I am being prosecuted for Wanton Endangerment 2nd degree. My crime? Riding my bicycle on the travel lane.
Before you flip your lid, as some have done.
I did not start out operating in the travel lane. I used to have an old style Sun-EZ recumbent and I used the shoulder almost exclusively. Figuring out how to navigate the shoulder was no picnic. In some locations the shoulder was literally covered in a half an inch of debris. I used the travel lane only when necessary. I was afraid of the people operating their vehicles.
There was one incident where I was traveling home and I was trying to share an un-share-ble lane. The motorist who approached me from the rear almost hit me at an intersection. This was in Fayette Co. and there are not any shoulders at this intersection.
The motorist began to berate me and hurl verbal abuse at me.
I rode on and we met up at the next light where he continued to hurl abuse at me. I called the police.
Fayette Co. police officer took the report and advised me that I was not required to share the lane. He said the entire lane was mine. I didn’t not believe him but I wanted to see the law for that. He didn’t mention any specific law. So I kept riding the edge.
After I graduated to my first road bike. I found the shoulder very unsafe to navigate on two wheels. I used the travel lane more frequently. I went on my first club ride and realized that I was not in very good shape. I had lost a lot of weight at this point but I was still not in great shape.
So I spent a lot of time recovering from that ride.
I continued to use the shoulder, even when it was dangerous for me to do so. Every time I tried to use the travel lane a motorist would harass me.
I was very vocal with the police about the treatment I had been receiving. I often reached out to them for help. They often refused to help. I quit asking for help.
When things would get really hairy I would call them. Not much was done.
Motorists started chasing me down. Driving on the shoulder. Chasing me down, while driving on the shoulder.
It was nuts. I tried taking an alternate route home. That was worse. They could barely manage to share a 5 lane road. They sure as heck were not going to share a 2 lane road. All of them 55mph. Did you see that? All alternate routes are 55mph. The worst ones are two lanes. Zero shoulder. Gravel lined ditch on either side.
All with lanes that are not able to be shared. It was horrifying to watch them pass me with oncoming traffic. I was scared to death that someone would be killed. So I stuck to US 27.
To make a long story short. They started ticketing me for using US 27.
Ky state law is clear. I have not broken any state laws. Even Jessamine Co. recognizes how dangerous it is to operate on the edge. They have banned bicycles from sidewalks. I was told by a police officer that using the sidewalk is illegal in Jessamine Co.
Using the shoulder is illegal in the state of KY.
That is why they made an exception. The exception states that bicycles MAY use the shoulder. KY understands that the shoulder is not always the safest place to be.
Whether you agree with where I ride or not. You do agree that bicycles have a right to be on the road. Even the L.A.B. has said Bicycles have a fundamental right to the road.
I have an attorney. I have just enough for his retainer. I still need your help.
I know times are hard for a lot of folks. You don’t have to donate if you can’t. But please share this. Share it far and wide. Because someone who knows someone just might be able to help and the fact that you shared it with them is a huge help in and of itself.