Sunday, December 28, 2008

Red means stop.

I sometimes complain about the bad behaviour of motorists towards cyclists because the outcome is so often very one-sided, but the bad behaviour of cyclists has been getting on my nerves a lately too. I've seen a lot of scofflaw cyclists running red lights and disregarding traffic rules a lot in the last few weeks. There isn't any pattern to it -it seems to be just as likely to be the racing set as the new or casual rider.

I always stop at red lights. Why wouldn't you? When I was a lot younger I didn't always, until a serious collision with a bus knocked some sense into me. Sure it's a pain to lose all that hard-won momentum, but two or three strokes of the pedals and you're quickly back up to speed.

Running red lights is a very common and very bad advertisement for cyclists. Thoughtless acts by a few of us give us all a bad name. There are plenty of excuses offered for running red lights, but I'm yet to come across a good one. It endangers your safety and the safety of other road users and pisses people off when we need all the friends we can get. If you run red lights on your bike, you're a dickhead. If you do it in front of me, you'll get an earful - like a couple of people in Hobart have in the last few weeks.

There have been a couple of pushes lately to make cyclists more conscious of the road rules. I like the Stop at Red campaign. Give it some thought.

Bonus link: the top 10 books about cycling.

5,936km so far this year.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Halfway around.

I'm rather chuffed: this afternoon I passed the 20,000km mark since I started cycling seriously again in January 2005. My goal then was to ride an average of 100km a week, which I have, covering a distance equal to halfway around the earth. In total I've ridden for 951 hours - the equivalent of 40 days non-stop - at an average speed of around 21 kilometres an hour. I've ridden 479 times, covering an average distance of 41km. My top speed has been 82km/h and my longest single ride remains 387km. And although I don't seem to have lost any weight, I've made some freinds, look thinner, feel beter and have had a lot of fun. Hopefully the next 20,000km will be as much fun.

5,436km so far this year.