After just completely 800 miles cycling thru Germany, I was so extremely grateful for the consideration and respect that drivers gave me that I felt compelled to reply to the news report that a German cyclist had been killed by an American driver in San Francisco.
Alleged Drunken Driver Pleads Not Guilty in Cyclist Hit-and-Run Death
I am deeply saddened by Mr Linke’s tragic and senseless death. German tourists here have the dangerous impression that American drivers are as skilled, professional, and considerate of cyclists as German drivers are. I just finished an 800 mile bike tour of Germany and with my helmet and blinding bright taillight I felt like a paranoid idiot. The difference between German and American drivers is amazing. In Germany I often traveled on the “B” roads, our equivalent of highways and even when there was no shoulder I felt completely safe. They would pass me as if I were a car by slowing down and waiting until it was safe to pass, in America, drivers just squeeze on by at full speed while yelling obscenities. The Germans seem to take pride in their driving, its a skill to be honed. In America we seem to pride ourselves in being able to eat or hamburger, talk on the phone, change the radio station and wipe the drool off our toddlers chin all at the same time. Perhaps driving should be a privilege rather than a virtual right.