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Cyclists: STOP!

I ride to and from work twice every day, and rarely do I ever see another cyclist riding on the right side of the street. In fact, I rarely see them on the street at all. Most opt for the excessively dangerous sidewalk. The thrill of encountering cars as they back out of driveways, or pedestrians as they leave their homes must be a huge adrenaline rush.

But that’s the subject of another gripe. In the 20 months I have been bike commuting, I think I can count on one hand the number of cyclists I have seen stop at a stop sign.

On my way back from lunch this afternoon, a car and I approached an intersection in the northerly direction, when two cyclists coming from opposite directions (east and west) on the intersecting street with clearly marked stop signs caused all sorts of chaos by refusing to stop and wait for their right of way before proceeding.

One of them (the one I almost hit), to his credit was on the correct side of the street, but began pulling out in front of me and the car next to me after simply slowing for the intersection. I dinged him and reminded him there was a stop sign there as I passed behind him.

The other cyclists was on the sidewalk and jetted right out into the street and veered to go behind the car, not seeing a second car approaching from behind.

Both cyclists donned confused expressions, as if they simply had no idea how to respond to an encounter with vehicles in an intersection.

In California, cyclists must obey the same laws as automobiles and are subject to the same fines. The minimum fine for running a stop sign in California is $238. I wish Woodland PD would start enforcing these laws. There is a substatial untapped revenue stream here.