I am a 16 year old high school student. I have been cycling to school and to work just about every school day this year. I would consider myself to be a fairly experienced cyclist. I ride during the dark in the morning so I always use a bright, bright white headlight and a red, blinking tail-light. I always take the lane because I've found, like many of you, that even a couple extra inches to the right means being passed ridiculously close and without cars bothering to slow down. I used to take bike/pedestrian paths for some of my route, but I have abandoned them due to my terrible experiences on them. They are riddled with potholes, gravel, broken glass and are also used by lots of runners and joggers and students and parents going to school. The final straw, however, was that where the road next to the path intersects another road, cars go through without bothering to take even the briefest look. The only time I have ever been hit by a car was when I was on a similar path and a car went across it without looking. It was low-speed and I wasn't hurt (it was back several years ago, before I had any idea what I was doing). Anyway, long story short, I ride on the road, I take the lane, and I obey traffic laws and common sense safety rules.
There are often bus drivers on the route that I travel (since I am going to school). This morning, while I was locking up my bike to the bike rack which is adjacent to the bus parking lot, a bus driver came over and what ensued left me somewhat flabbergasted and extremely irritated.
He asked me my name, and I told him. He said he regularly sees me cycling in the morning. Then he asked if there was any way that I would consider riding on "the sidewalk". I told him no. He asked if I could ride on the far right of the lane to let cars pass faster. I told him no again and carefully explained my reasons for not using the bike/pedestrian paths and my reasons for taking the lane. He was starting to get a little angry, or at least annoyed. He said that his bus sometimes has to wait behind me. He tells me, "I only have three kids on my bus, but they don't want to be going down the street at 15 mph." I tell him that I'm sorry that he has to wait, but I'm not going to jeopardize my safety in order to allow other traffic to go past me faster. He tells me that I am just being selfish. He then brings out this whopper, "The other bus drivers and I are gonna talk to the principal and get him to make you stop riding. And if he doesn't, then we're gonna talk to the town police and have you banned from the road." I replied with a startled, "ExCUSE me?!?" and he said, "I'm just warning you."
I told him, "Go ahead, thanks for coming over to talk to me." I was extremely proud of myself for keeping my cool and being extremely polite and diplomatic!
I know that the Indiana (where I live) Constitution guarantees me the same rights to road use as motor vehicle operators, so I'm not sure how worried I should be about this.
What are your thoughts? Can a person who has not violated any traffic laws or endangered others' safety be "banned" from the road?