Some drivers don’t respect cyclists

Riders must also be watchful and wear appropriate gear

Editor, The Record:

Having ridden my bike to work often during the past two years, I read with sadness and understanding about the young Mission boy who was hit by a truck.

I have been clipped twice by pick-up drivers on the bicycle route. One truck hit me with his extended mirrors as he turned right and into my path. Another truck driver clipped me with his flatbed trailer as he neglected to steer around me. In both cases, I fell and sustained minor injuries. In June, I turned a corner on wet pavement and hit a patch of dropped mown grass; I ground to a halt on my elbow, which was skinned to the bone, resulting in a trip to emergency and stitches.

Riding a bicycle in Mission is dangerous. People have honked at me, cut me off, sworn and given me the finger. Many drivers do not care to share the road. They do not realize that riders cannot always hug the side of the pavement; due to a number of obstacles.

Then there are the people on cellphones who are not paying attention and don’t notice they are straying into the bicycle lanes. There are those who deliberately cut the corners and stray into the bicycle lanes, not realizing that there may be a cyclist or a pedestrian just around the corner and out of sight until the last minute. The worst part of my ride is travelling the Cedar Connector, which many drivers seem to think is a racetrack, especially during the morning or afternoon rush.

One group I must commend are the dump truck drivers. In my experience, they are observant, obey speed limits, slow down, pass me when safe, and give me a wide berth. I often ride on back roads where they are driving, and they are always cautious and courteous. Not so the waste truck drivers or bus drivers, who, as a group, often come perilously close and cause me to be wary. On a few occasions, waste trucks and buses have caused me to veer off into the curb or gravel.

On the other side of the coin, cyclists should be watchful, stay as much as possible to the right, be safe by wearing reflective gear and lights, and use clear hand signals. Mission, with its many hills and dales, is a great place to ride. We can all be watchful, courteous, and share the road in order to be safe.

Kathryn Patten

Mission