So long story.
Roadie/road racer riding in blissful ignorance on the road for years with only an occasional close pass with any automotive traffic. I was hit on the road a year ago and am still recovering. Mostly riding off road now or sticking to very low traffic residential areas. Kind of going nuts riding the same short loops on my cyclocross bike. I don't ride my road bike much because in order to avoid busy traffic routes, I have to hop curbs and ride through the woods or fields to connect to better/safer roads. I also now have to drive to a local rail trail to get longer rides in.
Trying not to live in fear of re-injury (or death), and to respect my wife's fears/concerns as well. She no longer rides on the road after witnessing my collision. I invested in lights and educated myself on how to ride on the road with safety as my number one priority (rather than training goals or speed or time). I even bought a freaking blinking electric LED vest.
So I have ventured out for a few short road rides and encountered a number of blissfully ignorant cyclists some of who were all dressed in black, weaving all over the road, riding in shadows, no lights, no hand signals, no concern for other traffic, etc...as well as a group of hardcore racers (7 of 8 had power meters) who were seemingly trying to piss off any cars who were catching them by riding 3 abreast and chatting while taking an eating break and riding along at 10mph in the only traffic lane when there was plenty of room on the right. I try to be an ambassador to cycling and chat with any riders who are willing to listen about riding smart.
Anyway, moving on...
The other day, I branch out a little on my road bike and got out on a quiet two lane road for a few miles.I am climbing around an 8% grade hill and am halfway up when I hear a car approaching from the rear. I am standing and moving as quickly as possible to clear the hill. A moment later, I see an oncoming car rounding the bend and I move over to the center to take the lane as there is now no way for the car overtaking me to pass safely. We have a 4 foot passing law here in PA. The car approaching from the rear reacts to this by going even further across the double yellows to get around me and without even lifting their foot from the accelerator. I see the writing on the wall at this moment and whip over right to the white line. A split second later, the oncoming car comes into view of the rear approaching car and vice-versa. The problem is that the overtaking car is now well across the double yellows and going fast. The oncoming car did a nose dive and honked and the car that was illegally going around me (despite me taking the lane), is now beside me and of freaking course, they swerve back to the right to avoid a head-on collision and missed me by inches. Had I maintained the lane any longer, I would have been hit. If the cars had collided head on, I probably would have been collateral damage.
It's hard to get any sense of comfort or pleasure from riding on the road anymore. People are just too crazy and are driving around at crazy speeds and with little common sense and a complete disregard for the laws of the road or public safety. I want to ride on the roads again but am having a hard time. Anyone else in the same boat?