Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An Aside: Bike Safety

I'm no bike expert, but I'm married to Fireman who loves cycling.
Since I have nothing too new to show you today in the knit world, I'll share Fireman's bike tips. 

First, I'll share a true story for your safety's sake. 

Years ago Fireman was cycling with my sister and hubby on the road to 
Mt. Evans in Colorado.
Never mind what I was doing at home....
He got ahead of them and was riding alone when a van came barreling down the road.

A short time later Fireman came upon a father and son, sitting next to a bruised and battered young woman. 

She was cycling alone and the same van bumped her off. 
He Took her spare inner tube, threw her bike into his van, and chased her down a wooded embankment. 

He fought with her and tied her to a tree.
Her screams caught the attention of the father and son.
They boldy ran down the embankment and the perpetrator was startled and he passed them on the hill as he fled the scene.

He then roared down the road where fireman saw him. 
The police arrived shortly thereafter. 
The girl was shaken but not seriously hurt or worse raped. 

A year later the Georgetown prosecutor called us to ask Fireman to appear in court and testify against the man.
It turned out he fled to Texas in that van and killed a police officer there.  
Fireman did not end up going as the criminal's attorney decided not to challenge the system. 

When you cycle alone: 
bring mace or pepper spray.
Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. 
Stay in well lit and well traveled areas. 
I know we like to ride in peace and private, but it can be dangerous. 
Be safe. !! and here are Fireman's other tips: 

*Never pass a car that has passed you.   (It aggravates drivers) 
(For instance and above all, at a stoplight) 

*Don't ride on sidewalks.  Cars back out from driveways and don't expect a cyclist to be there.

*Store your bike by hanging it so your tires don't develop a flat spot. 

*Learn to change a tire as fast as the pros. 

*Wear some glasses for protection from BUGS and rocks. 

*If you decide to weather the storm, be aware you are a lightening rod on your bike. 

*Gravel and sand end up on corners after a rain, so be extra careful on corners. 

*Have your bike inspected after an accident. 
Not just because you love it, but it will be out of adjustment. 
Brakes, gears, seat, handle bars

*Keep your front headlight on strobe. It isn't powerful enough to light up the road, it is there to alert drivers to you.

*Front light white; 
rear light red. 
Just like a car. 

*Never overlap your friends tire when you are riding behind them. 

*Wear an identification bracelet. 
Keep money or a credit card with you, in case you need to find a shop and buy a tube.  If you are starving and need a snack...you need some money. 

*Have fun. 
Plan your ride so you ride into the wind on your way out....and with the wind on your way back....
that's Kathy B's suggestion. 
Or better yet, ride when there is no wind!

Happy Spring Cycling
thanks for all the seat love yesterday


Judy S. said...

And, I would add, wear a helmet! It's required in our state actually.

Tired Teacher said...

Wow, that young woman was extremely fortunate the father & son came to her aid!

Fireman's tips are great - thanks for sharing them.

Katherine said...

All great advice and most of it is the same advice I have given my children when traveling alone by car or bicycle. It took me a long time to convince son #3, who travels alone for photo ops, that men disappear and are attacked just like women. Thankfully, he finally listened.

Teresa Kasner said...

Great advice! I'm glad that girl was rescued.. scary! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Suburban prep said...

My husband would love to ride his bike to work. It would be OK because we are only 6 miles from work but it is a very heavily trafficked road that he would have to ride on and I know I would be extremely nervous about that. But we do ride our bikes -- hopefully soon with the weather. I do not go as long or as far as he because of a health issue.

Nancy Kay said...

Great advice! One must take some precautions! I don't bike anymore (although I still have my bike), and Fireman's tips are so valuable for those wanting to get out there and ride!

Mrs. Micawber said...

Amen, Fireman!

A very scary story - I'm glad the young lady was not hurt any worse than that.

P.S. Did Fireman make it to the top of Mt. Evans? If so I think you should brag about him. :)

There was a great article in Peloton magazine about riding up Mt. Evans - I think 2 or 3 issues back.

Pammy Sue said...

Those are some smart tips and things some people would never think about. Definitely NO wind for me! I'm a wimp.

Araignee said...

Whoa...what a story. I had a close encounter with a truck mirror once. That was it for me. After that is was off road only-on my own trail out back!

shirley said...

Such a frightening story. I don't like to ride bikes because drivers can be so rude.
These are great precautions. I run in the dark and many of these same rules apply.

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