Pedego A Go Go: Biking and following the rules of the road

Stuff the FTC makes me say: Pedego provided me a complementary bicycle in exchange for my coverage on the Double Chin Diary and social media as part of being a Pedego Electric Bike Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

RulesOfTheRoad_Pedego_DoubleChinDiary

When I first got my Pedego, the owners of Pedego 101, John and Linda, went with me on our first spin around the neighborhood. I admittedly had never ridden a bike in street traffic, so I was nervous and listening eagerly like a good pupil to make sure I was obeying traffic laws. One of the first things I did was take off in the opposite direction of traffic — a move which Linda politely told me was called “Salmoning”, because salmon go up-stream in the opposite direction of currents. Oops! So I knew right away I needed to do some research on the correct way to bike.

Image from Veldrone.CA

Because they put it much more succinctly and efficiently that I can, the kind people at BikeLeague.org have the following rules on their site.

In all 50 states, people on bikes are required to follow the same laws as other drivers.

Here are a few key principles that underpin all US traffic laws:

First Come, First Served
Everyone on the road is entitled to the lane width they need. This includes the space behind, to each side and the space in front. If you want to use someone else’s space you must yield to whoever is using it.

Ride on the Right
In the United States, everyone must drive on the right-hand side of the roadway.

Yielding to Crossing Traffic
When you come to an intersection, if you don’t have the right of way, you must yield.

Yielding when Changing Lanes
If you want to change lanes, you must yield to traffic that is in your new lane of travel.

Speed Positioning
The slowest vehicles on the road should be the furthest to the right. Where you position yourself on the road depends on the location of any parked cars, your speed, and your destination. Always pass on the left.

Lane Positioning
Bikes can share the same lane with other drivers. If a lane is wide enough to share with another vehicle (about 14 feet), ride three feet to the right of traffic. If the lane is not wide enough to share, “take the lane” by riding in the middle.

Intersection positioning
When there is a lane that is used for more than one direction, use the rightmost lane going in the direction you are traveling.

Follow all street signs, signals, and markings.
Self explanatory.

What other rules would you add to this list? Mine is not necessarily a traffic law BUT… always wear a helmet! I love that my nutcase helmet specifically has padding on the inside that is printed with the saying “I love my brain.” Heck yes I love my brain! And you should love yours too. Always wear a helmet!

 


4 thoughts on “Pedego A Go Go: Biking and following the rules of the road

  1. Nashville has a huge number of bicyclers – especially around the campus I work at. That being said, I think the biggest “no-no” thing I see is when bikes don’t yield to pedestrians. I don’t know how many times I’ve been attempting to cross and intersection or pathway with a bike that whizzes by almost colliding with me. Also, thank you for pointing out that bikes must follow the rules of other drivers because I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a bike ignore a stop sign!

  2. I haven’t been on a bike in years, but reading this makes me want to ride!

    Oh, and that polka dot helmet? Could that be any better? Methinks not.

    The braids are also kickin’.

    Thanks for the inspiration and the info … I had no idea about those bike laws.

  3. For drivers, please remember that a bike may be “taking the lane” for reasons that are not evident. There could be sand, gravel, glass or tree limbs blocking the bike lane or far right lane. Take a deep breath, relax, and wait until it is safe to oass. No cyclist wants to block traffic.

    For cyclists, remember that the car will always win. Yield to traffic when things are hairy…there is no need to martyr yourself.

    My favorite safety feature is a mirror that lets me see what is happening beside me. This lets me know if it’s safe to swerve around that tree limb or if I should wait.

    Finally, one of the nicest features of an e-bike is that it is no trouble to stop at stop signs since getting going again is as easy as the twist of a throttle. I feel much safer on my e-bike than I ever did on a bike powered only by me.

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