Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Sharing the Road

The pavement on the roads is staying mostly dry these days.  A definite sign of spring.  Along with the dry pavement out come another sign of spring... the cyclists.  The road to our house is a winding two lane that flows through farmland and trees.  It is considered a 'pretty' drive and this has made it a favourite with the people who enjoy cycling.  Most of them look professional, all decked out with the proper suits, helmets and I'm sure the best of bikes.  They are Tour de France wannabees I'm thinking each time I see them.  As much as I admire their obvious fitness levels and devotion, sometimes their presence makes me uncomfortable.  I'm a little concerned trying to get around them and having to share the road with them.
 One evening I was driving home about dusk and encountered a long line of cars all moving like a caravan.  At the start were two cyclists riding side by side, seemingly oblivious to the line of cars now snaking behind them.  In the near dark and on two lanes with oncoming traffic, each car was having to use a very small window of opportunity to pull out and pass them. It seemed so dangerous to me; an accident waiting to happen was all I could think  and I was simply grateful that they had turned down a side road by the time it was turn to try to get by. 
There have been a number of tragic accidents here in Ottawa involving cyclists.  Meanwhile, there is a strong movement to share the main roads with bikes even in the downtown area which is very tight space-wise and often traffic congested.  As much as I want to support such a movement...so much good in it, I am so afraid for the bikers themselves.  It seems to be dangerous and I know I'm not the only driver who gets nervous sharing the road with cyclists.