Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It is about the bike.

Did you know this month is National Bike Month? Well, now you do! And in honor of Bike to Work Week this week (Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 18), I thought I would share with you some things I've learned since becoming a bike commuter in February. This will mostly be behaviors I've noticed on the road between drivers and cyclists, so take note in order to make the roads as safe as possible for all the commuting cyclists on Friday, whether you're on a bike or in a car. Of course, this post will be illustrated with beautiful biking pictures from Pinterest as my contribution to The Vintage Apple's Oh How Pinteresting Wednesday link-up.

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

1. If you have a stop sign and I don't, please do not stop and wave me across the road. That's just confusing. It's especially annoying when I'm already obviously stopped with my feet on the ground. In the time it takes me to get pedaling again and cross the road, you could already be past me. Plus, you have the right of way. Take it.

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

2. If you're a cyclist, don't be afraid to use your hand signals. Yes, you might feel silly sticking your arm out as you pedal down the road, but be very obvious with your movements. Cars are a lot bigger than you; it's important that you tell them where you're going.

3. On that note: Drivers, use your turn signals. You should always use your turn signals, but there's nothing I dislike more on my bike than riding behind a car that stops at a 3-way intersection and doesn't use a turn signal, when all I want to do is turn right. If you put your left turn signal on, I know I can proceed. If you put your right turn signal on, I know to stay back so I don't get sideswiped. But if you do nothing, I'm just annoyed.

4. Cyclists: Wear a helmet. Seriously. I don't care what amazing reasons you have for not wearing a helmet, I promise the reasons to wear one are much better. For example: So you don't crack your noggin all over the road in a frightening rendition of that "Red Asphalt" movie I had to watch in Driver's Education.

5. If you see a cyclist wearing a skirt, don't get too excited. She's probably wearing spandex underneath, despite what that risque flash of upper thigh may lead you to believe.

And finally, here are some cool bike links from around the web. If you only check out one, let it be this one. Totally rad, right? Here are the rest:

A video of bicycle rush hour in the Netherlands, where one-third of all trips are made on bike, via A Cup of Jo.

The Adventure Journal blog does an awesome bike post every day.

This article: Romancing the bike: The seduction of pedal-powered transport.

How bike-friendly is your city? Find out with this cool interactive map.

So tell me, do you cycle? Would you ever consider trading in your car for a bike as your primary means of transportation? As a driver, what do cyclists do that annoy you? Please be honest so I know what not to do!


Jess said...

I started bike commuting last year - and I would never go back to a car or bus or walking. It is SO FAST! I love it. And you are right about those stop sign drivers. I don't know what they're thinking. Subverting the signs on the road is never a good thing - If I'm going at a stop sign and they're stopping when they have the right of way, that's just a step away from total chaos.

Carenpants said...

I'm bringing my bike to Columbia this year and I'm so excited. My mom is requiring a helmet, but I'd wear one anyway because it's too dangerous!

Kate @ Classy Living said...

After living in Amsterdam for a few months, I fell in love with bicycles! Those pins are beautiful!

Jessica Bucher said...

As I recently blogged, we have started biking a lot as a family. I have started taking the bike to the store if I only need a couple things and it's on post. I love it. Not only am I staying active and helping the environment, but it's actually fun.

Nicole Rene said...

If I could get a bike with a basket big enough for my border collie I would SOOOO do it. :)

Kate @ Daffodils said...

Im not a cyclist, but my hubby rides to work everyday! His biggest pet peeve is lack of turn signals from drivers.

Sarah said...

Oh you must have the best bike on the block :) too cute!

cecylia said...

you look so chic- very Parisian :)