Email your letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please keep your letter under 300 words (one page).
Only one letter per reader in a two month period will be accepted. may be edited for length or to correct factual errors. Letters must be signed to be considered for print and a phone number is required for verification.
Bikes & cars, compared
Thanks to Michael Dettmer for contributing the article about the pertinent laws pertaining to cyclists in your Aug. 18 edition.
My wife and I live on a very curvy and scenic 2-lane road. The speed limit is 35 mph. This road is very popular with cyclists. I see large and small pelotons of cyclists almost daily.
Last Monday, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, as I approached a large group of approximately 30 cyclists from the rear, they actually began moving over so that they were single file instead of 3 abreast! I almost wanted to stop and thank them.
When I got home I mentioned it to my wife. Today, Aug. 22, I read the article by Mr. Dettmer and I have to believe it was his contribution that may have influenced the behavior of these courteous cyclists.
After reading the article, I was driving east on W. Front street. I signaled to turn left on the street adjacent to Ace hardware. As I was turning left a cyclist going at a high rate of speed, traveling in the same direction but against the flow of traffic and in my blind spot, slammed on his brakes, as did I, after making a partial left hand turn -- with oncoming traffic coming right at me.
If it weren’t for the oncoming traffic I probably would have thrown my copy of your paper at the cyclist with the advice to read page 5!
One last thing. If you are in a group of 2 or more and do not move to the right side of the road, please do not wave me on to pass, particularly if we are approaching a blind curve.
Don Eichberger • via email
Bikes & cars, compared
Okay, really? A car and a bike. A car weighs several THOUSAND pounds. Most bikes, under 40.
I just read the Aug. 19 issue. In the everpopular “Public Safety” section, there are two articles about accidents involving cars running stop signs. One resulted in death, the other in injuries.
Didn’t see any articles about a bicyclist running a stop sign, striking another moving vehicle (car or bike) and causing death or serious injury. And I thought to myself as I sipped my Higher Grounds coffee... hmmmm, really? A bike and a car are the same huh?
I live by the law, and abide by the law. But I do wonder... what happened to common sense? A bike and a car are NOT the same in any way shape or form. And to lump them together for the sake of (pick your format) just seems to lack common sense. A bike, and a car! Really?
Tim Muszynski • TC
One-ton death machines
Driving my F-250 diesel to work a few months ago, I started to pull away from a stop sign and, BAM - a reckless bicyclist ran the stop, sheared off the front end of my truck, and put me in the hospital for a week... SAID NO DRIVER EVER!!!
To all the whiny drivers writing letters to the editor lately, chastising cyclists about how they need to follow the rules of the road, give me a break! YOU, my dear motorist, are the one piloting a one ton death-machine! Thus, the onus of responsibility is on YOU, not the cyclist!
Look, there are bad motorists out there, and there are bad cyclists. Unfortunately for cyclists, there’s thousands more motorists out there on the road, therefore there’s thousands more bad drivers out there than there are bad cyclists (and YES, I HAVE seen cyclists get tickets for running lights, AND for riding on the sidewalk).
Let me assure you, whiny motorists of the world, it’s really freakin' scary to ride a bike down a public street these days, even though the law says cyclists HAVE that right.
In my time cycling in Northern Michigan, I’ve had a beer bottle (and a glass of orange juice) come hurtling past my head – thrown by courteous motorists. I’ve had a car pull up beside me and run me off the road into a ditch.
One time I had a lady in East Jordan slow as she passed me, and then turn 5 yards in front of me – running me off the road. When I asked her (politely) why she didn’t just wait 2 seconds until I’d cleared the driveway, she insisted (not so politely) that cyclists need to yield to cars. Nope, I was way over on the paved shoulder, and she seriously cut me off... and then lectured ME on etiquette (much like the geniuses who’ve written in to the editor lately – like an idiot with the best intentions).
I’m just scratching the surface here.
There have been hundreds of times I’ve been cut off (occasionally bouncing off the car that pulled out in front of me with no warning). Thousands of time I’ve been honked at, or someone’s screamed, “GET UP ON THE SIDEWALK!!” (FYI – cycling on the sidewalk is illegal in most municipalities).
Cyclists are just out there trying to get from point A to point B. They don’t create any stress on the roads, and the vast majority of cyclists also pay gas taxes for the vehicles they own. So, you can quit bitching about how cyclists should be taxed to pay for roads.
The guy on the bike isn’t spewing toxic fumes like you are dear motorist. A cyclist isn’t going to kill you if he runs a red light, unlike the idiot drivers I see every day who think – hey, I’m not the one who has a problem texting and driving! I’ve even seen a couple drivers lately with dogs on their lap – yes, A DOG between the driver and the steering wheel!
So, dear whiny driver, please quit your bitching, keep your advice to yourself, keep your hands on the steering wheel, and keep the damned dog out of your lap. When you OCCASIONALLY have to slow down for two seconds in your armored, climatecontrolled behemoth, so that you can pass the guy on the bicycle who’s trying to get to work in the rain, remember that it’s YOUR responsibility to not kill him or her.
Scott Jones • Kalkaska
The whiners have won. Everything is regulated because of whiners. I wish people would stop whining, figure out problems on their own, forgive other people, and quit ruining America with all the whining.
Christy Heuser • via email