Three Sixty Bike Shop’s Rules of the Road
This article hasn’t been proof read or edited, so it may be off.
The law allows riding a bike on the road and requires the cyclists to follow all the same traffic rules as a motorists but at the end of the day we’re all people with different ideas of what is socially acceptable and what goes on in traffic can be hard to read.
I must say that overall riding on the road is very safe, especially now with daytime visible tail lights that can be seen from over a mile. The reason the light is so important as it allows a judgmental motorists to respect you and gives you more opportunity to be seen from farther away. So rule number one is be visible.
Why would I say that overall riding is very safe, it’s because most people are attentive, responsible and caring and I know that because of not only riding my bike on the road, but driving my car for many hours on the road. We all know there are people who are just bad and we know that because we drive with them, so make no mistake, these kinds of people aren’t really singling you out because you’re on a bike. Getting along with everyone is the key and sharing is a two way system, so not only do we expect motorists to share the road with cyclists but motorists expect you to be sharing back. So rule number two is share back.
Sharing is key, personally I have really had no serious bad interaction with people on the road and I believe it’s because of my habits. When in the city I try my best to hustle, the world doesn’t revolve around me and I really don’t want to hold anyone up. People are willing to share the road, but they expect you to be trying your best to get going and be in a position where they can clear you. So if you’re at a stop light, get moving, if you can’t get moving try and get out of the way, people will see the amount of effort you’re putting in for them and respect that. Try and be as close to the side of the road as you can in general. The closer you are to the speed limit the more right you have to use more of the lane. So as long as you can hear well, don’t be scared to take the lane while going down hill. So rule number three is be assertive.
Being assertive is necessary because if a motorists thinks your weak they’ll exploit it. Always maintain the attitude that you know what you’re doing, you’re allowed to do it and that you’re no different than they are. At the end of the day a person is a person, it doesn’t matter what vehicle they use. Be predictable, this is something I learned as a young boy riding with traffic, if people can tell what you’re going to do then they can plan what they’re going to do better and everyone is safer. So rule number four is be tough.
Honestly, if you can’t stand your ground you might not have any business riding on the road. There’s not really a lot of situations where this is going to be required, but there are times bad people may try and push your buttons, whether its pressure or rudeness, but the truth is they’re only that brave behind the wheel and chances are if confronted, if shown you aren’t just going to take their crap they will back down.
Now with all that said, it’s plain and simple. Follow the law, be visible, be of common in interest, and be a monster that never fights.