I’m a take the lane kind of guy. I don’t take the lane willy nilly though. My biggest pet peeve is cyclist on Hawthorne or Division. There is a reason for bike routes and it is via these routes that I get around. So when I find myself on a “Bike route” or as I recently learned “Bike boulevard” (as if cars know what this means) I expect cars to understand the law. They apparently don’t. The law is clear. Cyclist get the right of way and cars therefor must yield to them. There is nothing in the law that say a cyclist must move off to the side so a car can pass. If a car insists on passing they must do so as they would another car. Let’s be clear on what this means, they must only pass when it is completely safe, they must give the car/cyclist ample space and the passing should be done slowly. Is this too much to ask? I don’t think cars realize that as a cyclist it is dangerous to ride close to a row of parked cars. Not only is there a chance of a opening door, but cars, because I’m off to the side, feel extra bold and pass regardless of on coming traffic or other obstacles.
I’m a bit off the “Share the road” theme but I thought it was worth highlighting the extra irony of this considering designated bike routes. Now as a cyclist who rides more than just in town but goes on long rides the share the road possibly takes on a new meaning. After all the speed limit is faster so I really would not feel safe hanging out in the middle of the road. Plus there are no parked cars. So here in these rural areas share the road essentially means “watch for cyclist and pass with care”. In town however because of my middle of the road approach with slower speed limits and the law on my side cars tend to use the share the road slogan as a way to cuss me out. First they yell “Share the road asshole!” as they pass honking and flipping me off. The irony is that when I respond, in as calm a manner as possible, that the lay allows me to take the lane that that share the road simply means treat me like you would another car and pass as such. This always gets a response like “Share the road means share the road NOT hog the road”….Um What kind of twisted logic is that.
Cars expect us to obey the laws and love to call cyclist “Outlaws” but cars consistently drive too fast, roll stop signs and in the context of this post, disobey the laws surrounding bike routes. I say get ride of the “share the road” signs in town and somehow make it clear that on these few bike route we have that it is the cyclist that gets the right of way and not the other way around.