I’d like to proclaim today Vehicular Cyclists Day in the Twin Cities. A special day for all of those who believe that people riding bicycles and people driving cars can and should safely share the road. That there is no need for segregated bicycle paths or protected bike lanes. That our children are perfectly safe riding to school on our streets, they just need to learn how to do it.
It snowed Monday night in to yesterday (Tuesday) morning and pretty much stopped by about 10a yesterday.
Plow drivers have had time to clear most streets, paths, and sidewalks. It’s mostly sunny and not too cold out. A great day to get on the streets and enjoy riding amongst the cars and trucks.
My problem is that I’ve been unable to find any vehicular cyclists today. In my 47 miles of travel, mostly around Cathedral Hill and neighborhoods west of there, I didn’t see a single one.
Not that I blame them. Riding on these streets as a vehicle would be, at best, un-civilized. Just walking about 25 feet along Grand Ave from my car to the closest place I could get on the sidewalk I got splushed (sprayed by salt and snow slush for those south of here) by one car and almost by a second. Fortunately the others slowed and moved over enough to prevent my becoming a target.
Yesterday and today were, thankfully, not like the first snow of the season. That day I saw four crashes. Fortunately, none appeared to have caused serious injury. Three were mostly within the roadway and one left two cars in a ditch. One did end with both of the formerly moving cars in the bike lane on Summit Avenue, one embedded in a parked car. I bet that was quite a surprise for someone.
Had any of these involved someone on a bicycle I’d guess that we’d have some fatalities and injuries.
Besides those crashes I saw dozens and perhaps hundreds of cars skidding out of control. Many cars and trucks on the road that week seemed to be operating on the edge, ready to loose it at any moment.
I did see four people out on bicycles today though, one pushing it through the snow on to the sidewalk by Mississippi Market and another riding on the sidewalk along Grand Ave. Earlier I’d seen two people riding along the Hodgson MUP in Shoreview.
My hats off and my heart goes out to those who are riding a bicycle on the roads with traffic this week, particularly to those who have no other choice. Thankfully, my bicycling world will be limited to segregated paths until spring.
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