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Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548

    even timid people can ride on the road

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    Wow, i'm the first to post in this forum!

    I am very timid. In a car, i am a super defensive person. On the highway, I am the one who has left such a big passing distance between me and the car in front of me that others with less concern about safety pull into it..

    On a bicycle, given a chance, I will always pick the bike trail over the country road.

    Unfortunately I live in a city, and my office is in an industrial area, on a 4 lane road with a 40mph speed limit (meaning people regularly drive 50mph).

    But I really really want to commute on a bike; for reasons of health and
    concern for the environment.

    I spend my whole workday (usually) just sitting.. i have to do something!!

    So; here's what i've done so far. Of course i am wearing a helmet.
    I have a neon yellow raincoat or slicker i mean Shell! on. I have a red blinky on my helmet
    in the back and a white strobe LED light on the front of my helmet.
    I chose to put the strobe on the helmet instead of the bike so i can point it at motorists if i like.
    As hard as it is for me; unless there is room... I take the lane. and it really is hard. it's like there is a hand forcing me to stay on the side of the road.

    What really helped me understand just how important this is was that bicycle safety website.
    http://bicyclesafe.com/

    what i still need to do:
    i need a rearview mirror and a bell. I know the bell's fairly useless with cars, but every little bit helps.

    if anyone else has any suggestions, please post here for me and everyone else.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,507
    I have no useful advice, but the mention of the yelow slicker reminded me of the guy in the yellow slicker on the trike on Laugh-in.

    UH, back to the question now.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    Mimitabby, I commute ALOT through the mean streets of Washington, DC, and I LOVE IT!

    It sounds like you are doing everything right. I would just add that you may be able to find a quieter and more pleasant route. It may not be the most direct, but I've found that having several routes from which to choose, it keeps things interesting.

    Check out Alert Shirts...www.alertshirts.com

    In my area, the Washington Area Bicyclists Association (www.waba.org) conducts effective bicycling courses. I have not been to one since I'm very comfortable in traffic, but it would probably do me good anyways. If you look at WABA's website, you might find out if there are similar offerings in your area.

    Have fun!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    Quote Originally Posted by tulip
    Mimitabby, I commute ALOT through the mean streets of Washington, DC, and I LOVE IT!


    Check out Alert Shirts...www.alertshirts.com

    Have fun!
    Tulip, i just went to that website; I couldn't find the shirts. odd website.


    I just got back from a class put on by our local bike association, hence, my new toys and ideas
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    WHOOPS...strike that

    www.alertshirt.com

    (singular shirt, not plural)

    It's a highway safety type supplier. Their wicking shirts are great, but not cut as cycling jerseys, more like t-shirts. I cut the bottom 6 inches off of mine (they are long) and sewed a little pocket on the back with the extra fabric.

    At $8 per shirt, you can't beat it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    ooohhhh - I like the gloves with the little stop signs on them!
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,050
    Mimi - good for you!

    I'm more likely the person that will take that open space in front of you when I'm driving, but I've learned a LOT about safety since picking up biking!

    I've been searching for a safe route from my home to my work for almost a year! Even once I found one that would work, I drove it at all hours of the day, and I STILL procrastinated a month or more while I ran thoughts of all the horrible intersections through my head. I rode my commute for the first time last week. It was GREAT and I'm totally hooked!

    I agree with tulip that you may be able to find a quieter route. My office is on a very crazy busy big road, but I can all but skip it by creatively using the side roads. It makes the ride a bit longer, but it's worth it!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    Tulip and GLC, there used to be 3 ways to get down the hill and get to my office. The railroad closed the best one! Once I actually tried to drag my bike across the tracks (they'd filled gravel all around it very steep, it was awful) Since then they've put up fences and everything, so the old road is dammed forever by the rail road.
    The second option I had (which was not as hilly) is now a major construction zone. It also has a feeder to the interstate, so there are even more cars!

    SO I am pretty much stuck with this commute. It could be a lot worse.

    NOw you want to hear about procrastination? I have lived here and worked there for more than 25 years. Before last year, I had done the commute maybe 3 times! Last year we had a bike to work month challenge. This year it's finally getting easier!
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Chi-town
    Posts
    3,265
    Tulip, I LOVE the alert shirt website! I am going to order a few of those shirts. I will feel much safer wearing those than the grey t-shirts from races that I usually pull on. I'm not much of a jersey wearer (they tend to emphasize, not disguise my gut ). These t-shirts look comfortable, modest, and highly visible. Thanks. In Chicago, it helps to be more visible than the average bear.
    Run like a dachshund! Ride like a superhero! Swim like a three-legged cat!
    TE Bianchi Girls Rock

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,576
    Wow, these ARE very nice!

    http://www.alertshirt.com/satrgl.html

    Someone needs to design commuter bike gloves with grippy palms that have reflectors like this (probably not a stop sign, but just a round red spot like a brake light). They would be so awesome for signalling in traffic!
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    Quote Originally Posted by Lise
    Tulip, I LOVE the alert shirt website! I am going to order a few of those shirts. I will feel much safer wearing those than the grey t-shirts from races that I usually pull on. I'm not much of a jersey wearer (they tend to emphasize, not disguise my gut ). These t-shirts look comfortable, modest, and highly visible. Thanks. In Chicago, it helps to be more visible than the average bear.
    They don't do much to enhance my complexion, but neither does getting hit by a car.

    The fabric feels like cotton, but it does not stay wet when you sweat. I wish they had some in actual coolmax, which is a very light fabric. But for $8, you get a good deal.

    I also want some of those reflective gloves. I can't recall if they have padding. If not, I'll get some large to put over my regular gloves.

 

 

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