We can credit K.I.Sawyer with creating the highway centerline and, by extension, the Yellow Line Rule that road cyclists must observe during road races. The line was originally created with automobiles in mind, but since then the law has trickled its way down to bicycle racing as a way to keep all participants safe from vehicles and each other.
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As you can see on the sign, Sawyer basically took credit for the idea of his underling. Isn't that always the case? The yellow line rule is just one of many rules in the road cycling rulebook designed to keep riders safe.
It's also one of the easiest to violate accidentally, and probably the most dangerous. It's also one of the harder ones to enforce for an official who is riding in the passenger seat of a follow vehicle. Sight lines are limited. Depth perception is challenging. And distractions with other aspects of the job make it difficult, which is why they rely on the collective eyeballs of the peloton to self-police itself.
Don't be that rider who takes advantage of this hard-to-enforce rule for your own gain. Never cross the yellow line to advance your position. And always keep in mind the danger of oncoming traffic for yourself and your fellow competitors. Even if you don't cross the line, riding too aggressively may force others out into the opposing lane.
Making it to the finish safely should be your ultimate goal. I wonder if Mr. Sawyer knew just how much of a role he would play in bike racing. Probably not.
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