Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dear Motorist....

In the past couple of days, 2 people have brazenly posted as their Facebook status their desire to either see a cyclist injured or to inflict injury on to an unsuspecting cyclist. Needless to say, the cycling and triathlon community has gone...
and rightfully so. We are tired of burying our friends. Many have reached out to these individual's employers. Many have written them messages. Many of these messages have not been kind. I think we are taking the wrong approach.

Let me change thoughts for a quick moment...

We as the cycling community must police our own. We must be the example of how one should ride on the road. We need to follow the rules of the road. Obey traffic signs. Obey traffic lights. In Georgia while law permits us to ride 2 abreast (and sometimes that is the smartest way to ride) we don't have to! If we want motorists to share the road with us, we must share it with them!

Remember respect is earned, not given. If we wish to be respected on the road then we need to respect those we share the road with. PERIOD. End of story. You know who you are, STOP CYCLING LIKE AN ASSHOLE!

I'm not a an asshole on my bike. I yield when I'm supposed too. I wave and thank drivers I cross paths with. I share the road back.

Now, back to the people who posted recently wishing me harm. (I know, it wasn't me directly, but it could have been.) This is my suggestion if you choose to reach out to them. Kill 'em with kindness and rational though.

Dear Motorist,

I'm sorry I delayed you a few moments while you had to wait to safely pass me. However, I also want to thank you. Thank you for losing those few moments to make sure I stayed safe while riding my bike. Thank you for sharing the road with me, I'm doing the best to share it back with you. That big goofy wave I gave you, that's because I wanted you to know I was waving and not, well, giving you the finger. So I use a big ol' goofy wave. I don't know if you are aware or not, but it is not legal for me to ride my bike on the sidewalk. That's right, if you are over 12 years of age, it is against the law to ride on the sidewalk.

You should know, I'm not the only one thanking you for giving up those few moments to pass me. My mom and dad thank you. My niece and nephews thank you. My brother and sister thank you. My friends thank you also.

See, I'm more than just a triathlete trying to stay healthy and train for my next race. I'm a daughter. I'm a sister. I'm an aunt. I'm a friend. I'm a coach. I'm an employee.

When you sacrifice those couple of moments to get around me, you give me another opportunity to continue pursuing my goals and my dreams. You allow me to celebrate the next birthday, holiday, special occasion with my family and friends.

These thoughts I share with you are not original and many people with much greater influence than I have shared them. I just wanted to take a moment and thank YOU for sacrificing those couple of moments.

Please, I implore you, pass me like you love me because someone out there does.




  1. Dear Cyclist,
    First let me say that I wish no other human beings harm....including you and the bikes I share the road with..... but I gotta ask you ...are you stoned or just stupid ??
    I am in aviation and have been flying for years... (the safest form of transportation). We do not land small Cessnas behind jumbo jets for lots of obvious reasons... to ride a bicycle on the same road that a large SUV or 18 wheeler uses is nuts. For the same reason in the airport example above. Yes... you have a right to ride on the road and I will always respect that right and yield to you and give my very own big goofy wave...along with the few moments of my life you request. No problemo..
    But again I gotta ask...are you stoned or just stupid. Your 10 pound bike going 25 MPH does not stand a chance against a 4500 pound SUV or truck going 65. It is a recipe for disaster. .....and the disaster will be yours. Not to mention the fact that I would estimate 30% of today's drivers would leave the scene after clipping you if they could get away with it. You also have the texting driver that might not even know they clipped you. Again I applaud your efforts with your IRONMAN lifestyle but when I see a cyclist riding 4 feet from a car going 4 times it's speed...I say a little prayer for the biker. I am not a paranoid human with the risk I take in life....I fly gliders, airplanes, ride motorcycles and scuba dive....I love a good risk...but it is a calculated risk where I control most all of the variables that can kill me... you control very few of the risk when riding on the road with cars. Respectively.... stoned or stupid ???

  2. Jack,

    Thank you for giving up those few moments and the obvious respect you have for your life as well as others. The scenarios you paint scare the crap out of me as well. Being a competent yet not aggressive cyclist, I don't put myself in those situations as you describe. I route my rides around back country roads and suburbia trying to minimize my interaction with high traffic roads with high speed limits. Stoned or stupid...well, I can assure you I'm not stoned. IQ tests say I'm smart but that doesn't mean I don't do stupid things sometimes. I do try to minimize the occurrences. I appreciate your thoughts and thanks for sharing them. Not stoned....maybe a bit stupid....Shawna P.S. many of the recent auto-bike accidents we not on the roads that you described.

    1. Shawna B.... I sincerely wish you the best and be careful out there !! BTW this is the first time in my life ( and I retire soon) I have ever posted a comment about anything on anyblog. It just really scares me to see a slower speed lightweight transport mixing with fast and heavy tranports with 4 feet of clearance... it is a recipe for disaster and the car will win every time. Stoned or Stupid...I can tell by your response that you are not stoned or stupid...but obviously a very good human being....I wish you miles and miles of safe riding. Thanks for the chat...Jack

    2. Jack, If more cyclists were like me and more drivers were like you then a cyclist being hit by a car would be shocking news. Unfortunately, it is becoming expected and that's horrifying. Thanks for taking the time to engage with me. I can tell you are neither stoned nor stupid and it's always nice to chat with another very good human being :) Enjoy your retirement!