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Thread: tips!

  1. #1
    Spazzy Member zippered's Avatar
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    tips!

    i know others have come up with their own, but i just started writing this this morning and this is what i came up with. i'm posting in this forum so that a wider range of people will read it.

    Eleven ways to make cycling safer:

    1. Ride your bike! The more people see other people biking the more likely they will think about biking too. This works even better if you smile lots, especially when it’s raining.

    2. Talk about cycling. Talk to your friends, co-workers, fellow commuters, local and international communities. Words inspire actions.

    3. Read. Use whatever resources you can find to get tips and information. This includes the Criminal Code and Highway Traffic Law.

    4. Communicate. Use hand signals as much as possible. Talk to drivers that have put you at risk, or thank ones that actually share the road properly! The law requires a bell, but it blends into the background noise of the city and can easily be ignored. Using your voice can be easier, more effective, and certainly more satisfying.

    5. Ride safer. Ok so we all know that we cut corners (and lights) sometimes. But is it worth it? An extra 30 seconds may not only save your life, but if you’re “piggy-backing” with a line of cars for a while, they may be more likely to give you some room if they see that you are following the same rules. I know that I’m perceived as a “hardcore” cyclist, and that there are a lot of drivers with a hate-on for us, and that can be a recipe for disaster.

    6. Teach others. Share your knowledge about dressing for winter conditions. Help a “noob” fixing his first flat. Tell children what the different parts of the bike are called.

    7. Get political. Different levels of governments are responsible for changes to law and city planning. How many bike facilities are located on your street, in your neighbourhood, between local cities? Have you ever been hit by a car and actually reported it to police? Did you write that article you were thinking about in response to an ill-informed editorial? Do you think about the fact that you don’t need gas to ride a bike, but that new frame you bought was shipped here from the other side of the world?

    8. Be visible. You don’t want to allow a driver the excuse that they “didn’t see you”. This doesn’t mean you can forget about paying attention, but every light and piece of reflective material makes a bit of a difference!

    9. Expect the unexpected. Ride as though something is going to fall out of the sky, because everything and anything up and to that can, and likely will happen.

    10. Watch out. Watch that line of parked cars for the driver’s head; anyone in the car may open the door. Better yet, stay out of the “door zone” altogether. Watch for pedestrians jay-walking between stopped cars or heading for the curb. Watch out when approaching intersections that you know are hazardous. Watch the road or trail ahead, scanning for dangerous surfaces, debris, wildlife, playing children, un-bike-friendly sewer grates and so on.

    11. Be prepared. When going out on your bike think about what you might need. A tool kit/pump, lights and safety gear is a good start. Other things to add (in no particular order) are: a cell-phone, water, ID, money/bank card, quick-energy snacks, a first aid kit, extra layers, dark and clear lenses, a handkerchief, and the list could go on. Oh and don’t forget your house (and lock) keys!
    Last edited by zippered; 02-02-07 at 09:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Videre non videri
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    Check on all 11, but a bit weak on #8. I do make myself visible, but I don't wear a full Christmas tree outfit either...

  3. #3
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippered
    9. Expect the unexpected. Ride as though something is going to fall out of the sky, because everything and anything up and to that can, and likely will happen.
    Makes cycling sound too dangerous....the 'likely will happen' is, no offense, total hogwash. How about:

    9. Plan for Murphy's Law - always expect the other users of the road to do the dumbest thing possible and plan your options accordingly. Then IF they happen to be Murphy disciples, you are prepared to act.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    Spazzy Member zippered's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Makes cycling sound too dangerous....the 'likely will happen' is, no offense, total hogwash. How about:

    9. Plan for Murphy's Law - always expect the other users of the road to do the dumbest thing possible and plan your options accordingly. Then IF they happen to be Murphy disciples, you are prepared to act.
    hmm. yeah, that's a good point. i might snitch that, if you don't mind! i meant that it will likely happen... so if you're paying attention you'll be more likely be prepared to avoid it. or something like that. your version is catchier.

    anything else you'd add?

  5. #5
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zippered
    hmm. yeah, that's a good point. i might snitch that, if you don't mind! i meant that it will likely happen... so if you're paying attention you'll be more likely be prepared to avoid it. or something like that. your version is catchier.

    anything else you'd add?
    Courtesy and Manners?
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  6. #6
    My tank takes chocolate. FlowerBlossom's Avatar
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    Smile along with chipcom's courtesy. Sugar attracks flies better than vinegar, everytime.
    Feminism is the profound notion that women are human beings.

  7. #7
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Of course, I rather like a good pasta salad with a strong vinegar and oil dressing/maranade after a long ride.

    So maybe a little bit of vinegar...sometimes.
    Good night...and good luck

  8. #8
    Spazzy Member zippered's Avatar
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    perhaps something like:

    remember the golden rule. do unto others as you would have done unto you...

    last night i noticed i was in the turn lane waiting for a light to change, when a car approached from behind. i moved to the left so it could get by, and the driver waved. i got a warm-fuzzy feeling.

    toronto is infamous in canada for it's citizen's "cold" demenour. i'm guilty of not saying "hello" to strangers, avoiding eye-contact and getting nervous when random people talk to me. at the same time i believe in the idea of community and neighbourly-ness. however, when you've had a few near-misses in a row, you tend to get... slightly short-tempered...

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Courtesy and Manners?
    +1!!!


    My coworkers (and actually pretty much every driver) back in Winnipeg used to bad-mouth cyclists because they noticed the cyclists who broke the rules of the road, and who were rude and obnoxious. They, therefore, thought all cyclists were like that ... and who could blame them!?

  10. #10
    aka Sir MaddyX MadCat's Avatar
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    Great list!
    I've written my own set of rules too by the same means. I just started writing. It's mostly for my own piece of mind than anyone else's.

  11. #11
    Spazzy Member zippered's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    My coworkers (and actually pretty much every driver) back in Winnipeg used to bad-mouth cyclists because they noticed the cyclists who broke the rules of the road, and who were rude and obnoxious. They, therefore, thought all cyclists were like that ... and who could blame them!?
    yeah, that's the message i was trying to communicate with point #5... i was thinking of writing something like: think of yourself as a cycling ambassador at all times. you might not be able to change other's behaviour, but you are responsible for your own. you are being watched: choose to set a "good" example.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadCat
    Great list!
    I've written my own set of rules too by the same means. I just started writing. It's mostly for my own piece of mind than anyone else's.
    right on! those are all great suggestions for someone just starting out commuting in a city, and hasn't taken a bike course (i never did).

    i just noticed that the tone of this list changed part way through. my original idea was to come up with suggestions for "advocacy" on a larger scale (1-7) and then it changed to individual "safety" tips at the end.... oops

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