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Bicycling in St. Louis: Fun, Safe, Useful


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Who needs a car to get around St. Louis? Not us!

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Bicycling in St. Louis: Fun, Safe, Useful

  1. 1. Bicyclingin St. Louis<br />Fun, Safe and Useful!<br />
  2. 2. Anyone who has done it knows…<br />Riding a bicycle is fun!<br />
  3. 3. Bicycling also is quite safe and…<br />
  4. 4. Useful<br />One out of every four auto trips is less than one mile. With a little creativity, you can leave your car at home<br />
  5. 5. Bicycling inSt. Louis<br />Real Life Examples of<br />
  6. 6. The video that will accompany these slides shows regular people in regular traffic situations<br />The road scenarios described and depicted<br />are difficult for many cyclists to navigate,<br />and were chosen for that reason <br />
  7. 7. How should I handle this intersection as a cyclist?<br />.<br />
  8. 8. Looking at another intersection<br />
  9. 9. So. You followed the bicyclist in a car. Right?<br />No way!<br />
  10. 10. Camera Girl<br />
  11. 11. Riding through midtown<br />
  12. 12. Taking advantage of the inherent maneuverability of the bike<br />
  13. 13. Favorite cut-throughs<br />
  14. 14. Drivers of carscan’t go this way<br />
  15. 15. Another favorite bike-cut<br />
  16. 16. Driving your Bike:Like a Car, only slower<br />Cyclists fare best when they act like and are treated as drivers of vehicles.<br />John Forester, “Effective Cycling”<br />
  17. 17. Five Layersof Bicycle Safety<br />
  18. 18. Layer 1: Control Your Bicycle<br />If you can skillfully control your bike by starting, stopping, and turning properly, you will not fall down or run into others. Do this and you cut out about half of your injury risk.<br />Learn how to control your bike when you need to stop or turn quickly.<br />
  19. 19. Layer 2: Know and Follow the Rules of the Road<br />A bicycle is a legal vehicle in all 50 states. As a vehicle driver, you are required to obey all traffic laws, signs, and signals. Ride in the direction of traffic, on the right side of the road. <br />NEVER ride against traffic! Follow traffic laws, obey and use signs and signals, and use headlights and taillights at night. Use the right-most lane that goes in the direction you are traveling. Use correct lanes for turns.<br />Combine Layers 1 and 2 and you cut about 75% of your injury risk.<br />
  20. 20. Since a bicycle is a legal vehicle in all 50 states, we need to talk for a minute about road rights.<br />
  21. 21. Road Rights<br />Road rights include the “first come, first served” principle: If you are operating a vehicle on the road, your right to continue on that road safely supersedes an overtaking vehicle operator’s right to pass you.<br />“Many of us have been browbeaten into believing we don’t have first-come, first-served rights. We need to take that right back for our safety.”<br />- Keri Caffrey, Florida Bicycle Association<br />
  22. 22. Layer 3:Ride in the Smartest Lane Position<br />Knowing when to use the full lane or to share a lane is something few cyclists fully understand. Use your lane position to let other drivers know your intentions.<br />Many inexperienced cyclists will hug the far right edge of the road in an attempt to not obstruct motor vehicle traffic. Eventually a foolish motorist will try to squeeze by when there is insufficient room, putting the cyclist in grave danger. In lanes that are too narrow to share with cars, you should ride closer to or in the center of the lane.<br />Combine Layers 1, 2 and 3 and you cut out about 99% of all potential crashes.<br />
  23. 23. Combine Layers 1, 2 and 3 and you cut out about 99% of all potential crashes<br />
  24. 24. Anyone notice what has not been mentioned yet?<br />
  25. 25. Layer 4:Manage Hazards Skillfully<br />Learn and practice evasive maneuvers such as the Quick Dodge, Quick Turn, and Quick Stop to either dodge obstacles or to avoid motorist’s mistakes. In tight traffic, taking evasive action might force you into another vehicle’s path. When it isn’t safe to dodge or turn, you’ll need to master skills like riding or hopping over obstacles (potholes, debris, rocks, trash, glass), riding through hazardous surface conditions (oil slicks, sand, gravel) or stopping very quickly without losing control of your bike.<br />
  26. 26. Try to practice managing hazards…before you must do so<br />
  27. 27. Layer 5: Passive Protection<br />This is actually the least effective layer. As a last resort, helmets and gloves protect your most vulnerable body parts, but they do nothing to help you avoid crashes.<br />Even with a great helmet, you might be unconscious if you crash. Carry ID, any important medical info, emergency contacts, and your insurance information. Cell phones can be handy in an emergency. <br />
  28. 28. Let’s get back on the road!<br />
  29. 29.
  30. 30. Always the best parking spot<br />
  31. 31. One that didn’t work so well<br />
  32. 32. But still they were safe<br />
  33. 33. Driving our bikes on Delmar from Union blvd. to the Loop<br />
  34. 34. Are cars the enemy?<br />(the answer is no)<br />
  35. 35. “Anti-Motorists”<br />by Bob Sutterfield, San Jose, CA<br />(shared with permission)<br /> Some people are intimidated by any dog that approaches. They are unacquainted with dogs, so they can't distinguish between the bouncy friendliness of a Labrador Retriever and the territorial hostility of another breed, based on the dog's facial expression and body posture.  As one who is familiar with dogs, I have no trouble relating to almost any of them.<br />Some cyclists, and many bicycling advocates, are motivated by anti-motoring ideology. They dislike cars and trucks, and I suspect some are even (purposefully?) unfamiliar with them. This puts those cyclists at a disadvantage in many traffic situations, because they don't understand the way "the opposition" functions.  Further, they anthropomorphize the vehicle by ascribing imagined human emotions to its functions.<br />Recently I was climbing a favorite narrow twisty mountain road. In an area with a 10' lane and short sight lines, I was joined by a truck (Ford F-350 diesel dually pick-up) that slowed to my speed.  At 6 mph I was working at my full capacity, but the truck's engine was idling behind me.  A while later, when we arrived at an appropriate spot, the driver moved left and accelerated to pass me.  When the driver pressed the accelerator pedal, the engine's intake manifold vacuum increased to draw a larger and noisier volume of air through the induction filters. The engine's mechanical clattering noise increased, as did its rotational speed. The truck's automatic transmission downshifted with the additional torque, so the engine's rotational speed jumped suddenly, with another sudden increase in induction volume and noise.  Because of simple geometry, the truck was closer as it passed than it had been while following me.<br />In conversation with another person, behavioral cues like these - higher pitch, higher volume, closer approach - convey intensity, urgency, irritation, impatience, anger, or even hostility.  It's easy to imagine that a person unfamiliar with a truck's normal mechanical functions might interpret those signs in the same way.  Since the truck is big and smelly and powerful and believed to be evil, such a cyclist would feel intimidated by the encounter. This feeds into the popular exaggerated fear of same-direction traffic.<br />To spare themselves such fearful encounters in the future, and to spare prospective cyclists (those hypothetical individuals whom surveys say might take up cycling if only the roads were safe) such intimidation, the cyclist becomes a bicycling advocate demanding separated and segregated bikeways.<br />Yes, a very few sociopathic motorists use their vehicle's bulk and noise to intentionally intimidate cyclists.  But the vast majority of traffic encounters are benign, as in that morning's ordinary overtaking maneuver on that beautiful mountain road.<br />
  36. 36. Eli shows the safe way<br />
  37. 37. Sharrows & bike lanes<br />
  38. 38. What are sharrows?<br />“Imagine if the word SLOW were painted on the street. Just because a driver sees the word doesn’t mean he’ll slow down. But he’s more likely to slow down, and even if he doesn’t he’ll likely be thinking about why the word is there—he’ll be more aware. He may even be a little confused, and that’s good. The same goes for the sharrow. The sharrow doesn’t really tell the bicyclist or the driver to do anything specifically, and therein lies much of its beauty. It’s art that conjures awareness, and that, as we’ve seen, is what traffic safety is all about. It makes people think. The sharrow serves the additional purpose of preemptively calming motorists who would otherwise be predisposed to becoming agitated or aggressive toward any bicyclist they find in their way. The sharrows are undeniable in their message, even to people who can’t read: The road doesn’t belong just to cars. The bicyclist has a right to be there after all—if you run him down, you’ll get in trouble. To some this comes as quite an eye-opener.”<br />Robert Hurst<br />“The Cyclists’ Manifesto”<br />
  39. 39. Sharrows around town…<br />…often aren’t painted in the proper place on the street.<br />We must work to change this<br />
  40. 40. Giving credit where it is due<br />
  41. 41. Robert Hurst summarizes:<br />“Sharrows really seem to work. I suppose there is some danger that sharrows could be abused, their effect diluted through overuse. Ah heck, put them everywhere, and make them frighteningly large.”<br />
  42. 42. Bike lanes<br />
  43. 43.
  44. 44.
  45. 45. Warning signs, no!<br />Information signage, yes!!<br />
  46. 46. Make sure other driverssee you!<br />
  47. 47. Bicycles on Metrolink<br />
  48. 48. Let’s ride some more<br />
  49. 49. Grand Blvd. northbound to LaCLEDE<br />
  50. 50. Jefferson Avenue<br />
  51. 51. Finally, Kingshighway<br />
  52. 52. We taped many hours of footage for this presentation.<br />One thing never happened.<br />Even once.<br />We were not honked at.<br />Remember this the next time someone tells you thatst. louis drivers are “bad”<br />
  53. 53. On the other hand, honking is not necessarily a bad thing…<br />At least you know they saw you!<br />Use all five fingers when you wave back <br />
  54. 54. Thanks so very much to my family!<br />Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.H.G. Wells<br />
  55. 55. online resources<br />Cyclist’s Eye View:<br /><br /><br /><br />Short, three-part video series on You Tube about cycling in traffic<br /><br />This site is full of information and inspiration. Click through to the “Blog” and then “Topics” to read your choice of thought-provoking posts on bicycling and traffic safety<br /><br />Their mission is “Documenting Livable Streets Worldwide.” Short and excellent films about the roads we all share<br /><br />Here is where to find the best helmet mirror available. Click on “Safe Zone Helmet Mirror”<br /><br />This safety vest is terrific for night riders. The price of $19.95 includes shipping<br /><br />Excellent bike accessories. For grocery bag panniers, click on Bicycle Gear > Panniers<br /><br />Love this guy!<br /><br />National listserv for issues pertinent to bicycle driving. John Forester often posts to this list, and you may join the discussion, too<br /><br />A treasure trove of information about bicycling in Missouri. Good resource for reporting unsafe motorists. Click on Advocacy > Report Unsafe Motorists <br /><br />Click on News > Join Our Email Discussion List to join the Bike Fed’s free YahooGroups listserv. Talk to, learn from and grow with other St. Louis-area cyclists.<br /><br />Geared toward the racing community. STL Biking’s “Forum” is a good resource for all local cyclists<br />