-Don't pass another car when you see a bike in the on-coming lane. Where exactly is that bike to go as two cars, buses or semis come at them at high speed head on?!!!!
-Pass slowly if you can't get into other lane. You might have to let off the gas, or even worse--hit your brakes!! And that slightly lost momentum might cost you a whopping 5 seconds of your day. Get over it and be glad you didn't just hit a cyclist.
-While you're at it, turn the wheel 1/2" to the left and get all the way over if there's no one in the other lane. All that energy you just expended might have made that cyclist's day or at least saved them a heart attack
-If you're on a motorcycle, don't feel any less compelled to get over. You've been buzzed by cars and understand how much it sucks. Treat others how you want to be treated.
-If you're going to honk, give a little tap tap tap as you approach, then a wave. Don't lay on your horn right next to the cyclist. You ever stood next to a car, bus, or semi as they hit the horn? Pretty gnarly. Don't do it.
-Don't throw anything at, or on a cyclist as you pass them.
-If you're a dog, stop chasing bikes. If you have a dog who chases bikes, stop them or distract them. Don't just sit and stare while your dog goes on the attack. If you do the latter, don't get mad when I start whaling rocks at them.
- If there is no bike lane or shoulder, guess what?! That cyclist has to ride in the lane with you! Acknowledge it, accept it and follow the passing hints above.
-If there is a shoulder, that doesn't always mean it's passable. There are many things we cyclists see that a speeding motorist wouldn't....glass, nails, random sharp metal bits, roadkill, gravel, etc. If we come out of the shoulder into the lane, we're probably not trying to be an ass and get in your way. We're probably trying to avoid a flat or a busted rim.
-If there's a construction zone, bikes have to ride through it too. And there's probably no other way for that bike to go either. And trust me, he/she doesn't want to be there anymore than you want them there. That doesn't give you the right to be a bigger asshole. Just slow down and take a chill pill. And realize that gravel is a lot harder to ride on than it looks.
-If you see a bike swerve, it's probably not because they're drunk. Chances are, there's a hole or divot that you'd never notice in a million years behind the wheel. Give them a break. That hole that isn't noticeable to a car could bust a spoke, an entire wheel or even worse, cause the cyclist to fall if there's any sort of speed (and if you're like me, I typically want to go as fast as safely possible....). So dear driver, as mentioned before, give the bike space.
-If there's a bike stopped on the side of the road, they still deserve space. They're still just a person on a bike. Only now they're stationary instead of moving. Your displaced wind could be even more disruptive.
-If you decide to stop to help or talk to the stopped cyclist, don't force on them what YOU think is helpful. ASK if or what they need first. If you have something (i.e. water, tools, food, etc), feel free to offer but if the cyclist declines, accept it and move on. A stranded cyclist will ask for help if needed. Thanks in advance.
-When trying to get a cyclist's attention by rude whistling, and/or blatant laughing, don't be sad if you're ignored or maybe even flipped off. Remember that we're humans. We just happened to be on a bike.
-You know how much it sucks to drive in the rain, right? Guess what? It sucks even more to ride a bike in the rain. Yes, sometimes we have the option to get off the road. Other times we don't. Please be considerate of the spray created by your tires as you pass. We might be wet already, but that doesn't make road spray any more desirable.
-Hey Mr. Argentine semi driver. The purposeful fishtail of your trailer to knock us off the road was completely, utterly, and totally uncalled for. I will never, ever forget your rude actions though I would never treat another person as you did us.
Coming from a city like Portland, I understand there are asshole cyclists too. I try not to be one of them and only run red lights when there's no traffic around. Remember my perspective of having been on the road in Oregon, California, Mexico or South America for a total of about 9 months, at least 5-6 days of the week for 6-8 hours per day. We've seen a lot of various behaviors that seem to trend differently depending on the country. And of course not all drivers are mean to us, but there are always the bad apples that tend to spoil the moment, afternoon, or even the day. Congratulations, Peru, per capita you have the biggest dicks on the road. As one of our friends stated, "you could use a little education in basic human civility" -- and unfortunately, we agree when speaking of the treatment of cyclists. Ecuador has the nicest roadways and Bolivia has the worst. Argentina, well.....coming out of Peru and Bolivia, we had high expectations and those were met upon entering your country. However, as we're nearing 2 months here, your drivers seem to get worse and worse with each passing day. Unfortunately you are like all other places we've visited. It seems your residents are like many of us in the states -- you turn into complete asses once behind the wheel. Terribly sad. For as welcome as you've made us feel in other respects, we had hoped your friendliness would extend to the roadways.
As I slow down my heart rate and quit thinking about the total fear we've had while riding through some of the sections of this trip, I want to thank all of those drivers who have slowed down, nearly stopping traffic to allow space to pass us. Thanks especially to the semis and bus drivers who appear to realize their size and respect our vulnerability as we share the same roads.
As we continue to push southward to Ushuaia, we remain ever cautious on the roads and do our best to be as visible as possible. If you pass a cyclist while driving today, give them space and a wave. Guarantee it'll make both of you feel better.