Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Please Be Kind….to Motorists - Part 2!

A few weeks back Tammy Metzger, a multisport coach and owner of Tempo Multisport, and Sunday shop ride leader for the Intermediate group, posted the first of her "Please be kind" articles, reminding us that as cyclists we have a duty to be predictable, to help motorists be kind to us. Here is the follow-up.

In last times column, I covered how to hold your line and where on the road to ride. The topics this week are among the most-often committed mistakes. Read on…

Common mistakes made by cyclists:

Regrouping at a stop sign or traffic light - I will openly admit that I have been guilty of this one myself. It’s not intuitive, but think about the following scenario. You’re waiting on a member of your group who may have fallen off the back of the pack on that last hill, so a few of you are huddled at a stop sign or traffic signal. Do the motorist who come through the intersection know that you’re waiting for Fabio to catch up? They don’t, so they are waiting for you to go, and you don’t go, and now they’re getting anxious because they aren’t sure what to do. Proper communication with motorists is the top priority to our safety. Regroup mid-block, preferably in a driveway or low-traffic parking lot. Avoid putting motorists in a situation where they have to figure out what you’re doing, because they’ll typically get it wrong. ·

Wearing audio devices - “I have it on very low”, is a typical response I get when I request a rider lose their ear buds. That’s great, but why do you have it on at all? You have it on because it distracts you from the discomfort of your exercise. Did you read that? Let me repeat: It distracts you. So if you’re wearing an audio device while cycling you are 1) distracted from your environment, thus endangering yourself and everyone around you, and 2) are announcing to the world that you are not mentally strong enough to deal with a little bit of physical discomfort. Whether riding solo or in a group setting, leave the ear buds at home. This is a hard and fast rule for the Jack & Adam’s Bicycles shop rides. No discussion.

Stay tuned for further blog entries. Let’s work together to further each other’s knowledge on keeping cyclist:motorist relations on the best possible terms. A little mutual respect and kindness will go a long way. Please share your comments, suggestions, and observations and pass this information with anyone you know who rides a bike. Be safe out there, and have fun! Coach T.

Tammy Metzger is a multisport coach and owner of Tempo Multisport, LLC, which offers a multitude of skills clinics for cyclists and triathletes, as well as private training sessions. She holds a Master’s Degree in Sport & Exercise Psychology, with an additional concentration in Sport Science & Nutrition, from the University of Texas at Austin. Her undergraduate degree in Exercise Science & Wellness was obtained from Bastyr University in Seattle, WA. Tammy has been a certified USA Cycling coach since 2005. She can be reached at Tammy@TrainWithTempo.com


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