As an adendum to JP's suggestions, here are a couple mo' traffic tips:
a) Ride with traffic. That means keep up to speed whenever you feel it's
possible (and safe). It makes it easier to manuever and it gives you
b) TAKE THE LANE! Take up a whole lane whenever and wherever possible
(especially when there's more than one cyclist, even if it's someone you
don't know, maybe you'll make a friend). Hell, if you're keeping up with
traffic, or riding faster than those combustion-bound suckas use a whole
lane of traffic on multilane roads. You're more visible, it's safer, and if
people are talking about "share the road" than don't settle for a corner,
get a whole piece. If someone said, "Hey, I have this piece of pie. Let's
share it." And then they gave you the crust would you consider that person
a good sharer? No, they would definitely need to go back to the first day
of kindergarden for that one. So make sure that pie gets sliced down the
middle, not at the edge. But if you are forced to the side,
c) Ride a good car-door's width away from parked cars whenever possible.
Makes sense, unless you enjoy the sudden sensation of being catapulted
ass-over-head and feeling hurted. It also gives you a good buffer for
people pulling in and out of parking spaces and pesky pedestrians who don't
pay attention, at whom you should,
d) Make noise to make people move. When you NEED to get people out of your
way shout at them. I find (in New York) this works a lot better than a
bell, especially with motorists. If you can yell loud enough for a driver
to hear you through their closed glass window (with whatever crap they have
playing on their stereo) than that's a loud yell, and you'll really startle
e) Take it on faith, but no one WANTS to hit you. (Well almost no one, and
if they do want to then they will).
DISCLAIMER: Don't listen to what I say about riding bikes in the city,
because it'll probably get you into an accident sooner than later. I've
been in two accidents since moving to New York; both were with other
cyclings who weren't obeying the traffic laws. Along with "sharing the
road" comes sharing the responsibilities, so follow the rules as best you
can. Listen to your mother. Wear a helmet. Love your bike. Ride safe.
ps, anyone in NYC interested in getting sloppy and riding? (for fun)
----- Original Message -----
From: "J.P. Nelson" <telenelly@...>
Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2001 4:06 AM
Subject: [rootsradicals] ride defensively
> This might sound dumb, but here's a tip I learned from
> painful first-hand experience: watch the heads of
> drivers of vehicles on those often-scary streets! If
> you aren't sure that they have seen you, assume they
> haven't. Ride behind, around, away from them, as the
> bumpers of even the smallest economy car still really
> hurts, and breaks spokes too! Be mindful of those
> stickers that semis often have on their backs, that if
> you can't see their mirrors, they can't see you- watch
> those blind spots! You might have be in the right, but
> that might not keep you from being in the hospital,
> too!! Another possible addition to heads-up head
> monitoring is LOUD accessories, although I ask that we
> all consider their usage carefully. Choge made a good
> point that bike-filled streets are quieter streets, so
> use those horns or whistles or whoopie cushions
> But the message remains the same: let's be careful out
> Also, anyone in the SF area interested in doing a
> radical parade in Golden Gate park one of these
> Sundays? Maybe hauling a Mariachi band?
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Yahoo! Photos - Share your holiday photos online!
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> ride to believe.