3 Feet — It’s the Law

So I decided to take an excerpt from an old post of mine and repost it. There have been a scary number of cyclist killed and/or injured over the past months, and I wanted to share with you fine people the time I was almost a cyclist killer.
(Killer by association, really.)
(I wasn’t driving, so it wouldn’t have been my fault.)
(But I was in the car, so that makes me partly guilty, right??)
(This is where you shake your head and say, “Of course, not. You’re innocent.)
(Thank you.)
So, a little background info…
My husband’s a cyclist.
(We’re talking hard-core. Like a spandex-wearing, Pre-Doping-Charges-Lance-Armstrong-Lovin’ type of cyclist.)
(Y’all, he’ll sit on his bike and ride it for 6 or 7 hours straight.)
(And pedal the whole time.)
(Have I mentioned he’s crazy?)
Last year, on our trip to California, myself and the other vacationing Real Housewives of Memphis Cycling went on a tour of the Santa Barbara vineyards while our husbands rode in a century ride through the Santa Ynez Valley. Initially, we considered ourselves smart to have gotten a car and driver so we could drink ourselves stupid enjoy a little wine tasting. But we were wrong.
Anyway, so here’s what happened.
Don’t let this happen to you.
Don’t be a cyclist killer.
Cause it could be my husband.
And then I would be a blog-reader killer.
(That would be you.)
(And I’d hate to have to do that.)
~~~~~ Santa Ynez Valley, March 2013~~~~~
We had some drama on our winery day. What could have been MAJOR drama, was (thank God) only minor drama.
So our husbands took part in a massive century ride going on all throughout SB County that day. Cyclists were everywhere. In town, out of town… everywhere. Well, it turns out our driver had NO REGARD for cyclists WHATSOEVER!
It’s almost like he didn’t even see them. Which is impossible, because, as I just mentioned,
They. Were. Everywhere.
Not an exaggeration.
So you can imagine our surprise and terror when our driver came within inches of plowing a cyclist over because he decided to pull out of the parking lot RIGHT IN FRONT OF this guy, careening down the 2 lane road on his bike, at no less than 25 miles an hour.
Y’all. I’m talking INCHES. The cyclist had to swerve into the other lane (of on-coming traffic) and then proceeded to throw up a couple well-deserved fingers in our direction.
THEN, our driver decided to motor past other groups of cyclists at break-neck speeds, almost hitting at least 5-10 others.
Now y’all… I’ve been known to exaggerate stories every once in a while for the sake of dramatics and theatrics… but for real….
All within fifteen minutes of each other.

And he had a load of CYCLING WIVES in the car with him!!
I mean, our husbands were out RIDING right AT THAT moment!! On the roads this guy was attempting murder on!!
While all of this happened, let me show you what was happening inside the vehicle…
Myself, Janice, and Georgette quickly ducked our heads and refused to look.
(Yeah, I know… shameful. I’m thoroughly surprised this was my instinctive reaction. I’m normally a pretty vocal passenger… okay, or just vocal in general… Whatever.)
Molly braced herself from sliding around the back seat while we swerved back and forth across double yellow lines into oncoming traffic.
Rebecca screeched from the backseat, “There’s another one!!!! Oh my GOD!!!
And Ruth, also busy hanging on for dear life, politely yelled in her sweet southern accent, “Sir… Sir…. SIR!!!  There’s another one right there! THEY HAVE THE RIGHT AWAY, SIR!! Treat them like another vehicle! SIR!!!!!
After we successfully almost killed the 567 billionth cyclist, the driver then had the gall to complain to us how irritating cyclists were, blah, blah, blah…
Alright, let’s pause this story and take a quick breather.
I understand not everybody is lucky enough to live with a cyclist, like I am. So there may be some confusion regarding the issue of cyclists on the road. So, this is a very short and condensed version of how to obey traffic laws in reference to cyclists.

If you are driving and see a cyclist by LAW you must treat them like another vehicle….because technically – they ARE.

When passing a cyclist, you must give a minimum of 3 feet between you and them. 

If they are in front of you…. THEY HAVE THE RIGHT AWAY.

3 Feet -- It's the Law
Anyway, the driver eventually shut the #&(% up when he dropped us off for lunch and sped away.
(In his defense, he may have been drinking, as well.)
(Because drinking and driving makes it okay, right?)
(No, but really. His driving, even when there weren’t any cyclists around was pretty bad and it got progressively worse as the day, and the vineyards, wore on…)
(So maybe he’s not always a d-bag driver?? It could have just been the alcohol? Maybe?? Bueller?)
However, we DIDN’T shut up about what a complete moron he was. We ended up calling the driving company and demanded a new driver and may have told the owner of the company that Cyclist-Killer may have been drinking.
Luckily, a new driver picked us up after lunch and he was much better. We were then able to relax and enjoy the rest of the wineries we visited.
(This new driver probably knew we were pissed and had slightly higher levels of intoxication.)
(And being the smart man he was, he decided to just nod and smile at everything we said.)
Whew…. that was a day.
*To all the cyclists who rode in the Santa Barbara Century ride last March…. 
I sincerely apologize for the black Lincoln Navigator that decided it might be fun to buzz your tower over and over again. He was reported.
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