“Honk on, you fools insecure in your miniscule private parts.”

written by Eric J. Ma on 2020-01-12 | tags: cycling rants

A pattern I have noticed: the drivers who honk the most at cyclists are the ones who have the largest vehicles. Based on my anecdotal counting (highly inaccurate, probably exaggerated, but captures the effect), 1 in 15 pickup truck drivers will honk at me for cycling on the road in Quincy, and will shout out their window that I should ride on the sidewalk, followed by a gas pedal run right after. Supremely insecure ignoramus is the name I would give them.

Usually, out of pure frustration, I just give them the metaphorical finger back by ignoring them. Based on my memory from my driving exam, I vaguely remembered a few pointers about the rules of the road pertaining to cyclist-motorist interactions. I decided to check them out.

From the Massachusetts government website, the rules of the road document Chapter 4 (page 108), a selection of rules pertaining to the cyclist-driver interactions and cyclist road usage.

As a cyclist:

As a motorist:

Turns out, I was not wrong about riding on the road!

So there, according to Massachusetts’ government-endorsed rules of the road, as a cyclist, I am entitled to use the entire lane whenever I see fit, even in the presence of a bike lane, and am under zero obligation to use the sidewalk simply for a motorist’s convenience. I choose to ride on the right side just to make things easier for drivers (and as an occasional driver myself, I much appreciate it when cyclists do so; the Golden Rule is pretty good here). But where the rules are quite clear, I definitely do not appreciate being honked and shouted at for riding on a road that I am rightfully allowed to use.

Addendum

To be clear, I’m already thankful it’s only about 1 in 15 pickup-truck drivers and about 1 in 50 regular drivers who honk at me.

At the same time, I’m looking for ideas to make the ignoramuses aware of the rules of the road. Would be happy to chat on Mastodon or Twitter if you have ideas.


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