Don't be invisible, use a little wiggle.
I've learned the hard way. My first experience of being invisible, I was 16 and had been riding for less than 2 months. The oncoming driver turned in front of me, I swerved and the driver stopped. I missed the car but couldn't miss the curb and spilled onto the road. From that experience and from talking to other riders, I've developed a number of defensive maneuvers that have been incorporated into my daily ride. When riding towards an intersection, driveway, or parking lot, I look for and spot drivers that might become a threat and then start defensive actions. A lot of us ride with the headlight on high beam, but don't flash a headlight at an approaching driver or they might think you are letting them go ahead of you. The strobe headlights are a good idea, but we cannot trust these passive features to help us to be seen.
The best lesson I learned from that early accident was when I swerved that alerted the driver and caused them to stop. Now I use the weave maneuver to alert drivers to my presence. I make my bike and head light wiggle by pushing on the handle bars or pushing down on the foot pegs as I approach those high-threat areas. It works and has caused drivers to stop in their tracks after they have started to pull out from an intersection. With a little practice this maneuver could save your life, but excessive wiggling down the road could get you pulled over by the police.
Shiny chrome and paint might get you a thumbs up and attention while stopped at a light or in a parking lot, but the only thing a driver sees from head on is movement. That could be the difference between a great ride that ends in a ball of fire or a lifetime of riding. Give a little wiggle at that next intersection.
Bill Cordes is a MSF coach rider at Moody AFB, Ga.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Author:||Cordes, William N.|
|Date:||Sep 1, 2009|
|Previous Article:||Waterfowl season.|
|Next Article:||Protect our children young adults.|