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Sharing the Road

I have a bumper sticker on my car that says, "Share The Road". Bicyclesuse the roads for the same reason everyone else does, because roads connectus to where we want to go. In all fifty state bicycles are legal vehiclesand a sensible form of transportation. Driving a car instead of ridinga bike adds to the traffic congestion, a sedentary life style, air pollution,noise pollution, dependence on foreign oil, etc.

If you believe  that your right to the road comes from your sizeand power, you can buy a larger SUV than your neighbor and use your caras weapon to claim "your turf". I prefer an attitude of mutual respectto the attitude that "might makes right".

My "Share the Road" sticker is aimed as well at fellow cyclists. Asmany cyclists are inconsiderate of motorist as vice versa. Remember thatbicycle riders can be ticketed for traffic violations just as a motoristcan. If no law enforcement officers were reading this, I would admit thatI sometimes roll thru stop signs both in my car and on my bike, and sometraffic lights have magnetic sensors in the road that don't give bicyclesthe option of proceeding on green. However, the cyclists who blatantlydisregard traffic lights and stop signs even when they are in traffic losewhat little respect they had and make the roads more dangerous.

Francois, a French priest who used to live in Cincinnati, was involvedin contra dancing and road bicycling, including long distance road riding.He claimed his rightful place on the road without being impolite to motoristsor fellow bicyclists. I greatly admired his active role in initiatinga non confrontational tone with other vehicles. He would makeeye contact, wave and smile. The operator of the other vehicle wouldoften follow his cue by smiling and waving back with more than one finger.A little extra effort to be cooperative and friendly sometimes helps.

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