Ride a bike, share your experience and love. When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else's heart. ~Diane Ackerman

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bicycling on the Streets of California - Does Your Ride Comply with the Law?

Last week I posted on riding under the influence.  This got me thinking specifically about California Bicycle Law.  I found CA VC Section 21201 from www.DMV.CA.gov. Sec 21201 discusses equipment requirements for safely riding on the road.

"V C Section 21201 Equipment Requirements (Bicycle) Equipment Requirements 21201.  

(a) No person shall operate a bicycle on a roadway unless it is equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make one braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement. 

My Fixed Gear has a front break and I can skid with the rear (With a little finesse) Hmm, what exactly does, "which will enable the operator to make a one brake wheel skid ..." mean?  Does this mean the brake must make the skid or, in my case, the front brake slows the bike allowing me to lock the rear wheel by locking my legs up?  And for that matter, what is the definition of "brake"?
(b) No person shall operate on the highway a bicycle equipped with handlebars so raised that the operator must elevate his hands above the level of his shoulders in order to grasp the normal steering grip area.
I have no problems here, those Monkey Chopper Bars are ugly and pointless.
(c) No person shall operate upon a highway a bicycle that is of a size that prevents the operator from safely stopping the bicycle, supporting it in an upright position with at least one foot on the ground, and restarting it in a safe manner. 

Well, this is a problem.  Technically, I cannot put a foot down. And the police officers in the back ground didn't really seem to mind either.

(d) A bicycle operated during darkness upon a highway, a sidewalk where bicycle operation is not prohibited by the local jurisdiction, or a bikeway, as defined in Section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways Code, shall be equipped with all of the following: 

(1) A lamp emitting a white light that, while the bicycle is in motion, illuminates the highway, sidewalk, or bikeway in front of the bicyclist and is visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle.
(2) A red reflector on the rear that shall be visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle.
(3) A white or yellow reflector on each pedal, shoe, or ankle visible from the front and rear of the bicycle from a distance of 200 feet.
(4) A white or yellow reflector on each side forward of the center of the bicycle, and a white or red reflector on each side to the rear of the center of the bicycle, except that bicycles that are equipped with reflectorized tires on the front and the rear need not be equipped with these side reflectors.
I got this covered, I don't ever really ride in the dark. And I do have lights just in case.  Shoot, I even run at night with a flashlight.  You can't really trust drivers at night.
(e) A lamp or lamp combination, emitting a white light, attached to the operator and visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle, may be used in lieu of the lamp required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (d). 
Amended Ch. 723, Stats. 1979. Effective January 1, 1980.
Amended Sec. 1, Ch. 232, Stats. 2007. Effective January 1, 2008"

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