering to the far right, or, in one case, driving into a yard. Admittedly, most drivers accommodate a bike in their lane. But many don’t. I estimate about 20-percent. This morning a driver veered left of center to pass me and ran an oncoming car into the curb. When we both stopped, I said to the driver, “I appreciate your giving me the space, but you have to watch for the oncoming cars too.” Clearly this was my mistake as their response was “the old familiar suggestion.”
My observation is that when bicyclists, citizens and elected officials speak publicly, everyone is very pleasant and supportive. Just like when bicycles ride in organized groups with signs and tee shirts, drivers politely honk and wave. But when no one is watching there is a significant group of drivers who have little regard for anyone but themselves.
I apologize to the person I spoke to this morning. From now on, I’ll keep my thought to myself, even when my thought is “the old familiar suggestion.”