By Tayla Adams
Welcome back to part three of my discussion with Travis. In this section we’re going to get into how this new rider is finding being on the roads in traffic with cars in Los Angles.
T: Any close calls yet on the road?
TF: Yeah, when I was on the scooter I was lane splitting and there were two lanes. One was to drive forward and one was to turn left onto the freeway, but when you go onto the on ramp there’s the carpool lane and the regular lane, so a lot of people will turn from the straight lane illegally into the carpool lane. And there was a guy who wasn’t paying attention and I was lucky because I had a feeling this was about to happen. So, he kind of started going and I turned with him. I had a big lump on my elbow, that was about it, but the dude just left and got on the freeway.
T: How do you make yourself visible enough so people recognize you on the road now?
TF: Well I have a yellow retro reflective vest, I have my backpack on that I wear to school. So, I always put that around the backpack, and then I even have a wrist reflective thing that I put on. This way people can see me doing turn signals because at night if you’re using your hands people can’t see your arms or your jacket. So, I try to have that. I use a high beam during the day. I always try to signal as best as I can. I try to treat it as if everyone is out to get me on the road, and sometimes it feels like that.
Why do people do that to cyclists? They treat us like we’ve found them in traffic and we are purposely trying to do something to them. I’m just out here riding.
T: So, you feel hostility from people in cars?
TF: I do. Even on a bicycle you feel that, and I don’t know why. Not so much on this bike, but definitely on the scooter. Which I understand because it’s a scooter and it topped out at thirty miles an hour, but I wasn’t getting on the freeway with it. That’s kind of LA too. Everything is a nuisance because none of us want to be in traffic, but we’re always in traffic. So, anything that happens we’re all panicked.
I hope you enjoyed part three of my conversation with Travis. Make sure to check back for the next installment of this one on one.
Stay safe in these streets!