Friday, December 05, 2008

Take the lane...

I wouldn't suggest coasting through an intersection as demonstrated by the dude at left...but posturing with an assertive riding style has been an asset to my daily bicycle commuting.

Let's back up about 23 years. I first started to ride road bicycles with a guy named Mark Harris. Mark was a wild flower, owned a small bike shop, and was an eternal part time student. But what Harris could do best was ride a bike. Fast, hard and with authority.

Mark would take me through the streets of Greensboro, North Carolina. And, he taught me well. We'd always ride hard and make sure automobiles knew our intention. We'd point to indicate a move into the lane, make eye contact, and then dart into the opening. Instead of cowering near the curb, we'd demonstrate our ability and surge just ahead of the car next to us, to assure that motorists knew we were part of the traffic flow.

Much of that riding style is still with me today. I am not a casual commuter, but rather one who rides hard and fast and as close to 100% smart as I can get. My moves are deliberate and when a car does me wrong, I let the perpetrator know.

I'm not recommending my style to everyone; I just want to say it works for me. Cycling is a big part of my life and I demand my small sliver of the road.

So, here's your time waster for today: Take five minutes, click the link below, and watch how the couriers in New York City work the traffic. Very wild stuff.

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