Steamboat Springs As one of Steamboat's "special" cyclists, I was taken aback by Jack Horner's letter to the editor published June 17.
What Horner fails to recognize is the reason why he is supposed to watch out for cyclists. When paired against each other, a 180-pound cyclist (bike included) against a 5,000-pound truck will lose every time if the motorist does not pay attention or give us a little more room. Remember, we are expected to ride on an area of the road that is sometimes no more that six inches wide. Most times we do but sometimes we can't.
As a cyclist and a motorist, I pay my taxes, which gives me full rights to use our roads and highways. Unfortunately, some Steamboat roads don't have much of a shoulder. For safety reasons, this forces a cyclist to ride outside of the white line or even in the road. This is not to cause problems for motorists but to protect our very lives. I am sure if Horner was riding his horse on the roadside, he would want motorists to pay attention to him and his horse. As a cyclist, I expect the same. My reason is simple, I don't want to be hit and killed by a vehicle.
Each year, more and more cyclists are killed by motorists who aren't paying attention while driving. My life is special to me. I for one don't want to be the next cycling fatality statistic just because I am an inconvenience to a guy driving a truck who can't be patient for 30 more seconds as a car passes in the other lane.
I always try to make the best use of the road's shoulder and try to avoid causing motorists problems. If I had my way, I would want thousands of miles of cyclist-specific paved paths so I wouldn't even need to encounter vehicles. I don't think Horner wants an increase in his taxes so I am off "his highway" and have my own paved biking paths. While riding my bike, I have had too many close calls with vehicles seeing just how close they can get to me without hitting me.
So when the day comes as Horner foretells, it is a choice between his truck and horses or a cyclist. I, for mine and my fellow cyclists' sake, hope he is a little more patient and gives the cyclist a little room. The last time I looked, killing a person with a vehicle is called vehicular homicide. So if, heaven forbid, Horner kills a cyclist with his vehicle, I hope he will be ready to enjoy watching horses from his new home in a prison cell.