By Mark T. Freeley, Esq. (Open Post)May 19, 2014 at 2:42pm
On behalf of myself and my fellow cyclists, I am asking everyone driving on our roads to please share the road with those of us riding our bicycles. Now that the weather is warmer, you will be seeing more people cycling on the roads in the Three Village area and all over Suffolk County. Popular local cyclist runs are towards West Meadow Beach, Old Field Light House, Port Jefferson, Stony Brook, and many other destinations. Moreover, the sport of cycling is growing rapidly, and there are more cyclists than ever sharing the roads with cars.
What I think most non-cyclists don't realize is that the shoulders of our roads are in very bad shape, especially after the hard winter we had. The side areas of our roads are covered with piles of sand, dirt, and debris, all of which are slippery under the thin road bicycle tires. Moreover, there are many holes, depressions, bumps, etc., and after a rain, puddles which a cyclist has no way of knowing the depth of. Any of these hazards can easily cause a cyclist to lose control, or to crash.
I think it is safe to say that no cyclist wants to be struck by a passing car, and we try to stay as close to the side of the road as possible. However, it is not always safe to do so, and we may have to suddenly swerve into the road to avoid some of these road hazards.
So, now that you know some of the things that cyclists face everyday, I am asking drivers to take the following defensive actions when passing cyclists:
1. Reduce your speed;
2. Give the cyclist some extra room in case they need to make a sudden move to avoid road hazards that you can't see;
3. Please don't text and drive;
3. Don't lose patience with us, some of us are not professional cyclists.
By taking these small precautions around cyclists, you will be doing your part to help us make it home to our families alive.
Keep it safe out there.
Mark T. Freeley, Esq.