Top 10 reasons not to hit a cyclist

I wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper, and it appeared Sunday.  They didn’t put it on the web site, though, so here it is:


The warm weather is bringing out the bicyclists.  Several local cyclists have been injured already this year in accidents, so here are my top 10 reasons you should pass cyclists carefully:

10.  It’s the law.  A bicycle is a vehicle in Missouri (and every other state) and has a right to be on the road, except for interstate highways.  Yes, cyclists have to follow the laws too, including stopping for stop signs.  Some don’t, but see below for reasons not to hit them anyway.

9.  It’s the law.  Missouri statute 300.411 requires a motorist to “leave a safe distance while passing a bicycle.”

8.  Did I mention that it’s the law?  A cyclist is allowed, but specifically not required, to ride on the shoulder of the road.

7.  We’re saving you money.  Every time I commute on my bike I buy less gas, reducing demand and keeping oil prices lower.

6.  We’re saving you money again.  Bicycling keeps cyclists healthy, reducing insurance payouts and reducing premiums for everyone.

5.  If you crash into me, this eliminates the savings on health insurance premiums.

4.  We’re sticking it to the Iranians and Hugo Chavez by reducing the demand for foreign oil.

3.  We’re reducing pollution.  I may emit some gases while pedaling, but nothing like a car would.

2.  We’re reducing global warming.  Sure, I’m panting and putting out carbon dioxide, but again, not nearly as much as a car.

1.  Brains splattered on your fenders will ruin your paint job.

4 Responses to “Top 10 reasons not to hit a cyclist”

  1. Carla says:

    I quite like your list, especially the points about reducing pollution and gas demand, and that very true point about brains ruining the paint. Pesky brains.

  2. kicking_k says:

    Have you been hit?

    I was, a few years ago. In those days I didn’t always bother to wear a helmet, especially for short rides. Lucky for me that this was a day when I did bother, because my head hit the road with some force, and… well, I’ll never ride without one again.

  3. Allen says:

    I once hit a car while on my bike when I was a kid; entirely my fault. Otherwise, no, I’ve never been hit. Some people pass entirely too close, though.

  4. kicking_k says:

    Mmm, that’s not nice either. Slipstream. Still, what can you do? (Except write witty and sensible letters to the press.)

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