A Reminder About Bicycles

September 8, 2013 - While riding along NC-63 the other day I encountered a small group of bicycle riders as they pedaled away from a side road onto the main route. Even though I honked my horn they, without hesitation, pulled out right in front of me and immediately went TWO WIDE.

Peeved that I had to unexpectedly slow from 45 MPH down to less than FIVE ... I voiced my opinion of their lack of courtesy, but nonetheless could not legally split the lane to pass them. I cautiously crossed a double yellow to go around them, aware that I had been placed in jeopardy of a ticket and collision with an oncoming car because of a quirk in the North Carolina vehicle code.

Many riders in North Carolina, and certainly none of our visiting riders, don't know that bicycles have the right to the FULL LANE of travel and tickets can be issued if you attempt to split their lane while passing them. On a lonely mountain road this means you MUST slow down to THEIR speed and wait for a legal passing opportunity. We all know that mountain roads just don't have many places where the double yellow doesn't exist, so we must make Hobson's Choice - risk the ticket by splitting their lane or by passing against the yellow line.

While I completely understand the safety aspect of this statute, I'm baffled that some bicycle riders seem to take advantage of it.

So, if you see bicycle riders ahead, be aware that you might be forced to slow down quickly to accommodate them.