Where on the road may bicyclists ride’

We have already discussed that cyclists have’equal rights to ride on the road and are considered legal vehicles in Texas.’However, because bicycles are slow moving vehicles (as’is’farm machinery) the law reads: A bicyclist must ride ‘as near as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, except when: 1.’The cyclist is overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction; 2.’The cyclist is preparing for a left turn at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway; or 3. A.’Conditions on the roadway, including fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or substandard width lanes, make it unsafe to ride next to the right curb or edge of the roadway. B.’A substandard width lane is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a motor vehicle to travel in the lane safely side-by side. C.’A cyclist operating a bicycle on a one-way roadway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near as practicable’to the left’curb’or edge’of the roadway. To begin a short discussion of the above rules, it should be understood that predictability is’an important’key to bicycle safety.’ If approaching motorist cannot figure out what the cyclist is going to do next or is suddenly surprised, then the cyclist is not pedaling safely and puts themself at more risk.’ ‘Scenario 1:’ A cyclist is traveling down a street in town that has cars parked along the curb.’ If the cyclist tries to stay ‘as near as practicable to the right curb,’ they will wind up weaving in and out of parked cars, which puts them in more danger than if they ‘take the lane.’ Also,’pedal far enough away from the’parked cars so that if someone suddenly opens’a car door’you will not crash into it. (Bicyclists call this being ‘doored.’)’ That’s why 3A’above is’there.’Take a good look at 3 above and motorists will see that’there are many reasons a cyclist’may’not be’next to the curb or road edge.’ Scenario 2:’ A cyclist is’pedaling down Calf Creek Road just south of 17th'(no shoulder) when suddenly the’re aware that there is a car rapidly closing from behind and another closing’from in front. (This always seems to happen.)’Cyclists have two choices:’They can ‘take the lane’ (3B above) and insist on their rights or pull off and let the traffic’pass. It’s one’of those ‘how lucky do I feel today,’ situations.’ Most bicycles weigh roughly 25 pounds. Most cars weigh about 2,500 pounds. Cyclists must look after their own best interest at all times. If you have questions or comments please e-mail me at jsbicycle@hotmail.com.

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