Working with media to correct bicycling misperceptions

At the end of April, our local NBC affiliate station ran a short segment answering the viewer question, “Can cyclists ride in the middle of the road*?”

Unfortunately, the answer, provided by a local bike shop owner and the reporter, Heidi, did nothing but create more confusion for ALL road users and perpetuate the myth that bicyclists are somehow second class road users by reinforcing the wrong and dangerous belief held by most road users, motorists and bicyclists alike, that the driver of a motor vehicle somehow has more right to the road than the driver of a bicycle**.

Matthew and I, along with some other local bicyclists, wrote to Heidi asking for a correction.  She responded, inviting us to be part of the new segment.  On Tuesday morning, we met Heidi and the cameraman, and taped some footage.

The segment, which aired this morning, includes Matthew explaining the door zone, and both of us giving an on-bike demonstration.

Click here to watch!

*As Matthew pointed out, the question, as phrased, is a bit ambiguous.  In many cases, a bicyclist can and should be operating his/her vehicle in the middle of the LANE, which paints a much different mental picture than a cyclist riding down the middle of the ROAD.

** Click here if you want to see the cringe-inducing original.