Blogging about road safety was the easy part. Cycling from New Orleans, LA to Pensacola Beach, FL was not. The Sharing the Road cycling team made it 145 miles before stopping for road safety concerns. Motorists were getting more aggressive after dark. It was a great experience. We saw new parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, and we made new friends during the Gulf Coast Interstate Relay. We only heard about one serious injury and there was no automobile involved in that accident.
Other observations from the ride:
– It is always windy around Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana.
– Louisiana had the coolest bridges.
– Gulf Port and Biloxi, MS had the most inconsiderate and dangerous drivers.
– Pascagoula, MS had the best “Welcome” sign.
– Bay Saint Louis, MS is a quaint community.
– I passed three racetracks within 10 miles, in Alabama.
– It is possible to ride a bicycle from New Orleans to Pensacola Beach.
– All bridges in Mississippi are steep to pedal up.
– On April 5, 2013 the wind refused to be at our backs.
– Photos from the event are published on our Facebook page: Smart Horizons Sts
My goal was to create awareness about road safety by blogging during the event. We rode a long distance and for the most part, driver’s were courteous, patient, and accommodating. There were other times when we were yelled at, swerved toward, and honked at. Those times were scary. It is unfortunate that many people believe that cycling is a “fad” and that bicyclists should have no right to use roads. Legally, cyclists have the same privileges to use the roadways and should obey the same traffic laws as automobiles.
Road safety is a real concern for cyclists. Sadly, the same day we participated in this event, a man was killed while riding his bicycle about 10 miles north of my office in Pensacola (http://www.pnj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013304070035&nclick_check=1).
We will continue to spread our “Sharing the Road” message when we participate in cycling and running events this spring/summer and throughout the year. Our next event is the Half Iron Man in New Orleans, LA on April 21st. As with the GCI Relay, I will blog the team’s observations and progress, and we will offer select online defensive driving courses at a discounted price.
Our Sharing the Road Campaign can be followed here.
Thank you for reading.
Stay safe and continue Sharing the Road!