If you’re going to take on a car….

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I remember what my wise old grandmother said when Santa Claus (yeah, right) brought me my first bike for Christmas 1968: “If you’re going to take on a car, the car will win, so be careful.”

A couple of days ago I had a home inspection out in the boondocks. I knew there would be picture-taking opportunities to and from, but from would be in dusk, if not darkness. Thus, I left early so that I could drive slowly on those winding mountain roads and stop to take pictures, sometimes turning around multiple times looking for a place to pull off the road and park for a few minutes.

Part of my trip was on Historic Route 94, which I previously blogged about in Scenes from…. beyond the boondocks.

On the other part, I found some interesting things to photograph which I will share in future posts. This post is about California’s “Share The Road” law which officially began in September 2013 when Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that prohibits the drivers of motor vehicles from passing bike riders on the road unless there is at least 36 inches of space between the bicyclist and the car. Who measures the distance when a car is going 55 mph and a bike is going 15 mph? Anyways…. If that minimal  passing distance isn’t possible, drivers have to slow to a speed that  is “reasonable and prudent.”

Many different signs are going up along streets and highways:

Bikes May Use Full Lane

Share The Road

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The law doesn’t make exceptions, so those areas which have streets and roads with only one lane in each direction are painting reminder signs on the pavement:

Share The Road

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I used to ride on sidewalks because my bike rides are leisurely bike rides, not bike rides of necessity to get me from point A to point B. However, in most cities, riding bikes on sidewalks is illegal, and one city here, El Cajon, is out to increase its annual budget by giving out lots of tickets to bicyclists riding on sidewalks and people who jaywalk, so beware. If you want to rob a bank, pay some little kid $20 to ride his bike on the sidewalk near a police station or a donut shop and then rob the bank while the police are busy. (Not serious with that last sentence, folks, not serious. It’s called humor.)

Unfortunately, as always, there are people who take advantage of a law, even to the extent of abusing it. When that occurs, the only good thing to come of it, well, there isn’t anything good to come of it.

Even when the law allows me the bicyclist to use the full lane, I consider it common courtesy to ride as far to the right so that cars can pass me easily, especially on streets and roads with just one lane in each direction. Some people, apparently, are not as considerate as me, which is why I saw the following sign out in the boondocks:

Bicyclist ahead

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The road in question is used a lot by motorcyclists, some taking to the extreme G forces on curves. There are very few bicyclists out in the boondocks, so such a sign indicates to me that the bicyclist probably lives in the neighborhood, and neighbors annoying neighbors, well, nothing good will come of that either.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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6 thoughts on “If you’re going to take on a car….

  1. philipfontana

    Russel Ray, Only in California! But everything starts in CA & sweeps the rest of the country! So we will look for those signs out east here! I am doing more newspaper writing since my last blog & 5 others have made to Editorial pages. I will continue the blog. But I will be commenting less here. BUT, still reading & watching your great posts! Phil

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      You mean we still have newspapers?……….lol

      I quit taking our local newspaper in October 2012. I love newspapers but, sadly, the San Diego Union-Tribune was bought in December 2011 by Doug Manchester and turned into a family tabloid, complete with billions of pictures of Doug and his relatives doing everything that the extraordinarily rich people do. It’s like his a big photo album of he and his family. It also is his little toy for espousing ultra rightwing politics, religious views, and everything antithetical to the world I live want to see. He would fit in well in Arizona or Uganda, among other places.

      He’s also a big liar. He said circulation was increasing by leaps and bounds. Of course, in order to maintain membership in AP and other news sources, as well as USPS and IRS regulations, he has to file an annual circulation statement. Turns out that circulation has dropped from 990,000 to something like 330,000.

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  2. David

    Well you can attach a yardstick to the outside of the car to make sure there is that 36-inch separation. May be that’s what the Governor Jerry and the state assembly had in mind. 🙂

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