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Cyclist Harassments Are Always Too Close for Comfort

They’re in the way. They’re too slow. They’re taking over the road.

That’s what some drivers say about cyclists, and sometimes their impatience leads to hostility.

Some time ago Ken Adams and his buddy were cycling Glendora Mountain Road/Glendora Ridge Road,  a popular cycling path in southern California, when a CHP officer buzzed by them. The SUV was about two feet away when it passed them, and later the same CHP SUV did it again, coming even closer to the cycling pair. Shortly after the second pass, the patrol vehicle turned and came at the cyclists from the front.

You can hear for yourself just what the officer had to say about his performance in this video posted in Facebook taken after the officer U-turned to have a chat.

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What to Do When You’re in a Bike Accident

You’re biking along, and come to an intersection. You have the green. As you head through, a car coming in the opposite direction tries to make a left turn. They clearly don’t see you coming through, and they hit you – hard.

Stories like this one are more common than most of us would like to think. The U.S. saw 45,000 non-fatal bicycle accidents in 2015 – and those are just the ones reported to authorities.

Many people in bicycle accidents don’t know what to do, or assume they have no legal recourse. Read on to learn more about your next steps.

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Making Mt. Diablo Safe for Cyclists: A Model For All Communities

Mt. Diablo’s the tallest mountain in the Bay Area, and the view from the summit is world-class. Most days the whole Bay Area is laid out for you, and on particularly clear days you can see all the way to Yosemite, Mount Lassen or Mount Shasta.

Thousands of people visit the Mount Diablo State Park every week to hike, bike, picnic and sightsee. Therein lies the rub: the park’s Summit Road is famously twisty, narrow (lanes are 8 to 9 feet), and shared between motorists and cyclists. Before 2014, Mt. Diablo saw an average 23 collisions reported per year, about one every two weeks. 2017 saw 10 in total, and only one car-and-bike accident. 2018 is on track to have even fewer accidents thanks to road safety improvements, and, as of this writing, no vehicular collisions at all (keep those fingers crossed!).

The trend is not random chance, statistical noise, or fewer people visiting the park—in fact, 700,000 people visit the park annually.

What changed, why did the number of accidents drop?

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Are drivers still liable if they are hit by a cyclist riding on the sidewalk?

Law enforcement officers sometimes mistakenly cite cyclists who are involved in traffic accidents for violating Vehicle Code §21650.1.

In general, under California law, if someone is riding a bicycle on a roadway, he or she must ride in the same direction as motor vehicles (Vehicle Code §21650.1).

Sidewalks, however, are not legally considered part of the roadway (Vehicle Code §555). Therefore cyclists do not violate Section 21650.1, even if they are riding against the flow and direction of traffic along and within a sidewalk.

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