Unfortunately, many automobile drivers are unaware of and/or disregard the California law requiring them to leave three feet of space between their car and our bike whenever passing. Enterprising cyclists have come up with some interesting hacks to keep themselves safe while educating drivers at the same time.
There are commercial products on the market; one of our staff members uses an adjustable flag made by a company called Take Your Lane; it can be deployed horizontally while in traffic or moved to the vertical while on a bike path.
Then there is the lowly pool noodle. This inexpensive pool toy can be bungied to your rear rack. One of our staffers regularly employs this method.
Both staffers report that these devices cause drivers to give them a wider berth.
There’s been quite a bit of discussion online about the whole pool noodle idea. (The Best Cycling Hack is a Pool Noodle inspired a San Francisco reporter to give it a whirl in a more urban environment.)
So, let’s give it a go! We’re sponsoring our first Pool Noodle Ride on July 31; meet at the SCBC office at 5:30 with a bike and helmet – we’ll supply the noodles! We’ll ride around downtown Santa Rosa (including cruising the outside perimeter of the Wednesday Night Market) and draw some attention to safety in a lighthearted way. (We’ve been dared to do it in bathing suits!)