Thursday, September 09, 2021

Biking

I am intrigued by multi-day bike trips! The idea of seeing a new place by bicycle is enticing. 

Luckily, one of my friends wrote a book about bicycle trips ("Independent Tour Cycling" by Piaw Na). He has given me a ton of advice. 

I started doing 10-mile bike trips, once per week or so. I noticed that my enjoyment is very affected by how safe it feels, especially when I must share the road with cars. 

Aff said that when he bikes in the US, drivers sometimes pass him while shouting out their window, "Get off the road!"

He wants to shout back something to the effect of "If you check your DMV handbook, you'll see that I have just as much right to the road as you do."

"But it needs to be concise," he said. "As short as what they shouted. I can only fit in a few words. It'd have to be something like 'I stay on road!!'"

Biking in the US can often feel unsafe. Uber drivers will suddenly swerve into the bike lane in front of me, and brake to let the passenger out. The passenger opens their door in a rush, without looking behind them for bicycles. I once biked into an uber car door due to this. 

Drivers in other places (such as Europe) seem much more respectful. In France, I biked 8mph on a narrow 30mph road, and cars drove patiently behind me for several minutes until there was a shoulder for me to pull onto. 

In a single-lane street in Europe, a truck going in the opposite direction pulled over to yield to me. A car yielding to a bicycle! My mind was blown. 

My goal is to get fast enough to go on one of Piaw's group biking trips. This would've been impossible, except that Piaw is currently biking a three-person tandem with his two kids, which has brought him from superhuman to humanly achievable speeds. So I have a shot!

1 comment:

Piaw Na said...

US cycling doesn't just feel unsafe, statistically it's the least safe of all the developed countries! https://blog.piaw.net/2006/10/anecdotal-data-is-very-misleading.html