I just heard an segment on NPR this morning from Austin Texas that was about bicyclists using cameras to document their rides. It was interesting, they interviewed Hill Abell, owner of Bicycle Sport Shop in Austin, and Rebecca Rush, who doesn’t need any introduction. I think she might be down in Austin for SXSW?
Anyway, the story talked about how riders are using cameras to record their altercations they are having with automobiles. And how popular this has become. I’m not sure that is the best reason to have a camera on a bike, but it is a reason.
I know there is a growing animosity on the roads now. I’ve personally witnessed the escalation my whole life. But there is more general animosity in all aspects of life, not just between bicycles and automobiles, so I guess it is “normal”
The NPR segment said that gravel grinders, and guys riding on gravel roads, is becoming popular because of the altercations between bikes and cars. I agree. I know quite a few riders that feel much more comfortable riding on gravel. Some really good riders that have been in the sport for a long time. They feel safer.
I wonder if that is really true? Seems like there is a higher chance of getting hurt on gravel. Not really hurt, just hurt. I guess if you removed 98% of the automobiles from the equation, it is safer in that respect. If you feel safer, that is what is important. If you don’t feel safe riding a bike, then most likely, it won’t be that enjoyable.
I’m not sure why our society is more hostile that it was when I was a kid. When I first started riding a bicycle in Kansas, we never thought twice about running lights and stop signs. And it didn’t bother anyone. People would just assume we were kids and that is what kids did. People used to wave all the time. They would even wave while I was running a red light. It was a just different time.
Here in Kansas, people will still wave back at you, but in general, people are too busy, maybe too self-absorbed, to be courteous to others.
Society needs to discuss our general aggression. Alleviating hostility in society would go a long way towards a more symbiotic relationship between cyclist and drivers.