Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Bicyclist sees rise in motorist road rage

To the editor:

I am an avid cyclist and have enjoyed the wonderful road-riding that western Massachusetts has to offer since I moved here 11 years ago. Until two months ago I could count the number of conflicts with motorists on one hand. But two months ago, something changed; I have experienced motorist road rage on almost every ride.

The conflict usually stems from a motorist’s belief that I am not riding sufficiently close to the edge, which amounts to being honked at or verbally abused.

Yesterday I was almost struck by a truck pulling a trailer which passed me by less than 12 inches on a winding back road. This letter serves as a warning to fellow cyclists that the era of bike-friendliness in the Happy Valley may have come to an end and extra vigilance is indicated. It also serves as a reminder to motorists that they need to share the road. Cyclists’ legal obligation is to ride as far to the right as safely possible. This may be an inconvenience to the motorist who wishes to pass when road conditions require the cyclist to ride closer to the middle of the road.

Motorists’ obligation is to patiently wait until there is a safe opportunity to pass.

Michael Stamm

Northampton

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