Caution please, around bicyclists

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, October 13, 2015

To the editor:

Recently I was riding my bicycle (with flashing front and rear lights) on the right side of NC Route 108, on a slight uphill section between Columbus and Mill Spring riding near the right edge of the right lane, toward Mill Spring, when a large RV passed me at about the speed limit, and totally in my lane, nearly striking me.

By not crossing the double yellow line (and reducing the chance of killing me), the driver might have wished to avoid risking a collision with an oncoming vehicle. However, he or she nearly struck me, which probably would have been fatal.

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If you overtake a bicyclist in such a situation, slow down, and do not attempt to pass the cyclist until you can do so safely. Most local drivers follow this suggestion, and I give them every opportunity to pass me. Whizzing within a foot of a bicyclist — we’re careful, but we can still wobble a bit — is reckless and inconsiderate.

This particular driver either had no idea how wide his or her RV was, or simply didn’t care about bicyclists. Intention is not an issue. If you kill another human being, he or she is just as dead whether you did it intentionally or carelessly. Think of others on the road as possibly being your wife, husband, sister, brother, mother or father, or some other loved one.

Those who drive without some fear of killing an innocent person, should not be driving.

Mark Schmerling
Saluda, N.C.