Svyrud obviously ignorant of bike law
St. Paul For seemingly years, I've read the painfully ignorant letters to the editor submitted by Kay Syvrud, and her most recent submission (Nov. 4) is no exception.
For seemingly years, I've read the painfully ignorant letters to the editor submitted by Kay Syvrud, and her most recent submission (Nov. 4) is no exception.
Syvrud writes how amazed she is that a biker (Zenas Baer) should complain that beet truck drivers are not giving them space and makes the assumption that all cyclists are riding for carefree exercise, and insinuates that by simply slowing down and giving riders the space required by law (Minnesota statute 169.18 states that the operator of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle gives the cyclist no less than three feet clearance when passing the cyclist), that the beet harvest will come to a screeching halt.
Syvrud may also be amazed to learn that many people ride a bicycle for various reasons other than toning leg muscles (commuting to work to save gas money is one example) and that if the conditions were as Baer described (various debris on the road shoulder making riding unsafe), it is his right to move out onto the roadway and the beet trucks, by law, must allow him to do so; the relative importance of the beet trucks' journey to the biker's journey (a matter of opinion) is irrelevant.
Finally, as someone who puts more miles on a bicycle than on an automobile, I will assure her that characterizing as a "petty complaint" the anxiety felt by a biker at having a several-thousand-pound vehicle rapidly approaching from behind with horns blaring destroys any credibility she has in giving an honest assessment of Baer's letter.
Her assessment reeks of not only ignorance of the law, but, as with most of her letters, obliviousness to anything outside of her narrow experiences.