Bicyclists more than ‘allowed’ on roads

I am a recreational bicyclist and enjoy getting out on my bike for the exercise, the fresh air and the scenery. The recent editorial in the Bellevue News regarding sharing the roads made several good points, but I think you have missed the mark with some of the remarks as well.

I am a recreational bicyclist and enjoy getting out on my bike for the exercise, the fresh air and the scenery. The recent editorial in the Bellevue News regarding sharing the roads made several good points, but I think you have missed the mark with some of the remarks as well.

You say bicycles are “allowed” on the roadways, cyclists should avoid hilly roads, and not ride side by side. The general sentiment that I heard was that the roads are not meant for bicycles and that cyclists should do their best to ride on designated paths. Judging by the number of times passing motorist give me the bird or deliberately try to brush by me as they pass you are not alone in your thinking.

With a few exceptions, the laws in our state give bicyclists the same rights (and responsibilities) to the road as a motorist. Cyclists can ride down the middle of the travel lane if they so choose, but most don’t, as a courtesy to motorists - and self preservation. I might be parsing words, but when I read cyclists are allowed, versus have the right to the roadway, I come away with a different meaning.

Further cyclists can ride side by side on a road, again most don’t as a courtesy to motorists. I am not sure how to get around our area and avoid hilly roads, hills are simply part of our terrain. Since I ride for the exercise I like many others will seek out hills to ride. They are great exercise and a lot fun on the way down.

I certainly don’t condone the actions of the Seattle activists, but I think an attitude of patient and tolerance would help us all. And obviously I would agree with you that there is very little time lost when a motorist is caught behind a cyclist. So I would have encouraged or preferred a better understanding of the cyclists perspective, their rights, and more patient when sharing the road in your editorial.

Joel Glass