Cyclists are human. Please treat us as such.

shareI’m a cyclist. I ride for both transportation and recreation. When riding for recreation, I choose roads that have light traffic. It makes the ride more peaceful and enjoyable. This keeps me mentally and physically healthy. Riding for transportation is a little different and is a conscious choice. I have a valid driver’s license, I pay property tax and auto insurance on my vehicle. However, I know that choosing to ride a bicycle instead of driving a car has a positive impact on the environment, my health, and the health of others. I don’t take up much road or parking space and despite what some may think, cyclists do not contribute to traffic congestion. In fact, studies have proven we have the opposite affect. It also helps me and my family allocate money for more important things than traveling a few miles per hour faster every day.

 

When riding for transportation to and from work, my choices are limited. I try to stay on lightly traveled roads. However, I’m not so lucky to have only those roads between my home and work. In order to get back and forth to work, I must travel some roads where traffic is heavy, roads that are used by large freight trucks and the cars going high speeds. These are the roads in which I experience more erratic behavior from motorists. Most are courteous and seem to respect my right to share these roads with them. However, fairly frequently I experience mistreatment from an impatient motorist who behaves in an unsafe manner. They will often speed past me at an unsafe passing distance, sometimes into oncoming traffic. More than occasionally, they will come around me blowing the horn or revving their engine, even on straight stretches where there is plenty of passing room and no oncoming traffic. Sometimes, they roll down the window and yell at me. I can almost never make out what they are saying but it doesn’t sound nice. Legally, I have just as much right to be there as they do and this behavior is absurd and puzzles me. It leads me to think they probably lack power in their lives or relationships and yelling at me and treating me this way, somehow gives them a sense of reclaimed dignity.

 

All I ask is that you notice me. Slow down a little for a few seconds and wait until it is safe to pass. I have two kids who love me and would be devastated if I didn’t make it home. I would like to see them make it through school and go on to have successful careers and raise their families. I have a wife I want to spend the rest of my life with. So please, see me as a person who is not polluting your air and running up road repair costs that you and I both, as tax payers, will have to pay for. We all are important, let’s be safe and look out for each other.

-Eric Phillips

Owner: Skinny Wheels Bike Shop