If you're planning to go bicycling on this 207th anniversary of our independence, you'd better be aware that drivers of cars out there don't like you very much.
"Hardly a day goes by that a cyclist does not cut in front of me without a signal while turning or changing lanes," fumes Wallace C. Wilson of Georgetown. "My car has been hit three times this spring by cyclists trying to squeeze between lanes of cars stopped for a traffic signal . . . .
"They are also the ones who run the red light you are stopped for and they do not have license plates to identify them. Let us not forget the cyclist who is doing 15 miles per hour in a 25-mile-an-hour zone and will not move over to the right and let the faster vehicles pass because 'he has his rights.' "
More statistically inclined, but just as angry, is Martha L. Covington of Arlington. "If each reader of your column looked at only one cyclist on the way to or from work and counted the number of violations he or she committed, I think you would be amazed!", she writes.
Meanwhile, Don Vance of Alexandria comes down with both feet on cyclists who use the sidewalks because they're safer than the streets.
"Safer for whom?" cries Don. "Cyclists don't seem to realize, or ignore the fact, that they are subject to the same vehicle code laws as are other vehicles," especially laws forbidding them to ride on sidewalks.
Let me pull on my striped referee's shirt and say that I think there's plenty of guilt on both sides. But let me also say that, on a holiday like today, with traffic of all kinds everywhere you look, cyclists should be extra careful. We'd like to see all of you around for No. 208.