It’s the law

To the lady (and I use that term loosely) in the red Cavalier, KY License 512-CDC:

  1. Do not honk at a cyclist to get their attention.  left hand turn cycling signalIt makes us nervous and could cause a serious accident.
  2. I assume by your pointing and hollering that you wanted me to get on the sidewalk and were not just confused about which finger to use to signal frustration.  To that end, local regulations (specifically Title VII: Traffic Code 74.01) state that “no person over 11 years old shall operate a bicycle on any sidewalk in Louisville Metro, and nobody of any age shall ride on the sidewalk downtown.”  As I personally have passed the age of 11 some two decades ago and I was operating my bicycle within the city limits, I was perfectly within my right to to be in the turning lane in front of you.
  3. Was the extra 4 seconds it took to go around me too much for you?  Especially since I saw you had to stop at the next red light as well?!  I hope you arrived wherever you needed to go without too much delay.

OHHHH SNAP!  Yes, I did just “lay down the law” on some ignorant fool who thinks that just because their vehicle takes up more space that they are entitled to make up their own rules.  And, if by chance you know this person…feel free to set them straight.  They may have been the first to have been publicly called out, but they won’t be the last I’m sure.

Now then…proceed with caution…and I’ll see you in the funny papers!

4 thoughts on “It’s the law

  1. I’m always on the look for bikes, and such, because I try to be a nice person. I have two questions that are being asked out of pure ignorance:

    1. It’s okay if I, in my car, pass around you, on your bike, right?

    2. I’ve heard some cyclists get angry if a car veers way around them. Why? I’m just trying to make sure that I give you enough room.

  2. And I’m here to educate as much as possible because at some point, we’re all going to be riding bikes at the rate we’re going.
    Number one: It’s perfectly okay for you to pass me on my bike. Leave clearance just like you would any other vehicle; car, horse and buggy, tractor mower, etc.
    Number two: Cyclists are a funny breed. There are some who are thrilled if cars don’t get near. Others take it as an offense. Plus, the rules for vehicular cycling differ from pedestrian cycling…it’s all very confusing. I think that in your case, some cyclists think that you’re veering far away because you think they’re taking up too much road and they’re outraged. It’s stupid I know, plus, I’m just guessing. Ignore their stupidity.
    Finally, as long as you treat bikes like other cars, but you’re aware that they don’t have the same options that you have (acceleration, bumpers, airbags, etc.) then you should be fine.

  3. This is an interesting dialogue. The best solution would be for all of you who are physically able (and that includes almost ALL of you) to get rid of your Earth-destroying cars and get on a bike and ride along with us!
    Barring that, the issue of how far to veer is not an easy one. I find it frustrating when cars do not veer at all; that is, drivers who appear to want to nail you with their side mirrors (drivers often forget that these things are protruding from their vehicles when they pass too close). On the other hand veering way over (say 6 feet or more) is going a little overboard. Bikers don’t want you to have to go that far out of your way. On the other hand, a driver should veer as far over as is comfortable for their own peace of mind (eg., they want to have some leeway in case the biker makes a sudden move or shift). Also, veering for cars becomes tricky when there is oncoming traffic in the other lane. I try to make it as easy for cars as I can by staying far right as close to the painted line as possible. However, as I have a right to the road, I stay left of that line at least one foot most of the time. I can tell who is veering and who isn’t thanks to the helmet-mounted rear-view mirror I have; which I find indispensible. Turning around constantly to check rear traffic is really dangerous. It can throw bikers off course and off the road. In my experience, the vast majority of cars—I’d say 99 percent—do veer out of the way, and most of those veer 5 feet or more.

  4. Well, yes, I would recommend that everyone get their bikes and (at the very least) limit the use of their cars, if not get rid of them all together.

    As well, I try not to get in the way of cars as much as possible. Mostly because I want them to get used to the idea of me riding in the road. Interestingly enough, I read a journal article somewhere about a guy who wanted to test the theory of cars getting too close and he found that cyclists with helmets were allowed less room than cyclists without helmets. I guess those of us smart enough to wear a helmet are at a greater degree of risk for having to test that helmet as well.

    And, I should probably get one of those rear-view mirror attachments as well. Maybe on the next paycheck.

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