Cyclist Using the St. Claude Bike Lane at St. Claude and Press

The weather report promised a 100+ degree heat index, so I was a little anxious when heading downtown for a quick Saturday afternoon bike ride, but oh, the difference some clouds make! I headed down to the St. Claude bike lane to take some pictures for D., who will be talking about our fancy bike lane at a conference this weekend. Dodging Ole Miss fans wasn’t easy, but I made it to St. Claude and Press and set myself up to snap some photos. It was actually a struggle to get a picture of someone actually riding in the bike lane. For the most part, folks were riding in the parking lane rather than the bike lane, which makes sense. Usually we are being pushed as far to the right as humanly possible when riding in the street. A whole lane, all to ourselves? The number of folks double parked in the bike lane suggests it’s not actually our lane. I snapped this photo of a cyclist riding across the street, the green grass and old houses and blue sky and crazy clouds in the background, because our bike lane is the loveliest, the liveliest, and so, so delightful for riding. But as I watched rider after rider ride outside the lane, I remembered that yes, we all need to learn how to use these new lanes as we put them on our streets–there’s nothing instinctive about road markings, even though driving feels to most of us like muscle memory. I love riding this lane. It is absolutely worth teaching all of us how to use our lanes and sidewalks and crosswalks. It is worth it to make our streets complete for all users.

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