Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Shooting one's self in the foot (or pedal, I suppose)

Cyclists will always have to deal with the occasional Ragsdale letter. As Neale said, we are fortunate that Los Alamos is actually a pretty nice community from the standpoint of cycling. Furthermore, roads under County jurisdiction are becoming more bike-friendly and even those roads which are not overtly bike-friendly (State Road 4) have sufficiently low volume that it usually isn't a problem.

Of a more serious note than the occasional letter to the editor are some of the behaviors that lead motorists to think cyclists are a little, um, different. Today while leaving CMR, I saw a cyclist riding down the wrong side of Diamond Drive, directly into oncoming traffic (and to make matters worse, there is no shoulder).

There are two problems. One is giving the public the impression that cyclists are daft. Face it, a cyclist riding down the wrong side of the street straight into the teeth of an oncoming car is a little more obvious than a motorist driving 8 mph over the speed limit. The second is that such behavior is more likely to land you in the ER than proper vehicular cycling. John Forester (Effective Cycling) said it best: Cyclists fare best when they behave as the operators of vehicles. Most of the needed concepts can be had from your motor vehicle manual as well as on the web (such as on John Allen's web page http://www.bikexprt.com/) . Specific laws regarding cycling can be found here, at least for Los Alamos. http://www.labikes.org/laccode.asp

Let's be smart and careful out there.

5 comments:

ALBERT said...

Part of the problem is that LAPD does not seem to want to enforce the laws. I have witnessed a couple of instances where cyclists have been riding on the wrong side of the road or running stop signs in full view of police officers who did nothing.

Scott said...

Great post, Khal. My wife suggested the other day that maybe a PSA campaign would be helpful. For example, a banner on the overpass that advises cyclists to "ride with traffic", "wear a helmet", etc.

Greg said...

I'm going to be producing a local cable show on PAC8 to be aired in November and shot in October. If you guys want to put together a short PSA type segment, I'll be glad to include it. We can shoot it at PAC8 or outside if you like.

Khal said...

Sounds like an offer too good to refuse, Greg.

Greg said...

Great ... well workup a short segment and we will figure out a date to shoot it in a couple of weeks.