In all my years of riding (and I'm 65), I have NEVER had experiences like I have lately while riding on the roadways.
While training for a 32 mile charity ride on a 4 lane highway with a center turn lane, a pickup truck, who refused to slow down or move over nearly hit me and my partner. I was screaming so loud I don't know how I managed to breath. Then, on a rural two-lane, with no other traffic, coming up to an intersecting road, I noticed a large car coming up behind me, they were NOT slowing down or moving over, and I could feel the wind from the sideview mirror as she turned in front of me and had I not been experienced, I would have crashed into the right door of the car. Her windows down, I screamed "whoa whoa whoa WAYYYYY too close!" to which she replied "Then get off the F*&^%G road!". Then, last night, in a group ride, between two 4-way stops, a car went around us, cut us off at the 2nd stop sign, and again, with windows down, yelled out "get off the road!". I replied "I got your tag # babe".
So I'm tasked with educating the public. How do I do that? How do I let car drivers know that we're not trying to hog the road, we want to SHARE it too! What if I had been someone's child? Their child! Would they have yelled at them? There are laws about riding on sidewalks, and bikes are not allowed to ride on them in most states . Granted, I've hopped up on a sidewalk occasionally when it was the sidewalk or my life, but I know to stay in the road. I know where to ride, and I know to follow all rules of the road, including being lit up in order to be seen.
Many years ago, when I read the driver's manual, it stated that pedestrians and bikes had the right of way. But not every person reads every word in that manual, so it is up to us to assist with education. Like with "Share the Road" signs/reminders. "Share the Road" cycling gear, speeches, and any opportunity to get the word out.
So the next time you're driving your car, and come upon a cyclist, whether a bicycle or a motorcycle, SLOW DOWN or slowly pass with care. Share the Road, Save a Life.