DEAR ABBY: Summer is upon us, and millions of fellow cyclists across the country will once again be out on the roads. I personally ride around 4,000 miles a year in training, and thought I'd offer a few tips.
Many drivers mistakenly believe that cyclists have no rights on public roads and feel compelled to "teach them a lesson," deliberately endangering their lives.
The fact is, a bicycle is classified as a vehicle on the public roads in all 50 states.
Tips for drivers:
1. Don't get too close. Cyclists want to be left alone. Cyclists are NOT required to ride on the shoulder, on the sidewalk or 2 inches from the edge of the road.
2. Don't pass a cyclist and then slow down, stop or turn in front of him. Sometimes we are going as fast as you are.
3. Don't honk. You're likely to startle an inexperienced cyclist or a child and cause him or her to fall.
Tips for cyclists:
1. Wear a helmet.
2. Make eye contact with drivers. Make sure they see you.
3. Ride on the right side of the road.
4. Obey traffic laws.
5. Signal turns. Point left or right.
6. Ride in a straight line and don't block traffic.
7. Carry a cell phone. You might need it to get help for yourself or a stranded motorist.
Thanks, Abby. The life you save by printing this may be my own -- or thousands of others! -- A FITNESS CYCLIST FOR 40 YEARS
DEAR FITNESS: If printing your letter saves just one life, it is well worth the space in this column. I hope all motorists and cyclists -- of all ages and levels of experience -- will take your advice.