Queen sang it best in the song “Bicycle Race.” I want to ride my bicycle and I will. Especially since it is Bike Week LA, a week full of bike related events promoted by Metro, the purveyor of bus and rail lines in Los Angeles. This Thursday, May 19th is Bike to Work. Not only can you ride to work but you can encourage your co-workers to do the same.
Biking in this city is not an easy task, it requires concentration, staying alert and knowing your surroundings. You must pay special attention to motorists and anticipate their every move, even if they do not signal their intentions, which is a common occurrence in this city, arrrgggg! Despite the obvious risk of cars out-weighing you 25-to-1 lbs, there are many benefits to riding your bike, starting with your health.
Here are some tips on riding your bike in the urban environment:
- Wear a helmet at all times. Seems like a no-brainer, but I see many out there sans skull cap.
- Wear appropriate attire, they may look funny but those bright color jackets are an excellent way to get noticed by motorists.
- Equip your bike with lights on the front and rear, they may come in handy on gloomy days as well as night time.
- Use hand signals while riding your bike to let others know your intentions.
- Check out Google Maps where you will find directions specifically catered to bike riders aimed at keeping you on the designated bike path.
- Some designated bike paths share space with parallel parking. When riding by parked cars, look for motorists in the driver side view mirror or look for the rear lights to help anticipate their move.
I want to hear about your urban biking stories and tips in the comments section. We need to encourage our friends, family and co-workers to ride their bicycle, and not just during Bike Week LA, but every week LA.
Happy riding, GreenUp! Guy