That's what I thought until I heard from the guys who got those exceptions put in there, and what they had to go through to get them. It is my understanding that the interpretation of "common sense" back then was that cyclists should stay out of the way of motorists, period. That's the basis for 21202 and 21208. The only way the cycling advocates got those exceptions put in was by arguing that the state would get sued for wrongful death without them. The end result is legal mumbo-jumbo of which most cyclists are not aware (not to mention motorists and law enforcement), so it does not do them much good. What everyone seems to be affected by is the key language:
Originally Posted by Treespeed
Whenever a bicycle lane has been established on a roadway ... any person operating a bicycle upon the roadway ... shall ride within the bicycle lane...Anyway, here's the full text of 21208:
21208. (a) Whenever a bicycle lane has been established on a roadway pursuant to Section 21207, any person operating a bicycle upon the roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride within the bicycle lane, except that the person may move out of the lane under any of the following situations:
(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle, vehicle, or pedestrian within the lane or about to enter the lane if the overtaking and passing cannot be done safely within the lane.
(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
(3) When reasonably necessary to leave the bicycle lane to avoid debris or other hazardous conditions.
(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
(b) No person operating a bicycle shall leave a bicycle lane until the movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided in Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 22100) in the event that any vehicle may be affected by the movement.
(bold emphasis mine)
In other words...
"You better be in the bike lane, boy, unless you have a damn good reason!"