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Cyclists can't win

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Letter to the Editor
Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

As a veteran road cyclist, I was struck by anger in the letters “Cyclists, share rules, costs I” and “Cyclists, share rules, costs II” (April 27 and TribLIVE.com) from Joe Betz and Jerry O'Neill, respectively, and their attitudes toward “so-called ‘cyclists'” not playing by the rules and not paying their fair share.

Most cyclists own and drive cars, trucks, even motorcycles. We pay our “fair share” of fuel taxes, registration fees, insurance premiums and inspections for these vehicles just like everyone else!

We choose to ride bicycles for recreation, the environment and/or health reasons. We do not need another hand in our pockets.

The trails have done a good job of getting bicyclists off dangerous roads, but there are a few times we need to venture in amongst the traffic.

In any confrontation between cars and bicycles, bicycles lose every time. Traffic is a constant threat to cyclists. The “4-foot” rule is virtually impossible to enforce.

Drivers who do not know how to overtake cyclists safely because they were never taught the proper way, inconsiderate drivers who create unsafe and sometimes deadly situations for cyclists, and distractions such as cell phones and texting are just some of the obstacles we experience. The list is endless.

Remember, I may dent your fender, but you will probably kill me. So if I break a few traffic rules, I'm doing it just to get out of your way.

Tim Townsend

Bell Township

Westmoreland County

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