Monday, March 03, 2008

Excuse me, Mr. Bicyclist!

Just because you think you're saving the earth does not mean you get to ignore the law. You are not superior in any way for your two-wheelin' tree-huggin' getting-back-to-nature attitude. In Oregon, the laws pertaining to vehicle drivers also goes for bicyclists. In case you were wondering, these laws include:

-stopping at stop signs. I know you can't hear other cars while you're wearing your lame-ass iPod earbuds. I know you can't see other people with that super-bright sun in your still-drunk eyes. But a stop sign means stop, not "casually slide through the intersection and hope everyone else waits for you to pedal through."

-ride on the RIGHT side of the road WITH the flow of traffic.

-if you're stopped at a stop sign and I'm on a street where I don't have to stop at the same intersection that you're stopped at, even though you're on a bike and I'm in a car, I don't have to stop for you. So don't give me that dirty look. You're not a pedestrian. You don't get special treatment. I don't have to stop!

-lights, lights, lights. Unless you're lit up like a Christmas tree, don't expect me to magically see your all-black clothing in the dark. You should have, at minimum, a front and a rear light. I very much appreciate people with a handlebar-mounted light and a headlamp in the front, reflective clothing, and maybe even one of those bells.

-helmet. DUH. If you're not smart enough to wear a helmet, I can't help you. WEAR ONE! Yes, you might look goofy. Yeah, you might have to carry it around. Small price to pay for a bit o' padding on the ol' brain bucket, right?

-use your hand signals! Bicyclists don't get blinkers, and I don't know any mind readers... so if you expect a driver to know where you're headed, you better be telling them. Learn the signals, and then use them. Oh, and flashing a signal for a nanosecond doesn't count. Give me a full five seconds of uninterrupted, "Hey all you car people, I'm turning right at the next intersection, so please don't run me over!" Especially use a signal for left turns.

-distracted cycling: if I'm not allowed to drink and drive, you're not allowed to drink and ride. Same goes for cell phone use, iPods (see above), or eating while riding. PAY ATTENTION: you never know when I'm not.

I'm not anti-bicycle by any means. I have one. I've even been known to use it. But I'm very much against cyclists thinking they're "all that" for not driving a car. And I'm tired of cyclists pretending they own the road and that they don't have to obey traffic laws.

Oh, and to the next bicyclist that slows down for an intersection but blows through it right before I get there... it's on.

Oregon Driver Manual
Oregon Bicyclist Manual


Anonymous said...

I cant evern begin to tell you how much I agree with your post, There is one other thing that really made me mad about bikers,

Bikes are NOT allowed on SIDEWALKS, its called a sidewalk for a reason, Not a sideride. When ever I come across some one riding on the side walk, I refuse to move out of the way even if it means they may to stop or heaven for bid ride in the bike lane or on the streat.

Jenny said...

Thanks for that bit. Too bad most of them won't be reading it. Maybe submit to the campus paper. Ruffle some feathers. :)

Payne by name said...

I'm so with you on this one.

I always want to shout out rather arrogantly. I pay for this road so how about you get off it!

There was a case recently over here where a woman was prosecuted for killing a cyclist at a junction because she was on her mobile phone at the time.

Now I'm not saying he deserved to die or anything but they didn't seem to make much of the fact that witnesses had seen the cyclist stop at a red light and then decide to go across the junction regardless of it.