BikeCommuters.com

Tag Archive: urban cycling

We’ve reached a milestone!

Our site founder RL notified the writing staff here yesterday that we’ve just published our 2400th article here on Bikecommuters.com. That’s pretty amazing!

It’s been a lot of hard work, and a lot of fun, for all of us…writers past and present. But we really couldn’t have done it without you, our readers. Your contributions in the form of emailed suggestions, questions, and the many comments you’ve left (almost 20,000 at last count) make it all worthwhile.

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For those of you who are newer readers, please dig around in our archives; we’ve covered a ton of territory here over the past 7 years and you’re sure to find something riveting, or helpful, or funny…or head-scratchingly weird… if you look long enough. For our longtimers, thanks for sticking with us and being faithful readers and commenters. We appreciate it!

Friday Musings: “It must have been your fault. C’mon. You are a biker.”

Here’s one we hope will get the conversation started on this lovely Friday — a tale of a wronged cyclist forced to defend himself with video footage available all along to law enforcement folks:

Getting in a crash is one of the scariest things that can happen to a cyclist. Even worse is when police assume that bicyclists are always at fault, even if they’ve got evidence to the contrary.

Read the full account by visiting the Greater Greater Washington website.

We’ve long talked about inaccurate reporting (by the media AND by law enforcement) in bicycle/motor vehicle collisions, and we’ve also discussed recording your every move with personal camcorders. It’s a shame that we have to resort to being our own detectives after a crash…but it’s been made clear time and time again that the law is not often on our side, even when we’re in the right.

Happily, in the story above, the author successfully defended his actions on the road.

Do you have any similar stories to share? Any thoughts on additional steps we can take to protect/defend ourselves on the streets of our cities? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Bike commuting infographic from the UK

Here’s one from our friends at Express Solicitors, a UK-based law firm. It’s geared toward someone “on the fence” about starting to bike commute:

Getting to and from work is always a topic is in the news. Not only are there various options, there’s also debates over which is the best way to do it. While the majority of people will probably stick with their cars and swear blind that they’re superior, the cycling scene is actually gaining continuous popularity. According to Express Solicitors’ new infographic, since 2003 over three quarters of a million more people in the UK have decide to get out their bikes and cycle their way to work. That is a dramatic and impressive increase in people altering their normal routine for an apparently faster, healthier and cheaper way to work.

Cyclists vs. Motorists: The Wheel Truth - Express Solicitors

Although the health benefits are widely known by many, there are numerous other reasons for people to opt for a bike instead of their car. For example, the costs of travelling using this mode of transport are a lot cheaper in comparison. Not only do you save on the cost of the commute, but you also save on the cost of owning and using your car in general – you could roughly save up to $1350 (£900) per year. Moreover, if you decided to get rid of the car completely and just rely on your bike, you could save a further $8950 (£6,000) per year! In such times of financial struggle, those numbers really can’t be easily ignored.

The infographic also makes a point of reinforcing just how helpful cycling to work is in regards to the environment and your carbon footprint. The example used to really set it into perspective is a daily bike ride: a daily ride that adds up to over 12 miles worth of travel could save nearly “one stone” of pollution. This is a very surprising amount when you consider just how much green topics are discussed and addressed on a daily basis. Moreover, there is arguably no doubt that knowing you’re helping look after the planet is a wonderful feeling every time you travel to and from work.

There are so many more benefits if you choose a bike over your car for work, so why not take a look at the infographic for even more powerful and surprising percentages to help give you that added boost for dusting off your bicycle.

Tools like this may just help undecided would-be commuters to give that bicycle a try. What do you think?

Guest Article: So you hit the ground. What next?

Editor’s note: the following piece was written by Jay Paul, founder of the cyclist-oriented insurance firm Balance for Cyclists. Balance for Cyclists is one of our advertising partners. Don’t let that scare you off; there’s a lot of good step-by-step instruction within in the event you or someone you know is involved in a bicycle crash.

Bicycling is usually a very safe activity. However, as cyclists we are all keenly aware that an accident can happen at almost any time. Most cycling accidents result in injuries like road rash, a bloody chin or a minor laceration. The more serious accidents require immediate medical attention and perhaps a hospital stay.

So what is a cyclist to do if they are involved in an accident or with a fellow rider who happens to become a victim of inertia and gravity?

The internet is full of law firms soliciting advice on what to do if you are involved in a collision with a motor vehicle. Most end with a polite solicitation for the injured cyclist to call them for legal advice. Now I certainly don’t fault a personal injury attorney for making a living and cyclists need to know their rights after a serious accident. However, it is estimated that less than 30% of serious cycling accidents involve a motor vehicle. The rest are either rider error, equipment failure or the result of some other road hazard.

Riders need to be aware of what to do regardless of the cause of the accident. Below are some thoughts.

1. Take all necessary steps to protect and stabilize the injured cyclist. Make certain that the injured person is not in additional harms’ way. If the accident involves a head or neck injury do not move the rider but do place barriers up the road or trail that will slow traffic.
2. Call emergency personnel. Both the Police and EMT if necessary.
3. Even if the injury is minor, consider getting medical attention. All too often immediately after an accident the injured cyclist is in shock and not aware of the extent of their injuries. Too many injured riders just want to get back on their bike and start peddling as if nothing has happened.
4. Make certain that if police are involved that they take the statement not just from the motorist but from the cyclist as well.
5. If a vehicle is involved obtain driver information from the motorist. This includes: name, address & contact information of driver, make, model & serial number of car, determine the vehicle owner, insurance information of vehicle.
6. Regardless of whether a vehicle is involved get statements from any witnesses that happened to see the accident. (More on this later)
7. Get photographs of the accident scene and preserve evidence. Many if not most of us carry cell phones with cameras while riding. Get a lot of pictures from different angles. Take note of weather and road conditions.
8. If a vehicle is involved, never negotiate with the driver.
9. Certain accidents that don’t involve a motor vehicle could still be compensable. Equipment failure, errant pedestrians or road hazards are such examples. Make certain if at all possible to get photographs of the site where the accident occurred and of the bike itself. (This is also where a witness statement could prove beneficial.)
10. Here is the plug for personal injury attorneys. Never attempt to negotiate with the “at fault parties” insurance company. Get a good attorney to represent your interests. Most major cities have at least one attorney who has created a cyclist specialty practice. They are usually cyclists themselves. Many of these same firms have apps online that you can download to your phone that outline what to do in the event of an accident.

One last bit of advice. Consider getting First Aid certified and, if a mountain biker, consider getting certified in Wilderness First Aid. Having the confidence to make a quick decision immediately after an accident could save a friend’s life. These classes can help give you that confidence.

Finally, follow the rules of the road and be aware of your surroundings. That means take out one of your earbuds!

Chrome releases the Truk Pro SPD shoe

You may remember that back in 2010, we reviewed the new Kursk shoes by Chrome Industries. Since then, Chrome has been cranking out a variety of new styles and colors of cycling shoes.

Our PR pal Billy “Souphorse” Sinkford tells us that they’re at it again, announcing the release of their newest pair, the “Truk Pro”:

trukcom

The most covert SPD on the market, the Truk Pro is perfect for commuters, messengers, and others who live and work on the bike every day—and need a durable and comfortable shoe for bike, street, and office.

Enter the Truk Pro.

For those who live in and ride the city and want SPD performance on the bike and sneaker comfort off it. Durable, comfortable, and walkable. Made to be worn on and off the bike—all day, every day—with zero foot fatigue.

It’s the most innovative SPD on the market, featuring Chrome’s dual-density FlexPlateTM technology, developed to provide a fully rigid sole from the heel to the ball of the foot but also a flexible toe area (five times more flex compared with any traditional fully rigid SPD shoe). The result? Total comfort while riding and while walking.

Other features include a contoured, impact-resistant PU footbed, skid-resistant outsole, and recessed SPD plate. The 1,000-denier Cordura outer shell is 25 times stronger than canvas. Add 100% vulcanized construction and you’ve got one thoroughly bombproof shoe, ready for the demands of life on and off the bike.

Like all Chrome footwear and apparel, the Truk Pro SPD comes with a 365-day warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

RETAIL AVAILABILITY: 3/19/13 in Chrome HUBS in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Portland—and online at chromeindustries.com.
RETAIL PRICE: $95; available in grey and all-black

In a few days, Bikecommuters.com will be getting a pair to try out…we’ll thrash on these shoes and see if they are as tough as we expect them to be. Stay tuned!