Spoke Talk: Cyclists, motorists sharing the road well
June 29, 2013
Call me crazy, but I'm impressed. Based on my observations (I ride my bikes almost every day), cyclists and motorist are doing a noticeably better job sharing the roads so far this season.
Since I have written a few articles about road and mountain bike etiquette, I can't help but critique all the drivers that pass me when on my road bike and all the riders I see whether I'm riding or driving.
The great majority of drivers are being very considerate about staying 3 feet away when they pass cyclists, and they also are being patient and waiting for a safe opportunity to pass on our narrow two-lane roads.
The bike riders generally are riding so that they don't impede traffic when there are vehicles overtaking them as well as signaling their upcoming turns and moving off the road surface when they stop for a break. Those are great, self-preservation techniques in addition to being good cycling manners.
When I see a rider or driver practicing these responsible acts, I make a point to wave to let them know I recognize and appreciate their thoughtful behavior.
I've also witnessed mountain bike riders being considerate by yielding to horses and hikers as well as uphill riders on the trail. There seems to be a lot of care being taken to keep the tires on the trail and to keep the singletrack single.
Downtown, more and more folks are riding with the direction of traffic and then dismounting and walking their bikes on the sidewalks.
It hasn't always been this way, but the increased awareness and consideration by all road users is a noticeable and welcome change. Certainly, there still are examples of less-than-desirable riding and driving, but they are becoming more the exception rather than the rule. By and large, it seems like things are trending in the right direction.
Too often, we only hear about these topics when there is a problem, so I thought a positive word might be in order.
Paul Matheny serves on the board of Routt County Riders. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.