There is a war out there on the streets, a little war for sure (if there is such a thing), but a war none-the-less with it's fair share of casualties. 2009 showed something like 630 deaths and close to 60,000 related injuries. Statistics aren't really kept up to date on the subject on a federal level and the ones that are kept are only the serious incidents; there are no stats on the finger-flipping, effenhiemer spewing near misses and the like. But if I can extrapolate from my own experience, violence in the streets related to bicycles and automobiles in the United States is nothing short of an epidemic.
I've been thinking about this for quite some time and have come to the conclusion that any lasting peace will have to do more with a subtle change in our perception of the users of the road, a new mindfulness, and not just the addition of wider shoulders and bike lanes.
I'm convinced that the vitriol in the streets experienced by both cyclists and motorists is a ubiquitous, but not always recognized, artifact of our human evolution. It is but a mental fossil that might have done us well as cave-dwelling troglodytes but, in this day and age, we'd all be better off without...like our appendix or wisdom teeth.
This blog is dedicated to exploring this idea...to spread the mantra "Just another user of the road" like a vaccine. Join me, I welcome any comments or feedback.