Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sharing the Road - What It Actually Means for Bicyclists...

My Bike - Street/Mountain Hybrid
Bicycle injuries: Is the right-of-way fight getting ugly? - From

I recently read the above article and I immediately just had to put my thoughts down.  I live in a very bike-friendly city (Alameda).  We have bicycle lanes up and down the main streets of our small city and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't see a bicyclist sharing the road with cars.  I myself, occasionally, ride around on my bike, especially when the weather is warmer.  I'm more comfortable biking around my neighborhood than I would be bicycling in a big, urban jungle like San Francisco.  I know there are plenty who do it but there are just too many cars, trucks, buses, subway cars, etc. that could run me over.  While I may have the right of way on my bike (and maybe you do too), the big, hunkin, metal car will always win! 

With that said, I really didn't like the tone of this article that seeks to blame only the automotive vehicles on the road for all accidents between them and cyclists.  The following link has the laws that bicyclists in California must adhere to: California's Bicycle Laws (DMV Website).  It even states, "Bicycle riders on public roads have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, and are subject to the same rules and regulations.  Refer to the California Driver Handbook to become familiar with these rules."  I KNOW there are bicyclists out there who have no respect for cars and vice versa.  They do not follow the laws and they act as if it is the always the driver's responsibility to look out for them.  I think it goes both ways!  I don't drive around thinking other cars need to watch out for me...  That's a great way to get into an accident!

There have been so many times that my hubby and I have driven around, in Alameda, Berkeley, SF, and we've nearly gotten into an accident due to a bicyclist speeding by, running a red light or through a stop sign.  They weave in and out of lanes and make left turns without signaling.  Are they crazy?!?  One of the reasons why I refuse to drive around SF and Berkeley (I let my hubby do it! LOL) are the crazy bicyclists with a complete disregard for the rules of the road.  It's really such a shame that they are always crying foul and blaming motorists.  Then, the article points out, blaming police as well?  I think police don't do enough about ticketing bicyclists who disregard the vehicle code.  It's a shame that I always seem them getting a pass.

That's enough venting for today.  I'm a bicyclist that is well aware that I'm taking a major risk riding with traffic.  I follow the laws, have all the proper equipment and avoid busy intersections when I can.  That's the most I can do and I wish all bicyclists would do the same.