If you have been riding on the open roads for 6 months or longer I am sure you have had an unfavorable encounter with a motorist. I hope you have come out the other side with zero injuries.
To many times I see beginners and us old timers riding close to the center of the road or ridding the shoulder. Both are problematic but maybe necessary from time to time, but not every ride.
Motorists, myself included, want to see cyclists who are confident and aware of what is going on around them. Motorists also don’t want cyclists hogging the road.
I do agree that we will never make all motorists happy with our presence on the road but we can be safe and courteous in an effort to win over a few critics.
Here are a few tips:
Ride to the right and give yourself 2′ of space from the solid white line. Doing so will give motorists ample space to pass you. For some reason if I ride the shoulder/white line many motorists think this is an invitation to pass me with only inches to spare.
Another reason for riding to the right is to dodge motorists with less that stellar driving abilities. As motorists come over hills on back roads they may cross the center line and the same holds true for blind corners.
Be in the now and listen. Its easy to drift off into our own thoughts while out on a long solo ride. We should be keeping our ears open. I live in a rural area so every time I here a Diesel Truck my next thought is does it have a trailer too.
Finally keep it friendly out there. My team has orders that if they are riding together or on their own they are expected to give a friendly wave to passing motorists. This has done wonders in my own community. We more often than not get a smile and wave back.
Be safe out there and enjoy the ride.