A pattern I have noticed: the drivers who honk the most at cyclists are the ones who have the largest vehicles. Based on my anecdotal counting (highly inaccurate, probably exaggerated, but captures the effect), 1 in 15 pickup truck drivers will honk at me for cycling on the road in Quincy, and will shout out their window that I should ride on the sidewalk, followed by a gas pedal run right after. Supremely insecure ignoramus is the name I would give them.
Usually, out of pure frustration, I just give them the metaphorical finger back by ignoring them. Based on my memory from my driving exam, I vaguely remembered a few pointers about the rules of the road pertaining to cyclist-motorist interactions. I decided to check them out.
From the Massachusetts government website, the rules of the road document Chapter 4 (page 108), a selection of rules pertaining to the cyclist-driver interactions and cyclist road usage.
As a cyclist:
As a motorist:
Turns out, I was not wrong about riding on the road!
So there, according to Massachusetts’ government-endorsed rules of the road, as a cyclist, I am entitled to use the entire lane whenever I see fit, even in the presence of a bike lane, and am under zero obligation to use the sidewalk simply for a motorist’s convenience. I choose to ride on the right side just to make things easier for drivers (and as an occasional driver myself, I much appreciate it when cyclists do so; the Golden Rule is pretty good here). But where the rules are quite clear, I definitely do not appreciate being honked and shouted at for riding on a road that I am rightfully allowed to use.
To be clear, I’m already thankful it’s only about 1 in 15 pickup-truck drivers and about 1 in 50 regular drivers who honk at me.