How Do You Ride?

Photograph by Che Chorley at the 2014 Boucle de Burbs

Photograph by Che Chorley at the 2014 Boucle de Burbs

Are you the Good Samaritan that adheres to every single road rule? Perhaps you flout a couple road rules here and there - only to stay safe though! Maybe you're so rogue, there's just no stopping you; after all, you know all the short cuts. 

Earlier this year the Washington Post's Emily Badger penned this article discussing why cyclists are more likely to break the law.

Admittedly the article is set in America where 'scofflaw' is a colloquial term people actually use and where the traffic is far more congested. 

But there are good points raised in this article that can be applied across the board to all forms of cycling; do cyclists knowingly break road rules to feel safer around traffic? Would cyclists' behavior change if given more respect in legislation?

We asked three of our caddies about their on-road behavior whilst cycling outside of working for EcoCaddy;

Jake Jenkins, Team Rider @jakejenks_

I think the point that hits home for me is that all road users break the rules at some point. It’s interesting that when a motorist travels at 10 km/h over the speed limit, it seems almost accepted. However, when a cyclist makes an illegal manoeuvre to avoid bad infrastructure or a narrow space, they seem to get scrutinised. If I am heading home in peak hour traffic from the city, I’ll do whatever it takes to avoid major intersections, because people have one objective – to get home as quick as they can, whereas I just want to get home.

Sarah Glader, Team Rider @sarahglader

I’ll admit I’ve broken the road rules whilst riding my bicycle, but in all cases, it was only to protect myself from dangerous situations. Starting or ending my day at the hospital after an accident caused on the road is not something I particularly want. It’s important to be mindful and alert in traffic and to use the bike lanes where possible. If the city was designed and built so that bicycles and cars could share the roads with each other, then I believe that would lead to safer roads for both modes of transport.

Erick.jpg

Erick Watson, Team Rider @ewat

There are a few things that come to mind when thinking of cycling and the law. Firstly is "The California Rolling Stop". One would argue that the most precious commodity a cyclist has on the road is momentum, having to come to a complete stop puts you in a greater position of danger, as you then have to compete with vehicles for a spot on the road – and I guarantee, you will not be making it across that intersection faster than any car. A "rolling stop" is where you approach a sign slowly and check each way on approach, something you can't do in a car because you sit further back from the front of the vehicle, and then proceed through the intersection without coming to a complete stop. It’s one of the safest manoeuvres for any cyclist.

Now it's your turn. So Adelaide, what do you think? 

Share your comments below and please understand that any offensive comments or language will not be tolerated. This is a community forum aimed at encouraging discussion. Caddies' opinions apply directly to when they're commuting and not whilst working for EcoCaddy.