I’ve been a reader of The Independent for as long as I can remember and always looked forward to reading the Angry Poodle Barbecue; however, last week’s article was an eye-opener. As a certified, licensed League of American Bicyclists instructor, I was appalled that Nick Welsh brags about “blowing through stop signs” and thanking the officer who was behind him for not pulling him over and citing him for doing just that. Shame on both of you: you for knowingly breaking the law and the officer for not upholding it. It’s no wonder so many Santa Barbara motorists wave the fickle finger at cyclists, call obscenities from their cars, and just don’t want to share the road.
As a cyclist, you must obey the traffic laws just as a motorized vehicle does. That means no riding on sidewalks, riding with traffic, signaling when you want to turn, and stopping at stop signs and red lights. It’s that simple.
Some day you might not be so lucky to make it safely across the intersection that you say you breezed through; you could either be physically injured or have an officer fine you $490 for running a stop sign.
The Goleta Valley Cycling Club, the oldest recreational cycling club in the area, advocates safe cycling in local schools. We partner with Safe Roads to School and volunteer primarily to teach 4th graders the importance of obeying the rules of the road. Perhaps we need to have classes for adult riders, as well.
Nick Welsh responds: You’re right.