Wednesday, September 17, 2014

10 Rules to help keep cyclists alive....

  1. Lead by example. Always obey traffic laws, taking special care to avoid violating hot-button laws like running stop signs. Every time we break a law, we send the message that the rules of the road don’t apply to us.
  2. Don’t escalate. You will invariably be placed into a dangerous situation by a driver who is either ignorant of the danger they caused you or is simply an ass. In both of these cases, screaming obscenities at them will only serve to put them on the defensive and make them hate cyclists even more than they already do. If you absolutely must say something, do your best to let them know why what they did was dangerous; if you’re polite and assertive, the message is much more likely to find it’s way home.
  3. Be gracious. If a car does the right thing, wave at them in thanks. If you know you are holding them up because you’re obstructing their path, move the side as soon as it’s safe and gesture your appreciation of their patience.
  4. Avoid telepathy. Always signal your intent and try to make eye contact with drivers whenever you’re not sure if they see you or not, especially in scenarios when you’ll be crossing their lane of traffic.
  5. Pay attention to the cars around you. Take note of the subtle signals the drivers are sending you. Are they overly fond of the brake pedal? Are they speeding? Are they swerving, texting, or otherwise distracted? Or do they drive predictably and use their turn signals properly? These things will tell you a lot about how safe you’ll be when they’re close to you.
  6. Ride predictably. When out training in town, consider yourself to be riding in the bunch, except the other riders are cars that can kill you. Just like riding in a group, when in traffic, hold your line, signal when there’s a hazard or when turning, and generally ride as predictably possible.
  7. Ride towards the side of the street. If there is a shoulder, ride in it, but if not, stay as far to the side as you safely are able to. Don’t ride so far to the side that it means you’re riding in debris that might cause a flat or might cause you to move erratically; there’s nothing safe about suddenly flying out into traffic while trying to avoid an object. Never ride through a puddle you can’t see the bottom of; it could be a much deeper hole than you think.
  8. Ride aggressively defensive. If there’s a narrow section of road coming up where it will be dangerous for a car to pass, signal to the cars behind and swing out into the middle of the lane until it’s safe for them to pass.
  9. It’s helpful to be able to accelerate quickly to move with traffic if necessary. In the event that you’re riding in a lane in order to discourage cars from passing, it’s good to move as close to the speed of traffic as possible.
  10. Avoid overly dangerous routes. Ride on the roads you need to in order to Train Properly, but also avoid unnecessarily dangerous areas or only ride them when traffic is at it’s lightest. Roads with good shoulders are preferable and, counter-intuitively, bike paths are not always safer places to ride; these are often filled with people of a variety of skill levels who may not be paying attention.
                                                              From Velominati

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