Sincere Notice to: Cars, Trucks, Semi-trucks, buses, RVs, horse/pony drawn carriages, motorcycles, tractors, mopeds and camels, etc.,
My name is Jocelyn and I am your local touring cyclist. I am traveling your homelands on a bicycle with just two wheels, four bags, and myself. I wear a helmet, my bags are bright red, and my clothes are usually brightly colored. You can find me “hugging” or riding close to the white line. Sometimes there is shoulder, a bike lane or even a bike path, but for most of the time there is a single white line and you. I understand that you are larger than me, your vehicle is more powerful and can run me over. But why must you scare me like you do? I am, after all, a human being, with loved ones just like you, with a heart maybe bigger than yours and an actual brain. I know that’s hard to believe that I choose to cycle day after day, sunrise to sunset.
Sometimes you make me feel like I’m going into battle. I wave at your obnoxious horn honks, I share the peace sign in response to your angry screams. I stay close to the white line and hold on to my handlebars with white knuckles. Maybe you don’t know what resides on the other side of the white line? Well, let me tell you: there could be a curve, a guardrail, sharp rocks, nails, snails, a cliff, a ditch, a pedestrian, or often times, water.
Many things can be obstacles preventing me from being on the “right” side of the white line. Sometimes when you honk, or you speed by pushing me farther to the cliff, or race past sucking me into your vacuum vortex, I become more fearful because you don’t give me any room. I’m trying to enjoy your countryside, and see the world from my slower moving bicycle. You must know that I am allowed on the road, just like you. All I ask is for all drivers to be more than cautious and join the 5% that always move over at least 2 feet to pass around me. Hey, that’s less than a meter and I know the distance takes a moment for you to register a change in your steering. Please take a breath and slow down for just a few seconds while you pass me. Somehow I know how close you are when my left calf muscle tightens and my heart starts to beat faster. It won’t take but a few minutes of your time to notice when the passing lane is clear and then just go slower around me! Is that too much to ask? Can you live with your conscious knowing you might cause harm to an innocent world traveler?
I am a human life riding on this painted white line and I try to stay among the living. I’m not just a foreign object, a deadbeat cruiser without any ambitions, or another species of animal. Oh, one more very important reason for being a thoughtful person. Would you also look out for my dad as he is a little slower and usually behind me, somewhere. He is the reason I am sharing this journey of a lifetime and I don’t want to see his “bucket list” cut short.
Heartfelt greetings and simple requests from the world touring cyclist,