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Don’t Bike Like A Dickweed: 10 Rules for New Cyclists

This topic contains 16 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Drewbacca 1 yr, 4 mos.

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quizbot

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Aug 7 2013 at 1:16am #

Here’s the thing. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was new to riding a bicycle once. I bought my first bicycle as an adult four years ago, and if you think I wasn’t embarrassingly inept for the first year, you’re completely tripping. There is no way to become a serious cyclist who knows what they’re doing without spending a long time learning by trial and error. We’re biased, since we bleed chainlube if you prick us, but we think every human with the physical ability to pedal a bicycle should at least try riding in the city they love.


edmonds59

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Aug 7 2013 at 6:26am #

I love tiny fix.


Benzo

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Aug 7 2013 at 10:28am #

+1 good advice in here.

I especially appreciate the note about giving an audible warning while passing. A simple “on the left” is great.


jonawebb

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Aug 7 2013 at 10:50am #

Reminds me: other good advice, http://jknylaw.com/bicycle-safety/


Mick

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Aug 7 2013 at 4:49pm #

Lots of good advice but at least one thing I’m skeptical about.

If you want to use your left hand to signal a right turn, you can do it.

But show you are turning right by folding your finger and extending your thumb, maybe even making a movement with your forearm that makes it clear you are trungin right.

This busines of holding your hand up in a clear “stop” signal, like Tonto saying “Hold up, Kemosabe,” is worse than useless.

It gives a wrong impression. At least, it does to me, and I imagine I see it much more than a typical driver.

Your right hand works fine to show a right turn and , unlike a motorcycle, you dont’ need that hand for a throttle.


stefb

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Aug 7 2013 at 7:37pm #

Some people put their front brake on their right hand if they are riding fixed.


Ahlir

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Aug 7 2013 at 8:48pm #

I find myself just pointing in the direction I want to go in, which often isn’t perpendicular to my current motion (well, stopped at lights I’m more likely to do it). The “stopping” motion will be useless until everyone (ie, drivers) understand what it’s about; it’s not intuitive.


Mr. Destructicity

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Aug 7 2013 at 9:04pm #

Mick, I have to do a lot of signals riding downhill and I’d rather signal with a crooked left arm than go flying over my handlebars.


Mick

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Aug 7 2013 at 10:51pm #

I’m totally OK with using your left hand – and long as you signal or point with it.

Anything except raise straight up like the captain signaling the calvary to stop.


timecatalyst

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Aug 12 2013 at 11:44am #

Mick wrote:
Anything except raise straight up like the captain signaling the calvary to stop.

This seems like a valid concern to me. Considering how many times I’ve been nearly run-down by motorists who misinterprete a left turn signal as “go ahead and pass me dangerously on the left!” I would expect a traditional right turn signal to be even more confusing to more people.


helen s

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Aug 12 2013 at 11:58am #

It seems like pointing where you intend to go just makes sense, and even sometimes if you are continuing straight. I do like to flex my fingers when pointing so it is like a turn signal, just for grins.
One problem I do sometimes run into is having both hands on the brakes while turning going downhill- I have to skip the signal then.


Italianblend

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Aug 12 2013 at 12:23pm #

Does this really need to be littered with vulgarity? It makes me sad.


Benzo

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Aug 12 2013 at 2:09pm #

Italianblend wrote:Does this really need to be littered with vulgarity? It makes me sad.

The TinyFix blog isn’t for everyone, it’s run by a few vocal female bike bloggers from chicago. They definitely have an unfiltered style, which gives them the freedom to candidly discuss some difficult topics that concern them.

Stuff like: Riding while genderqueer, dealing with street harassment, body image issues, supporting each other, sexism in cycling advertising

I’m a regular reader of this blog and think that not filtering this out is good. It makes me connect more as a reader. I’m not reading ‘Top 10 tips to stay safe on the road’, targeted to everyone (and appealing to nobody). I’m reading someone’s opinion, which I may not always agree with. However, I many of the pieces on this blog enlightening since the background of the authors is quite differenet compared to my own. I might not be exposed to their POV otherwise.


cburch

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Aug 13 2013 at 1:29pm #

/\ that


joanne

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Aug 13 2013 at 6:25pm #

Great article, although I don’t entirely agree with waiting behind the crosswalk. If there are pedestrians crossing at the crosswalk, then sure, I’ll stay out of their way. Otherwise, I stop as close to the edge of the actual intersection as possible–I’ve noticed that if I’m farther back, other drivers aren’t as likely to see me.


LizziMac

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Aug 14 2013 at 8:11am #

“Take out the headphones.
If you’re into sensory deprivation and danger, get Mistress Apollonia to wrap you in saran wrap with a tube to breath out of. Don’t hinder your ability to hear warnings and approaching dangers when you’re on a bike in the middle of traffic.

Thank you for introducing me to Tiny Fix. This will be occupying my free time for the next several days.


Drewbacca

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Aug 14 2013 at 1:01pm #

I didn’t even notice any vulgarity… but then, I was in the Navy for six years. *shrugs*

The article itself was dead on for the stretch of road in question, Milwaukee Ave; it’s the major bike route from the NW into downtown Chicago and it also goes through all the hipster neighborhoods.

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