Picture this. You're driving at night on a reasonably busy cross-town street. Two lanes, no parking either side. SE 60th in Portland at night demands driver attention, as it rises and dips, crossing residential neighborhoods on the western edge of Mt. Tabor Park.
Ahead of me I see the unexpected--possibly unthinkable: a single red blinking light, bobbing up and down, about two blocks distant. I draw closer and see it is a bicyclist.
Despite my headlights, the bicyclist remains stubbornly in the middle of the lane. My quick take is fanatic.
It's okay for a bicyclist in Oregon to use the full lane under certain circumstances, none of which were in play here. Per Oregon Revised Statutes, ORS 814.430, a bicyclist is required to ride as close to the right and allow cars to pass, unless the road conditions are dangerous [gravel, potholes, and the like].
Moreover, a bicyclist riding in the middle of a traffic lane is "impeding traffic" if cars must slow below the posted speed limit and cannot safely pass. Even on the down slopes, the bicyclist was slugging along at 17 mph, holding up four cars or more ready for 30 mph.
As for passing, a bicyclist in the center of the lane meant my move into the oncoming lane was Russian roulette. Anybody could turn right from a side street. Head-on collision guaranteed.
I was stymied. I flipped on my high-beams [for my own safe driving, he, he].
At the first intersection with a signal, the light was red. The bicyclist did several backpedal "bunny hops" to slow--he was riding a fixed-gear bike. With his tattooed calves and a de rigueur messenger bag [red blinkie attached], the picture was nearly complete.
Of course, the bicyclist waited out the red light by going into the showoff nonsense of a pedal-stand balancing act. He turned his handlebars to and fro. I saw no brake on either rear or front wheel, nor a forward light [both violations of ORS 815.280].
Many blocks later, at East Burnside, a major east-west thoroughfare, the fellow behind me in a pickup truck had had enough. He shot right into a parking lot--as we waited on the signal--then screeched across Burnside against the red.
I, and others, followed the bicyclist for perhaps three more blocks, before I turned left on NE Glisan.
I've commuted on a bicycle [including a fixie] year round, day and night, and I know any bike fanatic's need to be right only goes so far..
Image credits: expatclaptrap.com:arseholes of england
Read Charlie Dickinson's story collection [and feel free to share with a friend] The Cat at Light's End, as an ebook in these downloadable formats:
.epub (most other readers)
.pdf (for PCs)
7:28:18 Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America, a DVD review
6:23:18 Why Honor Matters, a book review
5:26:18 Men Without Women, a book review
4:22:18 Why I Shred Junk Mail
4:4:18 Keeping My New Year Resolution
3:24:18 Extreme Water Conservation: Payoff
2:14:18 My Shaving Kit Comes Full Circle
1:23:18 Extreme Water Conservation
12:23:17 Lenin: The Man, The Dictator, and the Master of Terror, a book review
11:27:17 Mapping the Ether, or the Topography
of a Webpage in Real Time
11:21:17 To Save, or Spend, Change
11:13:17 uzbl & "Faster Dial-Up" Redux
10:29:17 The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement
Became the World's Largest Religion, a book review
10:23:17 Running a Laptop off a $1 Thumbdrive
10:14:17 In Pursuit of the $1 Thumbdrive
10:5:17 Zabriskie Point
9:30:17 19th Century-Style Photographic Prints
7:2:17 DIY Prescription Eyeglasses
6:22:17 Free Geek: "helping the needy get nerdy"
5:27:17 Reading My Great Grandfather's 1868 Diary
4:27:17 The Bickford Fuse, a book review
4:14:17 Why I, Too, Will Not Fly United Airlines Again, Ever.
3:21:17 The Revelation to John
1:29:17 A Platonic Slide Into Tyranny
12:29:16 We Wanted Workers, a book review
12:10:16 Popular Mechanics Magazine, May 1933, a review
11:27:16 Deoderant Confession
11:10:16 Grisi Neutral [Neutro] Soap
10:24:16 Finding Solace in Camus
9:24:16 A 35-Year-Old Calculator
8:27:16 My Sanctuary
7:27:16 And the Weak Suffer What They Must?, a book review
6:12:16 The Squinty Prius
5:26:16 The Disconnect of Vote-by-Mail
5:17:16 The Still Pond
5:12:16 Marina and Lee, a book review
4:28:16 A Little Catechism Goes a Long Way
4:15:16 Au Revoir, Cloudburst Recycling
3:11:16 Screen Magnetism
2:4:16 We've Got Algorithms
1:18:16 Forgiving Portland's City Bus Line
12:28:15 The Gluten Lie, a book review
12:12:15 Ten Things I Buy at Dollar Tree
12:3:15 My Logging Habit
11:11:15 The Internet Is Not the Answer, a book review
10:21:15 How I Write When I Write
9:17:15 The Other Portland
8:20:15 Gods Without Men, a book review
8:19:15 Oregon's Most Obscure Traffic Law
7:31:15 A Small Death
7:23:15 China Shakes the World, a book review
7:16:15 Out Damn Spot!
5:31:15 My New Library Card
5:21:15 Let Me Be Frank With You, a book review
5:08:15 Portland's Rabbit Hutches
4:21:15 The Sea Lions at Astoria
3:26:15 Sacrificing for a Lower Water Bill
3:10:15 The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, a Book Review
2:5:15 Pinhead Books aka e-books
1:15:15 Good Riddance to Old-School Shaving!
12:20:14 Three Whys I Quit Reading a Book
12.12.14 the life-changing magic of tidying up, a book review
11.12.14 Oil Changes
10.17:14 Doomsday Preppers, a TV series review
9.30:14 The Trigger, a book review
9:10:14 Clipboard People
8:23:14 Ukraine Diaries, a book review
8:21:14 My Home Darkroom on a Shoestring
7:29:14 Right Speech
6:28:14 Pacific Power's Wily Ways
6:20:14 My New Clarks Sandals
5:31:14 Portland's Water Woes, Again
5:10:14 Faster Dial-Up
4:11:14 Update on Stockpiling Light Bulbs
4:10:14 The Next 100 Years, a book review
3:15:14 A Cruel and Shocking Act, a book review
3:8:14 Ukraine: Another Revolution Gone Awry
2:9:14 The Flight (and Fight) of the Hummingbird
1:25:14 My Frugal Byways
1:20:14 Walden on Wheels, a book review
1:2:14 Growing Up Amish: A Memoir, a book review
11:28:13 The Moneyless Man, a book review
11:23:13 The Lost Art of Walking, a book review
11:10:13 The Cultural Revolution Cookbook, a book review
10:23:13 The Biker Angel
10:11:13 No Self-Serve Gas in Oregon
9:28:13 A Street Cat Named Bob, a book review
9:23:13 The Life & Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin, a book review
9:18:13 Autumn Leaves
8:19:13 The Worst Car Driver & Why
8:12:13 The Gardener from Ochakov, a book review
7:25:13 Le Havre by Kaurismaki
7:20:13 This Ain't California
6:27:13 The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking, a book review
5:29:13 My Linux (Mis)Adventures
5:25:13 Southern Cross the Dog, a book review
5:5:13 Russian Tumbleweed
4:16:13 "The Machine Stops" by E. M. Forster
3:25:13 Moore's Law
3:13:13 Grocery Shopping
2:28:13 Razor Blade in Moonlight
1:27:13 Made in Russia: Unsung Icons of Soviet Design, a book review
12:9:12 White Bread, a book review
12:4:12 Update on Old-School Shaving
11:12:12 Ten Great Buys at Dollar Tree
11:6:12 My New Russian Camera
10:29:12 Leaf Day
10:2:12 The Russian Navy in New York?
9:21:12 The Righteous Mind, a book review
9:14:12 Revolution, 1989, a book review
8:23:12 Train Whistles in the Night
8:2:12 Why I've Stockpiled Light Bulbs
7:22:12 Old-School Shaving
7:16:12 Злектроника МК-52, computer de minimus
7:4:12 Ivan's Childhood by Tarkovsky
6:21:12 The Unabomber, a modern Thoreau?
6:12:12 Do the gods exist?
6:7:12 My "Retail Therapy"
5:28:12 On Taxes, We Should Go Green
5:17:12 Portland's Trash
5:6:12 The Toaster Project, a book review
4:24:12 No Seconds
4:12:12 Portland's Runaway Utility Bill
4:8:12 The Repossession, a book review
3:30:12 How I Got Published in Mississippi Review
3:9:12 The End of Money, a book review
2:18:12 Beauty Plus Pity, a book review
2:5:12 Kirk's Castile Soap
1:29:12 Confessions of a Fallen Standard-Bearer, a book review
1:22:12 Thirst, a book review
1:17:12 My IBM ThinkPad 1999-2012
1:11:12 String Beans
12:22:11 Spiritual TMJ
12:16:11 1Q84, a book review
12:11:11 How Portland Became Portlandia
12:1:11 The Fixie
11:20:11 Camus' Insight
11:13:11 Old & Worthy
11:7:11 Life Is Tragic
10:31:11 A Matter of Death and Life, a book review
10:25:11 Dead Letter, Email Fatigue
10:18:11 Reinventing Collapse, a book review
10:11:11 Rereading Pirsig
10:1:11 The Sisters Brothers, a book review
9:26:11 The Great Stagnation, a book review
9:16:11 Coffee, The Affordable Luxury
9:12:11 The Genius of Value
9:5:11 Death and the Penguin, a book review