Claim the lane; get the bird

The little Toyota pickup came up behind be as I descended Asotin Creek. I was by myself and cruising at 19-20 mph. Bill was long gone out ahead and Donna and Gary and Lee were behind me.

As usual, I saw the pickup in my mirror, turned my head to let the driver know I had seen him and expected to be passed. I was on a a straight section with no on-coming traffic. I didn’t fade much toward the shoulder. I might have given a foot or two but there is no shoulder and I didn’t like the gravel I could see over there. Anyway there was plenty of passing space.

Beep, said the pickup.

I looked over my shoulder again once more indicating that I was aware and expecting a pass.

The pass came along with another sharp beep.

“You don’t need to honk,” I said to myself.

Gary and Donna reported trouble with the same pickup. Gary had taken the lane while giving a slowing hand-signal. The conditions were not safe for a pass. Approaching traffic made passing impossible without changing lanes so Gary held the lane as is the cyclist’s right and responsibility.

“I could have moved over and let him have a head-on collsion,” Garypointed out.

For their troubles Donna and Gary received the “bird” from the woman passenger in the pickup.

I don’t see well enough to know if I had the same treatment. Safe to say we didn’t make any friends for cyclists. On the other hand, we didn’t cause any accidents either.

I’d say, that was a good day on the bike.

Follow the link below for some guidelines on where not to ride and in particular when to take the lane.




There is a lot of debate as to where a bicycle commuter should position themselves in relation to the road. New bike commuters, especially, are often intimidated by riding in the road and often choose something that isn’t necessarily the safest place.

via Commuting 101: Top 5 Reasons to Claim the Lane (and why it’s safer) | Commute by Bike.

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