>Bicycling in traffic is a dance you lead


I love this video; it is very simple and elegant, yet full of wisdom.
A note on cycling infrastructure and principle:
What you see here are great examples of vehicular cycling. I am becoming more and more a fan of this kind of cycling. However, while I believe that all cyclists should know how to ride in such a manner, I do not believe cities should uncritically cater to vehicular cyclists by using it as an excuse to spend as little money of cycling infrastructure as they can get away with. There are many levels of cycling ability, and many different needs for cycling. Vehicular cycling is a type of cycling that children should be taught and adults should continually practice or re-learn. Yet, cycling infrastructure should be deployed based on the real needs of all cyclists (up to a point) and a comprehensive understanding the implications of design for all cyclists. What is important to realize is that there is no single formula for creating an ideal cycling environment. I would not generally take my kids on a ride in the manner of the cyclists in the video, though I ride this way myself when appropriate. For example, if there is not a clearly designated bike path I will take the lane. If there is a bike lane then I will take the lane, but only if the car speeds are high and to do so engenders good will with motorists. My goal is to ride safely, with confidence, knowing I am traffic along with the cars, and I try to strike a safe balance (key word safe). This sometimes means riding with the auto traffic and sometimes using the bike lane. But I refuse to use sidewalks, or get out of the way of cars merely because they honk their horns and demonstrate an attitude that says, “Hey, get out of my way. I’m a car.” Then again, I refuse to “teach” motorists a lesson merely out of principle when I know my wife and kids are waiting for me to arrive home safe. The goal is to ride safe and the method is to be wise.
Ride safe.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s