Suburban Assault

Posts Tagged ‘Safety

Cycling Etiquette From Schwinn

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© Schwinn Bicycles

Say what you want about their bikes – like them or dislike them – you’ve got to LOVE the Schwinn brand. Not only do they have a strong heritage in the bicycle industry, but they also continue to make cycling accessible to everybody. This isn’t just in the form of less expensive, consumer bikes, but also in the form of education and information. I can’t think of another brand out there, who makes as much effort to educate their customers about bike training, safety and etiquette, as Schwinn.

Here’s an example video that you can find on their website:

There are lots of bike manufacturers out there, pushing some great products. But, how many of them are pushing for better cyclists? Schwinn want you to buy bikes, but they also want to keep you informed and safe. That’s pretty cool if you ask me.

Written by dickdavid

October 30, 2011 at 6:19 am

My Bike Goals For My Community

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Route Artifact 0083

Here are some of my more ambitious goals that I would like to accomplish, when I get time:

• Start A Bike Tool Sharing Service – The idea would be to set up a system where folks can borrow and trade bike tools throughout the community. Folks will no longer need to spend a lot of money for that one tool that they may only use once or twice.

• Learn and Teach Bike Repair – Either it’s my inclination to tinker or my need for self-reliance, I would love to have the confidence and knowledge to make complete bike repairs. I’m good with the basic maintenance, but most drivetrain repairs – bottom brackets, hubs, cogs, cassettes, derailleurs, wheel builds, etc. – are a bit out of my league. There is a bike school in Oregon that I keep seeing ads for and I’m really tempted. If it was local, I would already be enrolled. Of course, I would love to pass on that knowledge to others.

• Learn to Teach Bike Training, Safety and Education – This might be the most obtainable goal for me. I would love to get certified to teach proper riding techniques and road safety so that I can start teaching the kids in my community how to ride properly. I can’t tell you how many times I see kids riding recklessly in my neighborhood – putting themselves in danger. I’m not sure why the local school system doesn’t offer this in the regular curriculum, but it’s something every kid needs to know.

• Start A Bike Local Co-Op – The combination of all my goals can be achieved through this. I would love to start a community-run organization, where volunteers and donations would come together to bring bikes, bike repair, bike and tool sharing, bike training and safety education to anybody who wants to ride a bike.

I’m sure there are other, more significant goals that I haven’t listed here. For now, these are the ones that I feel are important to me.

Written by dickdavid

June 21, 2011 at 8:48 am

Bike vs. SUV

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This is an old story from last March, but I thought I’d share it here on Suburban Assault.

There are a few bike lanes around the University of Texas, Dallas as well as some scattered greenbelt trails around Richardson, where I live. Unfortunately, outside of that, you’re on your own. My general rule-of-thumb is if a road has 3 or more lanes, stay off – generally the automobile traffic is much heavier in these situations.

I’ll typically take a back or side street, but inevitably, some of the major 3+ lane routes are required to make it to my destinations. Since riding on these roads is suicide, I’m forced to ride the sidewalks – which I personally don’t like to do. Fortunately, in Richardson, they are hardly used – even by pedestrians.

MY RIDE SUNDAY MORNING – March 29.

In the many years that I’ve ridden around neighborhood streets (even more so in the past year), I’ve learned to be aware of the traffic around me. I know that most people are blind to cyclist so I tend to ride on the cautious side. Well this day, I got in a rush and became a bit careless.

I was returning home from a long ride where I had just gotten off the UTD bike lane, which travels along Campbell Road, heading east. Unfortunately, at this point it becomes just a sidewalk. Since the bike lane runs along the north side of Campbell, I was heading against traffic. My next move was to find a safe place to cross and, at least, get on the walk that flowed WITH traffic.

While I was traveling down the walk looking for a safe place to cross, a woman in her huge SUV pulled out from nowhere in an attempt to turn right (west) on Campbell. Watching to see if the the oncoming traffic was clear, she rolled through her stop sign to pull onto Campbell, not once looking to her right – which was where I was coming from. This is a common mistake that I find myself doing. In this situation the visibility coming from that road is horrible from both perspectives.

BIKE + SUV = BAD SITUATION

In spite of my efforts to brake. I skidded into her front wheel well, slamming myself around the front of her vehicle, completely tossing myself onto the road. Man, that really hurt.

I’ve had to avoid this type of situation before, where folks pulling onto the main street are focused on the cars coming their way, but because they’re pulling onto a one way lane, they seldom pay attention to the direction they are heading. And because of this, I’m extra cautious of these people. Unfortunately, the visibility was bad and everything happened so fast that neither one of us had proper time to react.

I was shaken up. She and her kids were in shock. Fortunately, aside from being a bit soar, I came out of it okay. Even my bike survived the collision without a scratch. Her front fender has a slight dent in it (it looks as if somebody kicked it) as well as a scuff across her hood.

She felt guilty for pulling out in front of me, but I assured her that I didn’t hold her completely at fault. We were both careless in the situation and very fortunate that nobody was seriously hurt. I asked her about the dent, but she was more relieved that I was okay, that she didn’t want to worry about it. After a few minutes of catching my breath, we shook hands and went our separate ways.

WHAT DID I LEAVE WITH?

In the end, although I’m not sure if I hit my head, I’m glad I had my helmet on (which I’ve replaced with a new one), and that it didn’t turn out much worse.

As a rider, I’ve become more aware of my limitations as to how quickly I can react in situations like this.

As a driver, I’ve become more aware of every direction I travel.

The lady in the SUV was pretty shaken up, and I hope she finds comfort in knowing that everything is okay.

Written by dickdavid

July 14, 2009 at 8:48 am