Cyclists should follow the rules of the road just like all other vehicles on the road. For those individuals who are unaware of the Iowa Rules of the Road for Bicyclists, here they are:
On Monday’s bike ride, I had a few encounters with motorists that made me really aware of just how many motorists are not fans of cyclists riding on the roads. As cyclists, we do have every right to be on the roads just like motor vehicles. Please don’t mistake us for the commuter who doesn’t abide by the traffic laws and irritates you to the point you decide to take it out on anyone who rides a bicycle.
Encounter #1: I was sitting at a red light in Ames, following the traffic laws, when a motorcyclist went around me on the left to turn right on red. I said to him, “You need to follow the rules of the road just like I do.” He responded with vulgar, inappropriate language and drove off.
Encounter #2: As I was coming down a hill toward an intersection (that had NO stop signs for anyone in either direction), a vehicle to my left approached the intersection at the same time and we nearly collided (I left a skid mark on the pavement from my rear tire as I cam to an abrupt stop). We both came to a complete stop and I waited for the vehicle to pass before continuing forward. In this encounter, neither party was really in the wrong since the intersection is void of stop signs. I decided to play it safe and wait for the vehicle to pass through the intersection since I don’t have the vehicle protecting me.
Encounter #3: I was getting ready to make a left hand turn, which I signaled with my left arm extended straight out, after having looked behind me for approaching traffic. Since the nearest vehicle was quite a ways back, I moved far enough to the left in my lane to prevent people from passing me, so I was ready to make that left hand turn. Seconds before turning left, a motorcycle passed me on my left and proceeded to turn left (heading the same direction I was getting ready to go). While I’m not sure if this maneuver was illegal, it was definitely inconsiderate.
When motorists put my life in danger because of poor decisions on their part and maneuvers which are illegal, I get frustrated. I have no protection…other than my thick skin, which is really thick, but not thick enough to save my life when I encounter a motorist while on my bicycle. I respect motorists and follow all of the rules of the road while cycling…the same that I do while driving. As a cyclist on the roads, I would appreciate motorists showing me the same respect and also follow the rules of the road. To those motorists and cyclists who are respectful and do follow the rules of the road…Thank you!!