Should A Cyclist Give Advice When Safety Is In Question?

When you ride a bike as much as I do, you see almost every kind of riding at least once. Sometimes it seems as if there are as many ways to ride a bicycle as there are cyclists. Each one is unique in his or her riding style.

Watching how other people ride their bikes can be a source of amusement, consternation or anger. The latter response is only elicited when a cyclist does something either dangerous or illegal.

While I’m not in favor of having cyclists do illegal things on the roads, as long as they are only harming themselves, I can look the other way — most of the time. But, once in a while, I’m tempted to say something to the cyclist because I’m not certain that he realizes the danger he is in.    Continue reading ….

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Bicycling Experience And The Development Of Strategies

A conversation has been underway on this blog about where cyclists should position themselves on the road for safety and efficient riding. Comments on this subject have spanned across several posts.

One of the problems with having a scattered discussion is that good and useful comments sometimes go unread by readers of this blog who have read the post prior to the comments being left.

Readers who leave comments often check back either by subscribing to comments for that post or visiting the blog. So, they know where the discussion on these matters stands.

Sometimes, a reader leaves a comment worth reiterating. And, sometimes that comment even deserves to be part of a post to serve as a starting point for further discussion.    Continue reading ….

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Speed Up Slow Down Cyclists

Today I will take a break from the recent discussions on this blog about where cyclists should position themselves when sharing the road with cars, to discuss — OK, rant — about something that really irks me.

As a long-time cyclist, who is in the process of trying to get back into shape after having taken time off due to injuries, I am presently following a training regimen of sorts. It’s not the type of regimen one would use for sport, as in training for road racing or triathlons, but rather a system of rebuilding strength and endurance which was lost through cutting back on physical activity.

I wasn’t sedentary for long. I only ceased activities completely for about a week. Then, I gradually began to ride my bike and lift weights again.

For several weeks, I was incredibly slow on my bike. More cyclists than usual were passing me — although fortunately, none of them were grandmas or grandpas. Many of them were just typical cyclists, like myself, who were fit and clearly did a lot of riding.     Continue reading ….

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Headstarts At Traffic Lights

Despite years of debate, there is still disagreement about where a cyclist should position him or herself when stopping at a traffic light. Different groups of cyclists have arrived at various conclusions about what constitutes the safest and most efficient approach to navigating an intersection. One’s riding style and tolerance for risk usually determine which of these approaches a cyclist takes.

Those who favor the “take the lane” approach to cycling believe that cyclists should stop directly behind the car in front of them, just as if they were another vehicle. They find the idea of riding alongside the cars abhorrent. And, the concept of controlling the lane intensifies their convictions about always using the full lane for maximum safety.    Continue reading ….

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A Man And His Bicycle

It’s not every day that you walk past a familiar pond only to see a man, wrapped up in music only he can hear, with his trusty bike leaning nearby. The man was gazing out on the water as if he was looking for something that was not there. And his bike was precariously standing on the moist dirt of the shoreline, held up by nothing more than a rickety kickstand, an implement rarely seen on bikes these days.    Continue reading ….

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Bicyclists Are Now Officially Better People

When stumbling upon an article with the title of “Why Riding Your Bike Makes You A Better Person (According To Science)” you must stop and read it. Never mind that it was published on The Huffington Post website, which you may not ordinarily read (I don’t). However, since this cycling article had a positive title, for a change, I thought it was worth a look.

Cycling does improve a person in may ways, but attributing these finding to “science” may be a bit of a stretch. The article in question starts out by telling us that we could all learn something from cyclists. For instance “It should come as no surprise that a dedicated cyclist is bound to be one of the fittest people around.”    Continue reading ….

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Some Fans Think That Taking A Cycling Hero Selfie Is Worth Risking Life And Limb

I have never understood the appeal of selfies. As a photographer, I like to use a camera to shoot photos, not a handheld device. And, I like to set up shots where I will be included in the photo.

Non-photographers and cell phone photographers apparently do not feel the same way. Such people hold their phones in front of their faces and struggle to capture themselves along with someone else who often hasn’t even consented to having their photo taken.    Continue reading ….

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When Or Whether Sidewalks Are For Cycling

Titles can be a tricky thing. Trying to be succinct can alter the meaning of a phrase in unintended ways. Hopefully, that will not be the case with the title of this post.

Sidewalks were named for the function they were intended to fulfill: walking. Or, more specifically, walking on the side of something, usually a road.

A sidewalk’s purpose is to give pedestrians a safe place to walk when traveling from one area to another. It separates pedestrians from motorized vehicles, similarly to the way that bike lanes separate cars from bicycles. In short, it is a refuge from fast-moving traffic.    Continue reading ….

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Improving Urban Cycling Safety By Giving Yourself An Out

I have been giving a great deal of thought to the riding instruction given to new urban riders by cycling experts. I’m not entirely certain what makes these people experts other than the fact that they have had some training which resulted in certification from other experts. The whole thing seems like the chicken and the egg argument, namely, which came first, the experts or the expertise.

In the beginning, statistics about bicycle accidents must have precipitated the creation of rules for avoiding accidents. The idea, I believe, was that by teaching cyclists how accidents happen and what a cyclist can do to avoid getting into those situations, cyclists would be safer.    Continue reading ….

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Can Cyclists Always Recognize Who Belongs In The Bike Lane?

Most of us expect bicycles to use bike lanes and cars to stay out. Of course, things don’t always work out that way. This annoys cyclists, especially when they are impeded in their progress or come close to crashing due to the presence of unexpected vehicles in the bike lane.

The more cyclists ride, the more they grow accustomed to cars crossing into the bike lanes, and even parking on them. When confronted with such situations, it’s difficult not to wonder “who are these bike lanes for?”    Continue reading ….

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