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Time to provide better information on bicycle operation
posted at March 11, 2013 10:00 PM EDT
First: March 11, 2013
Last: March 11, 2013
Bicycling is a great way to gain exercise, save money and make your community more pleasant. Unfortunately, most people in our society **DO NOT** know how to properly operate a bicycle in traffic. Worse, they think they know but what they "know for sure just ain't so."
The media doesn't help either. Usually, misinformation is given. A minor example -- the picture in the March AARP Bulletin article "Face the Mortality Gap" by Jim Toedtman shows a couple riding with their seats all the way down. Riding this way is inefficient and hard on the knees. Only those just learning to balance should ride this way. Once the balancing is learnt, move the seat up so the leg is almost completely straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Older people who have compromised balance are better on an adult tricycle than a bike with the seat too low.
Poor seat position is a minor problem. More important is riding correctly in traffic and that means operating pretty much like the driver of a slow vehicle. In particular, stay of sidewalks and stay out of the gutter. The middle of the right travel lane is often best.
For more information, I suggest the excellent articles on CommuteOrlando.com, perhaps starting with Mindful Bicycling
Best wishes, and happy cycling.