May-June 1998 Newsletter
More Road Wiseby Don Williams (LAB Effective Cycling Instructor)
We are hearing a lot about “Road Rage” these days. How does that affect the cycling community to which we belong?
I found it interesting that one of the fist things AAA recommended to motorists was to avoid direct eye contact with other drivers.
This may be great for driving, but not for cycling. When approaching an intersection or driveway where a car or truck is ready to proceed, look at the driver’s eyes. It is most important for cyclists to establish eye contact. With today’s reflective lenses it may be almost impossible to do this, but even if the motorist has a stop sign, look carefully at the drivers head position. Try to determine whether or not they see you, or are they looking past you, for something larger, as if you have become invisible?
If you can’t get the driver’s attention in reasonable fashion, then be prepared to take avoidance actions should the vehicle proceed into your path.
The avoidance techniques could include panic stop, where the cyclist throws their weight over the rear wheel by sliding back from the saddle while applying strong braking pressure to both levers, or instant turn if the car is turning into your path. Turn the handlebars opposite the direction you need to go for an instant, then in the proper direction, this sets up the frame for a quicker turn and believe it or not, it really works. You turn will happen quicker and sharper than you thought possible.
Practice eye contact every time you cross an intersection this season, practice the avoidance techniques and make all of this part of your cycling routine to be Road Wise.
Copyright ©1998 Louisville Wheelmen. All rights reserved.
Web posted: 27 April 1998
last updated: 27 April 1998
by Duc M. Do