September-October 2008 Newsletter
From the President
Iím sure youíve noticed the increase in utilitarian cyclists. Iíve seen
more commuters and more people toting groceries and other goods on
their bikes than I can remember. The escalating price of gas and the
increased focus on healthfulness has helped. We might wake up one
day soon and find ourselves in a time when cycling will be cool, not
just for the skinny, body-suited racers but the everyman cyclist.
Like you and me.
So I couldnít have picked a better time to begin my
two-times-a-week commuting goal. Readers of this space know all too
well the difficulty Iíve had getting the miles in. Iíve finally stopped fooling myself about
leaving the office early enough to make many evening club rides. Commuting seemed like
the obvious solution. I felt the excitement of feeling like a trailblazer, even though I knew
cyclists who had commuted for years. The gas savings would be a bonus.
Finding the right route from St. Matthews to the Buechel area was the first challenge.
Getting to Browns Lane was easy. From there to Hikes Lane, to Old Bardstown Road, to
Buechel Bank Road and into the GE parking lot for a total of 11 miles made a great
morning work-out, especially since a new gym and showers facilities had been added.
The most challenging part of the ride was the Hikes Lane leg. This road wouldnít know
bike-friendly from a hole in the ground (of which there are several.) Four lanes of 55-mph
traffic, treacherous storm water drains and bumps, lumps and grooves. You canít tell if
youíre sweating from the workout or the fright. The trip homeóusually after 7óis more
relaxed. Motorists are less harried and so the road rage quotient is lower.
Along with the increase in cyclists has come an increase in reports of cyclist-motorist
conflicts. Some, no doubt, result directly from the fact that more riders mean more
occasions for an incident to occur. But some result from increased driver impatience with
having to share the road on more occasions. And worse, some conflicts result from
increased driver resentment (or rage) at having to share the road.
Everyone is predicting that the upward trend in commuting and utilitarian cycling will
continue. That puts a special responsibility on LBC to provide tools to these new riders to
enable them to go competently and safely. Youíll be hearing more about that and weíll be
asking some of you to help with a broader education effort.
In the meantime, stand on your rights to the road. Ride safe and donít let that minority of
bad, disregardful or angry drivers get the jump on you.
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web posted: 17 Jan 2009
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