League of Michigan Bicyclists

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Malevolent Motorists - What Bicyclists Can Do About Them

  • Created on Friday, 02 October 2009 11:40
We've all been there. Minding our own business, riding our bikes down the road, and obeying all the traffic laws, when some crazy motorist whizzes by and yells, "Get on the sidewalk!" Even worse, the motorist tosses a beer bottle at your head. It's maddening and wrong. Bicyclists are legally entitled to ride on the road, provided they abide by the rules of the road.

Rules of the Road

According to Michigan and most state law, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and its operator is entitled to reasonable use of the road.

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Should I Ride on the Shoulder?

  • Created on Friday, 02 October 2009 11:37
In response to our last issue's article Malevolent Motorists - What Bicyclists Can Do About Them, one of our readers posited the following question: "If the shoulder of the road is not designed for travel, then why is the bicyclist obliged to ride on the shoulder?" This is an excellent question, especially since most of us are faced with this dilemma every time we ride.

While the motor vehicle code does not specifically state that a cyclist should travel on a suitable shoulder, the Michigan Supreme Court, in interpreting the code as it applies to cyclists, has stated that a cyclist that fails to ride on a suitable shoulder may be found partially at fault (or contributorily negligent) if injured in a motor vehicle accident.

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Ten Myths About Biking

  • Created on Friday, 02 October 2009 11:10
MYTH #1:

Bikes belong on the sidewalk.

REALITY:

State law states that "every person riding a bicycle or moped upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle." The statute is MCL 257.657

 

MYTH #2:

Bikes can not ride two abreast.

REALITY:

State law states that a "person riding a bicycle, motorcycle, or moped upon a roadway shall not ride more than 2 abreast except on a path or part of a roadway set aside for the exclusive use of those vehicles." The statute is MCL 257.660(2).

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With Rights Come Responsibilities

  • Created on Friday, 02 October 2009 11:09
One of the most commonly held misconceptions is that cyclists must ride on the sidewalk. There's nothing more maddening to a cyclist than a driver passing and yelling out the window, "Get on the sidewalk!" Most serious cyclists are aware that Michigan law considers a bicycle a vehicle and that its operator is entitled to reasonable use of the road. What most cyclists seem to forget, though, is that with the right to ride on the road come responsibilities. We must all obey the rules of the road. All too often cyclists place more emphasis on their rights than on their duties. Like driving, cycling on the road is a privilege. Read more...

Recent Court Decisions Affecting Michigan Bicyclists

  • Created on Thursday, 01 October 2009 17:39
Missing/Obstructed Street Signs/Lights:

Nawrocki v Macomb County Road Commission

Since approximately 1964, the State of Michigan has mandated that all governmental agencies (cities, counties and the State) are immune from tort liability, regardless of the degree of ineptitude, carelessness or negligence of the governmental agency. However, the Michigan Legislature has articulated five extremely limited exceptions to this rule. The exception that directly impacts cyclists is the "highway exception" that states that a governmental agency having jurisdiction over any highway "shall maintain the highway in reasonable repair so that it is reasonably safe and convenient for public travel." MCL 691.1402(1).
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Michigan No Fault Law Update Should I Still Ride On The Shoulder?

  • Created on Thursday, 01 October 2009 17:37
Some of our readers may recall our article in the Spring 2002 issue of Michigan Bicyclist in which we discussed whether or not cyclists were obligated to ride on the shoulder. It was our opinion then that it is good habit and common sense to ride on the shoulder if it is suitable. Suitable means a shoulder that it is paved and free of glass, debris and potholes.

What if the shoulder is not suitable and a bicyclist is injured due to improper maintenance of that shoulder? Michigan no fault law requires a governmental agency having jurisdiction over any highway to maintain the highway in reasonable repair so that it is reasonably safe and convenient for public travel. MCL 691.1402(1). This exception to governmental immunity, in theory, would allow a cyclist to sue a governmental entity for injuries sustained due to potholes, improperly maintained roadways and other hazards. Read more...

What To Do When Your Bicycle Equipment Fails

  • Created on Thursday, 01 October 2009 17:36
At some point, each of us will experience some type of bicycle-equipment failure. Following are some guidelines in the event this happens.

Ask what the warranty covers and its terms prior to purchasing equipment. Some bike manufacturers may require bike and component installation to be performed by a certified bike mechanic in order for a warranty to be honored. For that reason, we highly recommend that your bike and components be purchased and installed by a respected bike shop. Not only will most bike shops have some type of warranty policy of if its own beyond the manufacturer's warranty, but it will make sure the bike is in working order and properly install any components. Additionally, most bike shops have a trained mechanic that will measure you for proper fit and proper components.

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