Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Can we talk about bicyclists?

Drivers are constantly being told that we need to be aware of bikes. And this is true. But I would like to see an emphasis on bicyclists knowing and following rules and safety tips to go along with the chiding of drivers and the spending of tax money to give them bike lanes, racks, etc.

I like to ride my bike, too, but, in my awareness of bikes, in just one day yesterday, driving very little--just between the south side of Fort Wayne to downtown and back thrice--and mainly on busy roads, this is what I saw.
--An adult male cutting catty-corner across a busy street causing one car to have to brake quickly.
--A teen in the bike lane--bike lanes that caused a busy four lane road to be narrowed to two lanes with a suicide lane in the middle--popping wheelies and leaving the bike lane repeatedly.
--A cyclist going the wrong way in the same bike lane talking on his cell phone. (For my purposes, cyclist denotes someone in biking attire.)
--A cyclist running a red light.
--A cyclist riding in the suicide lane to go around a stopped school bus.
--A woman riding her bike down the sidewalk, on that street with the bike lanes, almost taking out a group of kids who were walking home from school.
--A woman riding her bike, pulling one of those baby carriers, at 9:15 p.m., in the dark, on the street, in dark clothes with no reflectors. ANYWHERE.
--A man in dark clothes about 20 minutes later, when I was on my way home from downtown riding hands-free down a busy street. Again, no reflectors at all.

All of this is just a little taste of the bike antics I see everyday. So yes, we watch out for them. but don't they have some responsibility, too? A lot of the riders I see are riding on either the wrong side--against traffic--or cutting in and out, using suicide lanes, etc. Saturday night the hubby and I were treated to the sight of about a dozen inebriated riders leaving a bar and climbing onto their bikes. That sure looked safe. Ummm. Maybe not.

So yes, ride bikes.  But do it safely.

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