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Sunday, April 29, 2012

WHY I CONVERTED from a Sidewalk Cyclist to a Street Cyclist [Blooming Rock]

Like most predators, impatient drivers can smell fear.

The other day I tried riding my bike on the street on Central and I got honked at a lot, twice by a bus, and once got run off the road. Because I didn't know any better and I was quite nervous, I was hugging the curb to stay out of the way of the cars. Big mistake!

A few days later, on Saturday, I attended the City of Phoenix's Annual Bike Summit. There I complained of this incident and was soon bombarded by generous offers to teach me how to ride my bike effectively on the street, without getting run off the road. I was also handed this book:

Arizona Bicycling Street Smarts

Of course, I had no plans to read it any time soon due to my hectic schedule, but I happened to lay it on my dining room table anyway. Monday morning, while I was enjoying my usual almond butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast, the book caught my eye and I decided to take a gander.

I was immediately engrossed. Not only did this book talk about statistics and distances and other technical details, but it actually addressed how it feels to be a bicyclist on the road, which is what convinced me to ultimately change my behavior. Here's an excerpt:

"It may seem dangerous to make a motorist slow for you, but it's not. The usual reason that bicyclists feel unsafe on narrow roads is that they do not take control of the situation."



Editor's Note: Amen!


[Blooming Rock]

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