The People You See Riding A Bike On The Side Of The Road Would Like You To Know Something

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One of my good friends lost his soul mate about 20 years ago when she was on a bicycle and killed by someone who ran right into her. And one woman who I almost married has permanent brain damage from the same kind of thing (though fortunately, not as severe as many). If I know two cyclists whose lives have been irreversiby changed by cars running into them, how many more are out there?

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Dear motorists, dear motorists, dear motorists...

I am a mother.

I am a daughter.

I am a cyclist.

Over the years, cycling has kept me healthy. It has given me a way to escape from the pressures and stresses that life can bring.

I am out there riding my bike to stay healthy, to enjoy the beautiful place where I live, and simply because I love it. I love the wind on my face, the sun on my back, the scenery flashing by and the feeling of satisfaction I get from living an active lifestyle.

Dear motorist, I'm not a cyclist, but I'm a husband. I have a wife. She loves to ride. Someone almost hits her the other day. My heart stopped when I heard the news.

I know that cyclists can be annoying. We may ride in your lane or force you to slow down and wait before turning. Until I bought a bike I too was easily irritated by cyclists impeding my commute.

The thing that a lot motorists don't realize is that cyclists are going to put themselves in whatever position they feel is safest.

When you are driving a car and road conditions become dangerous you move around them to keep yourself safe. It is the same with cyclists.

I've taken a right hand turn in my car and nearly missed a cyclist I failed to see around the corner. I've been cycling in the shoulder of the road and almost hit by a distracted driver. I live on both sides of this discussion.

I recently had a good friend of mine killed while riding his bike. It was tragic and unnecessary. He was too young to die.

My friend lost his life doing what he loved, doing what I love.

He had a wife and four kids. I want to be there for my family. He no longer can be.

It is easy to feel invincible, like you are the exception to the rule, like it would never happen to you or to somebody you know. In an instant his wife and four young children's lives were changed forever and not just theirs but the life of that motorist will never be the same either.

I think that's everybody's worst fear... is actually having taken someone's life or even injuring somebody. I can't imagine the guilt I would feel not only for the person that I injured, but for everybody else in that person's life.

My friend does not have to live with that memory every day, but the driver who hit him will live with that guilt every single day for the rest of his life.

I've had a really hard time getting back on my bike since the accident because I'm afraid that every car I hear coming from behind is going to hit me and I just don't want to ride that way.

I'm at the mercy of the motorist I am sharing the road with. You are bigger than me, you are traveling faster than me. If we collide my chance of injury is a hundred times greater than yours.

Every single person's life is worth a few seconds of your time.

I understand where cyclists would be angry with the situation, I understand where motorists get frustrated with slower-moving objects on the road.

I have seen my fellow cyclists do some really not so smart things on the road and it hurts me to think, this is where our image comes from.

Accidents can be avoided by both parties. Cyclists need to be conscientious of drivers and obeying the laws and not just assume that drivers are going to look out for them.

As a cyclist I pledge that I will be as visible as possible to stay as much out of your way as possible.

I've made a new commitment to myself. I will stop the distractions when I'm behind the wheel.

Please slow down and drive cautiously. There isn't anything that's going to happen while you're driving that's more important than the actual act of driving.

I don't want to leave my kids without a mother because I didn't respect you as a motorist or you didn't respect me as a cyclist. More importantly, I want you to respect my kids, even if they're still learning to respect you. So my plea is for us all to be safe, to be aware to be courteous and to share the road.

Sincerely, your friend.

Sincerely, your brother.

Sincerely, a mother.

Sincerely, a cyclist's husband.

Sincerely, a cyclist.

There may be small errors in this transcript.
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