While riding today I witnessed an unfortunate accident where a rider ahead of me crashed into an opening door of a parked car. I had observed her riding particularly close to a line of parked cars when before I could even think about it, the inevitable happened. A car door swung open and the cyclist had nowhere to go. Luckily she was okay, suffering only a skinned elbow and knee, broken glasses and a damaged fork, but I have seen this before and the riders were not as lucky.
Assume that every parked car has an occupant(s) that is preparing to exit their vehicle. In their defense they are not expecting a cyclist skimming by their side mirror either. And it just isn’t the driver’s door. Passenger doors are just as likely to fling open. Also keep in mind that the doors of today’s large trucks, SUVs and minivans can be nearly 4 feet wide (almost half of the width of a traffic lane).
So, as in the picture, position yourself well into the lane of moving traffic, even if that means that vehicular traffic behind you has to slow or change lanes to pass you.
Ride Safe. Be Safe