For all of 2013, I did not own an car. I rode to work every day on my bike. Even though I am now car owning Hoosier, I still commute to work on my bike any day that I do not have to wear a suit and tie. I have biked and run literally tens of thousands of miles all over the world and I have never encountered people more inhospitable to bikers than the residents of Indiana. In Indiana I have had change thrown out me, been swerved at, and been honked at; in addition, I have seen a runner get hit in the head with a full can of pop, have had lit cigarettes thrown at me, and been spit on- all by complete strangers merely because I was running or riding on the road or in the shoulder.
As the number of cyclists increase in Indianapolis, Hoosier drivers have to become more attentive to cyclists (see earlier post on this blog detailing numerous relevant traffic laws ). I would hope in light of the recent death of a 23 year old cyclist (http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2014/04/25/man-killed-collision-bus-loved-ride-bike/8179549/) that we would all take a moment to review those rules. However more importantly pay attention when you drive- Look for bikes. Bikers should do their part and not run red lights or stop signs. If you find yourself driving to work in your car and “stuck” behind a cyclist going 20 mph, please be reasonable. I understand that you will have to wait perhaps a minute maybe two to get to a place where you can safely (with at least three feet of space between your car and the bike) pass said cyclist- be reasonable and think is honking at the biker or running him off the road really justified by you getting to your destination 90 seconds faster? Instead of throwing a cigarette at the cyclist or seeing how close you can come to him without hitting him think of the money he is saving you in reduced health insurance costs, or the amount of wear tear his 150 pound rig is putting on the city’s streets vs a 2,000 pound car? Instead of telling him what you think about his sexual orientation maybe, perhaps you should thank him for saving us all money. Perhaps you could be inspired to do something small for your community, your planet, and yourself and get on your bike. Share the road, save the earth.