Bicycling safety: Group tries to teach drivers, cyclists the rules of the road

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- It's morning in Pasadena and these two cyclists are trying to head out on the highway. But Clint Sandusky and Gary Cziko are not unnerved by the traffic.

They navigate the roads better than most, because both are cycling educators.

"I ride all over Los Angeles without problems because I use the principles that we teach at Cycling Savvy," said Cziko.

Cziko is on the board of the nonprofit American Bicycling Education Association, which created Cycling Savvy. They offer online and in-person lessons, along with a website that has videos, information, even weekly newsletters.

The most important point he stresses is that cyclists should not ride as far to the right as possible, but rather ride in the full lane to protect both the cyclist and the driver.

"One common cause of crashes could be running into an opening door which could be fatal. By being in the center position you are not having motorists buzz past. They are not making the right hook turning right in front of you," Cziko said.

Riding in the in middle part of the full lane also helps oncoming cars see you when they're trying to turn left.

"And also anybody coming out, you're not hidden behind a line of parked cars. You are visible and relevant," Cziko said.

Motorists often feel a cyclist should stay far to the right but that can actually be dangerous.

"Whether it's with motorists, wrong way bicyclists, debris, parked cars, pedestrians and at intersections which can be fatal," said Sandusky.

Sandusky keeps law enforcement up to speed on cycling laws in his area with the help of the Active Transportation grant by Caltrans, as there's a lot of confusion of where cyclists should ride. That can lead to frustration and aggression.

"Just about any road in California, the bicyclist can use the full lane. Because there is so many exceptions to the 'far to the right' law. So that actually is the case," Cziko said.
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