Tuesday, May 17

Cycle Credit Where Due

While I often blather on about the virtues of knowing HOW to ride one's bike safely in traffic, it is not often that I've had a lot of things to say about the League of American Bicyclists, except in connection with its Bike Ed efforts. These often seem out of place with the public face of the organization. As bike advocacy groups go, the Bike League is really no worse than most, though its fascination with lefty politics, sometimes at the expense of real cycling progress, leaves me a bit cold. But that's more than enough politics for one post.

To be fair, credit should be given when it is due. This week, I got an email from the Bike League which talked about a new partnership with the Auto Club, which stated, in part:
"Smart cyclists deserve smart motorists, and AAA is helping the League educate cyclists and motorists on sharing the road. "We have a shared responsibility to share the road - and the reality is that most cyclists are also motorists at some point," said Andy Clarke, League president. "Education--on both sides--is key for all road users, of all ages," said AAA's Traffic Safety Specialist Rhonda Markos. The campaign will highlight the League's Rules of the Road, which are also now on SharetheRoad.AAA.com."

While the two sites have different content, I was impressed with the overall quality of the cycling information on the AAA site. This was no doubt at least partly influenced by the bike league. Kudos!

Particularly noteworthy was this statement on the AAA site: "When a road is too narrow for cars and bikes to ride safely side by side, bicycles should take the travel lane, which means riding in or near the center of the lane."

Pretty simple statement, and if cyclists would simply DO that, there'd be a lot less close calls!

I don't agree with all the cycling things on the AAA site, but it is pretty good. Both AAA and the Bike League deserve a big "well said."


Anonymous said...

... "which means riding in or near the center of the lane."
Triumph!!.. Its great that this is being published where the driving public will see it.

limom said...

The Hawaii Bicycling League is working on getting some bicycle related questions on the drivers license test.
I don't ever recall seeing a bicycle related question when renewing my DL.
I think a question of the right to the road should be one which if it is not answered correctly, it would be an automatic fail.

Khal said...

This is exactly the kind of advocacy work the League should be doing--reasserting our right to the road and educating motorists on how we should be riding safely and effectively. Kudos to Andy and the League Board for this work.

And, mahalo to limom for the HBL update, from this HBL life member.

cafiend said...

Hmm. Finally doing what I suggested to them in 1997. It IS good.

Around New England the roads are all narrow and bendy. It's quite the lion taming act dealing with a batch of frothing motorists when they think it's time you let them pass. Hopefully more and more support from the motorist side will improve cooperation and reduce some of the impatience.

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