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Name:Michael Patrick
Location:San Jose, California, United States

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Friday, May 13


How to Ride a Bicycle: Assertively

It's back to bicycle basics in the Contra Costa Times:

This year is the 125th anniversary of the League of American Bicyclists. Known in 1880 as the League of American Wheelmen, the LAB was instrumental in getting our nation's roads paved in the first place.

Bicycles also are the reason most of our right-of-way rules exist. Second on the scene and anemically powered, the first automobiles were confined to these roads and rules.

So, when people ask me if bikes should follow the same rules as cars, I remind them that automobiles are following our lead. Suddenly, questions such as "Should bicyclists ride against traffic?" seem ludicrous.

. . . . . . . .

There are those who believe that bicyclists don't belong on the road because we haven't paid our way.

The truth is, gasoline taxes pay principally for freeways, from which bicyclists are prohibited. Remember, too, that 99 percent of adult bicyclists also own automobiles and therefore pay these road-use taxes.

The local streets, where most bicyclists ride, are funded principally from sales taxes and property taxes.

Even if you rent, part of that payment goes toward taxes. Please note also that roads are built on public land, owned by the public, to be used by all the public.

In a free nation, citizens are not required to purchase expensive machinery to move about safely and economically.

Roads always have been used for unimpeded transportation by everyone.