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February 22, 2010



Expect to see more current statistics emerge during the National Bike Summit 2010 taking place in Washington, DC March 9 - 11. Info here: http://www.bikeleague.org/conferences/summit10/index.php

And, while the number of cyclists on the road is increasing steadily, we have a long way to go yet! The League of American Bicyclists report that in the US cycling has just reached 1% of all trips. (see: http://www.bikeleague.org/blog/2010/01/national-household-travel-survey-short-trips-analysis/) However, given that 30 percent of trips are a mile or shorter, 40 percent are two miles or shorter and 50 percent are three miles or shorter, with only 37% greater than 5 miles, we definitely have room to double, double again, and again and again...


Today, riding my bike in city traffic around my neighborhood (Oakland, CA), I had brief encounters with the following people on four wheels:

1. Two different drivers who tailgated me and made moves as if to pass me on the right while I was in the right tire track of a right lane that was not wide enough for a bike and a car (tailgaiting = illegal; passing on the right = illegal; riding in right tire track = perfectly legal)

2. A driver who shouted at me from the window of her SUV that I have a "death wish" because I was turning left from the left-turn lane (instead of what? walking my bike across the street?)

3. A driver who shouted at me that I should be riding on the sidewalk

4. A driver who shouted at me that I should be riding in the bike lane (there was no bike lane)

5. A driver who shouted at me that I should be in the right lane (I was making a left turn, though not the left turn mentioned in item 2, above)

6. I driver who crossed a double yellow line to perform a U-turn in front of me (good thing I had room to stop)

Most days I ride without incident. And I don't think I was doing anything different today. So it seems that ignorance was on parade today in Oakland, CA.

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Bill Bean

  • North America is eventually going to figure out that, for all the right reasons, we need more bicycles on our roads. Dust off your bicycle and go cycling. And if the gas-burning dinosaurs start to crowd you, it's your road and you paid for it. Take the lane for yourself.

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