The rules apply to you, dude
I ran into a bicyclist one day. Or perhaps I should say he ran into me.
I was pulling out of a parking lot, wanting to make a right turn, looking left for oncoming traffic. He was coming fast down the sidewalk, from my right, and hit my front fender.
Despite some theatrics, it was a glancing blow and the cyclist was unharmed. And, he was at fault, according to a police officer who quickly arrived on the scene.
While we get an earful from bike enthusiasts who demand that we share the road, it would be nice if they actually would ride on the road.
That's what the law says they should do, ride with traffic. But we all know that bike riders are very selective when it comes to the law.
Bikes and Buicks
Don't get me wrong; some very nice people ride bikes.
But it's tiring to hear their self-righteous demands for a fair share of the roadway when they choose to ignore common sense things like stopping at stop signs, zig-zagging through traffic, cutting across lanes, riding on sidewalks and generally not watching where they're going.
When you give them a dirty look, they return the glare with a "What's up with you, dude?" kind of attitude.
Occasionally, I've almost hit other cars while trying to squeeze by a cyclist on the edge of the road. But I agree that our streets and highways are not designed with their well- being in mind.
I wish it was different, but it's not.
Not including bike lanes in our major thoroughfares was a shortsighted mistake by our forefathers. In their quest to four-lane the planet, they didn't foresee people pedaling to work in space-age helmets and Spandex while sipping energy drinks from squeeze bottles.
Other countries have done a better job of incorporating two-wheel commuters into their infrastructure.
Here in the United States, we're trying to retrofit our asphalt jungles with bike paths. But until we successfully separate bikes from Buicks, the bigger is always going to win.
Running red lights
One of the most dangerous areas in the Lowcountry is downtown Charleston, especially those narrow streets around the College of Charleston.
The college has thousands of students who ride bikes to class. Generally, they're talking on cell phones or text messaging while they cruise blithely through red lights.
So, what would it take for the city police or campus police to get out of their patrol cars and actively enforce the rules of the road on bicyclists?
I know it's not a major crime and they have bigger fish to fry. But it's dangerous and it's getting worse.
Maybe together, our law enforcement agencies could dedicate one day of the year to ticketing cyclists as a reminder of the danger.
We could designate the special day with a snappy slogan like, "The Rules Apply To You, Too!"
You never know. It might save somebody's life. Like yours, dude.
Reach Ken Burger at kburger@ postandcourier.com or 937-5598.