Bikes + Cars = Love (it ain't that hard)
May 20, 2016
I think we should celebrate a year of no fatalities for bikers around here. Maybe even a year of no bad local cars injuring bikers. Word gets out and I don't recall any.
It was also a year of thousands of great interactions with car drivers! Drivers have been great to bikers around here for the past year! Hooray!
Thanks, drivers! Bikers love cool drivers!
And we had dozens of actual smiles and waves.
I think the Lansing Bike Party had less than a handful of mean honks out of maybe 50 rides last season.
Yeah, I'm sure individuals and other group-rides have had exceptions -- no reason to be down given the areas of bright-spots. Bad apples don't need to spoil nuthin'.
Yes, the year before we had a terrible one. And last year elsewhere in Michigan we had at least one terrible one. But let's look on the bright side, why not. We ALL did great around here since then! Drivers deserve props and credit! Now, Joni had a doozy but maybe her fault. ? She doesn't seem too worried. Mistakes happen.
Here's hoping for just as good and positive of a year of car-bike relations this year! Sure, we can always hope for better, but I'm way happy w/ what we have, by and large!
It's basically a total rule that drivers wave and smile at our urban group rides! I tell ya, we've won! At least in that one modality.
On our club training rides we also get great treatment uniformly. Drivers get it! Maybe once a month we get a fast pass or something. I'll take it!
Now, as a SOLO driver the story may well change. Still, car+bike life is so much better these days than it used to be! Maybe thank the cellphone and meds for that?
Say, if as a biker you're ever feeling some car relations fatigue, git yourself to a Party ride and feel better about the world! Our urban drivers GET IT. What a neat thing to experience!
So sometimes we haul around a LBP sign trailer. We should consider adding a "Hooray for Happy Drivers!" slogan on it. Coz we *do* have sweet driver relations widely across the board and THAT IS WORTH CELEBRATING!
Cars are a constant part of the bike world. No getting away from that. Even if we're mtbikers we're gonna be doing a lot of driving to trailheads, most of us. Yeah, trails are indeed so peaceful. But I tell ya: the streets are pretty nice, too!
99% of bikers are also car drivers. Cars and bikes go together. No need for any fake car hate. If you drive or benefit from drivers, don't be dissin' the lead sleds and steel cagers. Sure, reduce the use, etc. But embrace the connection, too.
It's awesome how skilled nearly all drivers are! Driving is complex yet humans are so cool that nearly all of us are darn good at this driving stuff. In the end, though, it may well be that we need to give up most of it. I mean, even ONE screw up is too many. So don't be clinging to the cars too much! Individual piloting may not be the solution much longer!
I like Sweden's "Vision Zero" -- they're going for ZERO fatalities or bad injuries on roads. To anyone. No "reason" is adequate to "explain" such things in a way they can accept. They're onto something!
Still, all drivers and bikers have to do is keep their eyes open. That's not too much to ask. And mellow out and take it down a notch. OK, drivers can play bumper-cars amongst themselves but just don't go there around the humans.
Yeah, yeah, some bikers just ride right out in front of cars -- they get smushed. Some bikers are idiots or drunk -- they get smushed. But for bikers that ride here or there w/o actually getting in the way: give em a brake! Don't fret about it. Yeah, they might cut across when it's clear. Fine. They might ride up alongside, might ride on a sidewalk, might do all the above: fine! Bikes are a combo breed of vehicle and pedestrian. They can do a lot. Which is why they're good and why they work so well. They don't need to be stuck in traffic. They merge in and out and do their own things that work for them. As long as they aren't startling you, leave em be.
But, really, things are looking good out there!
Probably it's best by far for bikers in groups: even a texter can see a swarm of bikes.
But next time you're out having fun on a bike and see a car driver, give em a smile. It won't hurt. And if you're not having fun on your bike, well, do something about that, why not.