Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The "legal cycling rights way" is not always the best way

Most of us know our rights as a cyclist. A friend shared a story as to why we sometimes need to think outside of the box, as well as why using a mirror makes a lot of sense.

"Hey I had a great safety situation yesterday.

You know Paradise Valley road out by Maltby and such? Well it’s two narrow lanes in the woods and the white stripe is the bike lane. Normally traffic is fairly light but I think there is a construction project for which Paradise Valley is a junction. I was coming up a rise and saw a dump truck in my mirror a ways back still. I could tell that we were going to reach the crest at the same time, give or take. As I approached the crest I could see over it to find another dump truck coming our way. All three of us were going to be at the top of the hill and the two drivers would be blind to each other until just shortly before they passed. Now, of course bikers have the right to be on the road—right? We also have the right to get the hell out of the way of colliding dump trucks! I stopped my bike, dismounted and scurried up the woodsy sloped shoulder to let the two monsters pass. It could have gotten really ugly if my presence had forced the driver away from me and into the opposite truck’s lane. So I decided to live and ride another day!

That was a first. I hope last."


Holly Klien said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I actually really enjoyed reading about this. I've been thinking about bicycle accidents and now that I bike a lot how I would handle it if I ever were in one. I hope it never happens to me.

Don said...

Thanks Tom. From one who has recently re-discovered the joy of cycling. I've been cycling everyday possible. I've been trying to kindly communicate this very sentiment. In Indiana, you now have the same *rights* as a motorcar. However, full exercise of these rights at all times comes at a price. One carries this out, potentially at their own peril. Good judgement seems to be one of the best "mirrors" we can carry with us. -don

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