Saturday, December 9, 2023


We almost hit a bicyclist with our RV! Don’t be like us!

It was a close call—a very close call! My husband and I were pulling our 39-foot fifth wheel RV with our dually, diesel truck. We were driving in the far-right lane because we intended to turn right at the upcoming stop sign. My husband signaled his intentions and we rolled to a complete stop. After both of us checked for cross traffic, my husband pulled out to make the right-hand turn. That’s when it happened—we almost hit a bicyclist with our RV!

On the shoulder

We heard a loud shout, which caused my husband to slam on the brakes. That’s when I saw him—a bicyclist was rapidly approaching, riding on the right shoulder. He intended to go straight, and had we not stopped—mid-turn—we most certainly would have collided.

Not happy

The bicyclist was angry! He clearly relayed his feelings to us through gestures and imaginative language. My husband was also unhappy. “We could have killed him!” I was too rattled to feel anger—at least at first.

Once we were on our way again, we talked about the incident. My husband insisted, “He couldn’t have fully stopped at the stop sign. He was going way too fast.” I wondered about the local bicycle laws. Back home, at least in our county, the bicyclist would have been cited for driving illegally on the road’s shoulder.

In the right, but still vulnerable

Thankfully, no person nor vehicle was damaged in this near-accident. However, just because you may be in the right according to the law, you can almost bet that if we’d injured the cyclist, we would have faced a civil suit.

Check out this website for state-by-state regulations for cyclists. You can enter the name of any state and find out about their bicyclist laws.

Extra caution required

  • Share the road. Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers on the road. Slow down for bicyclists on the road ahead of you and only pass them when it’s safe to do so. (Most states require you to maintain a minimum of a three-foot space between your vehicle and the cyclist you’re passing.)
  • Watch for hand signals. Bicyclists communicate through specific hand signals. Watch for these signals and adjust your speed accordingly.
  • Dooring. Dooring occurs when a car or truck driver parks his vehicle and opens his car door into a bicyclist. To avoid “dooring,” get into the habit of opening your driver’s side door with your right hand. Reach across your body to access the door handle. This will ensure that you check your rearview mirror as well as look over your left shoulder to see any bicyclist or other vehicle that may be approaching.

Have you ever personally experienced or witnessed a close call with a bicyclist while RVing? Share your story in the comments below.

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Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.



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Norris Klesman (@guest_255172)
2 months ago

When we lived in Flagstaff, AZ we had the green light when a cyclist drove in front of us, forcing slammed on brakes. The biker gave us the finger as he rode in front of us. A police officer sitting at the red light, facing the opposite direction the biker. He hit the Mars lights, flipped a U turn and went after the biker. The next day I was contacted by police if there was damage or injury (none) and asked for a statement. We had a dash cam and gave a copy of the video to police. The biker was charged with running a red light, reckless riding, riding under the influence and resisting arrest. He was found guilty of all charges, with the judge stating the video proved the charges.

Uncle Swags (@guest_254759)
2 months ago

Bicyclists in Yellowstone should be banned. Just returned from there and witnessed the most stupid and selfish behavior imaginable. Tour companies making a buck and “bicyclists on E-bikes” endangering themselves and the driving public when they take to those roads. And the roads between Yellowstone and Grand Teton are no better for cycling.

James Hardee (@guest_254511)
2 months ago

I am an avid cyclist and I’m also and RV’er with a 32 ft. Trailer, and also a truck driver.
I can relate to all sides and every angle on this topic.
First off I stay in my lane while I’m cycling. My pet peeve is when cyclists are in the rural hills and roads with no bike lane and blind corners. That is not me! and it is very dangerous.
I will say I don’t stop at stop signs when out on neighborhood streets when they’re no other cars in sight. More like a roll through.
When I’m in my 18 wheeler I’m aways looking for cyclists and motorcyclists on the freeway. Being high above ground gives me a better view that cars don’t have.
We all need to look out for each other!!!!

Neal Davis (@guest_254470)
2 months ago

Thank you, Gail! The cyclist was clearly wrong and, seemingly as so many do, acted as though everyone else is responsible for ensuring that his irresponsibility cause him no harm. It seems rare that a cyclist ever follows traffic-sign direction. Certainly they usually can operate their cycle in an extremely quick and agile manner, but they have only the protection afforded by following the rules of the road and a helmet. All too often they discard the former as if they are a pedestrian who essentially can do as they please with all drivers required to accommodate their reckless behavior. I don’t wish harm on these irresponsible folks, but I do wish that they would find responsibility before serious injury forever alters their life.

Stinger45 (@guest_254514)
2 months ago
Reply to  Neal Davis

I agree. Ride on the sidewalks, not on the street.

Jim (@guest_254571)
2 months ago
Reply to  Stinger45

In many areas it is illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalks.

Bob M (@guest_254424)
2 months ago

On many roads there is not enough room for both bicycles and vehicles. If bicycles can’t go the speed limit, then they shouldn’t be on the road. Just because our politicians are dumb enough to allow it, doesn’t mean it’s right. Start making bicyclists buy a license to use the bicycle on the road and put a lane in for them.

Stinger45 (@guest_254515)
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob M

I agree.

Ken (@guest_254420)
2 months ago

Too many of these clowns here in the Santa Cruz mountains:

1. Wear dark clothing so they disappear in the road shadows.
2. Don’t have rear view mirrors.
3. Don’t have flashing lights so they stand out.
4. Even though they may have plenty of room on their right , won’t stay over there.
5. Don’t use any signals.

I find it ironic that I can get a ticket for not wearing a shoulder belt with 5 airbags to protect me but they can get away with virtually no protection yet are “entitled” to use the same roads I do. The burden is on me to maintain 3 foot separation yet I have no idea what this object in motion is going to do.

Mikal H (@guest_254414)
2 months ago

In this case, the bicyclist was clearly in the wrong. But, it shows that it’s good to keep checking those side mirrors when executing a turn to make sure someone hasn’t come up beside you. Also, on a green light, pedestrians on a walkway will have the right of way.

Good reminder.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_254413)
2 months ago

My friend back in Chicacgo states that when you buy a bicycle in Chicago you should get a body bag with it. Having grown up in Chicago myself I can see the logic in that.

Cancelproof (@guest_254448)
2 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Chicago huh, ….. I’ve never bicycled in Chicago but body bag vending machines would be part of a good business model in Chicago? Don’t even need to buy a bicycle.

Susan (@guest_254451)
2 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

I’m an avid bicyclist and have been hit by cars three times. None of them were my fault. Twice I had very minor injuries and once I had broken bones. (I was hit from behind by a drunk driver). I’ve learned that drivers do not pay attention and can’t see you. If you want to stay safe, you as the cyclist need to anticipate ahead of time what the drivers will do. I wish drivers did better and there were more bike lanes, but there aren’t. I think the cyclist was completely at fault in your situation and took a foolish chance. Thank you for reminding both the drivers and the cyclist to be aware.

Bob (@guest_254412)
2 months ago

Most cyclists do not obey the traffic laws. Stop signs and red lights don’t pertain to them. They also don’t pay attention to other traffic. I have seldom seen a cyclist turn his head to look at traffic behind them or vehicles pulling out ahead of them.
I give cyclists a wide berth, if possible, but have already had them scream and/or give me a hand gesture when I pass.
My neighbors son made a left turn onto a side street and hit a car head on stopped at a stop sign and ended up on the hood of the car. Daddy proceeded to read the driver the riot act for not watching where he was going. Until I approached and told him his son hit the stopped car. His son then admitted he was not looking where he was going.

NonGrumpyVet (@guest_254410)
2 months ago

Ever hear the term, “might is right”? It means that if you are smart and do not want to get hurt you keep in mind that anything bigger than you can hurt you. If you are the smaller object and “in the right” legally or not you should always drive, ride and hike defensively and give way to something bigger that may kill you, even though you are in the “right”. Your ego will not protect you.

Cancelproof (@guest_254450)
2 months ago
Reply to  NonGrumpyVet

Tonnage rules! Right or wrong, give way to weight.

Les (@guest_254469)
2 months ago
Reply to  NonGrumpyVet


Jesse Crouse (@guest_254390)
2 months ago

I live in SE Pa. and most bicyclist here – local state college- think they are have special rules as to how to use their vehicles.

Judith Stoffer (@guest_254388)
2 months ago

Cyclists are human beings, just like RVers. Some are aware, some are not, some are simply “glass bowls.” Some cyclists also travel by RV, and vice versa. Any comment that singles out cyclists as a homogenous group who don’t belong on the roadways is simply wrong. Please be aware of the presence of cyclists just like you would want a trucker to be aware of you in your little toad…

Primo Rudy's Roadhouse (@guest_254383)
2 months ago

Responsibility runs both ways. The cyclist, approaching a motor vehicle with his signal on, indicating a right turn should yield his right of way because the motor vehicle, pulling a trailer can not see a bicyclist approaching on his blind side. Perhaps the truck and trailer passed the cyclist while they were approaching the intersection could anticipate the cyclist would not turn. While on public road ways, ALL users need to be vigilant of the other person because they are out to get you.

Quentin (@guest_254379)
2 months ago

Regardless of the laws, the fact is that when we try to share the same space and there are such differences in size, weight and speed it is a setup for an accident. Both parties need to be careful but only one of the two is likely to not make it home if a mistake occurs. I have been a cyclist for most of my life and I have just about decided that attitudes are not worth dying for. And with nearly silent EVs on the horizon, it limits my safety factor even more. I will be choosing bike only routes whenever feasible.

Robert Lea (@guest_254377)
2 months ago

The writer states that cyclists “…use specific hand signals….”.
That’s a laugh.
I’m a former recreational road cyclist. I believe that not 1 in 20 cyclists use hand signals (certainly not regularly) and not 1 in 40 could describe what these “specific” hand signals might be.

Roger V. (@guest_254374)
2 months ago

I rode bikes long distance for over 40 years. I value my life, so I’m one of the very few who do stop at stop signs. I don’t consider them suggestions. Honestly, cyclists are just as bad as vehicle operators. Both are road hazards. The difference is the cyclist will end up on the losing end of the deal in a collision. In recent years, it has become even more hazardous despite my best efforts to ride safely. Finally, I gave it up and switched to off road bike trails, indoor cycling, hiking and kayaking.

Jim Johnson (@guest_254366)
2 months ago

I have yet to figure out why, but way too many bicyclists put their life at risk by treating STOP signs like yield signs – and way to often like signage doesn’t apply to them. No rational motorist wants to hit a bicyclist. I’ve even seen bicyclists cut off motorcycles! No I am not intimating that this is even a majority of bicyclists, but even a handful represent unnecessary injury or death.

We live on a residential corner lot at the bottom of a fairly steep hill. The stop is across the hill and not on the hill. Even conscientious drivers tend to be travelling over 25mph when they reach the intersection at the bottom. I simply cannot tell you how many bicyclists (especially kids) sail through that stop sign without barely a glance for traffic that has the right of way. And nothing is more heart stopping than the sound of locked brakes and a car-horn.

Mark G (@guest_254438)
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim Johnson

In the state of Washington, cyclists can in fact treat a stop sign like a yield and not have to come to a complete stop IF there is no traffic from either direction. Studies have shown it’s both safer for the cyclist while keeping traffic moving faster. It’s also a law to give cyclists 3ft of room when passing. This law is constantly broken by many drivers. As an avid cyclist, I cannot agree more that we bikers need to be more diligent, courteous, and act like a car when it comes to following the laws. As a ride leader for the largest bicycle club in the PACNW, we stress this in our pre-ride safety talks every time we ride. Yes, there are jerks on bikes just as there are jerks in cars. However, if we all take a breath and be just a little more patient, we can co-exist on the roads.

Jack Fate (@guest_254359)
2 months ago

Over 60 years a cyclist. I’d like to see the law that riding on the shoulder is illegal.

Pat (@guest_254345)
2 months ago

I am a bicyclist and my pet peeve when I am driving is bicyclists who insist on riding against traffic and not with traffic. I’ve found myself sandwiched between oncoming traffic and a bicyclist and parked cars on my right on numerous occasions. I’ve had them swerve into me to try and force me into the oncoming lane. I learned in first grade to walk against traffic and bicycle with, it’s not hard to remember.

Mark Schaffler (@guest_254334)
2 months ago

As an almost daily bike rider, my most dangerous part of my rides are cars exiting parking lots and looking just one way and NOT stopping as they rush on to the road they are entering. I am legally on the side walk and have had to buy and use an air horn to alert the rude drivers as they have no idea what a STOP LINE is, let alone the stop sign itself. The air horn works real well at getting their attention….and just maybe a new pair of underwear!! Am constantly alert when approaching exits from driveways and parking lots.

Joe (@guest_254353)
2 months ago
Reply to  Mark Schaffler

A sidewalk is for walking and not biking unless your a small child learning to ride a bike. Adults on bikes are to ride on the street in the flow of traffic and follow all rules and laws as a motor vehicle.

Skip (@guest_254356)
2 months ago
Reply to  Mark Schaffler

Not suppose to ride a bike on sidewalk.

Roger V. (@guest_254369)
2 months ago
Reply to  Mark Schaffler

Unless you’re under 12 years old, stay off the side walk while riding your bicycle. It’s dangerous to pedestrians and more than a little ridiculous for an adult to ride on the sidewalk.

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