Over the last 10 years I have ridden my bicycle over 60,000 miles on roads I share with cars, trucks, motorcycles, and tractor-trailers. I have had a number of what I can only describe “as close calls” with vehicles over the years that range from mild inconveniences, to heart stoppers to shitting my shorts. I have been cussed at, had cigarettes flicked at me, horns blown, yelled at, swerved at and even had full cans of beer thrown at my head. I keep pedaling.
This tragedy in Kalamazoo, Mich. breaks my heart. These five cyclist were mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, friends and co-workers out doing what they enjoy, what they love, pedaling their bicycles. I think about the dangers every time my wife and I begin a ride. I have to balance the benefits, the enjoyment we derive from riding our bicycles against sharing the road with distracted drivers, angry drivers, drunk drivers, and impatient drivers. I keep pedaling.
I am cyclist, let me pedal. Let me pedal without having to defend myself. I will show you respect, I will be courteous. I will get off the road if I need to so you can pass me. I won’t run stop signs. I don’t try to purposely ruin your day or hold you up. I am doing what I love, we are doing what we love. Let me pedal, let us pedal.
What can you do? Pay attention, slow down, give yourself time to get to your destination, and put your phone down. These are all things that will save my life and guess what yours too. We are cyclist, let us pedal, let us live.