Urban Velo

LA Times Tips for City Riders

50190002 The LA Times recently featured an article on the real-world situations that cyclists in the city encounter and the best way to navigate them, doing a good job of driving the point home that battling with a car simply isn’t worth it. While it doesn’t mention the situations where traffic laws completely fail people on two wheels, it does have some points that are worth noting for the novice cyclist. Some lessons, like trying to avoid the door zone, are best learned without first hand experience.

One Comment

  1. Joe PeraltaNovember 21, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Tough to make eye contact when both parties are wearing sunglasses. Motorists also seem to be getting even more detached in their cushy little wombs. Years ago I started watching their front wheel – it gives an instant warning signal when they move, and also indicates where they’re going.

    Thinking about collisions yesterday, a technique I used in NYC might be useful for some people – slam on the brakes, plant the feet astride the front wheel, and give the victim sort of a “belly-whomp” shove instead of a missile hit. It worked on the 4 I nailed – 2 people who stepped off against the light looking the wrong way, 1 who strode out from between parked cars not looking either way, and an 8-year old girl who ran out from between parked cars on a busy street in Rockefeller Center.

    None were injured. The adults were outraged, of course. The little girl flew about 10 feet and tumbled like a pro, then jumped up and apologized as fast as she could so she wouldn’t get yelled at.

    You do have to be able to get your feet free in an instant. I still use clips with loosened straps.

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