Cyclists: Public Perceptions versus Reality – Is there an Issue?Dale Campbell, Co-Editor
In the letter, the author was commenting about road plowing and how bicycle lanes were included in the plowing efforts for main thruways in what seemed to be deference away from plowing side streets for automobiles. The comments then went into a somewhat extensive discussion about how “… bike riders don’t follow the rules…. Bikes blow through stop lights, scoot between you and the curb on the corner that you are about to make a legal turn on red as they go through the red light.” The writer further documents other concerning observations about cyclists, noting, for example, that “bike riders run stop signs and then have the nerve to scream at the pedestrian they almost ran over….” Thankfully, the letter’s contributor does make an encouraging statement about kids on bikes “…who by the way are taught better bike manners and safety than most adults.”
While I know that there are many cyclists who practice safety and courtesy on the road (I know because I’ve ridden with many of you during my cycling here in the Springs and in Colorado), I realize that there are others out there that do, unfortunately, fit the descriptions noted in the Letter to the Editor. I’ve even seen them while driving or while being out on the motorcycle. My hope is that as the general public becomes more aware of and accustomed to bicyclists in Colorado Springs, these types of “reckless” cyclists become a shrinking percentage of all of the cyclists that get out on the city’s streets and trails.
We all need to be safe while out on bikes. That should be second nature as you ride on the streets and trails that we have available to use. I also hope that courtesy to others is also second nature as you’re out peddling for purpose or for pleasure. Make the courtesy item a part of your mental checklist each and every time you get out and ride.
- Tires OK – check.
- Brakes work – check.
- Helmet on and buckled – check.
- Water available – check.
- Thoughtfulness to others on the highways and byways – CHECK!