Thursday, August 20, 2009

Assertive Cycling

The latest issue of the Leo has a very good editorial by Jackie Green, co-owner of The Bike Courier, an area favorite bike store and courier service.

I found his recommendations for surviving in Louisville traffic very beneficial:

"Ride 4 feet away from parked cars. The sudden opening of a door from a parked car will either take you down immediately or cause you to swerve away from it and into oncoming traffic that did not expect you to be sharing the travel lane.

Don’t let local bike lanes lull you into a false sense of security — they are often poorly designed and full of debris.

Adopt a controlled yet unpredictable riding style to keep motorists alert to your presence and maneuverability. Riding predictably lulls drivers into thinking they know what a cyclist is going to do. Cyclists often swerve quickly and without notice to dodge glass, roofing tacks, potholes, missing utility caps, squirrels and pedestrians.

Ride within your comfort zone. If you must ride the sidewalks, ride slowly, carefully, courteously and watch out for motor vehicles traveling alleys, drives, parking lots and intersecting streets. Many accidents and deaths happen when cyclists are hit from behind. At times it is safer for cyclists and wheelchair users to ride against traffic.

Focus on the threats — motor vehicles and road conditions — not the signs and the lights. Lights and signs do not kill cyclists, motor vehicles do. "

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