I ride my road bike on the road because that’s where it’s designed to be ridden.
Also, since my community lacks connected bike path infrastructure, to get where I’m going on a bike, I have to use roads.
Whenever possible, I choose low-speed, less-traveled roads. However, sometimes I have to ride on the highway to get where I’m going.
I have met several cyclists who no longer ride on paved roads. They stick to gravel roads exclusively. They’ve had too many run-ins with ignorant, inattentive, or ill-willed automobile drivers.
I’m not willing to give up road riding. I think things are getting better, with more cyclists on the road and more awareness of safe driving practices.
But I did buy a bike camera to record the traffic around me, just in case.
On a recent ride, I had a semi truck pass me far too fast and far too close for comfort.
My bike camera captured it all. I had the license plate and DOT number, the company name, the time/date stamp.
But still, I wondered what to do.
Clearly, the footage is scary, but does the close pass violate the “3 feet to pass” law? They didn’t hit me, and I didn’t crash from an air wake blow-over. Would this be worth taking to law enforcement? Should I try contacting the company directly, or would that accomplish nothing but stir up a hornet’s nest for me?
Instead, I decided to turn this video clip into an educational opportunity, and a shout out to drivers who rate an “A+” in how they maneuver around bicyclists.
Here’s my little video (which I struggled long and hard with in iMovie to create – no video artist am I).
I’m sure this video will win me some criticism.
Like, I probably should have been riding further left in the lane to signal to the drivers behind me that they should change lanes to pass. But would that have only landed me closer to the passing semi? Traffic interactions are such a delicate dance!
Regardless, I hope that it makes people think about their interactions on the road and contributes to overall road safety.
The life you save may be mine!
Copyright 2016 by Katie Bradshaw