“Rules? There Are No Rules Here,” exclaimed James Earl Jones in the movie “Field of Dreams” while he was threatening Kevin Costner with a crowbar. While there, thankfully, are not many people chasing cyclists with crowbars, there are definitely Rules of the Road while we are out enjoying the object of our passion.
Rules form the structure of the roads upon which we travel. They exist to keep safety and order in a common frame of reference to all travelers. While the aforementioned should work in theory, well all truly know it does not work out that way in reality. Therefore, it really does help everyone when we do our part and obey all laws of the road.
And, while there are indeed a multitude of laws we need to pay attention to, there is one which rises head-and-shoulders above the rest as cycling’s biggest faux pas – The Stop Sign. Contrary to popular myth, and unfortunately ingrained since our youth, stop signs are not things you blow through while on your bicycle. Yet, this behavior is on display everyday – In full view of everyone. Be it Roadies, Townies, Cruisers, Commuters, Fat Tire People, BMX’ers, you name it – All day, everywhere, peeps is blowing through stop signs. And, with municipalities seeking to boost the bottom line anyway they can, do not think the local constabulary has not noticed this reliable stream of revenue.
How bad is the epidemic? Well, even a cycling club I know of was once ticketed for running a stop sign while on a group ride. Not only was this a dangerous, expensive error, but what kind of message does it send when among those ticketed were the clubs’ President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Route Master, Ride Leader and Membership Coordinator? I’m not making this stuff up. We all need to set a better example. Otherwise, it can get really expensive, and even deadly.
So, per the Vehicle Code, we, meaning bicyclists, must obey all of the traffic laws, no ifs, ands or buts.
It is also a pretty damn good way to stay alive to ride another day.