Whew! I just finished riding my bicycle over some of the Lakeland streets I normally avoid (Canada Road etc.) and I feel like I biked on a survival course! We need more bicycle and walking trails and paths!
I usually don't ride my bike right after work for longer periods because of night meetings, but last week I had the chance to ride around 5:30 p.m. or so for an extended ride several times In the worst case Davies Plantation from Fletcher Trace north, I was shocked by the display of hostility, indifference and downright criminal behavior shown to me as a bicycle rider! We need some safe places to ride bicycles and educated motorists!
Actually, today is Sunday, and I rode longer this afternoon just because I had some spare time (and a growing spare tire I am trying to reduce), but unlike most Saturday and Sundays, it felt like a weeknight out there today!
If you ride a bike or walk on Lakeland streets, be careful and observe all the rules of bicycle riding (assume you are invisible to motorists, assume vehicles will take the worst action etc.).
I recently read the experience of several bicycle riders involved in motorist/bike wrecks (the bike always lost) and it is not a pretty story. Multiple painful operations, months off of work, lawsuits against the motorist, criminal action against the motorist in many cases. All because, in most cases, the motorist was thoughtless and/or in a hurry.
I'm like many motorists, even though I ride a bike. If I approach a group of riders in my car, my brain turns to mush, and I don't know what to do, even though I frequently ride a bike! I normally just stay behind the bikers until I have a clear, long space to pass. While riding my bike, I prefer to get over and let the vehicle pass as soon as possible, but PLEASE, don't pass me (within six inches of my bike) on the curve on Davies Plantation Road!
I could go on like this forever, but I know bicycling (for me) is a fun, healthy hobby and I want to keep it that way! Hopefully, we can continue to emphasize bike and walking trails to connect throughout the City. For example, Highway 64, for me, is a good place to ride because there is a place for bicycles, even though the fast traffic is rather intimidating at times.
The best slogan I have seen is "Share the Road". I know, some bicycle riders (including me, at times I am sure) do not always ride correctly either.
Think safety the next time you see a bicyclist-it could be me!