After foot surgery this spring, I had to lay off my normal exercise “routine.”
While I recovered, I turned to brisk walking instead. (Having just caught some of the Olympic 50km racewalkers — who can average a 6-7 minutes per mile pace — I can’t honestly call what I do speed walking, even if I do get my heart rate up enough to sweat).
Exercise has always also been a great way for me to clear my head and decompress.
Unfortunately, bicyclists out there sharing the sidewalks with me sometimes disrupt my walks. My pet peeve is too often these cyclists aren’t yielding or otherwise following the rules of the road that apply to them.
Typically, they come up unexpectedly from behind me, fail to announce themselves or do so just as they are about to pass me. Frankly, these cyclists almost always scare the bej*^#us out of me. Thankfully, I haven’t jumped the wrong way, and collisions have been averted.
To be clear, I also really like to bike. Having seen some tragic cycling accidents, as well as too many accidents caused by distracted drivers, I favor sidewalks and trails over the roads when I go out to ride.
I also understand, after witnessing more than a few folks behind the wheel becoming positively irate with the bikers that they are supposed to share roadways with, that not everybody appreciates biking and cyclists.
After a conversation with some friends about these experiences, it became obvious there are quite a few misconceptions about what cyclists can and can’t do.
I even learned a few things after reading through Florida’s wordy biking law (i.e., it’s filled with awkward syntax and legalese) governing all things having to do with cycling and safety in the Sunshine State.
Among the rules, all of which, if violated, could result in a non-moving traffic violation with fines, are the following:
Beyond the rules, there are several keys to equipment and proper usage that contribute to protecting the well-being of everyone on the road.
Ultimately, these rules exist for safety reasons. And for good reason, since sadly, Florida holds two dubious distinctions in this regard: It’s the deadliest state in the country for bicyclists and among the deadliest for pedestrians.
So for everybody’s sake, learn and follow the rules. And if the rules fail you, use your common sense, be alert to hazards and be courteous.
Attorney Julie S. Luhrsen attributes her success as a lawyer to the training and experience she obtained serving as an Army JAG lawyer. Beyond the cases she tried, she learned invaluable lessons about leadership and teamwork that she uses daily at Luhrsen Goldberg and on behalf of her personal injury clients. While proud to hold a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating, her most gratifying accomplishment was to be the recipient of the American Bar Association’s Legal Assistance for Military Personnel award. Julie has been in practice in Florida for over 15 years. She focuses on representing the injured and providing support and legal guidance to attain the best result possible. Julie welcomes the chance to help Florida families recover after serious accidents and from legal wrongs.