• Tue April 21 2009
  • Posted Apr 21, 2009
Today's Inbox Des Moines Register As a RAGBRAI veteran who has ridden thousands of miles on a bicycle across Iowa’s trails and highways, and who also drives a vehicle, I feel compelled to comment on Marc Hansen’s April 18 column about bicyclists and motorists. As a bicyclist, I know the anger of motorists. I have been run off the road, had obscenities, as well as objects thrown at me, and had drivers wanting me to get off the bike and fight all because I was enjoying myself alone on back roads. I finally took to the trails for most of my biking. As a motorist, I know the arrogance of some bicyclists. If the state Legislature passes a bill to keep motorists five feet from bicyclists, provisions should be included about how bikers use the roadways. I often come upon bicyclists riding two or three abreast going uphill in a no-passing zone and refusing to get over. Today, many riders think they have the same right to the road as cars, but don’t follow the same rules that motorists do. I can’t remember the last time I was driving a car, two or three abreast, going up a hill on a two-lane road. While driving, I also have to stop at stop signs — something I rarely see cyclists do. Unfortunately, Doug Smith was the latest victim of a car/bicycle accident. I hope he recovers and resumes riding. The Register story stated that the bikers were riding side by side when a truck pulling a trailer tried to pass causing the accident, a sad and possibly preventable circumstance. A story in Thursday’s Register shows images of bicyclists riding to the Capitol to support legislation to protect bikers, all 500 of them riding four or five abreast uphill. A little courtesy on both sides of this fence would go a long way in mending it. — Dave Ayers, Des Moines

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