The never ending debate: cars v. bikes.
All I want is to go ride my bike, safely, without being harassed by automobiles driven by rude and/or ignorant and/or uncaring drivers. I want to ride faster than 5 miles an hour, and longer than 5 miles.
I'm *not* interested in challenging said automobiles (or even the blissfully ignorant pedestrians). I wear brightly colored jerseys so the drivers and the walkers and the runners can *see* me and stay a reasonable and respectful distance away. I wear a helmet ALWAYS. My brakes are in excellent working condition, and the rest of my equipment is well cared for. I check my tires before every ride, and add air if necessary. The state requires me to have reflectors, and if I ride in the dark (which I try never to do), I add a light, and extra reflective clothing.
I NEVER ride with an Ipod or headphones of any kind. I like to hear the wind, and I listen for traffic and people who might wave and say hello. Or other bikes coming up behind me.
I want a reasonable amount of space when I ride. I don't always ride the white line because I *know* there is a culvert coming up. Or a storm drain, or a pothole. I ride these roads every week, and I *see* them. You automobile drivers probably don't know them the way I do. I'll ride inside the white line when its safe to do so. "Safe" being, I can travel more than a couple of bike lengths without coming up against a curb.
I want to know that I can rely on *you* driver/walker following the same rules of the road that I follow. But I never assume that's the case. Perhaps you should do the same, and pay attention when you drive. I've read too many stories about what happens when cars and bikes get mixed up. I KNOW the bike always loses. I KNOW people who've lost.
I want to ride the roads that I ride without making a political statement, polluting the air, or creating noise (other than the hum the spokes on my wheel make when I get above 25 mph). I want to challenge my body and enjoy that bliss you get from moving in rhythm and harmony on a beautiful clear morning.
I'm not allowed on interstate highways, and that's perfectly fine with me, you can keep them. I'm not interested in licensure, or taxes. If you logged the miles of bike travel v. the miles of car travel, I bet the bikes would end up, proportionately owing a couple of pennies a rider. Consider this my two cents.