For those who may have missed this incident (and I just heard about it yesterday), we have this story of a doctor in LA who allegedly used his car as a weapon against two cyclists on July 4. It seems pretty clear that he intentionally tried to cause these cyclists to crash. I won’t even get into the whole doctors-with-god-complexes issue. This wasn’t his first offense, either, and the police not surprisingly did nothing after the first complaint was filed against this guy back in March.
Before I even pose this question, a disclaimer so no one mistakes my meaning: I am in NO WAY excusing what the doctor did. I don’t care what the cyclists were doing, there is no excuse for intentionally using your car to injure someone (ok, maybe if you’re being abducted at gunpoint and you crash your car to get away… but I digress).
So a question: Should bicyclists be riding two abreast like this, on a narrow road with no shoulders? According to Oregon law, you are allowed to ride in the traffic lane if you are moving at the same speed as the traffic. I don’t know what California law is on this issue, but from what I read and heard in the video, it doesn’t seem like these guys were riding at the same speed as traffic. I’ve seen people do this in my area as well, ride side-by-side which is all well and good if they’re in the shoulder and it’s wide enough to accomodate two riders.
Personally, I am opposed to this riding side-by-side when the road is too narrow, the same way I would be annoyed if someone was driving along at 15 mph lower than the rest of the traffic because they just wanted to take a leisurely drive. Intentionally riding in the traffic lane knowing you are impeding traffic when you could easily move over and let the cars go by is rude, arrogant, and dangerous. Bicycles do not have special rights, they have the same rights as cars. Common courtesy, people, common courtesy.