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Bicycle Safety and Self Defense


Riding safety is very important.

We as a cycling community really need to look at our riding habits. Would it really kill us to single up and move to the right and allow motor vehicle traffic to pass on a single lane road? Would our afternoon ride really be ruined if we actually stopped at the stop signs and stop lights? The effects of how we are riding are already being seen here in Texas. There have been several recent example of local city governments restricting and banning bicycles from certain roads. If we don't change our riding habits and start riding legally and courteously, then how can we ever expect the motorist out there to "Share the Road". And "Share the Road" works both ways. If we want to motorist to share with us, then we have to be willing to share with them. If we don't start facing up to our legal responsibilities on the road, then I'm afraid that our legal rights to the road are going to be taken away.

April 24, 2009 - If you're coming up to a blind curve you can't see around or a hill you can't see over and the road isn't wide enough for a car to pass you safely if another car is oncoming, be sure to take your lane. Taking your lane means riding far enough away from the shoulder of the road, i.e. three feet or more, that the car behind you won't be tempted to try and squeeze past you. Think about it-if a car is passing you and they meet an oncoming car, what are they most likely to do? Risk a head-on collision with the other car or move to the right and risk knocking you off the road? Riding at least three feet from the shoulder also gives you more room to maneuver when (not if) you encounter a hole or crack in the road that you need to steer around. Riding at least three feet from the shoulder will annoy some drivers, but which would you rather risk--their wrath or your life? Remember, it's our road, too.

I feel you should always "take your lane" If you hug the edge of the road the driver is encouraged to pass at 60-70 mph. Taking the lane will force the driver to slow down. Once they have slowed down, you can move to the right and wave them to pass (providing of course it is safe.). If you are on a narrow road to narrow or busy to pass, it wont kill you to pull into a driveway so the cars can pass. After all it is better to be late that dead. - JohnS