Bikes commuting

Brushing Up On The Rules Of The Road For Cyclists

An illustration from the Oregon DMV Bike Manual....worth a read if you haven't ever looked at it, or haven't looked at it lately.
An illustration from the Oregon DMV Bike Manual....worth a read if you haven't ever looked at it, or haven't looked at it lately.

My commute to work is fairly short…about 5 miles round trip, and mostly through residential until a short section which I call the gauntlet, but that’s fodder for another post. Yesterday I had to head just South of town to Bush Park, and realized I would have to cross a section of Commercial street I hate, down at Mission Street. There are 3-4 lanes down there, leading to a blind spot hill with a stop light right over the hill. In addition to the blind spot hill just before the light, the road bends a bit, and then traffic can go straight, left, or right at that intersection. It’s nasty and if you ask other cyclists, has a reputation for being dangerous.

As I headed up Commercial I decided I would turn left one street earlier, on Leslie, so I checked traffic, which was clear and started crossing lanes. Before you get to Leslie, a left turn lane appears and 3 lanes become 4, and I was just about to move into that last lane from the 3 lane on the left hand side, when a car came along side me in the lane and went by at a slower speed and gave me some helpful advice.

The gentleman in the sedan slowed down so he could squeeze by me on the right (I had already started shifting left in my lane and was on the left edge, so I could get one more lane over) and as he went by, and a little close for comfort I might add, he shot his arm out and pointed over the roof of his car as if to say “get over on the right side of the road buddy.” I wanted to yell out something, even a sarcastic “thank you” or something, but then for a minute questioned my own understanding of bicycle rules of the road. So I got home and looked it up. Turns out, I was doing everything fine.

Take a look at the photo above…that’s me in the illustration above, well not really me, but that’s what I was doing. Now, it might have seemed, because I was moving over yet one more lane, that I was hanging to the left of the lane I was in, but I was actually headed toward the last lane in the road. At any rate, I’ll be sure to ‘take the lane’ more obviously next time, and yet, I’m sure I’ll still have plenty of folks trying to help me understand my place in the world as a bike commuter.

Need the skinny on the rules of the road? Download the Oregon DMV Bike manual from their site.

7 replies on “Brushing Up On The Rules Of The Road For Cyclists”

For more on this difficult intersection, see this analysis of the problem for northbound traffic.

Your post also illustrates some of the problems of the bike lane and what I call the “library problem” – the civic center and library are always on the left, northbound or southbound, but the bike lane is always on the right. The law that requires bicyclists to use the bike lane, and Salem’s near exclusive reliance on bike lanes, together act to discourage appropriate lane selection and make merging movements when we need to exit the bike lane more difficult and dangerous.

Thanks for this great discussion!

I love what you guys are usually up too. This type of cleevr work and reporting! Keep up the great works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my personal blogroll.

Wanted to say thanks for including me in recent post line up. I like your site. Its exhausting, but its a wonderful piece of work and a blessing to so very many! That’s obvious.All the best because of JesusVanessa

I LOVE your sewing analogy. Yes, writing everyday is important, as is stretching yourself style wise – trying new patterns and stitches – so you slowly overtime write pieces that have style and are presentable. Thanks for the lovely image and inspiration!

By increasing your metabolic rate, this approach improves your chance of keeping the weight off permanently. The support team coupled with exercise and proper diet will help the body to better cope with stress.

Guess I understand, Doc. It’s pretty outrageous, and it seems to have become more blatant within the last thirty years or so. 9/11, obviously, seemed to have made it worse. Evidently, boasting of ones own intelligence is considered socially and professionally acceptable now.

i'm pretty stoked. the electronic neurons i'm working with now are a lot faster than that and may be more ideal in other ways as well. i think what brains and nervous systems are is this highly evolved implementation of some fungal philosophy, the fungal body or mycelium which is networked and probably conscious. fungi could be an extrasolar artifact so neurons might be high technology indeed. when we simulate their bare functionality then maybe we can expect one of those electronic ones to be worth many biological ones, considering the overhead in the physical substratemy 2cflamoot

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.