Cycling is big on the street where I live. A bike shop recently opened nearby and cyclists frequently head out for Sunday afternoon group rides. Sometimes there’s a theme. A few months ago, the cyclists were all wearing tweed and tartan and many of the bikes were adorned with flowers. I find it both entertaining and uplifting to watch these folks ride.
I’m a bit less sanguine about the cyclists I encounter crossing Jordan Lake on Farrington Road at 5:30 p.m. on a weekday. That’s a busy, narrow road with no bike lane. During that time of day, when everyone is heading home from work, there often is little opportunity to pass a cyclist who isn’t traveling the speed limit.
And I’m downright hostile to cyclists who use the right hand edge of a single lane to pass a queue of motor vehicles stopped a stop light to claim a position in front.
My admittedly schizophrenic reaction to sharing the road with cyclists illustrates some of the difficulties faced by the working group charged with assisting the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) in formulating statutory changes to better ensure the safety of bicyclists and motorists on the state’s roadways. Perhaps, then, it was predictable that NCDOT’s recommendations would be a mixed bag, generating both cheers and jeers from the cycling community. Continue reading