Blinkers, bike lanes, traffic violations—there's a reason the "Share the Road" bumper stickers were created
The best part of outdoor cycling is, well, being outdoors. All that fresh air and beautiful scenery make your commute to work or weekend ride as fun as it is healthy. But all those perks come at a serious cost: having to share the road with cars. Most cyclists have at least one story of a near miss or even actual collision with a car.
There's a reason the "Share the Road" bumper stickers were created—many drivers are completely oblivious to a cyclist's presence or simply doesn't know the rules of the road when it comes to interacting with bikes. So we asked a few cyclists, both pro and recreational, what they wish they could tell drivers.
1. Bike lanes are for bikes.
Do not drive in them. Do not block them. And especially do not park in one. (Or else your car could end up being relocated by this European cyclist/strongman!)
2. Trust me, I know you are back there and I am trying to get out of your way as fast as I can.
But no matter how fast I pedal I don't seem to go any quicker.
3. It's a beautiful day out here.
You look really cramped in there! You should really try this sometime! Wheee!
4. I know you don't want to be late to spin class.
But being patient only takes a few seconds out of your life and it could save my entire life. (Also, you might want to rethink that whole driving-to-ride-a-bike-in-place thing. Just saying.)
5. That noise you just heard? My entire life flashing before my eyes.
(And possibly screaming.) So if you even think you've hit me, pull over and make sure I'm ok!
6. It is nearly impossible to avoid all roads where you will get stuck behind me.
But don't blame cyclists for the road congestion, blame the engineers and city planners who created this mess in the first place.
7. Don't yell things out your window or catcall me (especially about my butt)!
Trust me, I already know my butt is a well-muscled work of art.
8. We're not trying to hog the road; the safest and most efficient way a group of cyclists can ride is two abreast.
Plus, it means we can hold hands and sing duets just like in those gum commercials. Don't deny us the joy of being the Doublemint twins.
9. Oh, sorry, did you not see me here?
I thought wearing every piece of neon clothing I own, a large helmet, and more lights than an airport runway would've made me stand out.
10. I know I didn't take Cyclist's Ed, but it turns out the rules of the road we all learned in Driver's Ed are the same for bikes as they are for cars.
So that means I'm supposed to be in the left turn lane if I'm turning left—don't cut me off!
11. Use your blinkers. I'm not Miss Cleo—I can't read your mind.
12. Give me some space!
I shouldn't be able to feel the heat from your exhaust or hear your karaoke ode to Eminem. The former scares me and the latter makes me scared for you.
13. Don't force me to stop quickly.
Have you ever seen someone run for a bus while trying to tie their shoes? That's me trying to unclip my shoes at every stop sign. Don't make this harder on me.
14. Treat a large group of cyclists like one big bus.
Don't cut between us or separate us and leave enough room behind us, just like you would for a middle school bus. (Or else we'll spit gum at you out the windows until the driver threatens to call our moms.)
All GIFs via GIPHY.