I was out on a bike ride today and thinking about the ways that people in cars pass me. On multi-lane city streets, a lot of drivers understand that it is safer for everyone if they switch lanes to go around me and then return to my lane after they've made some space between us. Sometimes on single lane road, motorists get fed up with driving my speed and they zoom around me without leaving much room between us. This is especially fun in places with stop lights, because those lights are usually timed to accommodate a slower speed limit. So when I'm riding at about 14mph, I should be able to get most of the green lights if I time it right. Whereas motorists who get annoyed by driving my speed will floor it past me, stop and wait at a light (until I catch up and pass them) and then floor it past me again. Rinse and repeat.
So here's my solution for people in cars who pass too close...
I give you the, "Give me 3 feet or get keyed!"
It's a prototype, so I'm open to feedback...
California, along with more than half of the 50 United States have "3-foot law" which refers to the space that a passing motorist must leave between their vehicle and a cyclist.
If you're wondering if your state is included, here's the list and more information:
More details on what this law entails can be found Here at CALBIKE.COM
Other folks have created similar products to force car drivers to make room on the road, but they haven't taken off.
Students at California State University-Long Beach make a design that they called VibraSee.
And then there is this weird light from The X Fire that looks like a bike lane exists where ever you ride. Not very helpful in day light hours....
I think this is a niche that needs to be filled.
I should probably start a GoFundMe campaign to mass produce these. In the next model the bamboo pole will be a magnetic, foldable tent pole that can be tucked away neatly on your bike frame. The key will come in different colors and there will be red streamers that hang from the ends, along with a neon light that flashes the text, "Give me 3 feet or get keyed. Your choice."
Alternatively I'll make a product called "Vie Lines." It will be very similar to the VibraSee bike whiskers, except they will be placed under the saddle. Maybe they'll have very time scratchy things on the end, so that there is more risk involved for daring car drivers. This will be the symbol that we throw up when we pass other riders repping their Vie Lines. We'll all have to get really good at riding hands-free...
There's some food for thought. Tell me what you think. I'm serious about the GoFundMe. This is my unofficial product trademark.
Stories from the road and bike shops en route.
Author: Sylvie Froncek
I've ridden thousands of miles, led group bike tours, taught maintenance classes and started bike collectives, all in an attempt to share what I love with great people. Read about my adventures and tell me about yours!