By Jeet Rai
The cyclist’s pumping heart, burning legs, and stiffening arms do nothing to suppress the sweet sound of his tires screeching to a halting victory. It has been a long 60-mile race (the infamous 100k), and nothing is quite as rewarding as his new, weightless DOGMA F8 coming to a triumphant stop.
Such is the experience of virtually every serious cyclist: thrill, speed, intensity, a weightless feeling of flying and an impending love for the sport in and of itself. Bicycling provides numerous benefits to each individual cyclist – summed up by passion for riding and physically exhilarating experiences.
However, the experience of cyclists is placed under mortal danger every day because of automobile-related accidents. Thus emerges the newly implemented “Three-Foot Law,” which took effect Tuesday, Sept. 16th.
The law requires drivers to give 36 inches of elbow room to cyclists. The base fine for breaking the law is $35, but additional fees and court costs add up to $238. If a driver violates the law and physically injures a cyclist, the fine is $982.
A newly-opened bike shop called Serious Cycling, located on Plummer Street and Corbin Avenue, introduced the changes that took effect as a result of the law. On Sept. 10 at 10:00 a.m., the Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) hosted a Press Conference at Serious Cycling in Northridge. Universal Sports, an American sports-oriented television network, and local news stations recorded the event. In addition, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) provided street closures for mock demonstrations of interactions between cars and bicycles.
The event held at the bicycle shop was open to all not only to increase awareness about the opening of the new shop, but also to portray cycling’s popularity in Southern California. Serious Cycling Northridge had a soft opening on Sept. 8th and will have a Grand Opening on Oct. 18th.
Founder and owner of Serious Cycling, Scott Johnson said, “Let’s work together to help safely and effectively grow the love of cycling.” Johnson is the father of a junior Sara Johnson. Sara and her friends express the love they have for cycling, and the positive impacts that the newly implemented law can have on the safety for riders.
“[The law] definitely makes me more comfortable while out bicycling. I think it’s great that people are finally addressing the issue, especially since everyone I know, myself included, loves to ride bikes,” Sara Johnson said.
Many students, teachers and adults alike truly enjoy the bicycling sport. The new law reduces the unease that riders may feel on the road, both at night and during the day. It also takes us back to the times when riding your bicycle was fun, privileging, safe and in-style.