Bike To Work Day: What Drivers And Cyclists Should Remember


This road ain’t big enough for the two of us. That’s usually the attitude drivers and bicyclists have of each other. But the fact of the matter is public driving roads ARE big enough for both cyclists and drivers given we keep a couple of guidelines in mind.

Today, May 14, is designated as “Bike To Work Day” and that means an increased number of cyclists on the road.

But if you’re the driver who won’t be ditching their bikes today, here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

  • Passing a bicyclist – Be patient passing a bicyclist. You must technically give at least three feet from a bicyclist when passing from behind. According to, “The “Three Feet for Safety Act” mandates two penalties. For violations not resulting in an injury, the base fine is $35, which becomes a $233 fine once court and administrative fees are added. For violations resulting in a collision injuring a bicyclist, the base fine is $220, which becomes $959 with fees.”
  • Parking on the street and opening your door – Be aware pulling into a parking spot of cyclists that are coming into your direction of traffic. In addition, once you’ve parked, check your mirror and look over your shoulder once you open your door to make sure that no cyclist is behind you.

Now, if you’re a cyclist, there are obviously some things to keep in mind too.

  • Obey all traffic laws – This one really is a no-brainer. That means using the right-hand signals when signaling, stopping at stop signs and traffic crossings and knowing where to turn.
  • Maintain your bicycle before heading out – Check proper air pressures, all chains and gears are properly lubricated and you’re carrying spare tubes and patches on the occasion of a flat.
  • Wear your helmet – If you’re under 14 years old, it’s the law.
  • In regards to turning, the California DMV gives us these two general guidelines.
    • Using Traffic Lanes – “As you approach the intersection, look over your left shoulder for traffic. If clear, signal your turn and move over to the left side of the lane, or into the left or center turn lane. Position yourself so that vehicles going straight cannot pass you on your left while making your left-hand turn. Yield to oncoming traffic before turning. If you are riding in a bicycle lane or on a multi-lane road, you need to look and signal each time you change lanes. Never make a left turn from the right side of the road, even if you’re in a bicycle lane.”
    • Using Crosswalks – “Approach the intersection staying on the right. Stop and either cross as a pedestrian in the crosswalk, or make a 90 degree left turn and proceed as if you were coming from the right. If there is a signal light, wait for the green light or the WALK signal before crossing. Yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.”

That’s pretty much it. Keeping a calm head on the road whether you’re a cyclist or driver is key. It’s simple physics what happens when a much larger vehicle collides with a cyclist who has little to no outer protection besides a helmet.

Everyone’s just trying to get to work and tomorrow, a few more will be pedaling on two wheels.