This one is directed at you, Lance Armstrong

**This post is not directed to Lance Armstrong. I find him to be a stellar athlete and a wonderful human. Live Strong.***

Ok. I’m bound to piss some of you off with this one, but keep an open mind and hear me out…at least the overall point…

Listen, weekend cyclist guy/gal. I get the fact that you love your swell Trek or Specialized. I don’t necessarily understand the need to garb yourself in heinous colors that are too tight for most people to wear, but hey, different strokes. Here’s the thing, though…CVC 21200(a) states in part:

Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle.

What does that mean for you, Tour de France wannabe? That means when you see the fucking big red sign with the word “STOP” on it? Yeah, you have to stop. When you see that light box on the arm of that big ‘ol metal pole thingy and the top red colored light is blazing away? Yeah, you have to stop.

Look, I understand that cars don’t pay as much attention to you. I’m on a Motor, remember? We both have two wheels. That makes us cousins. Sorta. More like cousins twice removed. We could probably legally marry and have kids that wouldn’t have three arms and no nipples. I know it’s dangerous; however, let me throw this little factoid at you. In the three years I have been in the Traffic Unit, we’ve investigated a number of collisions involving bicycles. A rough estimate? More than 80% of the fault lies with the cyclist (and that’s a conservative estimate). Of those where the car is more at fault, the cyclist typically is an associated factor in the collision.

My point to all of this? If you wanna save yourself some drama (of the violation kind) or some trauma (of the visit to the ER kind), do both of us a favor and don’t ride like an A-hole, okay? This means you, pack of 50 neon-clad dorks taking up an entire lane of traffic. Guess what? You don’t have the right to do that. Much as you like to think you do, you do not. Hey, if all 50 of you can stack up laterally in a bike lane, knock yourselves out; however, if you can’t, you’re required to ride single file and as close to the right roadway edge as you can.

Believe it or not, the rules of the road are set up to protect you. If not from idiot motorists, then from yourselves. I’m all for engaging in some healthy exercise (regardless of the silly looking padded ass pants, Melinda) (There is no Melinda. I was channeling Dr. Cox from Scrubs.) (I apologize to any and all Melindas reading this. I in no way meant to offend you.))), but what say you do it safely, huh?

Now get on out there and ride your 100 miles. I’ll beat you there. ‘Cause I’m on a motorcycle. And I look wwwwaaaayyyy cooler than you. Melinda (refer to above commentary).

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

13 thoughts on “This one is directed at you, Lance Armstrong

  1. Excellent post, both funny and very true. Bicyclists have that whole entitlement thing down pat.

  2. I cracked up laughing at this post. We have the same thing down here in Texas. All the want-a-be's tour de town do exactly that take up a lane or two all in a big group, flying through the red stops and lights. Those outfits needs to be outlawed. Be safe, Ride safe!

  3. Amen MC. Couldn't have said it better myself. Well maybe I could, but don't want to show you up. After all it's your blog, and I'm just an unwanted guest. 50% of the bicyclists at fault? Surely you jest, my comrade! If that is the case in Town well I would say your bicyclists are very safe riders indeed, at least when compared to the ones in Burg, where I work. I would guess that the bicyclist is at fault in 75-85% of the auto/bike accidents in Burg. In fact, there was one just this past Monday. Dude on bike crashes and burns and guess what, completely in the wrong. Sorry dude!

    When I stop a bicyclist that just blows through a red light like it's not there, time for me to have some fun. 'Excuse me sir, do you have your card?"
    'what card?' 'you're I'm special card, because you obviously think you're special and that you don't need to stop for stoplights when everyone else does. That's okay. Your driver's license or ID will be just fine.'

    Then I get the incredulous look 'you're writing me a ticket?!?' look. Gotta love you guys!

    Good post MC. When do you a-holes get the Hondas? I wanna take it for a spin after traffic court sometime.

  4. Ah, that is amazing. Especially because I work in a college town and they don't think they have to yeild to the big red truck with lights. Odds are, we win.

  5. What's worse, I think? KIDS! I remembered clearly two separate happenings that my heart wanted to go futher up past my throat. These kids didn't even stop at stop signs. I was in a vechile, driving!

    I'm guilty about not making full stops when I'm on bike. I do that only if I see any vechiles approaching. I WAIT until they are finished with stop sign or driver tells me to 'go on'. I'm invisible to them: so, don't take any risk!

  6. Fellow MC,

    Note that I did say 'conservative' estimate. Trying to be polite. My partner and I got to talking about it and his estimate was 50%…mine was about 85%. I figured to be fair, I'd go with over 50% (what with my concern to remain scientifcally and mathematically accurate).

    I agree…the percentage is significantly higher.

    Oh, and my beautiful new ride will be front and center at court this morning.

  7. Not only that, but when you throw in them riding at night without lights or reflective clothing, you get a serious hazard.

  8. Hi MC,

    I have a question. Just about all lone bikers (not in a group) that I see do not stay to the right edge of the road as you mention. They hug close to the side stripe on the road or even veer past it and almost get out into the traffic lane.

    It looks like they're tyring to challenge the cars passing them and I always give them a wide berth.

    But why do they do it? My friend says it makes them more visible to ride this was, but I don't buy it.

    If it were me, I would want to stay way far over to the right – I would want to be as far as possible from two tons unyielding metal driven by a potentially unyielding HUA driver.

    What's the reasoning here?

  9. Steve,

    If they're within a bike lane, they're good. They can hug that line if they want…so long as they're to the right. I'm not saying its smart, I'm saying its legal.

    If there is no bike lane, that is when they are required to stay as close to the right edge as possible.

    If they're veering out into the roadway challenging vehicles, well, you tell me…4,000 lb vehicle vs. 5 lb carbon fiber bicycle. Who's gonna win that fight?

  10. And of course when they do become that hood ornament they'll state they were abiding by the vehicle code while riding. They are fun to cite, a stats a stat! Oh and BTW, nice motors!!!!

  11. "If there is no bike lane, that is when they are required to stay as close to the right edge as possible."

    I believe this statement is incorrect in California and most states. CVC 21202, for example, states that bicyclists "shall ride as close as practicable" to the right, with a number of exceptions for safety.

    The distinction between "possible" and "practicable" is subtle, but it has a significant point. It means that bicyclists aren't required to ride in the gutter, for example. It allows bicycles to take the full lane in many circumstances, including when being "doored" — having a car door opened suddenly — is a real possibility.

    The City of Long Beach recently put down a green-colored bicycle lane on one street, perhaps in part to highlight this distinction. As it happens, the lanes are essentially in the middle of the regular traffic lanes.

    Your broader point about stop signs and lights is well taken, and one which the cycling community needs work. However, the Idaho stop law allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs, and stop lights as stop signs. In addition, some states now allow bicyclists and motorcyclists to proceed through red lights when street sensors don't respond to their presence.

  12. Bicyclists who don't abide by the rules are a problem, but I can say from my experience as a cyclist that drivers of vehicles just don't give us the right of way. The problem is twofold because of ignorance that cuts both ways. First, some (mostly newb) bicyclists don't think they have to abide by the rules because they think they are in a separate category from vehicles. Second, vehicles (at least here in the South) think that as well and don't yield, etc when the bike has the right of way, etc.

    I follow the rules on a bike just as if I were in a car, but assholes in cars often pull out in front of me and cut me off all the time because they think that since they are in a car they have more rights on the road than I do. The worst is in round-a-bouts where they see me in the round-a-bout (and hence they have to yield because they are entering) and they just keep coming.

    It's ridiculous and those drivers usually get a nice gesture from me.

    (Oh, and concerning the knocks about the tight clothing – you have to wear form-fitting shorts or else have your balls rubbed off raw, so please, cut us some slack on that.)

  13. I ride both varieties of two wheeled vehicles. It pisses me off when cyclists flip flop between being a faster pedestrian on a sidewalk to being a vehicle. I have to put up with pissed off cagers I wish the Police had a blitz on cyclists in my city.

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