I’ve mentioned before that I work at a university. One of the things I’ve noticed as I hit town during my daily commute is an increasing number of cyclists on the road, biking to and from campus. I think we’re all noticing more cyclists lately, because of high gas prices, but the ones I’ve been seeing are worth a comment.
More and more cyclists seem to be practicing what is called “vehicular cycling,” where bikes take their place among other traffic on the road, and cyclists follow the same rules cars must follow. This morning, one fellow waited in a left turn lane about four cars back from the stoplight. When the light changed, he pedaled hard to stay with the flow of cars around the corner, then reached the bike lane on the road he was turning on to, and settled in. The cars behind him were not delayed by following a bike.
A four-lane road leads from the interstate highway toward campus. This morning, a cyclist rode “as far to the right as practicable” and moved at a pretty good clip. Cars passed him closely, because there’s no room for a bike lane on this road, but there is enough room for two cars and a bike — if everybody pays attention.
I’m also seeing more riders stop at stop signs and signal their turns.
Of course, there are always some jerks, but that’s not what this post is about.
As a larger number of cyclists ride according to the rules of the road, that boosts the chances that motorists will be more likely to accept their presence, and perhaps ease the antagonism between cyclists and drivers.
And before you ask — no, I’m not one of the bike commuters. Unfortunately, I live 30 miles from work, and riding there is not a realistic choice — for me.