Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why do cyclists take up a whole lane?

When I'm a driver on the road, sometimes I get annoyed at cyclists who take up more than their proportionate space in a road lane. However, as a road cyclist myself, I know there are many very good reasons cyclists do this. Here are some of them:

- the edge of the lane was repaved, making it bumpy and very uncomfortable to ride on
- there is gravel or dirt near the curb, reducing traction
- the edge of the lane has potholes, sewer drains, road signs or other hazardous obstacles
- it recently rained, making the side of the road wet
- there are parked cars with passengers who may open the door and give the door prize
- the cyclist is allowing the car behind it to turn right
- there is a runner or a slower cyclist on the road
- the cyclist feels the lane is too narrow, so takes up the lane to prevent drivers from passing

Some behaviours of cyclists (running red lights and stop signs) are inexcusable, but riding in the middle of the lane does have its legitimate reasons.