Feel like a kid on your bike, but don’t act like one

Most of us begin learning to drive in our mid-teens as we prepare to get the official state license that signifies our driving privilege.

When do we learn to bicycle? I’ll risk another generalization and say most of us learn how to stay upright on two wheels well before we’re 10 years old.

Some of us, licensed or not, never learn to drive well or safely. The same is true for how we operate our bicycles. Some of us never learn.

caution 022We carry our childish ways dangerously into our teens and even into adulthood when we weave helmet-free through traffic or ride the wrong way down the street; when we ride on sidewalks and barrel carelessly through high-traffic intersections; when we flout the laws that we expect motor vehicle operators to follow.

Cyclists are a diverse bunch. They are children pedaling around their neighborhoods – or, not often enough, to school and back. They are adult commuters on their way to work, and trail users out for a little fresh air, or racers working out, or recreational riders on their way to breakfast in a nearby town.

When we’re on the streets and highways, though, we’re all the same in this: How we act affects not only our safety, it could affect our very “right” to be there. We would do well to learn how to bicycle safely and lawfully.

There’s an interesting discussion on bicycling.com about whether bicycling is a right or a privilege and how cyclists can sometimes be their own worst enemy.

Take a look.

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