A Dispute at 18 Miles Per Hour: No one wins when its cyclists vs. motorists on the roads
By Patrick Sullivan
What should have been a peaceful, quick ride down Front Street in Traverse
City on a spring evening turned ugly last month when a motorist apparently
decided he didnt want to drive behind someone riding a bicycle.
Joel Gaff, Jr. was riding in the right vehicle lane at around 18 miles per
hour when a car crept up behind him and the driver laid on the horn. The
31-year-old wasnt in the bike lane, but he was riding as fast as the car
ahead of him, he said.
I was traveling at the speed of traffic, Gaff said. Often I find it
safer to ride in the vehicle lane when you travel at 18 or 20 miles an
Thats because in the bike lane, car doors and pedestrians can pop in
front of riders without warning.
As long as youre not impeding the flow of traffic, its actually legal
to ride there, even if there is a bike lane, he said.