How many more cyclists have to die?

Cars and bicycles compete for a limited resource - Augusta's roads.


Augusta roads are narrow and crowded. Everyone seems in a hurry and drives fast. Bicycle lanes are scarce. Cars travel three to six times as fast and weigh about 10 times more than bikes and their riders. It is obvious who dominates the roads. So why are drivers so intolerant and don't understand our vulnerability?

I hug the edge of the road and still get yelled at, buzzed, flipped off and honked at. Why do drivers resent us, when all we want to do is enjoy a safe ride? I search in vain for safe places to ride. Being female, I don't feel safe riding alone in the country. I just want to safely enjoy the sport I love.

I have been riding bicycles for 50 years. I love to ride. That isn't going to change. I moved here from Oregon a year ago, where I enjoyed riding without harassment.

I give credit to Augusta drivers who are courteous and recognize the weapon their vehicles are. Others treat us as if we are antagonistic and purposely get in their way.

I can move over only so far on a narrow road. This "battle" for the roads between cyclists and vehicles shakes me to the core. As long as we're forced to share narrow, high-speed roads, there will be injuries and deaths to cyclists.

Whether the high price of gasoline, concerns for the environment or an effort to improve health and fitness, numbers of bicyclists will continue to grow. In the future, when roads are built or repaved, they should include dedicated bike lanes.

I have ridden throughout the United States, and Augusta is the most openly hostile toward cyclists of any place I've ridden. How many more deaths will it take?

Shawn Barrett




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