Sunday, February 15, 2009

On Bike Lanes and Defensive Cycling

I just learned the term "right hook" the hard way. I went out for a Sunday ride in the sun earlier. It was lovely. Decent weather, break from thesis writing, discovered a sugar shack and cloister. The way home was less fun. Most bridges in Ottawa have bike lane, I suppose so that we don't slow down traffic on the uphill part. The St. Patrick bridge is no exception. Cyclists should be careful when merging with traffic because drivers often don't expect a cyclist to be around the corner in "their" lane, when there has just been a cycling lane. I got boxed in between two cars. In front was someone who passed me right before an intersection in order to do that right turn a few seconds faster and behind was someone following very close and not expecting me to brake when the first car pulled their "pass and turn" move. Nothing happened other than a fender coming far to close to my leg, but it still reminded me to watch out.

The recent poor cycling conditions have really improved my defensive cycling and awareness on the road. I watch for things like people stopping to park, pulling out of parallel parking, taking advantage the above to do a left turn, pedestrians cutting between parked cars and jaywalkers far more than before.

No comments:

Post a Comment