Confidence Helps Gain Respect on the Road

Giant-on-a-bikeI’ve said in many podcasts that cyclists deserve to be on the road….but it goes so much farther then that.  This quickcast might be a bit controversial and I’m not asking you to be exactly like me on this one, but I do want all of you to be fully confident out there.

You really do deserve to be on the road as much as every other vehicle and in this quick tip I discuss my thoughts on the subject.

Additional Reading:

This Tiny Lap Dog Thinks He Owns the Road

A Giant on his Bike

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  1. There was a commentary in the New York Times yesterday about how drivers who hit and even kill cyclists often face minimal penalties. This is partly why I’ve stopped being so assertive on the road. You aren’t going to win a battle with a car or truck and the driver isn’t even going to suffer any consequences. It’s just not worth it to be “right” but be dead.

    • I agree with the idea that it is better to be alive than right. There are lots of inattentive drivers who are texting, fiddling with the radio, eating, putting on make up, whatever. There are also LOTS of people out there who are in a hurry and who are impatient. Plenty of folks also have some type of anger toward cyclists, feeing that they have no business on the road.

      For my part, I ride confidently, but courteously. I show great care for safety and ride defensively rather than offensively, keeping in mind that I have no idea of the attention or mental state of the drivers. I have to assume responsibility for my own safety. If it comes down to a collision with a vehicle weighing a ton or more, I have no question who would win.

      • Good plan, Ed. There is definitely a lot of wisdom that needs to go into the confidence. Thanks for your comments.


    • Yeah, I saw that article Peter. Interesting read.


  2. I totally agree with you principle. I take the lane when necessary and don’t let drivers force me to do something dangerous.
    However, in the real world, there are a lot of stupid and distracted drivers out there and there is no way it is going to end well if you get hit by a 2000 pound car. It’s ok to be assertive and follow the rules of the road, but you also need to know when to cut your losses and give in, even if it means pulling over and letting an aggressive, jerk driver pass you. It’s not worth being right and having a broken leg (or worse). Besides, if you get hurt by a driver, you might not be able to ride at all, and is missing out on all that riding worth it?
    I used to be more assertive in my riding, but over the years I’ve seen more and more bad drivers who are more distracted. It’s just not worth it to me to fight with them for the road. Now I tend to ride on roads with less traffic and at less busy times of the day. It’s not that enjoyable to ride in traffic anyway.

    • Thanks Peter. Yes, unfortunately there are some terrible drivers out there. I’m really not sure what the best way is to deal with them, but being safe and smart is definitely the best way to start.


  3. Helene Anda says

    I liked this topic because I like you ride as I should. I commute to and from work. I have found that being a confident rider let’s drivers know that you know the law and have every right to share that road. I ride prepared with the right equipment in order to be seen for the time of day I ride. I have this in mind for all my rides for work or play, one, I pray, two, don’t mess with me.
    If there were more consistent riders who obeyed the laws and had the confidence to share the road, drivers would be trained on what they’re expect from a cyclist.
    There is a give and take for both sides. we could instantly die or they could instantly kill. Both of which neither want to have happen. I ride cautiously, and ride assertive.

    More of us need to do that. it bothers me that I can be at a light and a jerk cyclist decides to run the light. Makes me mad at what drivers perceive of us as we are all judged as a group not as an idiot individual.

    Thanks for this topic.

    Helene Anda

    • Thanks, Helene. Yes, it’s up to both parties to create harmony on the roads. Thanks for your comments and for being a listener of our podcast.


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