Drivers vs. bicycists

There has been a cascade of bicycling related letters to this page since the recent announcement that Glendale is planning to create a dedicated bicycle lane both ways on Honolulu Avenue in Montrose. Although there are definitely both pros and cons on this decision, I tend to favor the new bike lanes.

However, there has been a negative flavor to some of the letters on both sides of this issue that I'd like to comment on.

As a cyclist for nearly 50 years, I have certainly witnessed and occasionally had my life endangered by malignant and/or witless drivers. One of many such examples was during a morning ride on the road ringing the Rose Bowl and golf course. I always ride as close to the road edge as is safe.

One morning, I was almost hit and driven off the road by some moron who apparently hated cyclists. I shouted (without profanity) at him to move over. He stopped his pickup in the middle of the road and started to get out of his pickup with testosterone fire blazing in his eyes, shouting “What did you say, buddy?”

I meekly said nothing more and fortunately was able to go on my way without having my brains kicked out.

There have been many other unpleasant personal incidents by those drivers who think they own the roads, so I eventually decided to ride my bike only early Saturday and Sunday mornings when the traffic is light because I'm very fond of having a functioning body and brain.

But on the opposite side of the equation, as a driver, I have found myself many times uttering a few choice words I learned in the Merchant Marine umpteen years ago about lizard-brain bikers. Particularly egregious are those riding two or more abreast blocking my passing, particularly on two-lane streets.

And of course, there are the many times a cyclist roared through a stop sign just as I was about to pull into the intersection after stopping. And, although in a different venue, there are also those insane cyclists who ride down the mountain fire roads at warp speed — woe to any poor hiker or jogger who isn't paying attention as the cyclist flies around blind curves in the road.

So, what's the point? It's clear that we all need to transcend our narrow little selves and viewpoints and recognize that there are other selves out there that deserve our consideration and concern.

And this doesn't apply to just drivers vs. bicyclists.

Robert Morrison


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