Monday, April 12, 2010

Bikers Just Don't Understand...

How dangerous their sport can be...

We live in the country.
The scenery is lovely - bucolic even. This is part of why we live here. 
We live on country roads.
Those country roads are our surface streets and highways.
Country roads tend to be hilly and have speed limits of 45 - 55 mph. That's pretty fast, you know?

If you are one of those people who come to the country to bike, please take note:

We don't have breakdown lanes or shoulders. If you ride off the side of the road, you may end up in a ditch with mud and snakes.

The speed limits are high. The draft from the trucks that pass you will blow you over. They don't mean to, it just happens.

You are riding a bike on the side of a 55 mph road. Think about it... would you ride your bike on Route 66?? No - if you had any sense you wouldn't.

If you ride 2 abreast - as cyclists seem to do all the time - you are now riding in the middle of a 2 lane 55mph road. What are you thinking??

If you are riding up a hill and you can't see over it, neither can the car coming up behind you. If we try to get around you and you are 2 abreast, we will be killed - as will you - if someone is coming up on the other side of the hill.

Trust me, single file is the way to go if you really need to be riding out here.

If you insist on biking out here, a GPS is a necessity -- or a good map will do in a pinch.  We have many cyclists who get  lost out here. Country roads aren't like city streets. (They don't connect where you think they should and sometimes they run out of pavement. Trust me, riding a bike on a gravel road is not what you had in mind.) I took a cyclist back to town because she was lost and tired and couldn't find her way back to her car. And that long hill into town wasn't a big deal on the way out, but it's a real bugger on the way back...

Just use some common sense.

Oh - And wear a helmet.

1 comment:

Ellen said...

Oh, yeah, bike helmets are a must. And not just for the kids. I saw a mom sans helmet and three little ones with helmets road biking this weekend. Considering most common injuries are from cyclists tipping over and hitting their heads on curbs & such, who was going to call 911 for the Mom? Her kiddies?

Also, as a cyclist, I carry a pocket listing of MN bike laws in my under-seat pouch.

Point #31 is: When passing a bicycle or pedestrian, motor vehicles shall leave at least 3 feet clearance until safely past the bicycle or pedestrian. (M.S. 169.18)

Of course, if you are going to make the drivers follow the law, then - you, the cyclist, have to follow it as well.

See points 4.5.6,7,8:

4. On roadways may ride two abreast but don’t impede normal & reasonable movement of traffic. Ride in single lane. (4b)
5. Ride as close as practicable to right hand curb or edge of roadway except:
6. When overtaking a vehicle.
7. When preparing for a left turn.
8. When necessary to avoid conditions that make it unsafe, eg. fixed or moving objects, surface hazards, or narrow-width lanes. (4a)

Both cyclists and drivers have rights and responsibilities!

As for the gps - I know how to change a tire, use a map and carry water and a cellphone. That's really all I need to know.

Now that you are swimming, you should get a team together for a triathlon!