Somewhere a village is missing its idiot
Recently I was out in my car, driving down Hawthorne toward the river and this bike gets in front of me. Meaning, I came upon a bike going the same direction I was going. As Portlanders know, there isn’t a speck of room to ride a bike on Hawthorne. There’s absolutely no room for error at all – it's heavily used and the opposing lanes are separated by the width of the yellow line in the middle.
So here’s this suicidal maniac tooling along in my lane, going five miles an hour when the flow of traffic is about 25, and even though he’s sort of at the edge of the lane, there’s no way to pass him without risking a head-on with another car.
Is this really allowed? You often see cyclists “taking the lane” as they say, in other words pretending they’re a car and occupying the middle of a lane. Usually these kinds of cyclists, however, are wearing some type of spiderman costume and are riding almost as fast as the cars. They’re kind of making a statement, such as, If the car-heads haven’t made me a lane, I’ll just bloody well take a lane,” or the like.
That’s not what was going on here. Clearly this guy was just stupid. No doubt he was completely oblivious and didn’t even realize that cars couldn’t get around him. He’s riding over toward the edge, as if that helps, but no one can pass him, which anyone with two brain cells to rub together would be able to see. Not only that, he’s further increasing his chances of annihilation by riding directly in the path of any and all hypothetically opening car doors.
Does anyone know what the rules on this really are around here? I’m curious. This can’t be right. Anyway, he gave the car-driving me a huge bad attitude, that lasted till he went away.