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I’m finally attempting to tidy up all the accumulated detritus in the various rooms I occupy at home and came across this gem in the process.

I fondly remember this daily comic strip by Bill Watterson which appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after it was first published around 1985.  It ceased appearing in 1995, and I assumed it was because Watterson had run out of ideas, but it  looks like it’s still being published on-line here:

That site describes it as: “The beloved comic follows the richly imaginative adventures of 6-year-old Calvin and his trusty tiger, Hobbes.” Hobbes was just a stuffed toy, except whenever Calvin and Hobbes were alone together, when he changed into a real tiger, and not always a dependable friend to Calvin.

Calvin’s dad wants to give his son bicycling lessons, but Calvin would have none of it, claiming in one strip that his dad wants to kill him! Given how his dad fares in the strip shown below, he may have a point.

Calvin & Hobbes bikemare 4-2-1995 P-D

Calvin & Hobbes bikemare 4-2-1995 P-D

Just out of interest, what things is dad doing when bicycling that aren’t recommended by knowledgeable on-road cyclists?



  1. He’s driving his bike on the right (wrong) side of the white line where all the debris is and inviting close passes by the other road users.

    • Martin’s reply: I agree Josh. So where exactly in the lane should Dad be, would you say?

        • Josh
        • Posted November 19, 2017 at 11:25 am
        • Permalink

        It depends. It’s hard to tell from the picture. How wide is the traffic lane? How many other lanes are there? In general, the bicycle driver needs to be visible and relevant to the other drivers, which usually means driving near the center of the right lane just like other vehicle operators do (motorcyclists, people on scooters, horse and buggy drivers, farmers in their tractors, or whatever).
        It also depends on what he needs to do next. Is he preparing to make a left turn? Then he should be further left in the lane or starting to move into a left lane.
        There are a lot of factors, but we can certainly say for sure that he should not relegate himself to the gutter.

        Martin’s reply: Travel lanes in the U.S. on major roads with at least 2 lanes in each direction are typically 12 ft wide, which is too narrow to share, so you have to control them. In this case, it appears the motorist who’s cussing dad on his bike is in a separate lane from the large commercial truck behind him. So I think that your suggestion that the cyclist needs to be controlling the curb lane is absolutely correct.

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