Long Beach Cyclists Urge Bikers to Act Like Drivers

The League of American Cyclists has produced a video in Long Beach designed to teach cyclists that the safest way to act on your bike is the same way you would act while driving.  As one would expect in a video put out by the League, it isn’t a warning designed to scare cyclists into acting a certain way, which will also encourage non-cyclists to get on the bike.  Instead it shows cyclists and automobile drivers what safe cycling looks like in an urban setting.

Below is the text that came with the email:

League of American Bicyclists certified traffic cycling instructors demonstrate the rights and duties of cyclists in the United States. The video shows cyclists acting as drivers of vehicles making normal vehicular maneuvers including lane control, lane sharing, left and right turns, through movements and a freeway ramp crossing. This video is intended to show cyclists and motorists how it looks when cyclists act and are treated as vehicle drivers in normal urban traffic in the City of Long Beach,
California. These skills are taught in by the League of American Bicyclists, Bike Ed program.

  • Charlie D.

    Great video. Bike lanes and other facilities are nice to have, but in many cases bicyclists must literally share the lane with cars. This shows that it can be done and the motorists will actually be quite respectful. I was actually a bit surprised to see how easily the cars flowed around the bicyclists. For the most part, the bicyclists caused little delay to the motorists, contrary to popular belief.

  • Peter

    i’m glad to see this video. makes a lot more sense than previous ‘safety’ videos i’ve seen. it’s got good, practical, seemingly-accurate advice.

    i also like it because it shows just how suicidal riding one’s bike still is in most places in America. the dude is cruising at 15 or 20 mph – that’s never happen for most folks. we need bike-only thoroughfares where folks can do 5 mph and not worry about getting run down.

    happy cycling!


  • One thing about these techniques that I can’t get past: you need to be a fit, athletic, roadie to really make these principles work.

    There are more than a few bike message forums that get polluted with anti-bike lane rhetoric from proponents of cycling techniques like the above.

    I’d like to see the recommendations for a mom with two kids, one on his or her kiddie bike. Or perhaps for an older person riding to the market on an old townie or tricycle.

    Dan Gutierrez and is partner put together an awesome set of videos and information about these Effective Cycling techniques.

    I hope that this is not all cyclists are left with! We deserve slower auto speeds and a bigger slice of the roadway.

  • my beef with vehicular cyclists is that they usually aren’t that interested in seeing more bicyclists on the road… unless you ride like them.

    like brayj said, its for one particular niche of riders and doesn’t necessarily suit the avg. person trying to make biking work for them.

    i like how robert hurst puts it in “the art of urban cycling – you can take parts of effective, and efficient cycling. cycling should be adaptable to your surroundings. the reason i ride a bike, well, A reason, is so i don’t have to sit in freaking traffic. what’s the point of riding a bike if i can’t cruise past long lines of cars.

    dan g. would like us to sit in traffic, acting like cars. nuts to that.

  • Charlie D.

    It frustrates me as well when people advocate for vehicular cycling as the only way to make cycling better. There are valid points by both sides about the pros and cons of segregated facilities.

    One thing we can all agree on is regarding the design speed of a road and the effects of that on cycling. We should be designing urban roads for 25 mph for the safety of all users. The effect on throughput should be negligible.

    The other important thing to take into consideration is that by making cycling for one group, we should not be making it more difficult for others. The strictly vehicular cyclists should not suffer because we want more segregated facilities for families and the elderly. We need to find a balance for all bicyclists just as we urge for balance for all modes of transportation.

  • Two Wheeler

    A little late to the conversation, perhaps… This video was composed in Long Beach, CA, and I know that in CA, the lane sharing laws allow for vehicles, whether four- or two-wheeled, to move past one another within the lane as long as it is done “safely.” Do other states have the same laws? Not all of them. What to do then? Unfortunately, this video may not offer solutions for all bikers in every state, but it’s a great start. Perhaps state governments ought to commission the creation similar resources, with details specific to their state’s laws?

    To address the issue of Mom and the Kids: Are you nuts? Stick to the trails and residential sidewalks. Busy roads are not for pleasure cruising with the tykes. That’s like taking little Johny swimming with Bull Sharks. Just common sense talking.

    And the big trike driven by Gramps? Same treatment as slow agriculture or construction equipment: both drivers need to work together for a safe pass.

    In reality, though, you can’t teach courtesy and common sense; unfortunately those two qualities are what safely and efficiently sharing the road all boil down to.


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