So I want to give kudos where kudos are due. This list is not written by me but by a dear friend whom I have been riding with for about 9 years now, Bill Garret. This is his simple and useful list for how we should behave on the road as cyclists. The suggestions are practical, useful, and encourage us as cyclists to take the higher ground when we encounter negative people out there on the roads.
This is a good one to post on your refrigerator. Promise.
Here ya go friends:
I know you all have heard it all before, but it bears repetition.
We all want to get back home safely EVERY SINGLE time that we head out for a bike ride. Yes, we want to see our friends. True, our silly little brains make us go out for ridiculous distances in extreme conditions. Possibly, none of you would figure out when to leave were I not there to feebly screech "Ho!" Undoubtedly, we want to show off our latest stylishly aerodynamic kits. Perhaps, the fresh air and exertion help to make us happier and healthier human beings.
But getting back home again safely is the most important.
1. So, we keep our eyes open and looking down the road.
2. We point out approaching hazards, potential threats and upcoming turns or stops.
3. We move over into single file, or as single as we can achieve, when being overtaken by vehicles. I wave in a friendly manner at as many overtaking or encountering vehicles as I can manage. I want drivers to see me as a cordial and amiable roadway user and not an obstacle or hindrance to their vehicular pursuits.
4. I make sure to wave effusively at the drivers of cars that are on intersecting roads. I hope that a waving cyclist is much more visible than a non-waving cyclist and might cause to the driver to consider that irrational, impending and insidious vehicular maneuver.
5. I keep my lights on until the rechargeable batteries go dry. Even in full, Texas daylight, those lights might make me more visible. And blinking lights get a driver's attention more effectively.
6. I never react with the emphatic digit when not given what I consider to be sufficient regard by a passing vehicle. This is Texas and it is possible that the driver might not respond positively to the non-verbal communication that was just offered.
7. I always call out "Braking" or hold my hand down when slowing.
I 8. always pedal vigorously when at the front of a group (however brief that may be). If the rider at the front doesn't pedal, the rest of the group bunches up behind.
9. I usually speak harshly to any rider in a group who gets on his/her tri-bars. You just don't do that in a group. Go ride by yourself if you want to be on those bars!
10. If you need to mess with your phone, do it when you are not anywhere near other cyclists. I think it's state law that one is not to operate a phone and a bicycle at the same time, but perhaps I am imagining that. If you need to get that call, let me know. I would love to find a shady spot, knock back a bidon and wait for you to attend to that pressing matter.
11. And please use your brain. All of those people at your home might cringe a bit when you arrive home sweaty, redolent, exhausted, but as I often say, it's so preferable to the alternative.
Let's all be so glad each time that we get back home again safely. Almost any bike ride is better than a day at work.
So there you have it- my friend Bill Garret's list for what to do as a responsible cyclist. Print this out and put it on your refrigerator.
And if you need a triathlon coach for your next race I got you covered! Shoot me an email by clicking HERE and we can have a chat about your race goals!