Sunday, August 15, 2010

Staying Safe on the Roads

It is about 3 weeks ago that I had my first car-vs-bike accident down in North Wildwood, NJ.  I was very lucky, as the only real damage was to the passenger-side mirror of the car.  And I was lucky to have been riding along streets of a vacation burg, where the cars are rarely going at any speed.  Riding at home can be much more dangerous.  So, it is good to always keep in mind the tips and tricks of safe cycling.  

Looking behind you without swerving is an essential skill. For new riders, simply glancing back with your hands on the brake hoods may work, but this method often causes the bar to turn in the direction you're looking. This way is better:

 To look left, move your right hand toward the center of the handlebar near the stem, then drop your left hand off the bar as you turn your head to look back. Track racers use this technique when doing a Madison relay change. Watch the Madison at the Olympics this year--magic bike handling. Keep your upper body relaxed the entire time and practice, ideally in an empty parking lot with lines you can follow.

I went two years of serious riding before my first accident.  Don't assume that your experience makes you invulnerable.  Remind yourself often of the rules of the road, and the practices that keep you safe!

Posted via email from The Bike Nomad

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