Being a Predictable Bicyclist on the Road

share the road firefly brigade

Some people take pride in considering themselves as an “unpredictable” person. They equate this quality with being spontaneous, fun, and gregarious. But while this may be a desirable trait in our social intercourse as they give way to meaningful relationships, it is a very negative and certainly undesirable trait in bicycling. A bicyclist must be predictable on the road. Being predictable is necessary if you want to survive on board your two-wheeler on the streets. Consider this as gospel truth: the more predictable you ride your bicycle, the safer you will be on the streets. The question however, is how you become predictable while bicycling.

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10 Cycling Myths You Need to Forget Now

 multicolored bicyclist

Myth 1: Bicyclists don’t pay road tax so they don’t have the right to use the road.

Argument to debunk this myth: With exceptions related to actual income received, we all pay our taxes to the government. In fact, the average wage earners are already being taxed in the form withholding tax which is automatically deducted even before they receive their total monthly pay. We can therefore say that the average worker who uses his bike to work can without doubt claim the right to use the road. We don’t need to discuss in what particular way our taxes are used but suffice it to say that all those who pay their taxes can use the road because the government spent taxpayers' money in building those roads. But it doesn’t mean that bigger vehicles have more rights than the smaller bicycles. Bigger vehicles can use more space of course because they need it but it should not be at the expense of bicycles being waylaid along the road. We need to respect each other and give each other their rightful space on the road.

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Safety on the Road for Cyclists Part 3

Figure 1. Proper road positioning is important for safety
Applying Riding Skills in Traffic and Proper Road Behavior

There are established rules (by legislation) that govern the behavior of all road users, motorized as well as non-motorized. Someone who wants to get a driver’s license has to know the rules and must pass a test on them before a license is issued. A bicyclist does not need a license and often, unless he or she also drives, is not familiar with those rules, which can be a disadvantage. However, equipped with solid riding skills, a cyclist can quickly pick up the rules of how to ride on the road in a safe manner, whether through learning by doing or by learning from the example of others. Learning to ride on the road by going on group rides with experienced cyclists is a great way to learn proper road riding behavior.

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Is There an Electric Bike in Your Future?

vision electric bike

Figure 1. The Vision electric bicycle—monocoque carbon fiber frame, mid-drive motor, controlled with your smart phone

Purists abhor the idea of putting motors in their bicycles—they say it destroys the very idea that the bicycle represents. Athletes of course need their workout—the harder they have to pedal, the better for their bodies. Environmentalists regard all motorized vehicles to be anathema, and putting a motor in a bicycle is the antithesis of pedal power. Yet, the goal to get more people on bicycles may necessitate advocates embracing the idea of motorized bicycles, or at least bicycles that use electric motors to assist the cyclist.

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Fully supports the Office of the President's proclamation of the month of November as National Bicycle Month and every Fourth Sunday of November thereafter as National Bicycle Day. 

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