LOVED this piece! As a fairly recent biker (last July) and one who just got to ride yesterday and today for the first time this year (although I rode clear into December — in Maine! — and once the week after Xmas), it really hit home. You’ve brought up some excellent points that I had never considered.
I’m curious — do you know of any actual statistics as to whether riders have shown to be safer than drivers? I’m having a debate at work where some feel I shouldn’t ride my bike on company business because it’s inherently not as safe. I’m trying to track down actual numbers to back that up.
It didn’t help that when I bought my first bike, I got my permit and, 45 minutes of best-friend-instruction later, dumped the bike and landed in the hospital. I took the Basic RiderCourse (from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation here in the States) a few weeks later, came out with my bike endorsement, put thousands of miles on the bike, and haven’t looked back (metaphorically; I actually look back in the mirrors all the time!). But all anyone remembers is me dumping it, naturally.
Personally, I think they’re miffed because I get more out of my mileage reimbursements. But so do the small four-cylinder cars over the big SUVs some drive… can’t penalize one and not everyone!
Anyway, loved your piece, and in fact your entire site. I’ll be referencing it to anyone who will read it.