Category Archives: Riding Safety

Do you know how to fall???

Just call me the Fall Guy(cue the music

I had the pleasurable experience of wiping out on some wet leaves this morning.  Now before anyone gets on me…yes, I was going slow and yes, I was paying attention but the leaves don’t care.

It happened as I was exiting an over pass.  I saw the leaves but did not see the sneaky little one that got me.  After I picked myself up off the ground and did a quick look to see if anyone saw me go down, I started riding again and realized that my rear tire is now warped and minus one spoke.  Oh well, it could have been worse but it did get me thinking(a jarring impact on cement will do that from time to time).

Do you know how to fall?

Of course, you do but I mean really fall…

Knowing how to properly fall can make all the difference on whether or not you are hurt and able to ride away from a minor accident or hauled away.

If you watch children and some adults when they fall forward(there are plenty of YouTube videos of this), they always put their hands out in front of them and land on their hands and knees.  On top of this really hurting, it is not the best way when there is some momentum behind you.

The best thing to do is to tuck and roll.  The body disperses the impact better and you sustain less injury.

Here is what I am taking about…

Number 5 is the what I am referring to but the others are important also.


If falling from a height, roll as you hit the ground. This will distribute the force of the impact throughout your body, instead of just on one place… Don’t try to break the fall with your arms…”

Here is a video…this mountain biker does it great.  You will notice that he rolls and springs right back up after his wipe out.

So next time you go down remember to tuck and roll.

Have fun, ride safe.

Yoooouuuu light up my ride….

You light up the night with lights on your bike…

Why not the day?

Some riders have standard lights and some have LED lights that blink you into an epileptic seizure but the fact is we use them for safety while riding at night.

So why don’t we use them during the day just like our vehicular brothers/sisters?

They have “Day running lights” standard.  Shouldn’t we be doing the same thing?

Vehicle studies by U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have shown that cars running their lights during the day are safer.

DRLs have also been shown to reduce fatal opposite direction crashes between a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle by 23 percent.  The results for two-vehicle daytime opposite-direction crashes are statistically significant at the p < 0.10 level, although one would prefer a statistical level of p < 0.05. FARS data were also used to estimate the effectiveness, based on the simple odds, of DRLs in reducing pedestrian/cyclist fatalities in single-vehicle fatal crashes. The analysis shows that DRLs reduced pedestrian/cyclist fatalities by more than 12 percent…

(You can read the report here…

A more than 12% reduction in cyclist fatalities….WOW.

Wouldn’t it stand to reason that cyclists running their lights during the day would be safer also?

So light up the day people…help them see us.

Also, take a look at Bike Safe Boston for Josh’s article on 10 excuses for riding without lights after dark (and their accompanying refutations)

I could not agree more…

Have fun, ride safe

Are you as safe as you should be???

Are you being safe on the road?

Do you know the rules of the road?  Yes, there are rules for cyclists.

I have seen plenty of people blowing red lights, stop signs, and nearly taking out pedestrians.

And whether or not you agree with the rules, they are there to protect everyone and ultimately make sure you get home to see you family in one piece and help you if you get creamed or doored(personal experience…both suck).

“According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute there are 73 to 85 million bicycle riders in the United States.  770 bicyclists died on U.S. roads in 2006 and over 90 percent died in crashes with motor vehicles.  It is estimated more than 51,000 people are injured every year due to bicycle accidents…”

So I think a review of the rules everyonce in a while is a good thing.

Here is a good list of Commandments for City Riding…

1. Treat every taxi as though its doors are already open.
Good advice, and the inspiration for this list.  You never know when someone will want to get out of a cab, the best thing to do is stay outside of their reach.
2. If it’s nighttime and you don’t have lights, don’t bother riding.
White in the front, red in the back, required by law. Without them, you’re an invisible obstacle.
3. Know about the “right hook,” and anticipate it.
If you’re approaching an intersection, driveway, or empty parking space, get used to checking behind you for cars turning right—they won’t always check for you.
4. Expect the “left cross,” and learn to look for the signs.
When you’re waiting at a red light, sometimes you can just tell the driver waiting across the intersection is going to try to turn left without waiting for you to cross.  Plan for their recklessness and you can avoid a crash.
5. Build a sense of the door zone and its location as you ride, stay clear of it at all costs.
Hugging parked cars to avoid passing cars is a trap; you’re much more likely to be doored than hit from behind.
6. Practice starting from a foot-down standstill until you can do so without wobbling.
A straight, confident start is an important skill to have in your city biking arsenal.  It will help you get off the line safely, and ahead of traffic.
7. If a vehicle weighs over 5 tons (trucks, busses, etc.), it probably cannot see you.
Even with lots of mirrors, they’re essentially driving blind out there.  You should always give these vehicles a wide berth.  The same goes for anything with a trailer.
8. Plug your handlebar ends.
Not really a tip for city biking, but still important.
9. Stop at all red lights, pause at all stop signs, and yield for pedestrians in crosswalks.
Don’t give them any decent reason to hate us, or the opportunity to blame you for the crash.
10. If you’re in a crash, always get the driver’s information.
The license plate at the very least, but also name, insurance co., and contact info. The same goes for witnesses—don’t rely on the police to record their contact info.
I got these while looking at bike safe Boston, a really good blog with lots of information…here is the link
Here is also a great guide from a New York law firm…
Take the time to review these and be safe…
Have fun, ride safe