Tag Archives: bikedc

#Cycling at Night #bikedc

Who wants to go on long exploratory bike rides at night through the DC Metro area?

Please contact Jesse (@jlibraryist)

Also, e-mail: jesse@meta21st.com

Thank you.

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Filed under Bicycles, trail use

Fixed Gear on the Roads

Yes, I ride a fixed gear in the DMV.

But I ride it with a break.

I do not blast through intersections with a feeling of self-entitlement.

But I do believe that I am entitled to ride on every road (except for those few that are set aside as high-speed transportation zones for motorized vehicles.

Don’t speed by me exhibiting your own entitlement because this is reckless, illegal, unethical and scary.

Don’t role down your window and scream at me because I have the right to use the same roads (except where otherwise noted) as you to go to the exact same destinations.

If you, drivers want to be left alone, we cyclists want to be left alone at least as much.

In all situations, the pedestrian is given the highest safety priority, the bicyclist comes next (who is really just as vulnerable as peds) – the car comes last. Sorry, But drivers are just not as vulnerable as pedestrians and cyclists. Fender benders are a hassle and expensive. But any bump to a pedestrian can easily become harmful or fatal to this vulnerable population.

Respect that.

I am sure we can work it out on the roads together in a truly civil fashion.

Thank you for reading.

Jesse L.

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Filed under Bicycles, Commuting

Following Bike Laws for Safety

Check out @BikeArlington’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/BikeArlington/status/398887843000365056

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Filed under bicycle safety, Bicycles, Commuting

Cars, Get off the Road!

We who ride our bikes every day to work, to coffee and to meetings have had experiences and close-calls along a spectrum of “danger ranges.”

Not every encounter is life threatening, some are simply stressful.

The most common of these stressful experiences involves the phrase “Get off the road” or “Get on the Sidewalk.”

I don’t know if everyone thinks that just because a bike lane or trail is nearby that the cyclist must use it. There is no law in the DC Metro Area stating cyclists must use bike lanes. In most cases, the cyclist WILL use them because they are at least some space set aside. But the times I don’t are when my line of travel is taking me in a different direction than the trail “trails” and I must be ready for narrow roads or some kind of obstacle I must negotiate up ahead – an obstacle most drivers take for granted as a non-problem.

There are a hundred case-specific arguments in favor of not using the trail or sidewalk while on a bike. The most important one is that sidewalks are narrow and MUST be given over to pedestrians for their safety. Just think when the trails are ridden, say the Mt Vernon Trail, the Capitol Crescent or the W & OD, the walkers and joggers move so much more slowly than cyclists and prove to be a little challenge to negotiate from time-to-time. It’s even more dramatically different on sidewalks. It is simply safer for pedestrians and children on bicycles to be able to “own” the sidewalks. That being said, it is perfectly legal for a bicycle to ride on the sidewalk in some places even while it is illegal in others.

I much prefer to think of bicycles as machines designed for roadways (except certain highways and interstates). There should be some places that cars can also expect to get up to full speed over distance.

It is also perfectly legal for bicycles to ride on the road – either toward the right of the lane or taking the whole lane. Each scenario determines what is most safe. That is what matters mostly – safety – not impatience or perceived right-of-way by motorized vehicles just because hey are motorized. The truth is drivers of motorized vehicles HAVE NO RIGHT to yell at bicyclists to get off the road or to get on the sidewalk. They don’t even have the right to arbitrarily honk behind them as they speed by (though many drivers do choose this option). Honking creates more of a problem than just passing safely with three-feet separating the vehicle from the bicycle. Bicyclists ALREADY know there are drivers all around them. Honking does not help the cyclist.

It also does not help if the driver opens their window and screams “Get off the road” or “Get on the sidewalk.” The bicyclist may choose to ride on the sidewalk, but it is the cyclists choice. What if the cyclist yelled those same words at each car they passed or that passed them? Might this be an absurdity? In fact, with the status of bicycles in contemporary culture and their legal status as a transportation mode, it is just as absurd to yell them at bicyclists.

Thank you for reading.

Jesse L.

Twitter: @jlibraryist

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Filed under bicycle safety, Bicycles, Commuting

#Biketobookfest 2013

Finally, a post bringing together books and bicycles.

In a post from phantomlandscapes.com, I wrote about Banned Books Week and the approaching National Book Fest  – each scheduled for September 2013. I have been advocating for bicycles and life-on-the-bike for years. With this years National Book Fest, I am blurring the boundary between one set of interests and another – that of books and bicycles.

I am creating a #hashtag on twitter this year called #biketobookgfest which can be reused annually by all those who are planning to ride their bikes to the National Mall instead of getting in cars or dealing with the packed Metro. I have already tweeted this #hashtag and it can be searched on Twitter’s #discovery search tool.

Promote it. Use it. Thank you.

Thank you for reading.
Jesse L.
Twitter: @jlibraryist

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Filed under #biketobookfest, Bicycles