Wednesday, February 07, 2007

How to be a Well-Behaved Motorist

After almost being killed by several drivers today, I think it's time for the "How to Be a Motorist With Cyclists On the Road Chat."

Rule #1
Never infringe upon the biker's lane unless absolutely necessary. It's their lane. Treat it like a sidewalk. When pulling into a driveway you wouldn't run over poor pedestrians. If you absolutely must cross the bike lane, then make sure to signal and look to see if there's a biker approaching. If there is, then wait for them to pass.

Rule #2
If you're at a four way stop with a cyclist, let them go first. Even you were there first. Trust me, it's way easier for a motorist to stop and start again than it is for a cyclist. Especially if there are hills. The biker will love you forever, I promise.

Rule #3
If there is no bike lane, then technically the cyclist in front of you that you can't wait to get around has first dibs on the lane. If you try to pass them, make sure you're not crowding them out, forcing them into a pothole, or some other horrible fate. Some of those ditches on the side of the road are not friendly and you don't really want to be responsible for sending a poor biker head over handlebars right?

That being said, cyclists should always signal and if possible make eye contact with drivers for communication. I've actually heard that in some countries bikers must have bells on their bikes or they get slapped with a nasty fine. Not such a bad idea.


heidikins said...

Ack! Good grief woman! After reading this I'm ready to campaign for Biker Safety!! Heavens, the last thing I want is to see you head-over-handlebars (or worse!)

Be careful out there!

Stacy said...

You ride your bike in this kind of winter weather. Wow!

JenKneeBee said...

Heidi - Most cyclists actually expect at some time or another to go down and get a case of road rash, hence the helmets and safety measures. Bike lanes really are the best invention ever.

Stacy - Whoops, my profile said I was in MN, but I forget to switch it back to SLC after Christmas. It's been positively balmy here. If I was in St. Paul though, I'd soooo be inside on a fake bike.