Monday, May 19, 2008

Etiquette Lesson: Proper Passing in Portland

Oregonians take bike riding to a different level. At least that was my experience last week during the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic. Portland has the reputation for being one of the greenest and most bike-friendly cities in the US and I believe it. We received a map with bike friendly routes clearly marked and rode several of them, even right downtown. Most of the routes have bike lanes; for the most part, all are bike friendly with cars actually driving by slowly and giving the cyclists plenty of space. But by far the best aspect, now take notes here, was the bike commuter passing lane (above). Part of the bike route design is to actually allow SAFE PASSING for cyclists- go figure! There are clearly marked lanes for the cyclists, designed to guide both riders to ride straight and avoid any sort of potential collision that could be caused by the passing rider. What a concept- there are so many applications for such a principle...whether actual lines or imaginary lines are utilized. After all, other sports have a similar visual guides...swimming has lanes, track has lanes...why not cycling?! Think about it...oh wait, we do utilize an imaginary line system...I learned that in bike racing etiquette 101. I must have hit my head and forgotten.

No comments: