Saturday, June 21, 2008

Higher Gas Prices and Riding Bicycles

Now that gas prices are skyrocketing, I'm seeing more and more adults riding bicycles around town. Nearly all these bike riders use the road, rather than biking on sidewalks, as many places around town don't even have sidewalks.

In accordance with what is the law in most states, such bicyclists ride with car traffic, instead of against it.

I've never understood that law. As a kid, I always rode against traffic. When one rides against traffic, they can see what's coming at them and can adjust their path accordingly. When my son was a kid, I'd told him to ride against traffic as well.

I'd feel uncomfortable riding with traffic, having to blindly trust motorists to watch out for me. And as a motorist, I'm frequently confronted with bicycle riders who misjudge the proper place to aim their bicycles on the road and end up too close to the lane of car traffic.

As gas prices remain high, we can expect to see even more bicyclists on the roads, which has the potential to create even more traffic problems. Some places have roads sufficiently wide enough to create special bike lanes, but most do not.

What are your thoughts on this issue?

1 comment:

KingOfAnkh said...

Because gas prices are about $9 a gallon in the UK I contemplated buying a bicycle even though the round trip to work would mean I would have to peddle around 30 miles a day.

What changed my mind is the perilousness of riding on the roads, whether you cycle into traffic or not. I certainly don't fancy being squashed by a truck.