Saturday, October 10, 2009

Word Verification - cycle

I just post a comment on a friend's blog and, as usual, was asked to type in a word verification to certify that I am indeed a human being.

Usually, these things are random letters or made up words that make me giggle as I imagine what the meaning of this crazy word would be.

However, this particular time, I got a real word: CYCLE. Well that's no fun. I know what cycle means. When I was training for my Olympic Triathlon, I did a bunch of cycling (much to the dismay of my rear-end!).

But it did get me thinking about that time of constant cycling on the open road. Sometimes it was really peaceful as we often rode near on a road near the river with little traffic. However, many times it was stressful as many drivers didn't pay attention to us, didn't care, or just didn't realize that we did in fact have a right to the road as well.

A bicycle is a vehicle...just like a car, truck, or motorcycle. We have to follow the rules of the roads like riding on the right hand side and obeying traffic signs. If we are considered a vehicle, then we should be treated as a vehicle. Meaning, if you want to pass us, just like you would a little old grandma who is out for a Sunday drive, you wait until the oncoming traffic is clear then you move over into the other lane and pass. Don't try to squeeze between us and the oncoming traffic. If you hit us, you are definitely in the better position to walk away!

Most bikers are courteous and ride as close to the edge of the road as possible knowing that at top speeds a car will easily be going faster. Cycle "packs" have their own rules too. The last rider will notice a car first usually and will yell "Car Back!" which will be repeated all the way up the line to insure that everyone knows there is a car coming hat is more than likely going to try to pass (similarly, the first person will yell "Car Front!" which will get passed back when there is a car coming towards them.) This allows all the bikers to be ready for the bigger vehicle to pass by 1)being aware and 2) moving over even further if there is room.

Amazingly enough, there was a news piece on about a group of cyclist in a nearby county that is trying to get something done about enforcing traffic laws concerning cycles and cyclist... if nothing else, to make the public aware. Too many cyclists have been forced off the road, hit, or otherwise hurt by careless drivers.

Please pay attention to who is on the road with you as you drive. Cyclists are out there, and even with a helmet on, they are much more vulnerable than you are in your vehicle.

Comment on this post please, and let me know what your word verification is. What do you think it means and what does it make you think of?