Town Square

Bike Safety is more than helmets

Original post made by Occasional cyclist, Palo Verde, on Apr 14, 2012

From watching bike riders lately, I have seen some very poor examples of the right way to do it. Most of those riding bikes at any age are wearing helmets, but there is a lot more that should be done.

Very few bikes have lights at night.

Many bike on the wrong side of the street.

Many bike two or more abreast with or without bike lanes.

Many bikers wear dark colored clothes which even in daylight makes them pretty invisible in the shadows.

Very few wear reflective vests (although many wear yellow lycra). These should be paramount to safety and possibly part of the helmet law.

Very few stop at stop signs and obey other vehicle road laws.

Many wear unsuitable footwear (sandals, flip flops and platform shoes are not suitable for bike riding).

Why are we not very safety conscious on bikes?


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Posted by speedster
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 14, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Another problem is bicyclists who insist on using roads that are popular with speeding cars, like Middlefield Road or Charleston Road. You know that cars speed on those roads and the cops don't care. Why trust your life to drivers that are already breaking the law? Bike lanes mean nothing when a speeding driver is texting or chatting on his cell phone. If your destination is on one of those racetrack roads, then ride your bicycle on the sidewalk!

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm

There are nearly as many problems w/cyclists as there are cyclists. I understand all of its benefits, but as this area has grown more populated, cyclists' attempts at safety haven't grown correspondingly.

If you're moseying down one of those lovely country roads, sans helmet, w/some goodies in your basket & your hair dancing in the breeze like in one of the many PBS specials, that's wonderful. But that's not the scenario here on the crowded peninsula & it hasn't been for many years.

I know 2 cyclists who've been hit in the past year: 1 is highly careful, the other much less so. One had a head injury, one an arm injury that is still troublesome. One was the victim of a hit & run & both were legally in the right when hit.

The defensive cycling necessary in this area now scares me. Please, cyclists, help me, as a careful driver, not hit you by following the above hints & keeping your wits about you. I never drive drunk, I rarely am on my Bluetooth when I drive & I'm cautious because there's so much traffic. But even so, you don't stop at all red lights or stop signs, you don't honor my right of way & you don't do enough to make yourself visible. The last thing I want to do is visit you in the hospital & know that you have to eat that horrible food!

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Posted by Richard Clark
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm

My favorite is the (social statement, like cigarettes?) young rider with an un-buckled helmet!