Don’t forget your “Tag”

Sunday Dec 21, a co-worker and I were riding south on Semoran Blvd. (436) towards Lee Vista to Goldenrod.  We had been traveling in the bike lane until Lake Margaret.  Traffic was light for about 1030am.  Due to the headwind, our conversation was difficult to hear so I took the lane and rode side by side until Pershing Ave.  I was caught in the cue about 5 cars from the light.  He rode to the intersection to await the change to green.

I was politely “told” that I needed to be on the other side of the white line (in the bike lane) by the passenger of the vehicle behind me.  I mentioned to him I was OK and thank you.  Apparently, his message wasn’t received by me to his liking.  He then opened his car door, stuck his head out, and asked me “Where is your tag?”  I did not grasp his comment until he gestured like he was holding a license or business card.

I mentioned to him again I was OK and to have a nice day.  Maintaining lane control, I rejoined my friend and the driver of the vehicle passed us with care.  I can only assume the passenger and I left bewildered at what just transpired.  The ride was safe and smooth after that.

7 replies
  1. Mighk
    Mighk says:

    I’m not sure why one would need to leave the bike lane at that location. Southbound SR 436 has a right-turn-decel lane at Pershing, so right hooks shouldn’t be much of an issue.

    Yes, Keri made the point a while back about a large truck making a right from the through lane, but you made no mention of that problem. And you didn’t mention debris.

    This is not to criticize. You weren’t doing anything “wrong” in my book.

    I guess some motorists just get all worked up when we uppity cyclists don’t keep to our place.

  2. Eric
    Eric says:

    “I guess some motorists just get all worked up when we uppity cyclists don’t keep to our place.”

    That’s right, they do! They think that if a lane is provided, then we must use it, if not because of a law, then because of good manners. After all, lots of money was spent from gas taxes to pay for those lanes, and motorists aren’t allowed to use them, so fair is fair.

    That’s why it is said that bike lanes are not placed there for the benefit of cyclists, but for the convenience motorists to get cyclists out of the way.

  3. Keri
    Keri says:

    Seems like Rodney was using the traffic lane as an option in light traffic. I prefer to do that, too. If I was in the lane already, I wouldn’t use the bike lane to ride to the front, I’d just hold my position. It doesn’t really save any time to pass a few cars that will then need to pass me again. That’s the problem with the stripe. It’s there 24/7, but it’s no impediment to anyone for a cyclist (or two, or twenty) to use the full lane on a 6-lane road.

    BTW, there is a movement in the “bike-friendly” Northwest to make cyclists pay. In Seattle it’s an anti-cyclist newspaper columnist. In Portland it’s the bike advocates who want more facilities.

  4. MikeOnBike
    MikeOnBike says:

    This morning I rode in the travel lane next to a stretch of bike lane because the bike lane was filled with wet leaves and other tree debris. There are three travel lanes each way on this stretch of road, and traffic was especially light because school is on vacation.

    For good measure, I held my right arm out in an attempt to signal that I was aware of my location and knew what I was doing. I was trying to indicate that my current lane position was intentional and temporary.

    Still, I got honked at by one of the drivers who passed me.

    I thought about using the wavy hand signal cyclists sometimes use to indicate debris, but I didn’t think motorists would understand it. I figured “I’m planning to move to the right” was a more obvious signal.

  5. Steve A
    Steve A says:

    From a long, Friday, December 18 Colorado Springs Gazette “Letters to the Editor” (click on “name link” for the whole letter):

    …When a bike lane is provided, many times cyclists don’t use it or choose to ride on top of the line separating the bike lane from the roadway….”

    And just WHY is the bulk of the cycling community agitating for these kinds of facilities? It would be as if the thrust of the civil rights movement in the 50’s had been to get more & better “colored only” water fountains installed.

    There are much worse things than benign neglect…

  6. Andrewp
    Andrewp says:

    Agree with Mighk (and others) and by-the-way Rodney, that was a nice way to handle yourself — no escalation, no shouting match, no confrontation.

    I know I would have been tempted to say something more ……

    I keep thinking about having highlighted sections of the traffic code relating to cycling with an explanation of the reasons for the most frequest situations (like this one). Just walk back, hand to them, and say “read this later, not while driving please”.

    Would it make a difference? One could hope ……

  7. Thom Parkin
    Thom Parkin says:

    I must admit that my ‘view’ of cyclists in the traffic lanes has changed dramatically since I have been cycling during rush hour.
    Previously, as a driver, I was often quite frustrated by bicycles using the travel lanes. Avoiding hazards (and poor drivers) is a big strain on your attention while driving and the cycles add to that. “Afterall, it is not a ‘licensed motor vehicle’, it does not belong on the road” was the attitude I had.
    The old adage of “walking in another man’s shoes” really has some validity.

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