I was reading the forums of one of the mountain bike clubs I belong to, when I came upon a post about an online cycling article. The article, which was published to the Sun Suntinel website, is titled Bicyclist's, Motorists Battle Over South Florida Roads. Click on the article title to be taken directly to the web page where you can read the entire article.
Interesting article. But I don't think motorists, that aren't also bikers, are ever going to understand cyclists. We have the same rules as a motorized vehicle. We have to stop at red lights and stop signs. And we have the right to ride in the road when there is no bike lane available. And even when there is a bike lane available, it is often so full of glass, debris, potholes, sand and water, that it isn't safe to ride in the bike lane. Cyclists have the right to ride in the road when a bike lane isn't available and when the bike lane contains hazards.
I can understand the frustration of certain motorists over cyclists who don't obey the law, run red lights, don't stop at stop signs. They are the exception, not the rule. In Florida, motorists are supposed to give cyclists 3 feet, a law was passed that allows motorists to cross the yellow line, if necessary, to give cyclists a 3-foot clearance. I can't tell you how many times my friends and I were out riding, in the bike lane, to have idiot drivers pass within inches of us.
I also know quite a few cyclists that have been run off the road by passing motorists and even hit by cars. It's very frustrating for us cyclists that obey all the rules of the road, to be harassed by passing motorists. Another pet peeve of mine is motorists screaming at us to get off the road and ride in the sidewalk!
I usually ride with groups along A1A, which is not as crowded with vehicles as most roads down here are. The speed limit is also lower along A1A, usually around 25-30 miles max. I may not be the fastest biker out there, but I'm often riding at speeds of 20-25 MPH. Not much slower, and sometimes the same as the posted speed limit!
So bikers, please obey all the laws when you are out there riding. And motorists, take a chill pill. We are out there getting exercise, saving gas, trying to have a good time. Many of us, such as my husband and I, are training for events which benefit non-profit charity organizations such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Lynn Smythe AKA the Bike Diva