On a recent overnight bicycle trip to Burgdorf Hot Springs I sat down with Paul to ask him about bike commuting…when he began, what logistical challenges he faced and about what he perceives as the benefits of riding a bike to work. We were “sponsored” on this trip by McCall Brewing Company in that they provided a keg of their Wobbily Man Smoked Scotch ale and we needed to finish the interview before things became too, shall we say, wobbly.
I read this thread the other day on bikeforums.net and there are some good replies to the original post. The one I try to remember most of the time is “Always ride like you are invisible to drivers”. Ride defensively, be predictable and assume drivers don’t see you. One exception to my rule about being predictable is a trick I learned from reading Grant Petersen’s book Just Ride . Before a car approaching from behind reaches you, do something erratic such as wobbling a little or a quick zig-zag. It’s amazing how that gets their attention and how wide of a berth they give when passing you.
With a little bit of planning and care, using a bike to get to work and to run daily errands can be enjoyable and rewarding. It can be a little nerve wracking in traffic, but statistically is still relatively safe as long as a person pays attention and follows some basic principals and local ordinances. Boise Street Smart Cycling is a great resource. I’m always interested in other tips and experiences…so please use the comments.