Even though you may think you’re being cool disregarding all the freakin’ “rules of the road”, you are actually putting a lot of people at danger. There are thousands of bikes on campus daily with people of every level of biking skill. Here are few tips to not be “that guy”
- Realize that we are all trying to get places and we all chose to ride our bikes. Tough deal. We are all upset and stressed about school and life. We all need to do the same things — Generally, be considerate
- Learn how to use a damn bike circle. Bike circles are all over campus and typically unavoidable. Bikes already in the circle have the right-of-way over bikes entering the circle. Bikes already in the circle have the right-of-way over bikes entering the circle. BIKES ALREADY IN THE CIRCLE HAVE THE RIGHT-OF-WAY OVER BIKES ENTERING THE CIRCLE. You know what this means? If you need to stop for a brief moment, do it. Don’t be that idiot that causes a huge accident because you thought you could beat the incoming bike.
- Utilize hand signals. Just like you get pissed off that someone is not using their car blinkers to merge or turn, people will get pissed at you if you don’t learn and use these. Plus, it’s always nice to know where the person in front of you is going to go before you plow them down.
- Don’t be that dick who is riding their bike 100mph during busy bike times
- Know the busy bike times: 10 mins before and after classes. Example: for 10AM classes, paths are very busy between 9:50 - 10 and from 10:50 - 11
- Before merging to the side, look over your shoulder. Like blind spots in a vehicle, looking over your shoulder is a quick and easy way to prevent ramming someone near you, or someone who is coming your way at warp speed.
- Don’t ride your bike / stop your bike in the middle of high ped traffic areas. AKA In front of Wellman Hall. Just get off your bike and walk. It seriously takes 10 seconds.
- Yield signs are your friends. If you have a yield sign, yield. You don’t even have to make a complete stop, just slow down and check to see if someone is coming.
- If you see someone fall: a) Help them up or b) Laugh to yourself and then help them up. Bike accidents can be serious (and embarrassing), especially during busy hours. A fallen person may not be able to get up by themselves. Exhibit A: I got my shoe lace caught on my fixed gear bike and face planted with my bike still attached. A nice guy held my bike as I untangled myself and watched the last shred of dignity college has left me with wither away (The last part was an over exaggeration. He was just a cute guy and I was embarrassed)
- If you are in an accident with others: check to see if they are okay, and if their bike is okay. If you are the cause of the accident, you might need to help them fix their bike, or their heads.
- If you don’t feel safe riding a bike on campus: A) invest in a good helmet if you don’t have one already B) Unitrans C) Walk/run
Good luck, fellow bikers.