This is a blog for the strong, the determined, the wild. In the past ten years more than 100 have joined the triBE on a journey to BE strong, to BE fierce, to BE triathletes. We are dedicated to the belief that anyone can BE a triathlete and support each other in every endeavor. Our team members are all sizes, speeds, and ages. This is our story.

"When anyone tells me I can't do anything, I'm just not listening any more." ~Florence Griffith Joyner

If this isn't enough you can read more from me here:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Safety Dance

Bill Watterson:  Calvin and Hobbes

• Let’s all keep our heads, and other body parts, together
• When you gamble with safety you bet your life
• Chance takers are accident makers
• Is better to lose one minute in life… than to lose life in a minute.

I have the same conversations with triathletes every year.
I bought a new bike.
Awesome!  She’s a beauty!
I’m so excited to ride.
Be careful.  Everyone falls on a new bike.

 Or this one

I’m thinking of switching to clip shoes.  Will I go faster?
Absolutely. You’ll strengthen your hamstrings too.
Everyone says they’re dangerous.
You must practice.  You have to be careful.  Everyone falls when they switch to clip shoes.

I want to be 100% clear.  Biking is awesome, thrilling, and great exercise. 
I absolutely love it. 

It also takes practice, vigilance, and care.  It can be dangerous.  And in the battle of cyclist versus car, road, gravel, dog leash, or pedestrian, the cyclist never wins.

There are some simple ways you can improve your safety without significantly decreasing you pleasure.

  • Buy the right bike.  The bike should be the correct size for your frame.   
  • Get fitted to your bike by a qualified professional.
  • Make sure your bike is in good working order.  Get a tune up. The gears and brakes should work well.
  • Check your tires.  Make sure they are inflated to the proper pressure before every ride.
  • Look over your bike before you mount.  Are there any loose wires?  Does something look “not right?”
  • Carry a tire changing kit or fix a flat canister and know how to use it. 
  • Wear a bike helmet 100% of the time and make sure it fits properly.
Clothing and fuel:
  • Wear bike shorts.  They really help your rear.  Just sayin’.
  • Bike shirts exist for a reason.  They have pockets, wick sweat, and prevent sunburn.
  • Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Never leave home without a full water bottle. 
  • There are lots of energy products you can try for long rides.
  • Always carry your phone.
  • Never, never, never, never wear headphones.
On the road: 
  • Do not ride alone.
  • If you insist on riding alone, tell someone your route and stick to it.
  • Plan your route in advance.  Know where you are going.
  • Choose a route with well-maintained roads and trails.
  • Do not ride at night.
  • If you insist on riding at night, wear reflective clothing and have a light and reflectors on your bike.
  • Follow the rules of the road.
  • Yield to cars, children, bikers, dogs…  most anything that can get in your way.  Slow down and yield.
  • Practice, practice, practice on your new bike or with your new clip shoes.
  • Practice drafting with friends before you join a formal cycling group. 
  • Expect everyone to do stupid things, especially cars, children, and dogs.

Bill Watterson:  Calvin and Hobbes

In the end, no matter how safety conscious you are, I think you are going to fall at least once. Sadly I do not know a single rider that has not fallen at least once.  It may not be your fault. You may not even realize what happened.  My only hope is that you going slowly enough that the injury is limited to a few bruises or scrapes. 

I write this post in honor of my dear friend and teammate Marie Leticee who went down hard this weekend while training for a century ride next month.  She has a lot more than a few scrapes and bruises, and I know she appreciates all of your good wishes and prayers for her speedy recovery. 

Today an average of 140 people were injured in cycling accidents. 
600 cyclists will likely die this year.

Ride safely.  Heaven can wait.

No comments:

Post a Comment