So, I traveled from Upton to Peru Friday morning to have a new alternator put in my Jeep.
Along in through Hanover, I was seeing quite a few bicyclists. In Rumford Point, there were even more bicyclists riding two abreast really close to the yellow line. Now, I know vehicle drivers are supposed to give them three feet, but there was a little problem. There was a bicyclist AND an 18-wheeler headed in the opposite direction. Hmmm... who gets wiped out, I'm wondering. The bicyclists didn't seem too worried, at least not enough to move over or go single file, probably because they felt the need to exercise their rights. My mirror kissed the truck, but we made it.
I went to Wal-Mart and then moseyed on over to Peru via Route 2. I took a right turn in Dixfield, crossed the bridge, and stopped behind a long line of traffic. And waited and waited and waited. Finally about three vehicles moved, so I moved as well. I'm thinking there must have been an accident at the 4-way intersection. But, no. All motorized traffic was being held up by a cop and some lady obviously with the biker clan while the bicyclists came zooming down the hill on their way toward Auburn. I wondered how many of the other drivers were on their way to appointments or to work while we waited for a turn to use the road. Two or three vehicles were allowed to go, then 20 or 30 bicyclists. So, I'm thinking about how much gas I'm using sitting here idling. And I'm thinking that I have to pay the state of Maine every year by registering my Jeep, paying my excise tax, and getting the thing inspected, and I'm wondering how much money bicyclists contribute to the upkeep of the roads. I'm thinking I had to take a test in order to get my driver's license back in 19... never mind, suffice it to say it was a long time ago. And, I'm thinking I must be wrong about bicyclists being required to follow the same rules as motorized vehicles. So, when I get home, I Google it... there it is.... right there on my computer.... showing me I was right. Why, then, were the police stopping traffic and holding it up so that the bicyclist could zoom through the stop sign? Hmmm. I hope my tax dollars ARE being used for upkeep on the state's roads instead of to pay some dingbat in Augusta to listen to the lobbyists who think bicyclists should have all these “rights” to the road. I wonder if whoever makes these laws have ever driven on narrow roads that have little or no shoulders, lots of moose and deer crossing the roads, and lots of truckers, and vehicles with campers and trailers. One good thing was that today, at least, I didn't encounter a whole bunch of road-hogging bicyclists in Grafton Notch. Now, let me tell you, that's not fun. There isn't much pavement beside the road, and there are a lot of big, old trucks with drivers just trying to earn a living.
I have to register my ATV and my snowmobile in order to ride on “roads” that are built and maintained by clubs. Even though these vehicles pay money to the state, they are rarely allowed to drive on the state's roads... except to cross them with caution, giving motor vehicles the right-of-way. Why don't bicyclists have to pass a driver's test and pay for a license before they can use the roads? Hmmmm.... does anyone else see a problem here? Why don't bicycle clubs build their own roads and travel on them? Seems like ALL of us would be safer getting to where we're going that way. Oh, in case you're wondering, I didn't have a new alternator put in because the mechanic ordered the wrong one. So, back I go tomorrow.