View from the Bike Lane: Reminder about cycling courtesies

by Dennis Nugent on March 31, 2020

The lifestyle changes that all of us are making as the result of Coronavirus pandemic are challenging. But there are some positive effects occurring. From my kitchen window, I see so many more families out cycling together.

Given good weather and a noticeable reduction in traffic, cycling is more enjoyable than ever. Along with increased cycling activity, the safety of riders and the courteous behavior cyclists display is essential.

Kudos to both fitness and family cyclists for wearing helmets, observing traffic rules, and being courteous to pedestrians and drivers in automobiles. Keep it up!  It’s great to see parents of young riders modeling cycling safety and courteous behaviors.

Now let’s work to eliminate what I still observe from time to time, most recently when my walking companion almost got upended by a fast-moving cyclist:

  • Not stopping or even slowing down at stop signs
  • Riding without a helmet
  • Riding side by side in auto traffic lanes
  • Failing to signal upcoming turns
  • Not verbally advising pedestrians that you are approaching to pass by saying “On your left”
  • Riding on sidewalks that clearly prohibit bicycles

Keep on riding, it’s a great activity. Be safe. Be courteous.

Photo by Linda Hubbard (c) 2020


Kylee March 31, 2020 at 2:54 pm

Now that everyone is supposed to observe 6-foot social distancing, it would be great if car drivers could always keep 6 feet away from bicyclists on the road.

Jacob Sivertsen April 01, 2020 at 1:07 pm

While I agree with most of the contents of this piece I must say: If you have to warn a pedestrian that you are on their left it would seem to me that you are either riding on the wrong side of the road or the pedestrian is walking on the wrong side.

I take it you are talking about the latter situation.

I find that if you wanted to say anything to the pedestrian then “you should be walking on the other side of the street” would be more educating than merely stating to them that you are passing them.

As a bonus they would still know you are there! 🙂

Linda Hubbard Gulker April 01, 2020 at 4:18 pm

Actually “on your left” is correct as Dennis is thinking of our walks on the shared Stanford bike paths near the golf course. We walk on the far right side of the path adjacent to grass/dirt. So the cyclists need to pass on our left!

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