You’re an idiot

Yes, you, the one who flashed your brights and honked at me last night on Redwood Road. I was exercising my freedom to ride my bicycle down the center of the right lane because there was insufficient space for me to ride any farther to the right and there were two other lanes for you to safely and calmly pass me in.

Utah law clearly states:

bq. A person operating a bicycle on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as near as practicable to the right hand edge of the roadway except when … Reasonably necessary to avoid conditions that make it unsafe to continue along the right hand edge of the roadway including … A lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

According to the Utah Department of Tranportation’s Utah Bicycle Commuter Guide: An Introduction to the Fun and Rewarding Art of Bicycle Commuting,

bq. Riding in the center of a lane (taking the lane) may be the safest course of action in certain situations, such as when … lane width does not permit a motorized vehicle behind you to safely pass.

Now, you might insist that I should have been riding on the sidewalk, since there is an adequate one on Redwood. However, the Utah Bicycle Commuter Guide (and virtually every other bicycle safety document I’ve read) also states:

bq. Sidewalk riding is more dangerous than street riding (and in some areas is illegal) due to reduced sight distances and reaction times.

As it happens, even though you’re a fool, you couldn’t help but notice me because of where I was riding. In order to pass me, you made a (very discourteous) lane change, thereby putting over six feet of distance in between us. If I had been riding as far to the right as possible, you probably would’ve buzzed past me at high speed with inches between us and nearly killed me. So, even though you’re stupid, I was actually safer last night because I was following laws that exist precisely for my protection.

If you drive a motor vehicle or ride a bike and you don’t know much about bicycle safety laws, I would encourage you to read the relevant sections of the Utah Bicycle Commuter Guide or locate a similar guide for your state or country. Or, check out the links I’ve provided below, especially the “Sharing the Road” section on the first site. :syzygy:

See also

* League of American Bicyclists: Rules of the Road
* Ken Kifer’s Bike Pages: Bicycle Traffic Safety

  • I’m speechless…

    Treat bicycle riders as if they were an automobile in every facet of respect you’d give to someone else.
    Obviously the bike rider is only going 5-25 mph, so there is an obvious reason to need patience with bike riders for reasons of speed, which sounds exactly the reason he was ticked off.

    I hate it when I’m going the speed limit and someone fly’s up behind me on the free way, lanes on either side of me are clear. But no they feel you own it to them to move out of their way, rather than just changing lanes.