Getting Buzzed… it happens almost every time I go on a ride around Douglas County. Most people give me three to six feet of space, even on a narrow road… but there are always one or two people who feel compelled to get dangerously close. Sometimes they yell to get off the road or lay on their horn in anger. It is as if I am riding my bike to ruin their day… I am actually riding my bike as recreation and exercise, and I try my best to be as close to the side of the road as is safe. Often from your car you can not really see what the shoulder looks like. Knowing the roads around Roseburg, as only a cyclist can, I know where the shoulder is covered with gravel, glass, large cracks, or is eroded away. To me it is better to maintain a fairly straight line then jolt out abruptly when these obstacles appear.
That white line has nothing to do with where I should be riding. The road belongs to me as well as any motor vehicle. The white line is just the edge of the road, it is not a bike path. I pay my taxes and should be allowed to use the roads without fear of angry motorists. I am less likely to need medical care as a result of weight, blood pressure, or heart issues. My rides benefit my health, my family, my students and my community because when we take care of ourselves we are taking care of all those who depend on us. If I can safely ride to the right of it, I will… but if not, I am not doing you, as a motorist, any favors by being unsafe.
When I rode yesterday not one person buzzed me! People gave me so much space, smiled and waved… maybe they knew that, like them, I had been waiting for some smoke free air. I was able to enjoy a ride, and maybe seeing me out there made them appreciate the clean air from a different perspective. Perhaps they even considered celebrating the smoke free air that same way. If we all grabbed our bikes and went for a ride our community would be healthier and happier…
Give it a try and maybe we won’t be getting buzzed so often.