Middle of the Road

Whenever a person first discovers I bike, they reply with a story. And it’s always the same story.

“I was driving down [insert any road name] when all of the sudden I saw a cyclist in the MIDDLE OF THE ROAD!” Inevitably it always ends with them saying they “just tapped on their horn” or “squeezed by” or “yelled out to the cyclist.” 

And many many times I’ve been the cyclist in one of these stories- the one sharing the road with a driver that isn’t aware of the basic road rules regarding bikes.

What’s worse is that sometimes reasonable people panic at the sight of a bicycle in the lane… and then all that reason flies out the window.

Middle of the Road

So I wanted to explain it to those who have never biked in the city:

Middle of the Road

And there’s more. Bikes are small, but they still need space. Cars should give cyclists the same amount of space when passing as another vehicle, at least 3 ft. However, not all roads allow for that, particularly in Boston:

Middle of the Road

So don’t panic when you see a bike in your lane. Just treat it like another vehicle. If you can pass safely, that’s fine. If not, most likely you won’t be slowed down much if at all. In the city, I find that car traffic slows me down much more than the other way around.

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Rai

I’m a biker and, even before I started biking on the roads, I didn’t have a problem with cyclists as long as they were following the laws. If they’re biking, then weave onto the sidewalk without slowing down, I’m annoyed. If they don’t stop at stop signs. If they don’t make any effort to indicate they’re turning, weaving in and out of traffic (and not enough space between the vehicles to easily do it). Yes, drivers freak out, but its not just the drivers

Steve

I noticed the license plate on that hondaish SUV was casually drawn at Massachusettsish. As much as I love your cartoons, now that the winter is settling in, could you make a strip of what you wear riding when it’s 40, and 30, and 20… help us chicken winter riders out with a Bikey Face guide to cold weather riding?

Your doing a great job as a positive advocate for us riders, and a mentor for the correct way we should ride.

Heather

I think I definitely relate to the girl in the first picture, because this is what I have come to expect all the time from motorist when I am riding my bike in the road. I have been honked at, been told to get off and stay off the road, and have been looked at like I was a danger to them and all the other motorists who I was carefully sharing the road with. I have been fortunate to say I have NOT been hit by one yet.

Jon Webb

I wish there was a book with all your car-related drawings in it that would get passed out during drivers ed. Teenagers might actually read them and remember. Also, there should be posters based on your drawings at the driver’s licensing centers.

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