Help Make Biking in Lexington Safe.
Where I Ride
I ride my bike quite often out Armstrong Mill and then take Delong and other rural roads to Athens. When I return I have ridden about 25 miles. I have never had an incident that caused me to crash other than my own carelessness. The last crash was about 3 years ago so I have learned to be more cautious.
Why I Ride
I know there are some drivers who wonder why would anyone risk riding their bike on country roads. The rewards for me are far greater than the risks. My knees don’t hurt, I can eat all I want to eat, I have lots more energy and I get to continually see God’s creation miracles.
Almost all the cars that pass me or that I meet are very courteous and drive cautiously on my biking route. However there are a few things that would make my ride more enjoyable and make their drive safer.
Driving Tips to Help Bicyclist:
1. Please use your blinkers.
I think fewer than 60 percent of drivers I meet at intersections use their blinkers when they meet a biker. I know this happens occasionally when I am driving a car. But it happens much more often when I am biking. I don’t assume that when a driver uses their blinkers that they will do what the blinkers indicate. However it does help me make decisions that make my ride much less difficult. For instance, if I am approaching an intersection and a car does not have their blinker on I have no idea what they may do. But, if the blinker indicates they are turning left and I then have the right of way I will usually attempt not to dismount from the bike. Slowing down to the point where I have to dismount makes my ride much more difficult.
2. Please use caution when passing going up a hill.
Many times when I ride someone passes on a hill when they have poor vision. I am always ready to leave the road when this happens. I doubt if they met someone I would be hurt because I can almost always leave the road quickly. Usually the car is traveling slow enough they could brake or adjust and avoid an accident. My biggest concern are the drivers who are exceeding the speed limit.
3. Please use caution when passing going down a hill.
This is usually a problem when the driver passes me just before a narrow bridge. I have learned to be very cautious when approaching a one lane bridge. When traveling down a hill at the bottom is often a one lane bridge. Makes sense, right? Water travels downhill so streams and rivers are at the bottom of most steep hills. If you pass a biker going down hill and then meet another vehicle approaching at a bridge what are your choices. Either brake quickly or speed up. Most drivers will brake in my experience.
So when you brake and I am traveling at top speed to gain momentum for the upcoming hill I must brake quickly too. If I brake too quickly I can go flying over the front of the bike. That is not good! So if you decide to pass me when I am near the top of a hill please approach the bottom cautiously. When you put me in peril is when you pass fast and then slam on your brakes. I have learned to slow down when a car passes me at the top of a hill. It would make my bike ride easier if you would wait and not pass until it is obvious you will not need to stop for a one car bridge.
4. Please Honk Your Horn Only in an Emergency
Many riders seem to think they need to “warn” me that they are passing me. I can hear you well before you get to me and I also use a rear view mirror. I am glancing at that mirror continuously. If you honk your horn when passing it just scares me and makes it more likely I may do something irregular. Please Do Not Honk your horn when you are meeting a biker. This happens only rarely but when it does it is especially startling.
5. Please use your headlights.
It is so much easier to see you in the rear view mirror when you have your lights on. Even on very bright sunny days the shadows created by the trees can make it difficult to see a car in the mirror. This is especially true if the car is a darker color.
Just a few more sunrise photos. What an AWESOME CREATOR we have.