The first warm-weather ride is always one of happiness and excitement for any cyclist. Unfortunately, my ride was spoiled within miles and served as a reminder that many drivers don’t respect the rights of cyclists.
As I prepared to turn from Hickory onto Catalpa, a woman sped past me and cut my turn off. I grabbed my brakes to come to an emergency stop. I was able to catch her at Grape and Catalpa. I rolled up and politely said, “excuse me, you almost hit me back that at the corner.” She responded “well I didn’t hit you, be glad and just keep riding.” As I looked at her license plate, she said “go ahead and get my license plate, no one will do anything to me!”
I called the police and a Mishawaka officer was was there within about 15 minutes. He was very polite and assured me that they would use her plate number to track her down and “have a talk with her.” I truly appreciate their quick response and hope they do indeed “have a talk with her.”
This just serves as another reminder that many drivers couldn’t care less about cyclists, and until there are some consequences for endangering cyclists, they will keep driving like they have been. I’d encourage all of you to put the non-emergency numbers of local law enforcement in your cell phones. Carry your cell phone on every ride and use it if a driver does something that puts you at risk.
Here are the local non-emergency numbers:
- Mishawaka Police: (574) 258-1683
- South Bend Police: (574) 235-9201
- St Joe Sheriff: (574) 235-9611