With the current price of gas I try to commute by bike 2 x per week. Since it's 17 miles one way I drive in with my bike and then bike home. Next morning, I ride my bike in and that way I always have my car with me if I need it.
GLITTYSTAR- I ride from brooklyn to manhattan a couple days a week and its safe. I ride on the road as little as possible (green trails most of the way). All I can say is go as fast as you're comfortable with, wear your helmet, and obey the same traffic laws motorist are expected adhere to. Also you can check out the bike map online to find out where the green trails are as well as find routes that include a bike lane.
I have had a pretty easy, thank god. I am enjoying my new found freedom...you have no idea how many beautiful places in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens I have discovered.
get out there...its going to be BEAUTIFUL this weekend!
Good article. and video. Living in Anchorage, we have seasonal biking challenges. The two biggest hazards are (1) bicyclists who do not make themselves sufficiently visible, especially in the winter and in the dark, and (2) drivers who don't see bikes, even if you make eye contact.
I cannot overemphasize making oneself visible. Wear lots of screaming yellow and reflectors. And never assume what a car will do, but always be alert.
4/18/2008 12:32:55 PM
I didn't even own a car until I was 24. In college I walked or cycled everywhere. It really was a great way of life. I remember riding in rain when roads would flood and my feet went underwater every pedal turn. I remember falling down 3 times on the way to work because the roads iced over. I was hit by cars 3 times, broke my wrist one time but only got bruises the other two. I got pissed at the police because the last time I was hit by a car he fled and they didn't do anything to the hit-and-run driver.
Now if only we could convince ALL bicyclists to use those hand signals!
Oh and let's convince them that they aren't cars! Some around here act as though they don't care if I hit them. Hey, I'm yielding to you, but like the article says, stop weaving all around so I can figure out what the heck you're doing!
4/16/2008 11:53:35 AM
I have just recently started riding my bike to work 2 to 3 times a week. Where I live, there are few bike paths, so I end up riding on dirt alot. It's a real inconvinience, but I feel my health & the environment is worth the trouble. I have had a few close calls mostly at intersections, where motorists who are turning don't pay attention to me as I go to cross the road. I now make sure to have eye contact with anyone who might be turning in front of me before I start to cross.
I have a bike and a helmet, but I'm scared to death to ride it! I live in NYC and I'm afraid it'd be like taking my life into my hands. Still, this article makes me want to get out there and do it! Public transportation is amazing here, so it wouldn't really help that way, but it would save some money and burn calories!
Very informative article. I started riding again in March, 2007, when my car needed extensive repairs. So while I saved the money to get the car fixed, I got a bike from a friend. Guess what?! I never did get my car fixed! I'm still riding, and loving it. My cardio is better, my legs are stronger, and I feel great! I even get an extra workout when I load up my backpack with a few groceries, and lug them home. I may never get a car again!!
Oh, I remember bike riding in the US! (to US americans: it's as disorientating as shopping in a small grocery in Europe. You wonder where all the essentials are until you realize that they are simply not there ;) ) The nice thing was that most car drivers seemed to consider bikers to be incalculable and were very careful about them.
One thing about riding in areas without a biking lane: If I have to drive on a street, I drive in the middle of the lane as long as it doesn't cause a traffic congestion. My experience is that if a car drivers see that I take up as little space as possible, they assume that I don't need it and pass me with 1/2 inch safety clearance.
IMO Parking cars are about the most dangerous thing, that and falling off a bike backwards. If you fall: try to fall forwards so you can catch yourself with your hands. Scraped hands are not as nasty as sprained back.
Great Information, I have been riding for over 8 months and love it. It is pretty safe in my neihgborhood but we have one long stretch of road that we have to share with cars , with no bike lanes. I wish all cities would put bike lanes everywhere. Only problem, the video had not sound for me.
I ride in Europe, where bike lanes are generally pretty great. I prefer the road much of the time, though, because cars are looking out for other cars, while pedestrians are often completely bike-clueless and are far less predictable than cars.
I even got myself a door prize (someone opens a car door into your path) last fall; it was the biggest bruise I've ever seen on me! I wasn't wearing a helmet at the time; I was ridiculously lucky that I didn't careen headfirst into a tree or post or sign or person, and I can tell you now I've had my one warning. No matter the hairdo, I will never get on my bike again without that helmet.
That said, I bike to school and back every day. It takes me 15 minutes (less time than public transport!) and each way burns over 200 calories! It's like free calories every day!
4/15/2008 1:23:14 PM
Very good information. I thank you for this.
4/15/2008 12:57:42 PM
I live in the mountains of NC. I feel pretty luck that I'm not really experiencing what you are posting about. We have a good biking community here and motorists seem generally aware of us. Of course there are plenty of exceptions. I have a few scares each week - I generally ride 50-100 miles a week and a few cars come awfully close. It only takes one to hit you. I think its a good idea to take the story (nicely) to the media. Awareness is key. Now that I ride I am much more aware of cyclists. I hate to say, but I probably didn't give cyclists enough room in the past. I think helping others see it from the point of view of the biker - exposed - has got to help. We also have "share the road" road signs and laws that give bikers equal status with automobiles. I met a few Canadian riders down here last week who had a blast. Come visit and ride sometime - Boone/Blowing Rock NC - one of Lance's favs.
I agree with both of you. I've made appeals to the news media in my area to do a story about bike safety in the hopes that more motorists will become aware of how they are putting bicyclists lives in danger, but no one has been interested in doing anything. I just pray that I will make it through each ride and take less traveled roads when I can.
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