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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Nelson

Thoughts from a cyclist...

Everyday is #BikeDay! Yes it’s a commitment, sometime frustrating (I broke my derailleur cable on this ride and was stuck climbing hilly Seattle in high gear). Worth the effort? Hell YES! Will you curse at a 20 mph head wind. Shit yeah. That’s what makes it worth it. The effort. The satisfaction of climbing a huge hill, looking back and saying “I made that hill my bitch” and I’ll do it faster next time. I’d trade my toe on a gas peddle any day sitting in traffic to suck some exhaust on the shoulder hamming away by bike.

What makes this journey unapproachable for most is education. From the cyclist to the population of ½ ton metal machines whizzing past at 60 mph. We can all learn from each other. Show more empathy, sympathy and compassion. Change the bias that cyclists break all the rules with a middle finger to cars. And on the flip side, cars, give us 3 feet at minimum at a reasonable speed. And for the sake of all pete, don’t fling your doors open without at least looking over your shoulder (I’ve been doored more times that I’d like to admit).

Other countries, they make it work. Copenhagen comes to mind. I don’t think we will ever hit that level however we can make small efforts towards cohabitation. Some would say Portland, OR and Minneapolis, MN are moving in that direction and as a long time rider in both places, I’d agree. Seattle has a long way to go to achieve that status IMO. I personally know 4 people as of recent that have been hit by cars and ended up in the hospital :(

I do my fair share of homework on this and understand there are strong opinions in both camps. But today, let’s let civility shine through and share the road so that more people will be less discouraged to jump on a bike tomorrow. And hey, one can dream of a resurrection of the “California Cycleway” of the 1900’s in every city.

I believe we can do this, and together make our cities safer for alternate modes of transportation. Put the fun between your legs.


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