We have all seen them. We have maybe uttered a few choice words about them. We have maybe driven just a little too close to them. And, we all have asked the question “Why are you cycling in the middle of the road?” Unless, of course, you’re a cyclist.
I understand the frustration and anger. My husband’s head nearly explodes when he sees a lycra-clad person on two wheels straying out into the double yellow and inhibiting his route for 10-20 seconds. That is precisely why I feel the need to tell you some reasons we may be there. It’s really the least I can do for my fellow cyclists.
Just to be clear, I am speaking of the cyclist who is otherwise following the rules and doesn’t think he’s above them. I would never speak for the turd in a skin tight kit, operating a $10,000 bike made from air, who thinks he owns the road. Nope, not him. He is just a douche and I’m not sure what’s happening there. Feel fee to sound your horn, flip the bird and yell obscenities.
For everyone else, I offer four very legitimate reasons for cycling over the white line:
1. Flat Tires
I know all of you drivers think that white line was made for runners and cyclists and anyone else who is on the road moving under 30 miles an hour. What you don’t know perhaps, because you have not seen the other side of the white line, is all the debris inside that line! It’s a veritable junk yard of nastiness with glass, metal scraps, acorns, nails, and sand.
I ride to avoid flat tires at all costs and, riding into a glass and metal scrap yard, is not the way to stay flat free. When the inside lane is clear, I take full advantage and ride on the inside. In fact, I will even chose routes where I know the lanes are clearer than others but, when I have the choice between riding into the road or into glass, guess where I’ll be?
2. Pot Holes, Cracks and Otherwise Wrecked Road Conditions
You have no idea how many obscenities I utter when I’m forced into a pock marked piece of asphalt with ruts and ridges. Two words people – – lady parts. Going 20+ miles per hour and then hitting a patch of rough road where your bike is bouncing in all the wrong places, your tires are getting the business and your helmet is sliding down your head, is not enjoyable. I do my best to check behind me when I see rough road ahead, so I can safely move into the road, but I will avoid the bumps at all costs. Ok, maybe not death but, you get the point.
3. Blind Driveways and Roads
Here’s the thing, when a car comes speeding out of their driveway or a side road, they could kill me. I tend to be extra cautious on some of my routes that have a lot of these blind spots and, since I value my life, I swing out into the road to give myself a fighting chance if a driver comes screaming out, unexpectedly.
Once I pass the blind drive and/or roadway I immediately get back to the side of the road.
It seems to come as an utter shock to some drivers but, when I need to make a left at a stoplight or stop sign I can be in the turning lane with the rest of the cars. Yes, I can! Just back off and let me be on my way. Trust me, I want to get out from in between cars as quickly and as safely as possible.
[Tweet “4 Legit Reasons for #Cyclists in the Middle of the Road! #sharetheroad”]
With all of that being said, I want it known that I am a very cautious cyclist. I never take risks out there because I know how easily I could be run over by a driver who is either distracted or just doesn’t see me. I write this so we can share the road and avoid any more senseless deaths or ruined lives because of a few seconds. Be patient. Be kind. Be careful.
Oh, and don’t be a douche…
Do cyclists in the middle of the road annoy you?
Are you one of them?
Did I leave out any other good reason?