I’ve had car drivers indicate to me that I should be walking across a crossing when I am on a designated bike route which crosses a road. Or when they cut me off, point out to me that my bike lock, which is hanging from my handlebars is not locked ….
I was riding along Fernleigh Track one day recently and had my helmet off as it was very hot. There were no other cyclists nearby, no potholes or other obstacles in my way and I was in no danger of falling spontaneously off my bike as I have pretty good balance. A cyclist going the other way called out to me: “It’s meant to protect your head not your bike!” Really? I know I am not alone in this as I have read bike blogs before, but really, why is it that everyone feels they can say these things to cyclists? Including from among our own ranks…
My theory is that, because the law regarding cycling is often not enforced if it is a motorist who is at fault (for a recent example of this in Australia, see this discussion and read the coroner’s report if you like – an instance of a cyclist killed and no charges laid against those who committed offences leading to that death), and the road markings and signage in place are often ambiguous or a death trap that we are meant to follow, regardless…At the other end of the spectrum, ie laws that are meant to be for our protection, are laws about helmets (and I mostly wear one, just in case). And signs that I guess are for our protection, though I am not sure how, one example being the sign at SOME rail crossings: “CYCLISTS DISMOUNT”. What is the point of this sign when cyclists cross the rail line perpendicularly to the rail line and it is only when you are crossing them at a more acute angle that there is any danger? I have never seen a cyclist dismount to cross at them, so presumably we are breaking the law when we ride across them.
The only sense I can make of this mish mash of legality is that cyclists are being asked to follow a set of laws that are either overly nannified or which throw us to the wolves and we are never sure when or if they will be enforced.