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Old 08-22-09, 06:24 PM   #1
DnvrFox
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Feedback Requested: Article draft on Safety and Riding Tips

Feedback requested.

Article Draft on Safety and Riding Tips

I am interested in your reaction to this next portion of my (at this time six-part bicycling series - but to grow to many articles** bicycling series. This article is not yet posted.

Remember, my audience is newbie bicycle riders riding on our local excellent MUPS.

http://www.ourwebs.info/bicyclingaboutparkerindex.htm

I do believe this article may provoke some interesting reactions from you folks.

Future topics in the next articles will include:

Cadence
Dooring
Braking
Gravel, ice, wet leaves, etc.

And, possibly,
Steering with body



Bicycling About Parker #6 – Safety and Riding Tips


There are a number of ways I increase my bicycling safety and pleasure. This is the first of several articles on this topic.

At times, I will find my wheels going off the edge of the road or trail. I have seen this happen to someone at Cherry Creek State Park, where the individual was “forced” off the pavement at the edge of the road into the rough area, gravel, ruts and dirt, and, subsequently, took a good tumble into the roadway.

My immediate response is to try to steer back onto the road, turning the wheel left. But, I don’t do this. If I attempted to get back on the road, the ledge on the edge will grab my wheel and throw me from the bicycle, generally directly into traffic. Instead, I have two better choices. First, I keep the bike going, staying off the edge of the road, and come to a gentle stop. Dismount, put the bike back on the road, and continue. This is my usual procedure. Alternatively, if I can keep going, and I see a spot ahead where the road and edge are the same elevation, I will continue until I get to that point, and get back on the road where things are level.

Wearing a helmet. There is a great deal of research regarding helmets, and you can read what the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute has to say about helmets here http://www.bhsi.org/quick.htm .

There is a lot of controversy, with some folks saying that wearing helmets is not necessary, as bicycling is inherently safe, and all of the hullabaloo about helmets causes folks not to bicycle because they feel it is dangerous, and because they feel it is dangerous for their children.

Here are my thoughts. A helmet will not save my life if my head is run over by a car. However, a helmet may reduce the severity of any injury involving the head. So. I always wear one. And, I wear a “doo rag” between my helmet and my head, to keep the sun’s rays from reaching through the helmet vents.

All helmets are required to meet the same safety specifications. Differences in helmets are ventilation, style, how the straps work, roundedness of the helmet (rounder is better), comfort, weight, design and color and the “wow” factor. Helmets can vary remarkably in price. I believe that any helmet is better than no helmet, so if I purchase a helmet at my local store, it will be fine. Helmets vary in size. I have a large head, and sometimes the helmets will not fit. It is as important for adults to wear helmets as it is for children.

I replace my helmet after any crash involving my head touching the ground. I ignore manufacturer’s claims that a helmet deteriorates and should be replaced every X years. I have found no research to support this – quite the opposite – see http://www.bhsi.org/replace.htm

Signaling when turning, slowing down or stopping is extremely important when bicycling. A bicycle is the ultimate stealth weapon, and I can have someone right behind me, or even passing me, and not be aware unless they are courteous enough to let me know.

Therefore, signaling gives the, perhaps unknown, bicycle rider behind or approaching you time to properly respond to my planned changes.

In Colorado, one legally signal a left turn by placing their left arm straight out, a right turn by pointing one's right arm at about 45 degrees down toward the ground, and slowing down or stopping by placing one's left hand, generally palm open, pointing towards the ground.

I have had a number of close calls when I failed to signal and found a stealth rider actually passing or attempting to pass me.

Then I will post a ride about Parker, as I have with the other srticles.

Last edited by DnvrFox; 08-22-09 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 08-22-09, 06:31 PM   #2
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Good article but then I agree with you about the helmets et al. You'll probably get some, hmmm, shall we say differing opinions!
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Old 08-22-09, 06:42 PM   #3
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Denver,
I did read every word of your draft and I agree with everything you say.
Perhaps you find it useful to mention the importance of biking like a Car? I think they call it Vehicular Correct or VC for short.
VC is a mouth full. It means NO RUNNING RED LIGHTS. Stopping at Stop Signs. Going with the traffic and NOT against it. Going in the correct lane to signal your intentions. Our CC tour leader went all out to teach us that and we had no car to bike accidents in 2 X 3,000 miles times about 30 bikers.
Most injuries where due to pursuit of speed biking. Pace lines and pushing harder then the body can take.
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Old 08-22-09, 07:58 PM   #4
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Denver,
Please consider mentioning that helmets should properly fit and placed on the head in the proper position and the strap should be fastened under the chin. All to often I see adults and children riding with the helmet on but the strap not fastened which renders it useless. Just my 2 cents worth...
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Old 08-22-09, 07:58 PM   #5
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Denver,

Looks good. I might add a little to the signaling theme. As you mention, a bike is a stealth vehicle and hand signals assume the other person has seen the cyclist. You seem to hint at using an audible signal, but spelling it out would help, IMO.
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Old 08-22-09, 08:03 PM   #6
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Hi Denver,

Nice article - I think you're doing a good job getting these well targeted to newbies.

One question - why is "rounder" better on a helmet? So it slides better on impact? (not a suggestion for the article, just wondering).

Thanks,
BB

Last edited by BengeBoy; 08-22-09 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 08-22-09, 08:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by byte_speed View Post
Denver,

Looks good. I might add a little to the signaling theme. As you mention, a bike is a stealth vehicle and hand signals assume the other person has seen the cyclist. You seem to hint at using an audible signal, but spelling it out would help, IMO.
Just to add to byte_speeds post.
Give a clear signal by using voice, bell or horn before passing. Give the person you are passing time to respond. Watch for their reaction. So that you can hear these signals, don't wear headphones on the trail.
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Old 08-22-09, 08:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by byte_speed View Post
Denver,

Looks good. I might add a little to the signaling theme. As you mention, a bike is a stealth vehicle and hand signals assume the other person has seen the cyclist. You seem to hint at using an audible signal, but spelling it out would help, IMO.
That was clearly stated in the article I wrote on safely riding on MUPS. It is hard to draw a line betweeen articles - they tend to overlap a bit.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 08-22-09, 08:15 PM   #9
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Just to add to byte_speeds post.
Give a clear signal by using voice, bell or horn before passing. Give the person you are passing time to respond. Watch for their reaction. So that you can hear these signals, don't wear headphones on the trail.

That was clearly states in the article I wrote on riding safely on MUPS.

And, I plan on a special section on headphones.

Thanks
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Old 08-22-09, 08:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kjc9640 View Post
Denver,
Please consider mentioning that helmets should properly fit and placed on the head in the proper position and the strap should be fastened under the chin. All to often I see adults and children riding with the helmet on but the strap not fastened which renders it useless. Just my 2 cents worth...

Good suggestion. I will do that.
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Old 08-22-09, 08:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
Hi Denver,

Nice article - I think you're doing a good job getting these well targeted to newbies.

One question - why is "rounder" better on a helmet? So it slides better on impact? (not a suggestion for the article, just wondering).

Thanks,
BB

Also, I'm wondering if you could consider re-ordering these in order of the most important

So the helmet woh't snag and twist your neck. See the link to BHSI.


OK, but just what is most important?













.

Last edited by DnvrFox; 08-22-09 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 08-22-09, 08:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by will dehne View Post
Denver,
I did read every word of your draft and I agree with everything you say.
Perhaps you find it useful to mention the importance of biking like a Car? I think they call it Vehicular Correct or VC for short.
VC is a mouth full. It means NO RUNNING RED LIGHTS. Stopping at Stop Signs. Going with the traffic and NOT against it. Going in the correct lane to signal your intentions. Our CC tour leader went all out to teach us that and we had no car to bike accidents in 2 X 3,000 miles times about 30 bikers.
Most injuries where due to pursuit of speed biking. Pace lines and pushing harder then the body can take.
The emphasis of the entire series of articles I am writing is riding on MUPS, definitely not roads.

However, I may throw dooring in because there are some sections of little-used residentail roads on the trails I suggest.
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Old 08-22-09, 09:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
Feedback requested.

1) And, I wear a “doo rag” between my helmet and my head, to keep the sun’s rays from reaching through the helmet vents. I would not mention this - it is an article on safety and it confuses the point.
2) All helmets are required to meet the same safety specifications. Check out this link and subsequent comparison of the different standards a helmet might meet (see link at the bottom of the web page at the link provided) - there are at east 4

I ignore manufacturer’s claims that a helmet deteriorates and should be replaced every X years. I have found no research to support this – quite the opposite – see http://www.bhsi.org/replace.htm Although I appreciate your opinion on this there are liability reasons why manufacturer's make these recommendations and you should not take on thier risk by suggesting anyone not follow the manufacture's guidelines - IMHO
Very well done, have a few simple suggestions - See suggestions in the quote box in blue
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Old 08-22-09, 09:17 PM   #14
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Very well done, have a few simple suggestions - See suggestions in the quote box in blue

I greatly appreciate your insights. One of my concerns is liability, and you have some excellent points. I will carefully consider, and make changes as appropriate.

I wear the doo rag specifically to avoid skin cancer to the head, and sweat in m y eyes, both safety issues, which I did not make clear.
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Old 08-22-09, 09:30 PM   #15
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I read the "roundness" of the helmet thing to mean the internal shape where rounder is better for those with rounder heads but not for others with oval heads.

Most people would probably read it the way you meant it, but it wouldn't hurt to reword it or add more explanation of why it is better.
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Old 08-22-09, 09:32 PM   #16
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Thanks BD
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Old 08-22-09, 11:48 PM   #17
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S

OK, but just what is most important?
Sorry, Denver, I started to write something and then intended to erase it, but some made it into my post (I took it out). I was starting to say that you might re-order your article in order of the most important safety topics -- that is, since bike paths are often crowded, you might start with signalling and "passing" first...since in my experience running off the path isn't as common as getting confused with other traffic on a MUP. But then I re-read your article and I realized that you are certainly a lot more familiar with what occurs on your local paths than I am, and so I'm sure you article makes more sense just the way it is.

So, sorry I created confusion.

In any case, it's a nice series of articles, well targeted at the intended audience.
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Old 08-23-09, 07:08 AM   #18
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That was clearly states in the article I wrote on riding safely on MUPS.

And, I plan on a special section on headphones.

Thanks
OK, I didn't read all the articles. How about a cross reference or link to the other article here? The mention of "stealth vehicle" just seems to cry out for a discussion of non-visible signals.

In general adding references or links to other sections seems to me a good way to tie related sections together.
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Old 08-23-09, 07:41 AM   #19
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OK, I didn't read all the articles. How about a cross reference or link to the other article here? The mention of "stealth vehicle" just seems to cry out for a discussion of non-visible signals.

In general adding references or links to other sections seems to me a good way to tie related sections together.
The link was in my original post (see above) and all articles are cross-linked in the index. Here is the index link, again.

http://www.ourwebs.info/bicyclingaboutparkerindex.htm

All separate articles include a link to the master index. This is a work "in progress" and thanks for your feedback.

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Old 08-23-09, 11:50 AM   #20
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The emphasis of the entire series of articles I am writing is riding on MUPS, definitely not roads.

However, I may throw dooring in because there are some sections of little-used residential roads on the trails I suggest.
Thank you for setting me straight.
I bike on MUP's most of the time. I have encountered the following dangers most often in order of danger:
1) Not stopping or coasting through stop signs on cross roads.
2) Bikers biking all over the trail not paying attention to faster oncoming bikers.
3) Blind curves and not biking on the right side of the MUP.
4) Loose, big, mean dogs.
5) Branches and debris after or during a storm.
6) Other insects and animals like bees, cats, deer, squirrels, rabbits.
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