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identity crisis

Old 09-26-04, 09:46 AM
  #1  
latortilla
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identity crisis

just finished reading a thread
about being stopped in a school zone
https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycling/67480-you-won-t-believe.html

one of the problems with cycling
is deciding whether the bike is a vehicle or not
i like to think it is
and that drivers should give me my due respect
while on the road
but then again
there are times where i'm clearly not behaving like another car
i can't blame drivers for being confused
and sometimes angry

what do you think?
vehicle or not?
car equivalent or special class vehicle?
(in the eyes of traffic laws at least)
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Old 09-26-04, 10:01 AM
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Even if there was some special classification for a bicycle, the laws of the road apply to all vehicles. Since you aren't walking, it is argueably a vehicle, and most states specify that bicycles must follow all of the rules set for other vehicles, (in Virginia: "Every person riding a bicycle on a highway shall be subject to the provisions of the Code of Virginia section on motor vehicles and shall have the rights and duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle unless a provision clearly indicates otherwise." A highway is defined as the entire width between the boundary lines of every place open to public use for purposes of vehicular travel.) plus special rules applied specifically to bicycles. There is no exemption because the vehicle happens to be "alternative fuel" . Our best bet is to ride like a car but be as unobtrusive as possible when it's practical.
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Old 09-26-04, 10:15 AM
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In England where I am from, and the rest of the UK; there is a government publication called the Highway Code. It is a rule book for all vehicles and includes bicycles along with motor cycles, cars and all vehicles that use the public highways.

If you ride a bike in the UK you know exactly where you stand regarding the law, and cyclists there do not ride on the wrong side of the road against traffic, they do no not ignore traffic lights or other road signs, and they do not ride on the sidewalk. Children are taught the Highway Code from an early age.

Maybe cyclist here should lobby at least at a state level to get bike riders treated the same as any other vehicle. But keep in mind you will never be treated as an equal as long as cyclist ride on the sidewalk and run through red lights.
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Old 09-26-04, 11:27 AM
  #4  
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My bicycle is a vehicle. I am in charge of that vehicle. I expect recognition as such from motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians (I am often disappointed), and I expect to be held to the same rules of conduct (I try mightily not to disappoint). Priorities: safety first, pleasure second, destination third.
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Old 09-26-04, 09:33 PM
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A vehicle. No question about it. It's my major source of transport, and it covers more miles that many of the cars I see on the road everyday (expecting to clear 20,000km this year alone). For that reason I expect and demand to be treated the same as every other road user, and I act accordingly.
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Old 09-26-04, 09:38 PM
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Hrm....a thought just occured to me. You can deduct a certain amount per mile for vehicle use related to business. I think it's 32 cents a mile. So can I deduct that if I use my bike to take my sorry butt to work?
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Old 09-26-04, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by twahl
Hrm....a thought just occured to me. You can deduct a certain amount per mile for vehicle use related to business. I think it's 32 cents a mile. So can I deduct that if I use my bike to take my sorry butt to work?
Depends, does "business use" include travelling to and from work? It doesn't under our tax laws.
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Old 09-26-04, 09:51 PM
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In England where I am from, and the rest of the UK; there is a government publication called the Highway Code. It is a rule book for all vehicles and includes bicycles along with motor cycles, cars and all vehicles that use the public highways.

If you ride a bike in the UK you know exactly where you stand regarding the law, and cyclists there do not ride on the wrong side of the road against traffic, they do no not ignore traffic lights or other road signs, and they do not ride on the sidewalk. Children are taught the Highway Code from an early age.

Maybe cyclist here should lobby at least at a state level to get bike riders treated the same as any other vehicle. But keep in mind you will never be treated as an equal as long as cyclist ride on the sidewalk and run through red lights.
Well sure all of us cyclists here at bikeforums consider our bikes to be vehicles becuase we use them like vehicles, but where do you draw the line between us and little Johnny on his mongoose riding to school?

He can't be expexted to ride the the speed of traffic and stay of the sidewalks. Laws regarding bikes like mentioned by "Dave moulton" would have to have a way to seprate the vehicle type cyclists(us) from the pedestrian type cyclists(little). It would be a hard thing to do
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Old 09-26-04, 10:03 PM
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You can demand all the respect you want from drivers of motor vehicles, but the minute you start expecting it you're setting yourself up for a fall -- figuratively and literally. I figure drivers ought to regard me as another vehicle, but I'd as soon yield as have it be a topic of discussion at my funeral.
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Old 09-27-04, 07:00 AM
  #10  
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Here in Tasmania the goverment recently made it legal to ride on the footpath but the law also states you should act and be treated as a vehicle. Go figure?
If I ride into town from home its a downhill run all the way and I sit on 40+ kph, thats going to be real safe on the footpath(especially if I take the trike ).
I assume it also means I can ride the wrong way up a one way street by just riding on the footpath.
They obviously thought this one through.
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Old 09-27-04, 07:42 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Chris L
Depends, does "business use" include travelling to and from work? It doesn't under our tax laws.
Same here in the US. Commuting expense is never deductible. If you use your bike in the course of your work, you can probably depreciate its cost over a number of years.
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Old 09-27-04, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ChAnMaN
Well sure all of us cyclists here at bikeforums consider our bikes to be vehicles becuase we use them like vehicles, but where do you draw the line between us and little Johnny on his mongoose riding to school?

He can't be expexted to ride the the speed of traffic and stay of the sidewalks. Laws regarding bikes like mentioned by "Dave moulton" would have to have a way to seprate the vehicle type cyclists(us) from the pedestrian type cyclists(little). It would be a hard thing to do
You are absolutely right and I have been thinking about that very thing since my original posting. It is not going to happen in the US because it does not just involve the education of cyclists, but of all road users.

In England and the rest of Europe the bicycle was there first; motor vehicles came after so laws for bicycles were already in place from the beginning. In America there were a few bicycles around at the turn of the century, but mostly they went straight from horses to motor vehicles.

In Europe little kids do ride their bikes to school, but car drivers are used to seeing this and are aware of it. They also have bike races on the open road with normal traffic, again drivers are used to it; here it would be wholesale slaughter.
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