Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Confronting Misconceptions on the Road

Over the weekend, I was riding close to the curb in the right lane on a 4 lane divided road with a 40 mph speed limit in light traffic. A car passed me midblock, in the left lane, and next thing I know, its passenger is leaning out his window, shouting at me to "get off the road!"

Of course, it is not uncommon for road users to be mistaken about the law. At least this car passed me safely and did not actively try to run me off the road, presumably because it was the passenger rather than the driver who was acting the idiot. A number of motorists do not understand that bicycles have the same rights to the road as any other vehicle, let alone that a motorist should give a bicycle at least 3 feet (in my state; other jurisdictions vary) of clearance when passing. Frankly, a number of cyclists do not know this either. What to do when confronted with one of these individuals?