We’d love to hear from you to learn how we can make Outside better. Tell us what you think.

Perils of the Bike Lane

Last week on one of my weekly training rides, a six-hour trail loop from my house to the top of Ski Santa Fe and back on just about every trail and forest road in the near vicinity of town, I realized—with great regret—that fall is upon us. I usually arrive home well before sunset, but on the homestretch it was flat out dark and I'd brought no lights. In an effort to make myself visible, I rode a few feet out in traffic so cars behind me could better see my white jersey. I nearly made it home without incident, but then some guy in a pick-up blared his horn at me, pulled up at my side, and yelled, "Bikes belong in bike lanes, a**h***!" He tore off in a roar of diesel fumes before I could think of a snappy retort.

I never understand why bikes elicit so much ire: Is it really such an inconvenience to swing a bit wide and carry on? But don't get me going. In this case, too, I'll admit I was at fault for not having brought my lights—it was an honest oversight. But frankly, bike lanes aren't the idyllic havens they're made out to be. Often they're a gauntlet of gravel, detritus from auto accidents, beer cans and cups, and illegally parked cars. Once, I even almost ran over a pedestrian who decided the bike lane was a great place to sit down and relax. I wish every motorist could try driving on roads with potholes and obstacles wider than their wheels (much less people lounging) before they started screaming at bikers.

In my frustration, I found the following video, which perfectly sums things up. Cylists, be safe out there! And drivers, give us a break.


--Aaron Gulley

Filed To: Adventure / Biking
More Adventure
Pinterest Icon