Friday, June 06, 2008
And another thing...
…about those bicycles.
That’s another thing we have in abundance passing by our front door. Bicycles. In a constant stream.
Now this is neither here nor there, as far as I am concerned. Although yes, Gwynne, Pode is as furious that he has to share the planet with bicycles as he does about buses. Or anyone who doesn’t pet him and assure him he is, indeed, the master of the universe.
Anyway, other than making Pode explode, the bicycles don’t bother me much.
However, I wonder how much the cyclists know about the road, because there is no bike path. There isn’t even a shoulder of the road and the road surface has a 4- to 5-inch drop off and then a water runoff trench. Not only that, practically the entire road is a double yellow line. It’s curvy with no visibility over hills.
I know it’s called Back Road, but, since it runs parallel to I-81 and US-11, it’s the major byway locals and construction vehicles use to avoid having to deal with the thru traffic on the larger highways. It’s not really a back road.
According to our neighbor/landlord there is at least one accident a year just in our little housing cluster. The whole road is over 30 miles long. And usually, he said, it’s not a car/cyclist incident; it’s a truck/cyclist incident.
If everyone used common courtesy and sense, there would be no problem. But there seems to be a high jerk factor among vehicle drivers and they are, by nature, drawn to seldom-patrolled roads like this one.
Because, you know, traffic laws were written for other people, not highly-qualified motorists like them. At least that’s what they think after a few beers or more. Weekends around here you would swear there was a frat house in the neighborhood hosting a two-day kegger. The yellow lines in the center of the road become meaningless
At any rate, I assume that if you ride a bicycle a lot, you at some point resign yourself to the fact that there probably are no safe places to ride other than specifically mapped out bike paths that, basically, go nowhere. I guess you’re just as resigned to dicing with death whenever you decide to don the helmet.