It feels good to fly past bumper-to-bumper traffic on two wheels in the bike lane. But nothing kills that feeling like watching a fellow cyclist blow a stop sign or buzz a baby stroller at breakneck speed on a congested pathway.
With the advent of warmer temperatures and road construction season, people are airing up their bike tires. As cyclists buckle their helmets and hit the pavement, there are important safety considerations to keep in mind. Lights are required equipment for riding at night. Ride predictably. Wear bright clothing.
Bicycles are treated like any other vehicle in the eyes of Wyoming law.
Everyone who rides a bicycle needs the skills and the knowledge to operate a vehicle and obey the rules of the road, arguably most importantly stop signs and stop lights. We’ve already seen one severe car-bike collision this spring; without an abundance of caution there will be more.
Drivers should share the road and offer cyclists a wide berth: 3 feet of room when passing is Wyoming law. Usually cyclists should ride as far right as is practicable, but it’s perfectly legal for them to take the whole lane when they need to, for a left turn, for example.
Courtesy by drivers is welcomed, but there’s no need to wave cyclists through a four-way stop when it’s not their turn; that can cause confusion.
On pathways, vigilance is just as important. With the recent approval of e-bikes and the risks of high-speed riders encountering pedestrians, courtesy and caution are even more vital. Congested pathways are not the right choice for racers or anyone seeking a PR or KOM. Cyclists should slow to a crawl when overtaking someone, and use their voice or a bell to alert the other party of their intent to pass. Startling someone is a recipe for a crash or a shouting match.
For more education on the topic, see the “Trail and Pathways Etiquette” page at FriendsofPathways.org or the Jackson Police Department’s bicycle page.