There are things cyclists know and are aware of that motorists just do not see.
We know which way the wind blows. We are annoyed when weather newscasts fail to note the expected direction and speed of the wind. (I like Weather Underground) When I step outside, I always note the wind right off. Even when riding in a automobile, I scan for flags and other tells that indicate wind direction. I even plan solo bicycle rides with eye to forcasted wind direction.
What do you think when you see a bridge? I know that the downhill trend is ending and when I cross the bridge, it will now become an uphill trend. Motorists often don't know when they are going up or down a hill unless it is really steep. Cyclists are much more aware of subtle terrain differences.
How often does a cyclist fall asleep while riding? 'Nuff said!
Cyclists seem to be better able to time a traffic light sequence. To preserve energy/momentum, we will coast up to a signal, hoping to avoid stopping. It is a very personal and immediate cost to return to cruising speed for a cyclist.
Motorists seem to have no clue as to how much raw energy it takes to accelerate to normal speed. They race around us at maximum acceleration (Full power, Scottie!) just to wait at the next light as we pull up behind them. (Scanners indicate no intelligent life forms, Capt. Kirk!) Evidence to me that gasoline prices are not yet dear. Gas pumps provide a remote and disassociated cost.
We have different perceptions of what makes a road "smooth" and "rough". An automobile will perceive a road as rough when their suspension bottoms out- a blemish in the road a cyclist may not notice. But cracked and uneven pavement that threatens to unseat a cyclist may not register for a motorist at normal speeds!
Cyclists are very much more familiar with "road kill" than motorists are. And we are more familiar with loose dogs. Motorists are only physically endangered by large animals of the size of deer or more. While hitting an animal is rare for cyclists due to out lower speeds, even hitting tiny animals can be catastrophic for a cyclist.
Cyclists see more wildlife than motorists. Even in urban settings I have seen coyotes when out early on my bike, but never when in a car. Same thing with bobcats and song birds.
Tell me dear reader, either one of you, what are ways cyclists see the world different than automobile operators?
Where the West Begins
2 weeks ago