Today, I got another opportunity to examine motorist behavior, but I chickened out. One of our engineers left a little later than her usual departure, and I rode along with her for a while. Our routes are identical until we get south of FM 1709. However, our riding styles are a lot different. We agree to disagree, and, so far, neither of us has been killed or maimed. I hope it stays that way. Despite frequent hysteria, cycling is really pretty safe once you get past the really idiotic stuff. She's well past all that and rides far right in the belief that it makes things go smoother, not because she's terrified that she'll be impaled on a car hood. I figure it's not that hard to pass a 30" wide vehicle traveling in a straight line at 15-20MPH, and it's easier the earlier the motorist reaches that conclusion.
Anyway, as we rode, each of us pretty much rode in his/her usual lane position and we looked just like "two abreast" cyclists, which is what we were. The thought kept crossing my mind, and we talked about it; "do motorists get more irritated with cyclists riding two abreast than they would over one riding in that LH position solo?" Logically, if you're driving, you get to pass two for the price of one, but I see a lot of NASTY newspaper comments about two-abreast riders. I also kept thinking of the cyclists killed last year (by a drunk) in Grand Prairie while riding two abreast. Hatch & Alfaro. Anyway, engineers talking, really boring to normal humans.
Before too long, we went down Coffeetree toward Katy. Yes, THAT Katy, the two-laner with no shoulder. I said, "maybe I ought to just go on ahead." I did not trust that riding two abreast would be hassle-free, but I knew riding solo in that LH position would be. VC and fearlessness are entirely separate things.
Maybe my notion was justified. Maybe not. Is this something they teach in Traffic 101?
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