Well, here’s the sign:
I’m reading that as “BICYCLES ALLOWED USE OF FULL LANE CVC 21202”
Now here’s what that section of the California Vehicle Code actually says:
“V C Section 21202 Operation on Roadway
21202. (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations…”
That’s the rule.
There are exceptions of course – see them below.
But you don’t want the exception to swallow the rule, right?
Oh, what’s that, you do? Oh, OK. Well, that would explain all the T-shirts, but you’re celebrating the wrong CVC section. What you’re looking for is CVC 21200, actually.
And actually, what 21202 does is take away your right to use the whole lane.
Now of course, in the opinion of some, all lanes are “substandard width lanes,” so if that’s the case, one of the exceptions listed below will “swallow the rule” and, therefore, 21202 doesn’t mean anything.
But IRL, the rule means something, just saying.
Oh what’s that, you’ve been told different? Well, people tell you different because of their ideology. Hey, would you prefer to hear from a bicycle advocate who’s not an ideologue? Well, here you go:
“Ride to the Right, But Within Limits – When riding slower than the normal speed of traffic, you are required to ride as far right as “practicable” (meaning safe). You are not required to ride as far right as possible, which may not be safe. You are allowed, but not required, to ride on the shoulder. CVC 21202, CVC 21650, CVC 21650.1 9″
Hey, how would that look as a T-shirt? Not so hot, really. It would sound like a lecture, you know, like we all need to keep to the right ‘n stuff.
But it’s the Truth, like it or lump it.
“(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.
Amended Sec. 4, Ch. 674, Stats. 1996. Effective January 1, 1997.