BikeCommuters.com

Bike Your Drive!

New “Club” on Bikejournal.com

We’ve created a new “club” for the users of Bikejournal.com. If you use Bikejournal.com to log your commute or training miles, you can now join our fancy new “www.bikecommuters.com” club (found in the club directory on the bikejournal.com site).

www.bikecommuters.com

We’ve got two members right now, with a pool of 1260 miles ridden for 2007 — come join us and push that pool higher!

If you are not familiar with Bikejournal.com, it is a free site for riders to use to keep track of miles, weather conditions, ride types and routes and a myriad of other useful measurements…the site is amazing! Come check it out — registration takes only a couple minutes.

how do we teach those who don’t go to school

This post doesn’t actually have anything to do with school – or formal education for that matter. But I feel it captures the essence of the question I wish to pose. I think education is key for making cycling safer – safer for cyclists AND drivers. I have read numerous blog posts, essays, etc. that claim that roughly half of bike-car collisions are the cyclist’s fault:

In his 2004 book The Art of Urban Cycling, Robert Hurst cites evidence that as many as half of car-bike crashes are the cyclist’s fault: the cyclist ran a stop sign, made an illegal turn, rode against traffic, or otherwise broke the law.

And that does not surprise me. While I feel that safe cycling depends on more bikes sharing roads with cars and therefore exposing auto drivers to more cyclists – it also requires that the cyclists know what they are doing. The cyclists themselves have to know how to behave appropriately on the road and not take for granted the privilege of sharing the road.

But one thing that I have noticed, and I assume is similar in other major metropolitan areas: a vast number of cyclists are not the kind of people who are reading blogs like this. On any given day, I pass 20-25 cyclists in the 17 miles of biking I do to and from work. Of those, maybe 4 or 5 are what we think of when we hear the term “bike commuters.” This term implies a middle-class or higher individual who has made a willing choice to drive less and bike more.

But what about those that don’t really have a choice – but instead are forced into biking as the only way to get to and from where they need to be due to socio-economic status? These individuals do not necessarily spend much time on the internet – if they even have regular internet access at all! My experience witnessing individuals like this is that they also do not have a very good idea or a desire to be an “upstanding cyclist.” I routinely encounter them riding on the same side of the road as me, but going the opposite direction; swerving all over the road and showing complete disregard for others around them; crossing intersections while their direction has a red light; crossing in the middle of the street during times of high traffic.

These individuals rely on their bikes for transport much more than the general population – and I would assume are the victims of bike-car crashes more often than the “wealthy” bike commuters. I think an improvement in the education of this group would show an exponentially greater impact in safe cycling than educating middle-classers.

But how do we do that? I invite your thoughts and responses on this as it is an issue I hope to continue to explore…

Year Round Commuters

The topic of our current poll was suggested to us by one of our readers. I’ll be honest, I don’t consider myself a year-round commuter. I really HATE riding in the rain. Why? Two main reasons:

Reason #1: L.A. drivers can’t drive for s__t when it rains.
Reason#2: My facility at work does not have showers or any place to store wet gear.

I’ve ridden twice while it was raining and I was miserable. The nice thing is that it rarely rains in Sunny So. Cal. so you can say I ride 3 seasons and a half. I tip my hat to all of you who ride in the rain/snow/shine.

So go ahead and vote, we are curious to read how many of you ride all year round.