Geni Hart letter: Bicyclers are safer in Poland and Germany
After riding my touring bike over 1,200 miles in Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland, I was amazed but not surprised when I arrived back home in Fargo to receive the treatment I have when riding here. In the entire month I traveled in these fo...
After riding my touring bike over 1,200 miles in Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland, I was amazed but not surprised when I arrived back home in Fargo to receive the treatment I have when riding here. In the entire month I traveled in these foreign countries, I was never honked at, told to get off the road or harassed in any other way. European countries respect and accommodate the bike as a major mode of transportation.
This last week, I was almost hit by a reckless pickup whose driver was distracted by a cell phone conversation. There was no recognition or apology from this individual for giving me the scare of my life. The same evening, I was riding to the street fair and a driver who very apparently did not want me on the road honked his horn and roared around me. I feel that the rules of the road need review because of an ignorance of my status as a bike rider.
E I am a legal vehicle on any street in Fargo unless otherwise posted.
E I have the right to the lane I am in and as in any other situation, you are to slow down and pass when you can. You can assume I will signal and follow the laws of the roadway.
E I do not belong on the sidewalk. You have to be under 13 to ride on these pedestrian walkways.
E Bikeways don't always go where I want to go. I am a commuter and traveler just like you are. Could you be confined to a "bikeway" and get where you want to go?
I bike for several reasons. Money savings ($80 to $100 a month) are only a part of the reason. If we all saved at least one tankful of gas a month by cycling, there would be no oil crisis. It also keeps me fit and is a good way to get my daily work out into my schedule. With obesity becoming a major epidemic in the US, think about those benefits.
Please respect me as a legitimate part of the traffic on the roads.