Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ride of Silence - May 16, 6:45 Pm

The 2012 Ride of Silence is tomorrow night.

I've talked about this one before, and I still think it's the most important ride of the year, no matter if you ride a commuter special like me, a carbon fiber speed demon, a DIY fixie, or a Huffy with a banana seat. Come out and join us!

This year we have a special speaker, Steve Magas from Cincinnati. Magas is well known in Ohio as the "Bike Lawyer" and as the defending attorney who successfully protected cyclists rights in Trotwood vs. Selz. Looking forward to that one!

If you're not in Columbus, find a ride near you!

People, not speed.

Dispatch Features Bike Commuting Tips Article

Today's Columbus Dispatch features an article by Joe Blundo with tips from veteran bike commuters giving their best tips for new bike riders for Bike to Work Month.

Please be sure to read it wearing your special safety goggles - a couple of the pictures aren't fit for publication.  ;)

In all seriousness, thanks to Joe for his attention to this issue and I'd like to commend all the respondents for their great tips!

Some interesting takeaways from this:

  • All the respondents mentioned riding slowly.  Definitely better for safety if you're riding slowly and in control.  
  • Everyone also eschewed "bike clothing" as much as possible.  That surprised me, pleasantly. 
  • Blundo did a good job of addressing some of the key points that people come up with about why they can't bike commute with the tips he picked.  
  • Loved Alec's off-the-cuff comments about the two-mile rule.  Great point, Alec. 
  • Also loved Jessica's comment about "it's not a one-year phase."  Nope.  This has gotten bigger every year since I started paying attention, and it's all good.  There are fads and there are cultural shifts - this is most definitely the latter!  

People, not speed.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Back on the Saddle Musings

It's only appropriate, with this being National Bike Month, that I got back into the saddle for the first time in a while. I did so with a number of feelings of trepidation given what I've been observing in the world of bike commuting since stopping my full time cycling: lots more cyclists, but also lots more lawless riding and dangerous behavior.

I'm not proud to say that I've been one of those cyclists who has given scofflaws a piece of my mind while riding before for not stopping at signs/lights, sidewalk riding, etc. And I was sort of steeling myself for the need to do more of this as I pumped up my tires, oiled my chain, and ran through my ABC Quick Check this morning.

And I was VERY pleasantly surprised.

Not once did I feel the need to say a word. My 7:15 to 7:45 ride down High Street from Clintonville to German Village and the afternoon return trips were both met with only a couple minor scofflaws among the numerous riders I encountered.

OSU was the site of most of the flaws, mostly sidewalk riders - but it was all stuff that Bike OSU has well in hand. They've done a wonderful job at keeping bike riders there aware of the law and safety issues, so many kudos to them.

And the positive behavior I saw was great. Cyclists taking the lane, signaling, and proper lane changes were everywhere.

Another thing I noticed was that cars were giving a much wider berth to cyclists. They're getting used to us out there and are learning to do deal with the reintroduction of the pedaling set into the flow of traffic. It was pretty cool. The safety-in-numbers gig was in full force, for sure.

So kudos to Yay Bikes!, Consider Biking, and all the passionate folks who have done a great job of being positive forces for cycling in Columbus. It's a real change from my regular cycling days of a couple years ago.

People, Not Speed