Bicyclists: Don’t tread on me


Staff writer Troy Patton (The Inquirer 2010)

Troy Patton

As of late, the proposition of walking to DVC from the outlying areas surrounding the campus has become quite the hazardous endeavor.

The reason?  The bicycles.

While I applaud the bicycling folk for their choice to take the environmentally sound and healthy alternative to the single passenger Hummer lifestyle, I can’t help but feeling like the safety of my person has been the price that has been forfeit.

While the sidewalk used to be a safe haven for the health conscious, car-less, and eco-friendly, my tenure at DVC has taught me it is also an excellent real life simulation of the game Frogger.


I can barely walk a few feet down Golfclub Road without having to look over my shoulder and see a bike careening toward me at speeds that seem inappropriate for the four-foot-wide sidewalk that I am being forced to share with my two-wheeled brethren.

The law regarding this, it would seem, is intentionally ambiguous. California Vehicle Code states that any bicycle must be ridden next to the right side of the road, off of the sidewalk.  The law also states that a bicycle can be ridden elsewhere in circumstances where there are hazards to the bicycler.

The law leaves itself open to interpretation as to what a hazard could be.  The obvious answer is the notion of cars zipping in and out of the campus, but that begs the question, should the people that are legally walking on the sidewalk have to suffer for what are simply the occupational hazards of the bicyclist lifestyle.

If the idea of moving cars smashing you between the concrete and their differential gives you nightmares, then maybe the cyclist lifestyle isn’t for you, because I know the idea of being nearly run over by some bicycler, who should arguably not be on the sidewalk in the first place, isn’t for me either.


Contact Troy Patton at [email protected]