Bikes and cars: Lessons learned

April 10, 2011

As I have written, even before last week’s events, I was bike-friendly: believing in the basic principle that bikes have a right to be on the road and to be safe there. Though I have been taken aback by the intensity and anger I have met in the past week, it has not changed my sympathetic view towards bikes on the road. Au contraire!

Some things I’ve learned:

— The cycling community is very tight-knit, hypersensitive to insult or incursion, resistant to giving benefit of the doubt to drivers, and so intensely ideological as to be unable to separate friends from enemies: If you are in a car, you’re bad; if you’re on a bike, you’re good.

— Cyclists have every right to be paranoid and hostile: Any interaction between a car and a bike is inherently more dangerous for the cyclist than for the driver. Not only that, but they face the indifference and outright hostility of drivers all the time. Who could blame them for seeing cars (and drivers) as enemies?

[Continue reading Keith Berner’s post at Left-Hand View.]

Keith Berner blogs at Left-Hand View. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

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