I came across this info graphic about cars and bikes this morning that I thought was really valuable.
It is…by far…one of the best illustrations I have seen to date on driver/road biker relations. I can not begin to tell you how many rides I have been on where a road biker will yell, scream, cuss and throw things at drivers that come too close.
Yes…the driver was in the wrong…but so was the reaction.
For some reason, some road bikers believe they are doing some sort of good by flying off the handle at drivers of cars and trucks. In reality, all they are doing is further making the relationship between drivers and road bikers even worse. Do you really think you are making a difference by acting like a lunatic? All you are really doing is proving the wrongful thinking of the driver that road bikers are crazy and wreckless.
Furthermore, the road biker seems to conveniently forget that by acting this way, they are also fueling the stereotype that road bikers are angry assholes on the road and that makes it harder for the rest of us (and more unsafe) that just want to get out and enjoy the open road.
Just like the illustration says, we need to not fight fire with fire. We need to give the reaction that is unexpected. Have you ever tried talking to a driver nicely about what happened?
“Hey man, I know you probably didn’t mean to, but you go really close to us back there. Can you please leave just a little bit more room next time? I would hate to see something go wrong.”
If they still get mad at that point, then it is their own issues but you didn’t make the situation worse by being a jackass which would further justify their anger. Let’s lose the angry roadie attitude once and for all. Let’s finally do our part in driver/road biker relations by leading by example and not through hate.
We can raise awareness and try to get legislation passed, but until we step up and act how we would like to be treated…nothing will change.