[Nothing on this blog should be confused for legal advice. I am not a lawyer, public official, or officer of the law. You, the reader, are liable for your own behavior and knowledge.]

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Riding Further Left

Why do cyclists ride so far into traffic? Couldn't they get further to the right so I can pass?

Often, the first parts of the road to experience weathering and wear are the places that cyclists are supposed to ride, the right side of the road. This is the first place that potholes and bumps usually appear. Remember that most road bikes do not have suspension systems. (Those are typically reserved for mountain bikes.) Every knock, bump, and rattle is absorbed by the cyclist's butt, legs, and arms. It can often be grueling, and many of us have the bruises and saddle sores to show for it. Because of this, when we can, cyclists will try to ride a little further left, into the lane where roads tend to be in better shape. The big asterisk here is that cyclists should only do this when traffic allows.

One area of shared interest for both motorists and cyclists is in the condition of our roads. We can work together to improve these. Contact your local, state, and federal elected officials, and encourage them to support legislation and policy to regularly maintain our roadways. Vote for laws and referenda that increase funding for road construction and repair. Stop complaining mindlessly about how unreasonable your taxes are without first acknowledging the benefits--like quality roads--for which your tax dollars pay.

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