Saturday, January 12, 2013

Traffic Skills 101

Last night and all day today, I took a class which taught how to ride a bicycle in an urban setting.
After 24,000 bicycle touring miles, I thought I pretty much knew everything there was to know and this class would be a snap. I was wrong.  The classroom portion last night was ok, but today we worked on skills in a parking lot.  I essentially failed the sudden stop and the sudden right turn.  For the sudden stop, I was supposed to do three things simultaneously: apply both front and rear brakes, lift my butt off the seat and move it backwards, and click out of my pedals. And not fall over?  That's yet to be determined.

In the afternoon, we broke into two groups of eight riders each and headed out onto the busy streets of Roseville.  As allowed by the California vehicle code, we rode in the CENTER of the right lane despite the presence of a marked bike lane.  Drivers were not happy. Within the first 1/8 mile, the front of our group heard, "Get in the bike lane or I'll run you over and kill you."  The back of the group received the following message, "Get off the road you f------ dumbasses."  Riding in the center of a traffic lane was uncomfortable for me and many others, but bicycles are allowed to do that if the bike lane is deemed unsafe or if it better serves your destination.

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