‘Bike Wars’ looks at friction between cyclists, motorists

If you ride a bike to work in Austin, you’re probably familiar with the friction between motorists and cyclists.

Bryant Gumbel looks at the growing conflict between motorists and cyclists in "Bike Wars," an episode of Real Sports. Photo courtesy HBO
Bryant Gumbel looks at the growing conflict between motorists and cyclists in “Bike Wars,” an episode of Real Sports. Photo courtesy HBO

HBO highlights the issue in its latest episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, titled “Bike Wars.” In the episode, Gumbel looks at cities like New York and San Francisco, as they struggle to adapt to growing numbers of commuter cyclists. He also travels to bike-crazy Copenhagen and Amsterdam to seee how European cities have handled it.

The program contains clips of motorists yelling at cyclists, cyclists getting struck by cars, and an interview with a national cycling champion and bike law attorney who describes classes she offers to law enforcement officers.

Here’s a look at part of that interview with Megan Hottman.

The number of people commuting by bicycle in the United States has grown by 60 percent in the past decade, according to a press release from HBO, and casual bike riders, commuters, messengers and cycling teams all share the streets with motor vehicles. The increased bike use has been good for the environment and personal fitness, but has also created tension and confusion, sometimes with deadly consequences, it says.

The program, originally shown earlier this week, will re-air on HBO at 9:15 a.m. Friday, 12:15 a.m. Saturday, 11:30 a.m. Sunday, 8 p.m. Monday, 6:30 p.m. July 29, 9 a.m. Aug. 1, 4 a.m. Aug 6 and 4:45 p.m. Aug. 7. It will also air on HBO2 at 1:30 and 11:30 p.m. tonight; 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. July 31, 2:45 p.m. Aug. 2, 6:45 p.m. and 3 a.m. Aug. 11; and 6:30 a.m. Aug. 16. It’s also available on HBO On Demand.

Author: Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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