As I went out on the screened in porch this morning to put something in a recycling bin, I saw today’s USA Today. I am really, truly loving the morning delivery as I am more likely to pick it up and read it than to read it when it came in the post in the afternoon. Today is going to be a busy day but an article just below the fold on the front page caught my eye. For those who understand, it is not normally the below the fold articles that are the eye catchers.
The headline reads “States give cyclists room to ride.” As a mother of an avid cyclist who is not old enough to drive yet, I have made sure that my son’s father has taught him all the rules of the road for bicycling. He never leaves the house without his helmet – a definite rule that was brought home last year by an accident his father had with a helmet on. He also has special wear for those longer rides. My 15 year old bikes to and from work – he is a counselor at a day camp – every day. He did the same last summer when he was a volunteer at the same camp.
The article also caught my eye as both my 15 year old “baby,” as he is my youngest, and his father will be riding a 100 mile tour this Saturday. Bike Tioga is an annual event but this is the first year the two of them have tried the 100 miles together. It will take them on some major New York State routes – 17C, 26, 13, 96B and 96 – along with some less traveled roads with less shoulder than the main routes have.
The article discusses states that have passed laws requiring a three foot space for bicyclist. The law in Colorado, which was just signed by Governor Bill Ritter (D), also makes it illegal to throw things at bicyclists.
While I am not sure why specific laws are required for this particular constituency, I do applaud the states that are doing something to make roads safer for bicyclist. Everything from bike lanes to laws such as Colorado’s – I always thought that bike conduct and car conduct around bicycles was covered under motor vehicle laws – are important as more people take to the road. Bicyclists need to know they are safe on our highways as those of us who love them need to know while not with them.