How many minutes are you worth?
Every year someone dies on a bicycle. Cars hit bicyclists every year and every year there are people in our community, friends, family, co-workers that suffer injuries and worse due to being struck by vehicles. There are many instances of DUI involvement and many more of clean and sober moving violations on either parties side. The part that pisses me off the most is the surge of bike hate that causes malicious acts against cyclist for the simple reason of being too slow, taking up space or being presumed to have some superiority. There are bloggers that write about being so angry with the slow moving cyclists downtown that they want to encourage people to spray them in the face with super soakers filled with hot sauce concoctions. Garbage and slushies are thrown at cyclists in and out of bike lanes. Burning cigarettes too. Any cyclist who has read a post about a bicycle accident knows standard responses include "Were they wearing a helmet?" "Were they in their lane?" "Why do they have to be in the road when there is a sidewalk?" and other such responses working to assign blame to the cyclist.
I am not saying every cyclist is perfect and without fault. Just last night I was walking my toddler and a cyclist was riding down one of the busiest streets in town in the wrong direction. He was staying as close to the side as he could get. There was no bike lane and no shoulder and he was blatantly a danger. I get this. I understand how the driver of a vehicle could be upset by this but what it comes down to for me is the fact that this man is unprotected. He is a life. I am tired of everyone being in such a hurry that the value of a life is reduced.
Safely moving around a cyclist takes less than a minute most of the time. What if it takes 5 or 10 or even 15 minutes? What is the value of that life versus getting to work on time or whatever location your vehicle is taking you? Is putting that person in danger worth those minutes?
To all the drivers out there I'd like to say stay off the hooch, put down the phone, slow down and start seeing the life over the bike and the destination.
To all the cyclists out there I'd like to say stay safe, keep riding, play defense and enjoy your ride.