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Letter: Pay attention to cyclists

To the driver of a silver sedan who almost collided with a bicycle (mine) at the intersection of Borough Road and Lilac Street in Penacook Friday around 5:45 p.m.: Please pay attention to other road users.

I was going straight when a driver overtook me and initiated a right turn. I had to slam on my brakes so hard my rear wheel rose up from the pavement. I think of myself as a gentleman, but my spontaneous yelling unfavorably referred to the driver’s parentage.

I ride my two bicycles a lot, and I’m a stickler about doing it safely. I am as critical as anyone I know about scofflaw cyclists. I follow the rules of the road, wear a bright lime-green jacket and a helmet, stay off the sidewalks, and always signal my turns. Defensive riding can’t counteract stupid or distracted driving.

Don’t get me wrong. I looked at the odometers on my bikes when I took them in for servicing this week. Both have more than 5,000 miles, and I have had very few close calls. Bicycling can be quite safe, but both cyclists and drivers need to share the road.

Incidentally, I do pay for our local roads. I buy taxed gasoline for my other vehicle, a pickup truck. As a homeowner, I pay Concord property taxes.

More cyclists are on the road now that the warm weather has arrived. When cars and cyclists collide, bicyclists always lose. That won’t stop us from riding.

JOHN CORRIGAN

Penacook

I too pay taxes, does that mean I can drive my lawnmower, go cart, snowmobile, 4-wheeler down any road I choose any time I choose? There are laws against everyone of those (rides) because they are either not licensed for road use or unsafe to be on the road. How about you get all those bike riders and raise some money for safe riding trails or paint lines on roads such as Rt. 106 Concord to Laconia in the breakdown lane - there's a 20 mile round trip. May be if I wear spandex they will let me ride my go cart.

The vehicles you mentioned are not legal to ride on the road. Bicycles are legal. Many commuters ride bicycles to work, saving on fuel costs and adding exercise to their day. Disrespecting bicyclists just doesn't make sense. Pay attention when you drive. Bicycles are legal. There is no excuse for rudeness or endangering others' lives.

Hope you're ok, John.

Nothing damaged but my peace of mind. Still have good reflexes, and the mechanics at S&W Sports had just tuned up the bike. They make sure the brakes are in excellent condition. Anybody who doesn't see a cyclist wearing a high-visibility jacket, while paying attention to the rules of the road, isn't paying attention. I think more striped-off bike lanes are a great idea, but we'll never see them on every road where state law recognizes bicycles as legal vehicles.

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