I live out in the county of Wake county. There are a lot of old windy country roads. Many of them are heavily wooded and would cause a person to think, “I would LOVE to ride bike through these roads”. But the fact remains that these roads are barely, BARELY, two lane roads. There is NO shoulder to speak of; the white line delineating the edge of the lane to the right side almost all of the time has 2-4 inches before giving way to grass, rocks or a ditch. And we constantly have bikers riding these roads.
These raos are roads where cars are moving at speeds of 45-65 miles per hour. Sure, most of that is speeding, but even at 45 MPH, the bike has no chance when facing a car. Further, these bikers don’t just ride single file and give way to traffic, they often ride in groups; small or large. Each of which presents it’s own problems.
I really don’t think that the roads here in Wake county are meant for bike riders. There is not enough room on the side of the road and the speeds these guys are carrying is just too dangerous. Both for the car traffic and for the bikers.
Which is why this comment reported on by the News and Observer makes me upset:
“…the N.C. Coalition for Bicycle Driving, an organization that works to educate bikers on safe ways to ride, while emphasizing that bicycles have as much right to the roadways as cars do. People often forget the high speeds that bicycles can go, Pein said.
“We’re essentially motorcyclists with an organic engine,” he said.”
No. No they are not. Motorcycles are capable of full speed. They are able to keep up with traffic and not force it to change speeds. Further, motorcycles are required to carry insurance. Last, motorcycles have licenses, inspections and purchase gas; all of which entitles them to the use of roadways. Bicycles have none of these. Simply put, bicycles on roadways are “unsafe at any speed”.
A wise tarheel male with the richness of his experiences may think that he’s entitled to interpret NC laws and use roads the way he wants. However, a strict constructionist interpretation of the law indicates that bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities on most roads as motor vehicle drivers.
Simply put, cyclists are entitled to the use of roadways.
If there is not enough room to safely pass and the cyclist won’t yield, the motor vehicle operator has a responsibility to slow down.
I like that, nice SCOTUS reference.
You are right. Bicyclists have equal rights to our roadways by law. Which is WAY different than being a good idea. For example, in North Carolina:
A law. Also a bad idea.