October 16, 2019

Share The Road

By Jo Mixon

It’s not just the right, courteous thing to do, it is the law.

Why is it that when we get behind the wheel of our cars, we become “other creatures”? We think we Rule the Road. All others are merely using our domain as we shout out profanities, cut other vehicles off, have the need for speed, lose all patience, text while driving, and generally act like spoiled brats. And heaven forbid we allow bicycles to take up our road space.

Well I hate to break Your Majesty’s bubble, but cars and R.V.’s are NOT the only legal vehicles on the road and being rude or downright dangerous to cyclists should stop! I remember years ago when motorcyclists had the same issues with us car royals. New Mexico State law treats bicycles the same as motor vehicles. It is legal for bicyclists to ride in the lane, within 3 foot of the white line, unless other wise marked. (That is pretty much the entire lane.)

Robin May, an avid cyclists recently wrote this on his face book page, “Had a side mirror 6 inches from my shoulder today as well as two oncoming vehicle passes ..dodgy cycling, terrible drivers with wider than vehicle trailers over the white line (remember; by law I am a vehicle and to be given sufficient safe space to the left of the white line regardless of the existence of a viable shoulder or not). I usually try to give space by holding my corridor in a predictable way on or slightly right of the white line.” This post alarmed me. Do you really want to harm someone for traveling on, what you perceive to be your road? The road is not yours, it is not mine, it is ours. And smaller vehicles are vulnerable to our much larger faster vehicles. Once again, bicycles are considered a vehicle by law and they have just as much right to travel on the road as your vehicle does! Passing a bicycle should be done with the same courtesy as passing a car. So why do we use our vehicles as intimidation and try to push them onto the shoulder, into the gravel?

He also wrote, “There are areas in the country where the critical mass of cyclists create an arrogance much like the pedestrian version we all know. “I am going to step out right in front of you and dare you to hit me!” Cyclists like that who ride in areas side by side by side in defiance of logic are assholes. Single file athletes who are legally riding within their 3 foot (left of white line) zone are within their rights and deserve the same courtesy as other vehicles. Thank you for all the folks who pass me every day who give me a wide berth when there is no on coming traffic or at a minimum hug the middle line (cause…there is space when you are aware)! BTW…I know the toot of the horn seems like a friendly warning…but it scares the bejeesus out of rider. Thanks!”

Please take this into consideration in your vehicle. Slow down and move over. Let’s play nice!

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