I mentioned in my post on the Rainbow Ramble Prelude that Molly and I stopped to help a family with some mechanical problems. Molly noted that one of the teenagers had her helmet strapped to her handlebars instead of wearing it. She mentioned to her that our friend had an accident on a bike path recently and ended up with fatal head injuries. As we rode down the path we saw many people without helmets on. All of them were obviously not experienced cyclists, and therefore actually more likely to fall or crash than anyone. There really seems to be a misconception that if you ride slow, or ride a beach cruiser, or only ride occasionally that it isn’t necessary to wear a helmet. Many of the bike path cyclists also tended to not be able to hold their bikes steady, weaving around the bike path. These individuals and small children with very little awareness of their surroundings actually make bike paths fairly dangerous for all.

I know a lot of drivers don’t like bikes on the road, thinking they should only be on bike paths. Their concern is somewhat valid. I don’t like to drive with cyclists nearby either. Some riders really act unpredictably and the last thing I want to do is run a cyclist over. Most cyclists would rather ride on the road with traffic than to deal with issues on bike paths.

Friction between motorists and cyclists can be very dangerous. Many cyclists seem to get just as angry at motorists as they do at cyclists. It is clear that many motorists do not comprehend what it is like to be on a bike and have cars swerving around you, but most cyclists do know what it is like to be driving a car. Regardless of what the law is, if you get hit on your bike, you lose. So, the cyclist had better be the cautious one.

I’ll finish with one recommendation to cyclists. Be extremely cautious if you are passing cars on the right. If you are continuously passing the same cars at stop lights, you are going to be pissing off some drivers. They had to skirt around you once, and then when the next light changes to green they have to skirt around you again. This is very common on some of the coastal routes when going through the coastal towns.

I know, cars suck. Playing chicken with them can suck more. Be safe out there.