What in the world are bike lanes for?

With the nice weather and the onset of spring I have been enjoying riding my bike around town rather than driving. It has been lovely to fill my lungs with the sweet smell of blooming flowers and listen to the bird songs, while exercising my body on my way to and from class and running errands.

Unfortunately, today a woman in an SUV yelled at me.


For some reason I really hate these stickers, and SUV lady had one.
Image credit: http://www.mr-miata.net/2010/12/family-car-stickers/

The following is my artistic rendition of the encounter:


Stopped at a stoplight next to SUV lady on Howes St. heading north.
(don’t worry mom; I was actually wearing a helmet, It just looked funny in the drawing)


Lady leaning over to the passenger seat and totally not looking at the road to yell at me.


I see your point.

I have compiled a list of possible uses for that bit of road bordered by two white lines found between the car lane and the sidewalk.

  1. Extra space for driving while texting. (Saw that happen once: young girl was texting and nearly hit a biker. But that’s a story for another day.)
  2. Parked vehicle door opening space.
  3. Alien spaceship landing zones.
  4. Area for delivery trucks to stop in order to not block car traffic.
  5. Saved road in case of future lane expansion.

But enough of that. I know SUV lady probably doesn’t read my blog. For other readers I have including the list of basic rules for bicycles according to the Fort Collins Government website:

  • In the state of Colorado a bicycle is a vehicle, you have the same rules and responsibilities as a motor vehicle
  • Ride in a designated bike lane if one is present, otherwise ride as far to the right hand side of the road as practicable
  • Don’t weave in and out of parked vehicles – hold a straight line of travel
  • Ride with traffic
  • Ride single file
  • Don’t cling to other vehicles
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals
  • Use a light at night
  • Yield to Pedestrians and give an audible signal when passing
Further information and reading:
  • You can find a complete list of laws for Fort Collins bicyclists here.
  • For bicycle laws in the state of Colorado, click here.
  • And a link to the Complete Colorado Cycling Manual.

For your state these laws may be different. I believe everyone should read up on their biking laws before they go around yelling at bicyclists who are indeed following the rules.

(***Update 09/05/12: Although I loved my time at WordPress, I found it was my time to move on. I am now at Blogger; I believe it to be a better fit for me personally. If you subscribe, or want to subscribe, to this blog, please be sure to subscribe to the new one. Here’s the link.)

Thanks for reading, leave a comment about your encounters with people not following traffic laws.

6 thoughts on “What in the world are bike lanes for?

  1. Pingback: Summer Lovin’ | Maggie's Mind Mumbles

  2. Eston

    I share your disdain for those stickers. I’m thinking about going around with big “X” stickers and arbitrarily placing them on [some] cars’ family members. But, that’s just me :-/

    1. Maggie Post author

      Haha that would be some fantastic vandalism, with questionable legality.
      But hey, they are useful if you want kidnappers to know exactly how many kids you have, whether they have to worry about dogs, and in some cases the names of each of your family members and they’re hobbies.

  3. Melanie Abel

    Maggie – I’m loving your blog – you have a new follower 🙂 Out of interest, I have a friend who wants to start blogging, is WordPress easy to get started?
    Keep bicycling! Maybe you should find a sticker for the back of your helmet to the effect of “I won’t pick on you, if you don’t pick on me”! You might need a bigger helmet but that will only be safer – right?!

    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks Mel! I do need a sticker to that effect.

      I have used both Blogger (for work) and WordPress (for personal) now. I like WordPress better and it’s very easy to get started. They walk you through the steps and it’s super customizable.


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