I live in Spokane, WA. At beginning of summer I bought a commuter bike from Pedal-2-People, a non-profit organization geared towards bicycle education and ridership. It's great! (So is P2P!) Since summer started I've biked to work at least 40 times, so that's about 160 miles...about 6 gallons of gas. Oh well. It will add up eventually.
One of the issues with riding a bike is knowing the rules of the road. Today I decided to look them up online. Turns out there are laws governing bikes!
Of equal importance, there is etiquette to riding with traffic, and that's what I'm most interested in with this post. Here's my contribution: "Behavior on the Road". Please feel free to add your bit as a comment.
1. Bikes are a fact of life. For drivers: don't tailgate, they are granted the same rights AND responsibilities under the law (end of story).
2. Be aware that the public opinion of bicycles is newly forming. Anything you do that isn't "Same Rights, Same Rules, Same Road" really undermines that message. Therefore, do STOP at stop signs. Signal at intersections. Don't let cars push you around. Be aware of your less-visible/more-likely-to-get-splattered status and think about the obstacles ahead that might push you out into traffic.
3. Don't be a jerk. In fact, say Hi when you see a fellow biker. You're both in the same situation.
4. Passing--Keep right except to pass or to turn left. And when turning, use your hand signal.
5. Oh yeah, if you're thinking of parking on a bike lane, PLEASE DON'T!
I know I'm running on here, but on a side-note it's pretty cool that cyclers are required to wear helmets. It encourages the question "Why" to which I would answer: out of consideration for others who will have to clean up the mess if you crash.