A friend of mine, and fellow triathlete was hit by a car while riding his bike last week. Fortunately, he was wearing a helmet and all of his injuries were external (lots of missing skin and bruises), and his bike is toast – but it could have been much worse!
He was doing everything right. He was riding with traffic and signaled by putting his left arm out before making a left hand turn. He even looked back and saw that the truck was slowing down. He went to make his turn and quickly realized that the truck wasn’t slowing down quite enough!
Following traffic laws isn’t always enough to stay safe while riding. Here’s some other “rules” that I always follow:
- Pick your route wisely. If you live in an urban area, get in your car and take your bike to the country. There’s a lot less traffic (and traffic lights). You will also most likely get in some good hill work too!
- Don’t EVER listen to your iPod or radio (or Walkman if you still prefer cassettes). You need to be able to hear when cars are coming up behind you.
- Stay as far right as you can. I don’t like to ride on the shoulder (right of the white line) because it’s full of debris that would love to give me a flat tire. I ride just to the left (2″-3″) of the white line. When I hear a car coming, I will move to the other side of the line if there’s room. Then once it’s past, I move back on the left side of the line.
- Practice looking behind you without swerving. This takes practice, so practice it while there are no cars around. When you hear a car approaching, the last thing you want to do is look back to see where it is and end up swerving right out in front of it!
- Watch for cars coming the opposite way making left turns in front of you. You drive a car, you know how it is when you are trying to make a left hand turn. You look for a gap in the cars…and most likely won’t notice a bike. So when you are riding, keep this in mind. Look for cars getting ready to make a left hand turn and just go ahead and stop if you aren’t sure whether or not they see you.
- This leads to me my last tip. If you, as a bike rider, are going to make a left hand turn, you are going to have to cross both lanes of traffic (since you should be riding on the right edge of the road with traffic). If there are cars coming up behind you, or coming towards you…just wait. There’s no need to risk your life to make a turn and stay on your “planned” route. Stop and wait. Or ride past your turn, let all the traffic clear, then turn around and go back to where you wanted to originally turn.
1h45m on the bike. I was able to attend my first spin class in almost a month and it was challenging. We did some intervals to get the heart rate up and mixed in some longer, sustained effort legs. I rode for another hour after class at a zone 2 level.
1 mile repeats with 3 minutes rest in between
Warm-up (ran to the track) – 1.37 miles in 10:39 (Avg HR = 148) 7:46 min/mile pace
1) 6:37 (161)
2) 6:50 (162)
3) 6:51 (163)
4) 6:45 (167)
Cool-down – 1.37 miles in 10:23 (157) 7:34 min/mile pace
Total Workout: 6.74 miles in 1:03:09
I usually do my 1 mile repeats on a stretch of road that I have measured. Today I decided to use an actual track and run 4 laps (1600 meters) for each repeat. Special thanks to Waggener High School for leaving the gate to their football field/track unlocked!
15 minute warm-up with some drills mixed in
1 mile (1776 yards) swim at race pace in 34:11
Total Workout: 2448 yards in 49:15 (35:25 min/mile pace)