Saturday, August 15, 2009

Suburban cycling

So I was coming home from the movies last night, on my bike, and I was watching the behaviour of my fellow cyclists while I waited for the #1 bus.

What did I see? Several folks on the sidewalk, some riding against traffic, some riding on the sidewalk AND against traffic, and quite a few wearing dark clothing and neglecting to add reflectors or rear lights to their bicycles.

To my fellow cyclists:

Please. This is car country, and we all know it. We are trying to advocate for better cycling conditions, and for our inclusion in the transport mix of our community. To do that, we all need to follow a few basic rules, not the least of which are the Riverside Municipal Code and California Vehicle Code.

So, first, get the hell off the sidewalks. Riding on sidewalks is illegal in Riverside, and it's kind of a dickish thing to do, especially on a road like Magnolia, where there's a pleasant bike lane that runs for miles.

Second, ride with traffic. It's not just a good idea, it's the law. Remember- you ARE traffic, under CVC 21200.

Third, be visible. Not only is this a great thing to do for advocacy purposes, it's a nice way not to get killed. Lights and reflectors are a really good idea at night, especially if you're going to be wearing all black on the back of a black bicycle.
(I actually wear a road-worker-style reflective vest while riding at night. Do I look dorky? Yah. But if I get run over, there is no way the driver can argue "I didn't see 'im!".)

If we want to promote cycling as a viable form of transportation, the least we can do is to be good roadway citizens. We must dispel the myth of the scofflaw cyclist.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I take issue with your description of the bike lane on Magnolia as "pleasant," but agree with the rest of your post.