Bike incident on West Belfair Valley Road raises question

The in basket: Janet Garcia phoned me to describe something she saw on West Belfair Valley Road in Gorst one Sunday morning early in June.

She saw a group of five or six bicyclists riding ahead of her as she walked her dog on the shoulder. All but one rode near the edge line, but one was near the center line as a pickup truck approached from behind.

That cyclist held his ground and required the pickup truck driver to pull into the oncoming lane to pass. There was no oncoming car traffic. She wondered if that was legal behavior for the biker.

The out basket: Quite legal, though not the most considerate thing to do.

State law gives bicyclists “all the rights and responsibilities” accorded to motor vehicles, plus the right to ride on the shoulder or sidewalk, so that group of riders had every right to have filled the lane in which they were traveling.

It sounds like the one rider who stayed near the centerline is one of those bike riders who insist on making full use of that right, to make a point, I presume.

3 thoughts on “Bike incident on West Belfair Valley Road raises question

  1. Thanks Travis, I know these discussions of cyclist/motorist coexistence can be fairly contentious so appreciate your perspective on this.

    The only point to be made by the cyclist taking the lane in this situation is to encourage the pickup truck driver to pass properly/safely, instead of attempting to “share” the lane with the cyclist(s) and thereby pass too closely for safety.

  2. state law should also require all bicyclist to have mirrors installed on bikes used on highways-might give them a better view of either getting out of way or holding their ground when traffic coming from rear-might save some lives also.

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