#20: 1% could be the difference

1percent

In sport, you will often hear the commentator say that the game is a game of inches, meaning the littlest things can make the biggest difference. I totally subscribe to this theory when applied to road cycling.

As a smoker, advertisements about cancer concerned me but now as a cyclist, the regular reports of cycling deaths and my own close calls constantly remind me that there are always risks with getting off your butt, getting out on your bike and sharing the road with drivers.

I used to joke that “why should I exercise, I could be hit by a bus” and now that I am exercising, that reality is often front of mind, except it’s 4x4s, SUV’s and provisional drivers.

As a rider, there are basic ways to deal with risk:
– ignore it and keep moving
– don’t go out at all or
– continue riding and minimize the risk,
and because cycling has giving new life to this old body, there is really only one option and that is to keep riding and minimize the risk. Yet I understand how some people are too scared to go near the road.

Therefore my motto is that “it’s the 1% that could make the difference” where the 1% difference could be between being on a bike or being in an ambulance…. Continue reading

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#15: What the idiot driver did today…

After riding suburbia for 8 months, I have learnt to classify three types of risky drivers.
1. The Taxi. They get close but my hope is they are professional enough not to hit me.
2. The ‘P’ plater: Provisional drivers have no concept of how close they are, it worries me.
3. The Soccer Mums car: Do you have a car shaped like this or bigger and higher?

Car

To me they don’t belong in the city. Many drivers of these type of vehicles think they are invincible, they think they own the road, they are always in a hurry, they often come too close and they rarely show patience. These drivers are by far the worst on the roads (in my opinion) and are my biggest risk.

Anyhow, that’s enough venting. Overall, I think drivers are pretty good and I am usually treated with respect as I ride.

But they will never be perfect so sometimes it’s up to us to fill the gaps of their mistakes.

Today, I realised a safety tip about being in traffic that I felt compelled to share. Check the animation below. It may be the 1% difference between being on a bike or in an ambulance….

The 1%, it’s a theme I will talk about another day but today, it’s not about an idiot driver, it’s about what’s not in the front of a driver’s mind, and that is you.  By thinking ahead, riding defensively and being prepared, the result is if they make a mistake (and they will), you are ready to react and move on.

The road, it takes you places – just make sure you do your best to get there safely.
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#7: I cannot stress enough the value of lights!

Lights

Today I forgot to put my front light on and because of that, it nearly cost me a lot of money and pain, as I was only just able to avoid an accident.

You will hear commentators say in sport it’s the 1% that makes the difference and with lights on your bike, I absolutely agree.  One little thing could be the difference between life and death.

If a driver can just get a quick glimpse of a flash it may cause them to brake instead of accelerate, and that may be the difference between a good ride and an ambulance ride.

It was daytime and I was travelling in traffic Continue reading