Bike Riders Tom October 22, 2008 Random, Sports When I was growing up we could ride bikes anywhere, we were actually encouraged to stay off the street and ride our bikes on the sidewalks. These days apparently it’s illegal or at least frowned upon to ride your bike anywhere other than the middle of the god damn road. Every morning on my way to work there is a gaggle of these idiots riding down the middle of the main roads wearing their skin tight spandex and retard helmets with total disregard for the 3,000 lb car barrelling towards them. Did I miss something? Do bicycles not have to obey the laws of the road even though they are taking up an entire damn lane, sometimes two? I would assume if you were on a bicycle and you came up to a 4-way stop, you should stop. Apparently I’m wrong because these assholes just blow right through as if they own the road. If I were to hit one of them would I be at fault? They are the ones that disobeyed the law aren’t they? I really don’t know the laws/rules for bicycles on the road, but I just assumed that anything that uses the actual road as it’s path of travel should be bound by the laws that come with them. Now don’t think that I hate all bikers, cause I don’t. Those of you that do obey the street signs or bike on trails are fine by me. It’s just these morons that think because they wear a skin tight leotard and a helmet that they are professional cyclists. And what’s with the reflectors? I understand (and appreciate) the flashing light on the front and back of your bike, and maybe a reflector on your helmet or something but that’s all you need, according to this recommended website. On my way home from softball last night there was a guy who was literally wearing a suit full of reflectors. It’s like he went to the bike store and bought up all of the reflective tape and put a strip down every extremity. I guess it served it’s purpose because it caught my attention, but that’s because I was fucking blinded by the light reflecting off of this guy. Not to mention he also had at least 2 flashing headlights in the front. Yeah, I see you, thats fine, why the fuck are you in the middle of the god damn road. And why do you guys always travel in packs of like 20+? It’s not like you’re having a conversation while weaving through cars and blowing stop signs, so what’s the point? Are you guys like a bicycle gang? Is that why you ride in the middle of the road, to strike fear into oncoming motorists? I don’t see a bicycle gang as being very intimdating, especially when a perfectly timed car door opening could take out everyone in your pack. Or maybe you do it just for the excercise. Ok, ok, fair enough, nothing wrong with a little exercise, but why the fuck do you need to wear that fancy get-up, travel in groups of 20+ and ride in the middle of busy streets? Couldn’t you just buy an exercise bike and sit in the comfort of your own home and ride? And don’t tell me you do it for the scenery, you take the same damn path every morning and there’s nothing to see! And one last thing, what is the point of that little mirror hanging off of your helmet, it obviously isn’t to see behind you since you never move over when I’m riding your ass since you’re going 2 mph down the middle of the road!! Oh my god I hate “cyclists”. Dave Moulton Experienced cyclists ride about 3 or 4 feet from the edge of the road for two reasons; A.) So we are seen, ride in the gutter and people pull out in front of you and turn in front of you. They just don’t see you. And B.) If we ride on the extreme edge of the road, cars blow by at 60 mph or more missing us by inches, by riding out from the curb, motorists have to slow, and make a conscious effort to go around. Bicycles are a vehicle and have a right to be on the public roads. That said they should obey the rules of the road, stop at lights and stop signs, etc. Many don’t, but also many motorists break laws, but the whole motoring public is not labeled as lawless. View this Short Safety Video. It explains why experienced cyclists ride the way we do. Me Dave: thanks for the comment. I know there are bikers out there that do yield to cars (if they can) and obey the street signs as they should, and I appreciate them. There are just some of them that ride with total disregard to their surroundings that it starts to become dangerous for everyone on the road, and that’s what prompted me to write this post. I actually have a friend who got side swiped by a car in Chicago while he was riding his bike. He was riding on the side of the street, the car got restless and went to pass him, but apparently was also turning right at the next street and turned right in front of the bike, sent my friend over the handle bars. Of course the car didn’t stop, but luckily my friend was alright for the most part. ray Thank God Im not the only one who hates these idiots. I live in Scottsdale and everyday I have to beep my horn so they get out of the way. Im going the speed limit of 45 and these idiots are doing, what maybe 15 to 20 mph. Bill D Bicyclists usually ride in the middle of the lane because it is safer. This is just one example of a bicycle safety expert on the subject: http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/usa/chapter2a.htm I’ve seen many such recommendations, including some from police departments, California’s DMV, bicycle safety books etc. Bicyclists need to avoid hazards on the right side, including doors swinging out from parked cars. If the lane is too narrow to be safely shared, then cars need to change lanes to pass, and riding in the middle makes that absolutely clear. Traffic laws in most places specifically allow bikes to not keep to the far right if they need to ride further left for safety reasons. In addition to safety reasons, they’re also allowed to move left to pass or turn left. In most places, bikes have a legal right to be in the road, usually the exact same right as cars. In most places, it’s very dangerous to ride bikes on the sidewalk. Most sidewalks are narrow, and have pedestrians, including children and dogs and they are completely unpredictable. Many cyclists cruise at 25mph and above. That just doesn’t work on the sidewalk. In many places, it’s actually illegal for an adult to ride a bike on the sidewalk. Cars can change lanes. It’s really not that difficult to change lanes to pass a bicycle. I don’t understand why some people get so outraged by bicycles in the middle of the lane. When I’ve questioned these people I’ve found that: 1. None of them actually know the rules of the road that apply to the situation. I live in California and I have our laws relevant to this situation memorized. 2. None of them actually know about the principles of bicycle safety that make it safer for bikes to be in the middle of the lane. 3. They all have a incorrect belief that they are entitled to drive in the road unencumbered by bicycles and an incorrect belief that bikes have no right to be the road. 4. Nobody has been able to give me an adequate explanation of what is so important about staying in the slow lane to drive fast.