Friday, July 30, 2010

Best Bicycle Safety website, a few of my own tips, Great article on the pros and cons of a helmet law and the Beatles and Elvis on Bikes

Can't go wrong with Elvis and the Beatles!


Hallo!
I admit when I first got back on a bike last summer I was a bit ignorant ( as well as reckless) in the way I rode my bike around the streets of Hollywood and I'm lucky that I didn't get hit back then. I rode around more like a free-spirited kid than an adult. My sidewalk etiquette was nothing to brag about either. I since have toned down my act and gotten a handle bar bell. Don't get me wrong I still have my free spirited moments but their not foolish ones.
I have made an effort to learn more about the laws and safe bicycling
There are some things you need to know in order to avoid becoming a bicycle traffic victim and ten of the more important aspects are covered really well in this website:
http://www.bicyclesafe.com/

Please have a look at it and put the advice into practice and your chances of getting hit by a car will be greatly reduced!

Here are two things I do to increase my visibility.
(If drivers know your there they won't run you over so pay close attention)

1)
Note: I have a sit up bike so this may not work or be safe for other type bikes.
When approaching an intersection I will stand straight up off the seat, straighten my
back up and raise my head. This places my height above the parked cars to my
right as I approach the intersection and makes me much more visible to traffic in
all directions. I know this works as I see people take notice immediately when I do this. I also have a much better view of all approaching traffic. In addition it feels real good as the air flows more freely across my upper body and face - very pleasant indeed!

2)
When approaching an intersection and I have the right of way I will stare directly at any drivers in a position to run me over (cars in a position to turn if they wish if there are no opposing cars but not likely to be looking for a bicycle at that moment) until I get them to acknowledge that they see me. If I don't see recognition in their eyes I will begin to brake and stare even more intensely at them. I am also at the same time projecting my thoughts to them something like :"I am coming do you see me?" This usually works quite well and people let me know that they see me coming. If I don't see recognition in their eyes depending on the situation I may actually come to a complete stop as there is a high probility I may get hit after all I'm not playing Russian Roulette here on a bike.
Judging by most of their reactions I think they actually appreciate that I made the effort to communicate my intentions to them through these two methods.

These two methods work so give them a try!

The great Helmet Law debate:
Here is a link to a great article on helmet laws.
http://bicycleaustin.info/laws/crocker.html

Here is my 2 Cents worth on helmet laws
I think they are wrong and it should be up to the person with the exception of racing and mountain bike competitions and other obviously dangerous venues and perhaps little kids under 6 yrs of age or so. It seems that we have more and more laws protecting us these days that are enacted to "save us from ourselves" but actually make us more miserable and less active. There are many many rational arguments against helmet laws that are covered by much more knowledgable people then myself ( see above link) I would just like to say that part of the pleasure of riding a bicycle is the freedom and thrill of it. I think it's ludricous when I see a ten year old boy of girl slowly riding a bike down the street on a hot day wearing one of those Lance Armstrong creature helmets. In my day an age we would have thought there was something mentaly wrong with them or they had a metal plate in their head or something.
Forced to wear a helmet by the Nanny State and Helmet Lobby Corporate actions gives them the false idea that what they are doing is somewhat dangerous and so they tend to be abit introverted as they ride along instead of working on their self confidence as riders.

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