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Transplant Athlete
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
  Loudoun County Sheriff

I was pulling the kids in the trailer behind my Softride today. We went to the Little Gym and on our way home, the Loudoun County Sheriff pulled up alongside me and told me that he would like me to stay to the right while riding. I tried to explain that I wasn't turning right and therefore shouldn't be in the right lane. He said, "I know what you were trying to do, I'm just worried that a car is going to come up from behind and hit your kids." I've always been told to operate my bike like a motor vehicle, I'll be predictable to motorists and by not surprising them, I'll be safer.

The problem with staying to the right in the right hand turn lane is that when I get to the intersection, I'll have to watch for cars making right turns in my path. SO...All you cyclists out there...Do I follow the law enforcement officer's suggestion even though it contradicts safe riding behavior?

 

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Comments:
I'm guessing that even though I am in the right, I could still get a ticket from the officer. Say for reckless driving, or for the kids not having helmets.

I'm guessing that VA code 46.2-905 applies: Riding bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, motorized skateboards or scooters, motor-driven cycles, and mopeds on roadways and bicycle paths.

Any person operating a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, motorized skateboard or scooter, or moped on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place under conditions then existing shall ride as close as safely practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following circumstances:

1. When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction;

2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway;

3. When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right curb or edge;

4. When avoiding riding in a lane that must turn or diverge to the right; and

5. When riding upon a one-way road or highway, a person may also ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as safely practicable.



BTW 46.2-839 says cars must pass bicycles at a reasonable speed and two feet to the left of the bike.
 
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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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