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End the Punishment Pass

It’s the ride you’ve been waiting for all week. You’re on a country road, maybe with a few friends, maybe in your favorite new kit. You’ve been out for 2 hours already, your legs are strong, the big ring feels small. Your real-world worries have faded away, and the road ahead asks more from you. You hear the breeze, your tires, the chain, and your heart. You’ve reached that place that all cyclists know.

And then, it happens. Your peripheral view overcomes your vision, you see a storm of color enveloping you, you are violently shoved by a concussion of air, and you hear nothing but an explosion of ugly sound.

Internally, the euphoria of endorphins is overcome by a surge of stress and fear hormones, triggering terror, a racing heart, and a body bracing for impact. The car that veered so close to you — steered into you — races off. Your ride has been ruined, but when you calm down you say you were lucky not to have been killed.

You Experienced the Punishment Pass

This tragedy has happened to every single one of us. It is a tragedy in the most classical sense, this horrible contrast between your expansive heroic nature a moment before, and belittling pure fear after.

You were buzzed by a car. For my almost 40 years of riding, that’s what we’ve called it, being “buzzed.” Many drivers (and much worse, too many law enforcement officers) don’t really see the big deal with buzzing. Drivers have never experienced it from our side, and they certainly have not been in our shoes when one of our tribe is struck, hurt, or killed.  The punishment pass is an illegal act by a driver to punish us for riding our bikes. It is an illegal act that can and does hurt and kill.

End the Punishment Pass

Today we announce a campaign to address the problem of close calls and the punishment head on. We are joining others and calling it “End the Punishment Pass.”

At Bike Law, we are devoting significant and on-going resources to do what we can, across the country, to bring attention to this problem, and offer tools to punish those criminal drivers that persist in endangering our lives. Our goal is that this inhumane behavior is recognized for what it is, prevented, punished, and ultimately eliminated.

We have been working on this for months so far, and in the coming days and weeks, we will release more about our campaign to End The Punishment Pass.

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Charlotte Ride of Silence
Ann Groninger May 16, 2019

This year was my 10th Ride of Silence and the 10th one Bike Law North Carolina has co-sponsored in Charlotte. Hearing the poem read and seeing the throng of bicyclists roll silently out, is always chilling, no matter how often I see it. And rolling back in, knowing that music, refreshment and followship await, is […]

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Michigan Ride of Silence
Bryan Waldman May 15, 2019

Tonight, multiple communities in Michigan will join in the Ride of Silence, an annual ride that happens around the world to honor people who have been killed or injured while riding a bicycle on a public highway or road.  Additionally, the Ride of Silence is intended to serve as a reminder, or raise awareness, of […]

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Ride of Silence
Bob Mionske May 14, 2019

This year marks the 17th anniversary of the Ride of Silence, which honors cyclists who have been killed by a motor vehicle collision. In 2003, Chris Phelan organized the first Ride of Silence in Dallas, Texas after Larry Schwartz was killed by a bus while riding. Larry’s death was horribly tragic for the Dallas cycling community. […]

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Brendan Kevenides May 09, 2019

As the train crossed from Belgium into the Netherlands my excitement grew.  I sat forward to get a better look out of the window at the country side. Then I saw them, beautiful, clean, pale red ribbons stretching through the low lying land.    They were bicycle paths; actually not so much paths as bicycle highways, […]

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Rick Bernardi May 08, 2019

May 4, 2019. The team showed up with engines revved in close-to-full attendance for the Montinore Road Race, blessed with near-perfect racing conditions as temps pushed up into the 70’s. The race was 10 laps of 10 kilometers with a 3-minute climb to the finish each lap. We got to work immediately with the slick-easy-rider […]

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Bicycle Death
Charlie Thomas May 07, 2019

I’m going to the Ride of Silence on the evening of Wednesday, May 15, 2019. This ride honors those who have been injured or killed while riding and raises awareness about sharing our roadways. If you’re in favor of this, come ride with us.   The Ride of Silence happens worldwide and is now in […]

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Bike riding in Mesa
Brian Weiss May 06, 2019

When there is snow in the mountains and in the front range, I love to head west to Mesa County to ride bikes, visit friends, and hang out.  It goes without saying that Mesa County is a beautiful place with scenic views that can be seen from spectacular roads and trails. My favorite places to […]

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Danny Feldman May 06, 2019

Alabama is considering 2 new laws which, if passed, will have a positive effect not only on bicyclists, but the public at large. The first of these is the “dead red” law.  Under this proposed legislation, a cyclist or motorcyclist, neither of whom have enough steel and/or weight to trip a sensor thereby changing a […]

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Winston Salem Bike Ride
Ann Groninger May 06, 2019

I always say that my favorite thing about bicycling is getting to meet other people that are super passionate about bicycling. One of those people is Amy Easter. I’ve met Amy a number of times over the years at various advocacy events and was so excited to connect with her to talk about all the […]

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Colorado Bike Law Enforcement
Brian Weiss May 06, 2019

Recently, I/Brian spoke at the Mesa County Bicycling Alliance Meeting in Grand Junction, Colorado.  At the meeting, I had a chance to talk with Colorado State Patrol (CSP) Captain Matthew Ozanic.  Captain Ozanic was very friendly, down to earth, and also practical about the enforcement of cycling laws in Colorado.   I had some time before […]

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Bryan Waldman May 03, 2019

Michigan lawmakers appear to be moving at a blistering pace to revise Michigan’s distracted driving laws. Governor Gretchen Whitmer called for tougher distracted driving laws in her first State of the State address and the legislature quickly went to work. Bills proposing amendments to current distracted driving laws have been introduced in the Michigan House […]

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River City Bicycles / Bike Law
Rick Bernardi Apr 30, 2019

Big News from the River City/Bike Law Team! Representing River City/Bike Law, team member Dan Lincoln raced in the Tour of Walla Walla, a four-stage road race held over three days in Washington’s beautiful Walla Walla Valley. This year was the Tour’s 21st year, with the race, now a Spring Classic in the racing schedule, […]

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