Opinion: Scary bicyclist experience on road to TSV

Posted

I want to alert readers about a dangerous experience I had on my bike on Sunday, July 1.

On a steep descent down the Taos Ski Valley Road, a full-sized newer model pickup pulled up alongside me. The passenger reached out his window and slapped my arm hard enough to make a bruise. I was going about 36 mph, riding about one foot off the white line. There is no shoulder on this road so, had I gone down, I'd have either crashed onto the rocky side of the road or I'd have gone down under his rear wheel.

He could have killed me or left me badly injured.

There was no one even in sight in the other lane so this guy, who had plenty of space to pull out and pass me safely, was playing and/or just trying to hurt me. I managed to keep my bike upright but the impact of his hitting my arm left me very unstable at that speed and just hanging on for dear life as his truck passed less than a foot from me. Unfortunately, by the time I had my bike back under control he was too far away for me to see his license plate.

I don't understand this behavior that I and so many of my cyclist friends have experienced. We are legally allowed to share the roads with motorists and, most of us, are courteous and careful. If you drive a motor vehicle, please know that we are out here.

We are your mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, coworkers, friends, and neighbors. Share the road. It's the law.

– Anne-Marie Hillings, Taos

Comments

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Doug Pickett

Amazing, an example of a bully acting like a coward. I'm sorry motorists don't like bicycles on the highways and roads. I'm sorry we slow you down from wherever it is you are going. It's sad that motorists get frustrated when they see somebody riding a bicycle on the road, which is legal. But, they don't get it that we are one less car in front of them on that road, at that stop light, and in the parking lot. As more and more people take to the already stressed roads in Taos County, the bicyclists represents the solution, not the problem. Grow up and get over it, or don't drive.

Monday, July 10 | Report this
Jim O'Donnell

I'm sorry to hear this but I'm not surprised. I've been riding in this town for going on 15 years and have many many scary experiences. Several years ago near Overland I was riding and a large Ford F150 with huge mirrors started trailing me and then came up along side right at my speed and deliberatly hit me in the head with is passenger side mirror. I had a bad crash. When I reported it to the Taos police I was told that riding around Taos wasnt such a good idea...basically that it was my fault for being on the road. Nice. Our town is sadly not at all bicycle friendly. Nor are the roads in the region. Further there seems to be a general hostility towards bikes on the road. This pathetic situation limits our transportation options, limits how are kids get around, limits access for tourist and generally harms the community. We really need to go bike friendly in this town with new paths, designated biking areas and a driver education program.

Monday, July 10 | Report this
Liz Jamison

Pretty ugly that we have to be accosted by people like this. May retribution play its part. Better yet why not have a real bike path around Taos like so many other towns that have community members with active lifestyles. a cycle path supports community interaction that can only provide a positive rewards, involvement and a way to stay fit. It is unfortunate to admit that I go out of town often to ride in a safe community, Even out of the country where cyclists are supported. Come on Taos lets do better! we need to sport the 2 wheelers! As to the Bully .. what a jerk and that is putting it lightly!

Monday, July 10 | Report this