A few days ago I was driving on West Avon Road towards Avon. It was the section just over the top of the short climb and on the way down before the 3-way stop.
A family of four was coasting downhill. Two kids. Two adults. They were on the right side of the road and in a perfect single file. The kids were wearing helmets. It was 8:30 am. The sun was wide awake. The sky was yawning clear blue.
I have made a hobby of watching the tendencies and habits of other cyclists. I am beyond caring about a rider’s high-end bike or gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. I am only concerned with the safety of cyclists and how I can help to increase the odds that they will arrive home unharmed.
On this particular morning, even with the sun, sky, and road conditions in alignment for a perfect ride, the family of four was hidden from a driver’s view. They had disappeared into the shadow of the big, beautiful tree line that hangs over the road before it comes to a stop at the old school house.
I have been asked numerous times about my practice of riding with flashing lights on sunny days. I have had cyclists sling angry remarks while passing on the bike path. Even friends have ridiculed their presence at the start of rides.
I am quite sure that the family of four finished their bike ride without incident. And, they probably have no idea that for a few moments on a clear and perfect morning, they were virtually invisible to the drivers who ultimately control their safe passage home.