Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pop Quiz: Bike Etiquette

Our car is fixed now, but it was broken down for a while. This was really no biggie, we often walk where we want and we also live near a MAX stop But we decided to take this time and get our bikes in running order. We've started biking more, but I'll save all that jibber-jabber for another post. This time I want to quiz those motor vehicle drivers. Yes, you, this test is for you. It's multiple choice, so it should be easy. All questions are asked from the driver's point of view.

1) You're coming up on a four-way stop and so is a bike. You'll stop first. What do you do?

a) Encourage the bike to go first, because that's polite.
b) Remember that a bike is a vehicle, too and the bike rider is probably waiting for you to go because it's your turn and they don't want to have to put their foot down.
c) What bike?

2) There's a bike in "your" lane. The rider is trying to stay to the right as much as possible, but there is oncoming traffic making it hard to pass. You

a) Don't slow down and just whiz on by, that stupid bike shouldn't be on the road anyways.
b) Slow down and wait for oncoming traffic to let up before passing. Also realize that the bike rider knows you're there and will try to accommodate you as soon as possible.
c) What bike?

3) You see a bike hauling a trailer. You

a) Assume the trailer is empty, they all are, and don't act any differently.
b) Assume the trailer has children in it and understand the parent might be nervous and so you act accordingly.
c) What bike trailer?

4) You see the bike with the trailer. You decide to rev your engine at it while going by because

a) It's funny! And it'll teach that rider a lesson for taking up *your* road.
b) You want to terrorize little children and cause them to scream and cry until their mother can stop and calm them down.
c) What bike?

5) You see a bike rider and they have their arm held out at a ninety-degree angle, hand up. This means

a) Even though their hand is stationary they're waving at you. How nice! Wave back or talk to them out your window.
b) They want to turn right. Remember, you had to know hand signals to pass your driver's test.
c) What bike?

6) You're pulling out of a parking slot from the side of the road. You are near a farmer's market, a place generally known to attract pedestrians and bike riders. You

a) Pull out without looking. Everyone should get out of your way, even other cars.
b) Look! Know that during this time of the week and day there will be increased traffic of smaller vehicles.
c) What bike? I didn't even see them when they pulled back in front of me after having to swerve around me.

7) You see a female rider wearing biking shorts. You should

a) Give her the up-and-down. That's why she's dressed that way, for attention.
b) Realize that she's wearing that get-up to reduce chafing.
c) What rider? I missed it?

All correct answers are "b". If you answered "a" at all you need to pick up a bike law manual from your local DMV. If you answered "c" I might yell at you while riding.

I know it will cause my mother to worry, but all of the previous situations have happened to me in the last two weeks. And I live in one of the most bike-friendly areas of America. Sad times.


  1. aw those poor babies! I live in a small college town so we see a lot of bikes and pedestrians my favorite is the bikes with the baby seat on the back they look so happy riding high seeing the views
    I'm too lazy to bike :) I would rather walk

  2. :( Sorry that happened. That really stinks. People can be really inconsiderate. I'm glad you made it safely, though, and that no accidents occured!

  3. ech ... poor driver etiquette. We live in a bike friendly town - fairly anyway. I have my pet peeves about the idiot college students though - riding on a busy road with their ipods and no helmet; riding on the sidewalk when there is a perfectly good and smooth and wide bike lane next to the road (and almost running over me pushing my guy in the jogging stroller) - if it was a mom with kids I would understand, not a college student with a backpack... and riding the WRONG WAY in the bike lane... I share your peeves with drivers - I don't pull Gideon yet (he has a trailer bike, different than a bike trailer - he rides and pedals - sort of like a tandem) - Kevin says I don't hug the right side of the road well enough yet and some idiot will blindside us. Hope I get better at it so we have something else to do together.

  4. Sorry that is frustrating! I try my best to share the road when I am driving but, my biggest peeve about bike riders is that a lot of them run stop lights and stop signs. :-(

  5. Thanks guys. I never ride on the sidewalk or run red lights/stop signs, just so ya'll know. I'm sure to always pay attention for safety.

    Caroline, I hope that you can ride soon with your Goose. I've seen those trailer bikes, I like them.

    Tisha, I love walking, I did that all the time when I was pregnant. Strolling is lovely.

  6. Consider me worried! I know you're safety conscious, but it still doesn't change the fact that if others aren't, you & the children could be seriously injured. I don't know, do you need a HUGE flashing red triangle on the back of the trailer?