Taking the Lane: You’re No Outlaw!

Confident city cycling with Ron Durgin

Ron Durgin from Sustainable Streets opening some minds to cycling safety!

Better Bike spent last Saturday afternoon with a handful of other cyclists attending Confident City Cycling, an introductory cycling course. And confident cycling is indeed what’s on offer: Sustainable Streets co-founder Ron Durgin took us through the basics, from bike components to rules of the road, to prepare us well for safe cycling. Continue reading

LA City Council Hears Anti-Harassment Ordinance

This Wednesday the Los Angeles City Council will hear the proposed anti-harassment ordinance, intended to provide cyclists with a new tool with which to combat bad motorist behavior. This  legislation would  give cyclists new recourse when encountering hostile motorists.Presently, we can only avail ourselves of existing civil protections, which in practice means it’s difficult to hold motorists to account for, say, driving with intent to harm, throwing an object from a motor vehicle, or any of the other dangers we face (recently enumerated on the LA DOT’s bike Facebook page). Continue reading

Bicycling & the Law Review (Part 2)

Mionske's Bicycling and the Law coverIn his cogent review of the legal history of cycling, Bicycling and the Law: Your Rights as a Cyclist, Bob Mionske reminds us cities have a long history as chaotic crucibles for competing vehicles and devices. But cyclists have been under-prepared to negotiate the scrum  of walkers, horsemen, and horse carriages (on rail and otherwise) that competed for priority on the roads. Add electric railcars and motor carriages to the mix, and well you’ve got the potential for carnage! Continue reading

Bicycling & The Law – Review

Attorney Bob Mionske offers a broad but detailed overview of cyclists’ rights and responsibilities in Bicycling & The Law: Your Rights as a Cyclist (2007). This is an essential read for any road user interested in a legal perspective on our rights and responsibilities, but it is also the historical perspective – the evolution of the law – that might surprise some cyclists. We cyclists may take for granted our right to ride, but that right is expressed nowhere in our nation’s founding documents because Constitutional framers did not explicitly accord the right to free movement. Continue reading

Cyclists Know Thy Rights!

A Few Rules of the Road

Cyclists are entitled to ride any road where expressly not prohibited. We must ride with traffic and keep to the right (if safe to do so). We must obey traffic controls and signal for turns. Common sense often prevails, but beyond the laws we know from the motor vehicle test it gets hazy pretty quickly. We once had to license our bikes, for example, but who knew until you were cited? Some cities prohibit cycling on the sidewalk and others in the crosswalk itself, but which cyclists think to check the municipal code before they casually pedal into another jurisdiction? Continue reading

Cyclists Have Rights Too!

Bike Writers Collective logoFrom the Bike Writers Collective comes this very useful statement to remind us that we’re not second-class road citizens but can, and should, expect to be accommodated like any road user. As their Bill of Rights concludes:

“We claim and assert these rights by taking to the streets and riding our bicycles, all in an expression of our inalienable right to ride!” Continue reading