A Couple of Safety Notes
Be extra careful when riding in tight groups to avoid “touching wheels”. Unfortunately we just had two such incidents recently on club rides. It happens when the rider behind makes contact with his front tire with the rear tire or bike frame of the rider ahead. When this happens, the rider behind almost always goes down. The easiest way to prevent this kind of accident is to allow plenty of space between you and the rider ahead. Do not overlap your front tire with the rear tire of another rider. When it gets crowded, concentrate and stay focused on nearby riders. Keep hands on or near your brake levers in case of needing to slow quickly. Give yourself adequate space and do your fellow riders a favor by riding predictably and consistently, both in speed and direction.
There’s also been some discussion lately regarding the cyclists doing their part in sharing the road with motorists. I think we have all observed situations wherein several riders, riding abreast, chatting away with each other, hold up the traffic. They are endangering themselves and others by not quickly moving over to the far edge of the road and getting in single file. In some cases, we’ve seen motorists get angry, honk horns, shake fists, etc., and at times, deliberately drive unnecessarily close to the riders. So please folks, pay attention and listen for someone yelling out “car back” and take appropriate action immediately.
An Added Suggestion: I strongly suggest you add a rear-view mirror to your riding gear, if you don’t already have one. It greatly facilitates your awareness of what’s coming up behind you. Generally you will hear the traffic behind, but not always. Sometimes the traffic noise you hear is from a car in the opposite lane, and you don’t hear the car close behind you. You wouldn’t ride without a helmet; I also urge you not to ride without a mirror. There are lots of styles of mirrors available; they are readily available at most bike shops and are inexpensive. Please get one and use it, for safety’s sake.
Be careful out there, ride defensively, and may you always have tailwinds,
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