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Old 02-24-07, 11:39 PM   #1
2manybikes
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Do you remember driving before being a cyclist?

Did you know anything about rules of the road for bikes? My guess is no.

The other day someone I know was driving behind a bike that had to take the lane to not get doored and it was too narrow for passing. She had no idea about bikes getting doored, or passing too close, or why this bike was in the road instead of the sidewalk. It was just irritating to her. Know she knows, but I don't think she cares. She said it was "stupid". !@#$%^&*(

I did not include rules of the road for bikes when I taught my kids to drive. Did you?
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Old 02-25-07, 12:11 AM   #2
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I never learned anything about bicycle rules/rites of the road when I was younger. But where I grew up more emphasis was put on farming and the such, no one rode bikes as transportation where I come from though, it was 20 miles between farms.
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Old 02-25-07, 01:16 AM   #3
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Before I was an adult cyclist (which hasn't been too long) I was mostly aware of the laws about bicycles. Kansas does put the following in their driver handbook. I should laminate it and hand it to drivers that don't understand the laws.

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Old 02-25-07, 01:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ax0n
Before I was an adult cyclist (which hasn't been too long) I was mostly aware of the laws about bicycles. Kansas does put the following in their driver handbook. I should laminate it and hand it to drivers that don't understand the laws.
California has one page devoted to cycling out of 80 or so pages in their driver handbook... how many motorists pay any attention to that one page?

I doubt 10 minutes in a 6 week drivers ed class is devoted to cycling... even to the most basic "cyclists have the same rights to the road as you."
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Old 02-25-07, 04:14 AM   #5
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Do you remember driving before being a cyclist?
Quote:
Did you know anything about rules of the road for bikes?
I did, but I learned to ride a bike when I was 4. Started solo bike commuting in 1st grade (it was only about a mile ), and rode all the way through high school. In my teens I was road riding, touring and bike commuting, even after I got my DL in '78. In the mid-eighties I drifted away from it for quite a few years.

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Old 02-25-07, 06:09 AM   #6
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I mostly learned the rules of the road from biking. grew up in a very small town... no traffic lights, 2 paved roads for most of my memory, so when I got to the city for school biking seemed an easier (and safer) way to teach myself the rules of city driving. worked pretty well too.
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Old 02-25-07, 07:08 AM   #7
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I dont remember driving before being a cyclist since I was a cyclist before I was a driver. I am currently a driver as well as a cyclist; the two are not mutually exclusive (except for the anal purists ;p).

I like that page from the Kansas handbook, particularly the line about "mutual respect". I know when I taught driver's ed, I put a lot of focus on this, and talked with my students in car about that a lot. The driving system we taught was designed to focus on potential hazards on the roadway which could harm car drivers OR other road users. These included being aware enough of your surroundings to not attempt to pass a cyclist until safe to do so. Heaven help the student who attempted to squeeze a bike out (ok ok, I never let them even start such a maneuver since I noticed the bike waaaay ahead and would point out the bike and discuss it as it relates to the path the car was taking and position us to give both us and the bike the space needed to be safe.) There is enough room on our roads to accommodate all kinds of road users. What we need more of is respect.
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Old 02-25-07, 09:27 AM   #8
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I started riding a bike almost obsessively partly in response to all my friends being so single minded about "getting a license". I used to race them the mile to our high school (me on the bike them in their cars) and beat them hands down by drafting the lines of school buses that they would be stuck behind.

When I finally gave in and got my license at age 18 I was still using the bike to get most places and didn't buy a car for several more years. I was very aware of the vehicle codes as they pertained to cyclists by the time I was driving.
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Old 02-25-07, 09:38 AM   #9
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A year or so after my Dad taught me to ride and he saw me venturing off the sidewalks and into the street, he began teaching me the basic rules of the road: to stay in the same-direction lanes, to stop at lights/signs, to look over my shoulder and signal before I made any changes in position, to yield for faster traffic, to use my perepheral vision to 'see' the big picture and not focus on just what is in front of me, etc. My education and experience on a bike made it easier to learn to drive.
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Old 02-25-07, 09:59 AM   #10
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I was riding my bicycle on the streets by age 8, if not before. I didn't start driving a car on the road until age 14 or 15. I remember learning the basic rules of the road at that age. So , in some ways, it seems more natural for me to ride on the road than to drive.
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Old 02-25-07, 10:04 AM   #11
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Cycling was a passion for me long before I could drive. I can still remember my parents expression when I turned 16, and I had told them that I no real interest in getting a driver's license. I eventually got a driver's license a few months later only because I wanted to ride a motorcycle. Motorcycling, now there's something that will heighten one's bicycling road skills due to the greatly decreased reaction times.
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Old 02-25-07, 10:24 AM   #12
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Yeah, I got the rules of the road for bikes first, then motorbikes, then finally for cars.
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Old 02-25-07, 10:30 AM   #13
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No. I went everywhere by bike until I turned 16 and got my licence. Since my prep school did not allow cars and my college restricted where they could be parked, driving remained a primarily recreational weekend activity until I finished graduate school. After about ten years of driving to work, I got tired of traffic anfd parking hassles and went back to riding for transportation and driving for weekend recreation.

I learned the rules of the road from my Boy Scout Handbook. Ride or drive on the left side of the road, obey all stop signs and stop lights. After I learned to ride a bike, it felt like a rite of passege to graduate from travelling, as a pedestrian, on the right side of the road to riding on the left side. I still remember that thrill.

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Old 02-25-07, 11:27 AM   #14
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at age 15 I had already plowed through every book on bicycling in my local library's shelves and most of them were from the 1940's and 50's very little was published about bicycling in the 60's. In 1970 Eugene Sloane wrote a book called "The Complete Book of Bicycling" and that was followed by Tom Cuthbertson's hippie classics "Anybody's Bike Book" (repair) and "Bike Tripping". Sloane's book and Bike Tripping both contained several pages on vehicular code and riding safely in traffic. Their suggestions, especially Cuthbertson's, were much more along the lines of the Adaptive Cycling model recently featured in several threads in this forum but they were based on following local vehicle code.
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Old 02-25-07, 12:12 PM   #15
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I should clarify that I was a heavy bicycle user from the age of 5 to the age of 17, and would often ride on the street and we were taught bicycle safety in elementary school, which isn't much unlike bicycle safety today. Stay in the road, stay to the right, signal, wear your helmet, use reflectors, don't ride at night -- remember; these were gradeschool kids, etc.

I would ride 20 miles a day as a teenager but only in fair weather and usually only to get to and from school and a few extra miles to round my 15 mile round trip to high school up to 20 miles a day. In a sense, I was a commuter back then, but it'd been almost 10 years between then and when I picked up bicycling again last august.
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Old 02-26-07, 10:28 AM   #16
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I don't think I knew the specifics of the law, but I have always been a courteous driver. Giving lots of passing room was (and remains) normal for me. I so rarely find/found myself slowed by a cyclist (except most memorably driving in the Alps) and always just patently waited until I could pass safely. I likely didn't know why the cyclist was taking the lane, but it never crossed my mind as being wrong.

edit: As a young kid in an area with minimal but quiet residential streets and connections to elsewhere with 55mph rural road with narrow lanes I learned form my parents to ride right and ride well into the road for visibility, so cyclists being in lane was how I was brought up.

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Old 02-26-07, 10:48 AM   #17
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I remember driving and encountering cyclists on the backroads during highschool. The father of one of my friends was a cyclist so any time we encountered any he made sure anyone who was driving was patient and passed with plenty of distance. The delays caused by cyclists even on winding narrow roads were so minimal that it never occurred to me to be annoyed with cyclists. I couldn't understand drivers who passed closely or without adequate sightlines, or worse, with a clear view of the oncoming traffic.
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Old 02-26-07, 11:18 AM   #18
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I do, but my brother was seriously into cycling so I was very bike aware by the time I learned how to drive.
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Old 02-26-07, 11:20 AM   #19
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I was an avid transportation cyclist before I obtained my driver license. My parents told me to follow the same rules as other drivers - travel with vehicular traffic on the right hand side of the road, stop for signals and signs, etc.

Most of the low-traffic roads where I lived in the northeast were too narrow for drivers to pass without changing lanes. We assumed drivers would just wait for oncoming traffic to clear before passing, and that's usually what happened. Some of the busy roads lacked wide lanes or paved shoulders; these were less pleasant but usable.

It wasn't until I started grad school in the southeast that people started telling me to ride my bike on the sidewalk to get out of the way of cars. I never had my right to use the road challenged before that.
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Old 02-26-07, 12:00 PM   #20
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cyclist long before i was a driver license enabled driver. got my license on my 21st birthday. I was driving illegally long before that, drove Ryder trucks along the I-75 cooridor for a local Ryder franchise when i was 14 or 15, without a license, drove across the country several times without a license, even bought two cars before i had my DL, but was riding and even bike touring before i had my drivers liscense.

maybe my riding bikes kept me safe while driving . I did take the drivers training when i was 15, but pride and bullheadedness kept me from applying for my license until my 21st birthday.
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Old 02-26-07, 02:26 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manybikes
Did you know anything about rules of the road for bikes? My guess is no.

The other day someone I know was driving behind a bike that had to take the lane to not get doored and it was too narrow for passing. She had no idea about bikes getting doored, or passing too close, or why this bike was in the road instead of the sidewalk. It was just irritating to her. Know she knows, but I don't think she cares. She said it was "stupid". !@#$%^&*(

I did not include rules of the road for bikes when I taught my kids to drive. Did you?
Gee, I was a cyclist at 14, got a drivers licence when I was 16, bought my first car when I was 24, so I had 10 years as a transportational cyclist, before becoming a regular driver..... I seem to also remember getting a little booklet, around grade 6, that contained the Highway Traffic Act, as it applied to bicycles, it left out the parts that applied only to motor vehicles, but was a nice guide for many years. It must have been lost one of the times I moved, because I can't find it now, and I know where it would be, if I still had it.
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Old 02-26-07, 04:08 PM   #22
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I do. Although I used my bike for transportation off and on in high school and college, it was not regular, and I don't recall being aware of riding vehicularly in more than a very general sense. But then after college I went about 10 years without riding more than once or twice a year, and then just short recreational rides on quiet streets. So I do remember driving without being what I would now call a cyclist, by which I mean intentionally and regularly.

Specifically, I clearly remember seeing bike lanes and wondering how they were supposed to work with the rest of the traffic flow. Especially one that approached an intersection between a straight-through lane and a right-turn only lane. Although that is the correct placement for a straight-through cyclist, it made me wonder what the cyclist was supposed to do if he or she was not going straight - leave the lane? Are they allowed to do that? Why bother having a lane for cyclists going straight but not for those turning? I'm sure this confusion that I remember as a non-cycling motorist is part of my suspicion of bike lanes today...
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Old 02-26-07, 04:43 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
California has one page devoted to cycling out of 80 or so pages in their driver handbook... how many motorists pay any attention to that one page?

I doubt 10 minutes in a 6 week drivers ed class is devoted to cycling... even to the most basic "cyclists have the same rights to the road as you."
About the same amount as devoted to pedestrians, road hazards, school buses and weather conditions I suspect.
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