Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Soma Smoothie, Miyata City Liner, Specialized FSR Comp, Fuji Professional
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Some thoughts after 10 years of occasional bike commuting S shore of L.I. to heart of Brooklyn:
1) Don't fight or attempt to compete with traffic. Cars weigh more and drivers are often in a bad mood to begin with...
2) Find a route that has less traffic and don't worry if you add 2 miles to your trip. The extra mileage is good for you and staying off the busier roads leads to fewer encounters with cars.
3) Do not make the commute an interval training training ride. Make your commute your easy day(s). No point in speeding up to run the yellow light, or to get ahead of a turning car. Take it easy and be safe.
4) Make your bike slower, if possible. Not riding your carbon road machine gives you an excuse to have a slow average speed.
5) Vary the route if possible. This helps keep you from getting complacent and zoning out. Not paying attention gets you killed.
6) Leave whatever extra time you need to deal with mechanicals. Carry extra tubes.
7) Be assertive but non-confrontational. Be visible - take however much lane you need to prevent cars from buzzing you, while being aware that riding in the lane, as opposed to the extreme edge, places you in a position where a motorist HAS to think about passing.