I am a practicing primary care physician I believe strongly in the value of exercise to promote health. I try to practice what I preach and often commute by bicycle to work. I also cycle for my community and for the planet. When riding my bicycle, I do my best to obey all traffic laws and ride away from traffic whenever possible. However, on my commute I must navigate the I-5 overpass on Meridian, which when traveling southbound, requires that I ride in the middle lane, as both the middle and right lanes turn right.
One day last week as I negotiated this tricky section, a motorist behind me accelerated to pull around me, cutting me off. I went up to her window to ask her why she had done this. She replied, “Bicycles are supposed to stay on the right side of the road.” I responded that I was operating a legal vehicle and that I had as much right to be on the road as she. “No you don’t, ask the police!” So I did. I stopped by the police station and spoke with a very nice young officer who happens to be a bicycle cop. He advised that I was correct. He stated that the law requires bicycles to ride as far to the right of the road as is practical.
Bicyclists assume a certain degree of risk as a given. Hostility from motorists unnecessarily compounds that risk. To motorist who feel inconvenienced, or worse, by bicyclists, I ask; please share the road.
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