Surviving The Summer of Splat

commuting over the brooklyn bridge photo


There are no hard data yet, but lots more people are out on bikes this summer, and lots more novice cyclists are ending up in hospital. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Cycling advocates say this could be the Summer of Splat on local roads. Take the area's dearth of bike paths, add aggressive Atlanta motorists, then toss in bikers who haven't been on the roads for decades. Presto — the buns are busting all over town. "We're seeing more people getting hit" by cars, said Dr. John Xerogeanes, chief of sports medicine at Emory's Orthopedic and Spine Center. "There are people crashing and people having trouble because they're starting to ride their bike in the city."

The always useful Bike Commute Tips Blog has some excellent suggestions for introducing yourself to a bicycle:

yehuda moon comic photo

Yehuda Moon
Know your bicycle. The best way to improve your bicycling safety is simply to bicycle more. Take your bike to a quiet street or park and practice riding. Learn how your bike handles: how it stops, accelerates, turns, and shifts. Gaining confidence in your bicycle handling skills will greatly improve your safety.

Keep it working. Many bicycle crashes result from equipment malfunction. Keep your bike well-maintained and you will avoid many problems.

Pre-ride inspection. Before you ride, give your bike the "ABC Quick Check": Air, Brakes, Crankset, Quick Releases. Make sure your tires are inflated, brakes are good, chain is in the chainrings and cogs, and that quick releases are closed.

Be seen. Ride predictably, with traffic, where drivers can see you. Stay in the traffic lane, maintain a straight line. Never ride against traffic; wrong way cycling is extremely dangerous.

More tips at ::Bike Commute Tips Blog
More on Bike Safety
Freakonomics on Bike Safety
Bike Safety Tips From MP Olivia Chow
Scary Fifties Bloody and Gory Filmstrip on Bike Safety :
It's More Dangerous NOT To Ride a Bike
Objects in mirror...could be saved

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