Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bike Girl Is Happy

Bike Girl is happy. She's happy because someone who used his car as a weapon has been convicted.

Dr. Christopher Thompson admitted to racing down Mandeville Canyon in Brentwood, California in his car July 4th of 2008 at about 45 miles per hour. The road is a popular winding 5 mile climb. The speed limit is 30. Two cyclists, both very experienced, were also headed down the hill, going between 29 and 30 miles per hour. Thompson, who was speeding, decided that the cyclists were not going fast enough. They exchanged words, Thompson pulled in front of them and slammed on the brakes.

One cyclist's face went through Thompson's rear windshield and the other cyclist flipped over and badly hurt his shoulder. Thompson told the responding police officer he did it to teach the cyclists a lesson.

Bike Girl would like to point out that these cyclists did absolutely nothing wrong. Below is the applicable part of the California Vehicle Code.

21202. (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations: ...

Now Bike Girl is not going to bother to include the rest of it because this part already shows the cyclists were perfectly fine riding in the middle of the road. If they are riding at a speed of normal traffic, which one assumes would be law abiding traffic, they do not need to move as close as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway. Normal traffic is not allowed to go faster than 30, and the cyclists were going between 29 and 30.

Bike Girl wishes that more drivers were educated about the rules of the road. She thinks if they knew this short vehicle code provision, there would be less animosity between traffic modes. However, Bike Girl knows there will always be jerks on the road, like Doctor Christopher Thompson.

Thompson faces 10 years in state prison for the 6 felonies and 1 misdemeanor he was convicted of.

Read more about the case here