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Road hazards can harm cyclists, reader says
Dear Street Smarts, Q: Although I work as a transportation planner, I'm writing as a private citizen. I read in one of your recent column a few complaints from readers about cyclists riding on mountain roads and sometimes riding further out in the travel lane then they might want. I'm sending you two photos that might shed some light on how road conditions impact bicycling behavior. Photo 1 shows what a motorist might see approaching a bicyclist from behind. You'll see that I'm riding pretty far out in the travel lane.If you look closely, you'll see the hazards that I am trying to avoid. Photo 2 shows up a close-up view of the potholes and cracked pavement in relation to my bike tires. Things that I might drive over just fine in my car are hazardous to ride over on my bike. When driving, cracks are hard to see and their depth hard to measure or feel. When I'm on a bike, traveling at a slower speed, I see the pot holes, their size and depth, and as a crash prevention measure, I ride around them. Our county's roads are in a serious state of disrepair and there's no immediate fix on the horizon. That means that we must take extra care around each other. I want to thank the myriad of motorists who take the extra few seconds to wait until a cyclist is able to make his or her way back to the road's right edge or pass at a safe distance. Cory Caletti, Santa Cruz A: Thank you, Cory, for the added perspective.