OK, so I’m driving down Chapman Avenue, past the See’s Candy, when a guy on a bike sails his two-wheeler diagonally across four lanes of moving traffic. I brake my Chevy in order to not turn him into Dinty Moore and – in response– he makes a hand gesture and mouths words which I have to assume were “Your mother wears army boots” before sailing away toward the CVS.
Sigh. The Huntington Beach City Council this week passed an ordinance aimed at trying to get a lid on the problems caused by the flourishing – and sometimes dangerous- numbers of powered two-wheeled vehicles on the roads, sidewalks, etc.
There are many variations out today. Some look like traditional cruiser or racing bikes, but some look very much like motorcycles, and I even have seen some three-wheel cycles which – for all I know – were steam-powered.
However, the problem is that many cyclists seem to believe that traffic laws don’t apply to them. Some of them, like the fellow I described above, just don’t give a flying farkle on the roadway, and it’s my job to avoid an accident.
Others try to make a sidewalk or bike path into a freeway, nearly mowing down folks so inconsiderate as to attempt to walk on a sidewalk.
Unfortunately, Orange County is not Holland or Norway, where they build elevated bicycle roadways and motorists are steeped in “sharing the road.” Outside of Irvine and friends, we in the OC have darn few true bike paths. What’s called a bike path is typically a couple of feet wide, separated from a ton of charging metal by a stripe of paint on the asphalt.
Of course, considering the bad habits of two many “bikers” these days, it’s no wonder there’s not a public outcry in favor of going Dutch, if you follow my meaning.
On the other hand, if the offending class of cyclists doesn’t start wearing helmets and shoes and begins behaving like grown-ups, the problem with reckless bikers may just take care of itself, Darwin-style.
Jim has an electric bike and has only fallen off twice. So far.