Take care out there on the roads !
22/ 1/ 2009
- choose roads with less traffic and quiet traffic times to ride(the roads were primarily designed for cars after all).
- ride 18" from the curb, so you have wiggle space and don't swerve erratically off your riding line.
- indicate with your arm to 'make clear' your direction when turning
- make sure your bike is well maintained; eg, unworn tyres and appropriately set up brakes.
- don't ride on aerobars when in built up areas(with lots of traffic or pedestrians).
- don't ride too close behind cars or on the inside of them(maybe a blind spot).
- don't ride beside parked cars within the space of the car door opening ; not all drivers/passengers look before opening the door to get out.
- watch out for buses in particular and be aware of there pullover spots.
- ride regular routes and be particularly vigilent at the danger spots.
- don't ride really close to dawn or dusk and if you must ensure you have adequate bike lights and reflective gear.
- slow down on intersection corners where there maybe small rocks/stones scattered across the road.
- don't ride in busy areas with an IPOD on.
- BE PREDICTABLE. Both riding in a group but also riding in traffic.
- my tendency is to treat the situation as though the cyclist(me say) is invisible in many situations to the motorist in 'busy traffic' areas.
- know at all times what traffic you have behind you and the anticipated approach of those vehicles
- if it looks like a bad day eg traffic, weather, etc. Stay at home and do the indoor trainer or go down to the track(velodrome) for training.
- wear a helmet.
- be careful when weather changes road conditions. Examples are wet weather making road surfaces slippery such that cornering becomes tricky to avoid your bike sliding out from under you. Slow down and survive to go stronger another day. Likewise if the roads become icy stay indoors and do a cycle-trainer or velodrome session.
a couple of mistakes i have made:
- is riding down a steep hill that was coming onto a main road, and finding out the brakes don't work due to speed and gravity, and that was well before the intersection... lucky no cars were there that day...
- riding about 40km/hr on the outskirts of a town and a bus pulled over very quickly and the passengers were out in a flash... lucky to slide between two of them and just clipping one with no serious damage... lucky.
- riding beside a car slowly in a busy part of town when it turned into a park... followed it into the park and ended up between the two parked cars... felt a bit stupid.
- and another and the one that hurt the most. Was riding a mountain bike with slicks(tyres) on to university. A small section of the road was gravel and you can guess what happened with slicks on while cornering on gravel. Gravel rash isn't pleasant and I was lucky not to break any bones after going down reasonably hard.
thats about it after 21 years since buying my first tri bike and doing my first triathlon.
Enjoy yourself ...............
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