Following my post of the Geelong Advertiser of the editorial, I thought it was worth sharing the following thoughts from Brad McGee as written in his column in the January-February 2010 Issue No. 161 of Bicycling Australia, page 142.
Brad is writing about being safe on the road as a casual cyclist (what he now describes himself as):
- Be thankful to be able to out there. Plenty of people can’t.
- Be clear and precise in your actions on the road – be part of the flow yet modest.
- Eat smart. A drop in blood sugar turns people, all people into lunatics.
- Learn from experienced and well practiced others. Cycling clubs are perfect for this but also in Australia today there are some great foundations working hard for safer road usage, i.e., Austycle, Amy Gillett Foundation and the Ben Mikic Foundation.
- Always and unconditionally stick to the road rules. Catch up lost time from red lights by riding harder. If you are in a group that doesn’t do this then don’t be prey, find another group.
- Never respond aggressively to another road user’s incompetence or abuse. There is NO future in this for anyone.
- If there has been a wrong doing, try to record it and follow it up like any other road incident.
- Always THINK about your destination and find the safest route option.
- Keep your bike and equipment in good working order and go for bright clothing. Recently I have introduced small flashing lights, both front and rear for day time riding
and Brad’s closing comments are (my emphasis):
The only things you can control are yourself and your actions and you must be ready for anything. By doing so we cyclists remain as safe as any other road user and put ourselves on a sure footed platform enabling a return to the very (and many) reasons one wishes to be out there in the first place like accessing all the good coffee shops.
On a personal note I know I need to work more dot point two, being clear and precise. I am pretty good on this but really need to signal more often for sure; dot point three and dot point six. I am getting better, but boy I need to just learn to not respond and report instead.
With respect to dot point seven I make an effort to report road issues and now see a stronger police presence on the roads where I have regularly report incidents. Hopefully this makes a difference.