I remember what my wise old grandmother said when Santa Claus (yeah, right) brought me my first bike for Christmas 1968: “If you’re going to take on a car, the car will win, so be careful.”
A couple of days ago I had a home inspection out in the boondocks. I knew there would be picture-taking opportunities to and from, but from would be in dusk, if not darkness. Thus, I left early so that I could drive slowly on those winding mountain roads and stop to take pictures, sometimes turning around multiple times looking for a place to pull off the road and park for a few minutes.
Part of my trip was on Historic Route 94, which I previously blogged about in Scenes from…. beyond the boondocks.
On the other part, I found some interesting things to photograph which I will share in future posts. This post is about California’s “Share The Road” law which officially began in September 2013 when Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that prohibits the drivers of motor vehicles from passing bike riders on the road unless there is at least 36 inches of space between the bicyclist and the car. Who measures the distance when a car is going 55 mph and a bike is going 15 mph? Anyways…. If that minimal passing distance isn’t possible, drivers have to slow to a speed that is “reasonable and prudent.”
Many different signs are going up along streets and highways:
The law doesn’t make exceptions, so those areas which have streets and roads with only one lane in each direction are painting reminder signs on the pavement:
I used to ride on sidewalks because my bike rides are leisurely bike rides, not bike rides of necessity to get me from point A to point B. However, in most cities, riding bikes on sidewalks is illegal, and one city here, El Cajon, is out to increase its annual budget by giving out lots of tickets to bicyclists riding on sidewalks and people who jaywalk, so beware. If you want to rob a bank, pay some little kid $20 to ride his bike on the sidewalk near a police station or a donut shop and then rob the bank while the police are busy. (Not serious with that last sentence, folks, not serious. It’s called humor.)
Unfortunately, as always, there are people who take advantage of a law, even to the extent of abusing it. When that occurs, the only good thing to come of it, well, there isn’t anything good to come of it.
Even when the law allows me the bicyclist to use the full lane, I consider it common courtesy to ride as far to the right so that cars can pass me easily, especially on streets and roads with just one lane in each direction. Some people, apparently, are not as considerate as me, which is why I saw the following sign out in the boondocks:
The road in question is used a lot by motorcyclists, some taking to the extreme G forces on curves. There are very few bicyclists out in the boondocks, so such a sign indicates to me that the bicyclist probably lives in the neighborhood, and neighbors annoying neighbors, well, nothing good will come of that either.
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