Photo via ">lesleyk @ flickr.
4. Arm yourself with a smile and a wave....
Sometimes car drivers can be pretty aggravating - they stupidly dart around slower traffic, they make sudden, unexpected moves, and they pretend not to notice when they've done something asinine to you. Well, guess what? Same thing with bikers. The best way to drive your bike is to drive defensively, but maintaining Zen-like serenity if at all possible. Would you rather be trapped in a steel-reinforced cage or on your bike experiencing your environment? See, you already feel happier. So choose style and safety over speed. And, oh yeah. Respect the pedestrians.
All he needs is some reflectors and a mirro. Photo via dustinj @ flickr.
5. ....and don your finest, brightest plumage.
Not only is it great to give other motorists a little eye-candy in addition to plenty of lights and reflectors on your bike, it's also best to be as visible to everybody as possible. This doesn't necessarily mean Day-Glo colors. But being on your bike is an opportunity to show your style and stand out in traffic. In addition, safety in numbers seems to be very true for cycling.
Photo djking via flickr.
6. Remember, biking has a bell curve.
Most of your bike experiences are statistically likely to be good ones, without road rage or other incidents. For every million hours of biking, the mortality rate is just 0.3 - that's better than driving's 0.5. To put it another way, Canadian study says the risk of dying in a bike crash are about the same as dying in an SUV crash. It seems then self-evident to do what you can - arm yourself with a smile to deflect rage, the right amount of lighting, and yes, even a mirror. Female cyclists will likely be subject to a higher incidence of cat-calling and wolf-whistling (some cities are worse than others). But does getting mad solve anything? To paraphrase Dori the fish from Finding Nemo: just keep riding.
Read more about urban cycling at TreeHugger
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