Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~James E. Starrs

This is it. My liberation. Rase purchased, for me, a 19060's Murray Beach Cruiser. Baby, it is sweeeeet. I love it- her. And I named her. Bella. Doesn't that sound as sweet as she looks? Now, Malachi are free to explore Boise in her beautiful cloak of fall.

Now that we're out and about, riding in unison with every other soul in Idaho- I'm a bit nervous about safety for myself, Malachi and others. So, I thought I'd do my share and spread the knowledge.

First things first: Make sure you can be seen. Of course, if you have a Bella like mine, you will be seen. But, please go a step further and be safe.

* Wear bright colors, especially at night.
* Use reflectors!!
* Always wear your helmet! Okay, so this can be debated (cough, not really) but I have a confession: I don't wear one. I do, however, make Malachi wear one. He hates it; I mean, really hates it. No matter. He's wearing it.

Rules: Yes, cyclists, the rules of the road apply to us as well. If you choose to ride on the street:

* Make sure you're going the speed limit or are not impeding traffic.
* Are on the right hand side of the road (it is illegal for cyclists to ride on the left hand side).
* Stop at stop signs and stop lights.
* Yield to those on foot.
* Signal when turning.

Some not-so-well-known rules: I remember learning these as a child, but never actually see anyone practicing them:

* Cross railroad tracks at a right angle.
* Walk your bike across a crosswalk.
* Do not wear headphones on both ears while riding. (I see this allll the time!)
* Don't drink and ride. Really, it IS as dangerous as driving whilst drunk. Don't be an idiot.

It seems like there is a lot to remember when all you want to do is get out there and have fun- however, if you think with your common sense, it should all come naturally. Just remember what is safe (for you and others) and what isn't. The rest will fall in place.

To learn about general bicycle safety, go here: http://www.be-safe.org/css_com/bicycle/rules.html.

Happy cycling!



Anonymous said...

Ah miss.. helmets are always a must when getting on a bike. Not for when YOU hit something, but for the day that someone comes flying out of nowhere and hits you. Its a safety precaution that you are definitely in need of.

Also, blinky lights! They sell anywhere from $10-$70 and are worth every single penny.

NEVER ride on the sidewalk, always in street, and bikes are required to stop at every light, stop sign, and hazard that cars do.

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