Ask The Advice Pedaler: Etiquette for the Conscientious Cyclist

Dear Advice Pedaler:

Oh dear lord a car hit the cyclist and I saw it all. The driver was clearly at fault, but there was all this confusion and I'm worried that the cyclist will be blamed and I just feel awful that there was nothing I could do.

Only a Witness

Dear Witness:

There is something you can do. Lacking extensive knowledge of first aid, your most powerful tools are a simple pen and scrap of paper.

The most important thing is that the victim be able to call you in case they need a witness statement. This may be critical for the victim to get a proper settlement for damages and injuries. After calling 911, record your name and number and request the names and numbers of any other witnesses. Then, by whatever means necessary, give this note to the victim, even if you have to affix it to their bike or shove it in their backpack. When the police arrive, insist that they take your name and number. When you get home, record what you saw so you don't forget. It may take the victim a while to get in touch with you.

The Advice Pedaler knows someone who witnessed a hit-and-run by a city truck. Even without license number or driver ID, the city reimbursed the victim for damages and suffering because they were able to contact three witnesses who each identified it as a city truck.

Dear Advice Pedaler:

When I met my lover we were very attracted to one another, but I couldn't quite bring myself to go out with someone who (a) eats meat and (b) rides in the door zone. When he asked me to be his girlfriend, I told him I just couldn't see it happening unless he would give up meat and start taking the lane. Since then, he still rides a bit too far to the right, but basically, he's taking the lane. The problem is, he's still eating meat. What should I do?

Lovelorn on Howard Street

Dear Lovelorn:

Meat schmeat! As long as he's taking the lane, he's doing right by you. Don't throw away a good thing over a rump roast!