Wednesday, July 1, 2009

how to be safe on the road

Someone emailed me about what to do when an angry motorist harasses you on the road?

I am not sure there is much we can do about jerks on the road but there are some things you can do as a cyclist.

1. You must be constantly aware of where you are on the road, you MUST use a rear view mirror so you can monitor what is coming up behind you. Don't talk so much with friends that you forgot that you are just like a motorist on the road and need to BE alert.

2. Never stop in the middle of an intersection, stay to the right and if turning left, carefully take the lane when no cars are coming.

3. Bike straight, bike predictably on the road, use hand signals ALL the time when turning.

4. If biking with friends, YOU must ride single file when cars are coming.

5. Be aware if you are riding on a curvy road and you have a long line of cars behind you, consider pulling off and letting them pass, BE COURTEOUS and someone might be courteous back to you.

6. OBEY all traffic signs, signals and I mean, STOP at lights and wait for green. Don't talk on the cell phone or make sudden stops.

7. If you are still harassed by a motorist, IGNORE them if possible. If they are abusive, and you can think fast enough to get your cell phone out and snap a pic of their car and license, you can make a police report.

8. My strongest advice to all female riders is to ride in pairs and to never interact with a motorist. If riding alone, stick to well traveled roads. Lots of cars are actually sometimes safer than no cars.

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