I know this is out of nowhere, but I was just reminded of how weird it is to commute/travel on bike. I do, and I think I forget all the weird crap I have to go through just to get to work or the bank. There are laws and basic safety rules for both bike and car on the road, and I’m the only one who seems to know them (though that’s not so surprising, where are they going to hear them?) So I have to constantly compensate for their fear and hatred of me, even though I’m doing something healthy, enviro-friendly, and free.
I see other bikers sometimes, but they are at least 99% cyclists with full gear, obviously training. No one in this area considers a bike as transport. (Okay, I’m using hyperbole without data, I know, I’m being dramatic.) Cars veer into the middle of the road to avoid me even if I’m hugging the edge of the pavement trusting I won’t veer into the grass and fall. Some cars just slow down behind me, until I accept that they won’t pass until I make a full stop off the road. Honestly, I don’t know how often they understand the ‘left and right’ hand symbols, I keep being scared that they’re thinking I’m just giving them a ‘rock on’ fist bum when I turn right.
So in short, if you own a car and drive regularly: People above age 16 have to ride on the road. It is illegal to bike on sidewalks because you are a danger to pedestrians. We are technically vehicles, so we takes turns at 4-way stops exactly like a car. Please don’t honk or yell at us because we could be startled and veer into a car and die, which would suck. We follow all regular traffic laws, but we are on guard for risks, so we may stop if you’re pulling out of a street or driveway.
And #1: If you are parked on a street, check for cyclists before opening your door! It’s our ichiban fear and we are not protected against it by America’s infrastructure. People die like this, and it’s hard to predict if a door will open or even if anyone is in a parked car.