I Don’t Like Sharing The Road With People On Bicycles.  There.  I’ve Said It.

This past Friday my blog post about bicyclists was benign.  This post?  Not so much…

When I’m driving and up ahead I see a cluster of people on bicycles…

I dread it.

Even a solo bicyclist on a back road fills me with dread:

I’m convinced that someday, some bicyclist somewhere is going to sneeze or hit a rock or a pothole, and fall under my car tires…

And it will be my fault because in California, bicyclist tule the road.

Or so it seems to me.

OK:  I get that a bike doesn’t pollute our world like gasoline-driven cars do, and every person who’s on a bike instead of driving a car makes for less congestion, and riding a bike is a healthy thing to do…

Well, most of the time…

But in California, I think it’s gotten out of hand.

Take this, for example:

Yes – the city of San Diego removed 400 parking spaces to accommodate bicyclists.

The article didn’t say anything about San Diego creating 400 other parking spaces nearby.

Bicyclists: 1. Drivers: 0.

Then there’s this law, passed on behalf of bicyclists:

According to the article,

“…vehicles must stay three feet away from cyclists when passing them on the street…Breaking the law carries a $35 fine.  If a collision results from breaking the law and a bicyclist is injured, the motorist can be fined $220.”

So I have to stay three feet away from people on bikes – but there’s no law that says they have to stay three feet away from me?

Suppose I’m the mandated three feet away from a bicyclist and she/he suddenly swerves toward my car?  Am I supposed to swerve to the left to avoid a collision?  Maybe I can have a head-on collision with an oncoming car, but at least the bicyclist is safe?

Biyclists: 2. Drivers: 0.

And how about the fact that before I can drive, I must possess a driver license, but bicyclists?

Nope.

They’re occupying the same streets that I am, but they don’t have to take a written test and a driving test and have their eyes checked and a hideous picture taken and pay for a driver license.  They can just hop on their bikes and ride into the street and do this:

Apparently this bicyclist is unaware of VC 21205, “must leave a hand on the handlebars at all times.”

But then, most of the bicyclists I see seem unaware of those pesky laws that apply to them, just like they apply to us drivers.  You know – obeying traffic signals and stop signs and stuff.

When I approach a traffic signal that’s red, here’s what I see:

When bicyclists approach a traffic signal that’s red, here’s what they see:

They just roll through that red light like it’s not there.

And stop signs?  For drivers, no ambiguity here:

But for bikers?  Here’s what they see:

And did you know that in California, it’s illegal for me to hold a phone and talk on it when I’m operating a vehicle, but it’s perfectly OK for a bicyclist to do the same?

So, if I’m driving and an on-the-phone distracted bicyclist falls under my tires, no doubt that will be my fault.

Bicyclists:  3.  Drivers:  0.

And then there’s VC 21208, about bicyclists using the appropriate hand signals to alert drivers that the bicyclist is about to turn, slow down or stop:

Sure.

Bicyclists do this…

I’ll also mention CVC 21210, “Bicyclists may not leave bicycles on their sides on the sidewalk or park bicycles in a manner which obstructs pedestrians.”

So, here’s my Memo to All Bicyclists:

I accept that driving near a group of you or even just one of you will always fill me with dread.

I accept that I’m going to be seeing more – not less – folks on bikes.

I’ll do my best to keep my me and my 3,500-pound car from coming into contact with you and your 20-pound bicycle.

This works better when it works both ways:

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