Many More Beside These

28 October 2010

100 miles on a bicycle

I went riding with a friend and her triathlete friends recently. It'd been a while since I rode 100 miles, but everything went smoothly. The roads were great-- first, a narrow two-lane country-suburban road, then the service road of the Long Island Expressway, which is a great training road for cyclists. We had a wonderful day and a wonderful time.

There is nothing like spending time on a bicycle to understand the need for ultimate safety on roads. I am still amazed how, only seven years or so ago, car manufacturers were able to sell large vehicles to the American public by reasoning out their greater safety. Now this has changed, largely because of gas prices-- people are buying smaller cars, with more on the horizon, even as the need for safety has stayed the same.

But a bicycle is the ultimate innocent-- there is no margin for error when in traffic, and a car always "wins" so to speak. A rider has to use ears, eyes, balance, knowledge, timing and anticipation. The reward is great-- not just a pleasant ride, but a greater understanding of the humility needed to drive a car.


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  2. Very impressive! I don't think I have ridden 100miles in the past 6 years! I have become afraid of the aggressiveness of the drivers and their selfish attitudes not to mention the electronic distractions. Yes, more law reinforcement that actually really cares about safe driving.