I'll be honest... the prospect of biking on the road with cars, trucks, semis, etc scares the bejeezus out of me. I've heard too many horror stories about people who have been hit, run off the road, pelted with things, and generally not accepted on the road to feel 100% comfortable at any time.
In Ohio, there was at least a little bit of comfort... we could bike for miles and miles without seeing anyone. Or anything. Honestly, it was kind of boring. But, that just meant that the ratio of total asshats to courteous people was really high. Always good for the nerves. We had people scream things, usually inaudible things that I'm sure were total compliments on the rate of speed I was traveling or the cute biking tank I was sporting. We've been spit on (that one ended well... with Tom catching up to the said asshats and pounding on their window, probably causing the 17 year old boys inside to crap themselves). We had one guy stop his car (I actually believe that the beater broke down right after
So when we were told that Georgia ranks 45th out of 50 in bike fatalities, I was thrilled (that means that there are only five other states worse than us... Tom assumed Missouri after riding across it in RAAM twice... he was wrong - they are actually Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina and Florida in case you were curious). But I have been pleasantly surprised at how much room people give us. Maybe it's just where we are biking. Or the fact that Tom and I know the rules of the road, stay to the right at all times, signal when we are turning and ride single file (no, that last one has nothing to do with Tom's biking ability versus mine... I promise we do it for safety reason. Really.)
So I had to laugh when we were out on Saturday. Tom and I had planned out a 55 mile route around Lake Lanier. A beautiful Saturday by the lake and we didn't know the roads. That could be scary. We were only on one or two sections that were 55mph which always scare me. But people gave us plenty of room. I got whistled at once... and honked at once which totally doesn't bother me. But the absolute best thing happened two miles from our house. We were just about to make a turn onto a back road that leads to our neighborhood and a pick up drives by. In a very thought out, clear as day voice we hear the best comment ever from a driver.
I have never laughed so hard in my life. The kid obviously thought that one out well because he timed it perfectly, even leaning his head out the window so that the sounds could carry across the 4 lanes of traffic, all while taking into account the speed he was going and the wind.
If you are going to get yelled at on a bike, I'll take "nice wiener" over "f*ck you" or "get off the effing road".
I tell ya... I'm smitten by the southern hospitality here!