Category Archives: Cycling Safety

When More Visible ≠ Safer: Target Fixation

Looking at the photo above from our Flèche last year, it’s easy to think: “Two of these riders are much safer than the other two.” The reflective vests really stand out in the flash of the camera. Being hit from … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety, Rides | 63 Comments

Aren’t Bikes Traffic?

On a ride around Lake Washington, I began to notice the signs. They occurred mostly at construction sites, and re-directed bikes where the bike lane was closed. It’s nice that they now put up signs, where in the past they … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety | 67 Comments

Who are you calling Fast and Fearless?!

I am a careful rider, who looks ahead and tries to foresee possible danger spots in order to avoid them. After decades of riding in traffic, I feel competent and confident. I was surprised that cycling advocates characterize riders like … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety, Rides | 51 Comments

Making Cycling Convenient (and Better!)

“Half of Copenhagen residents use bicycles to get to work or school. Not because these individuals are eco-friendly, young or sporty – but because bicycles are convenient and the fastest way to get around in the city.” I was thinking … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety | 37 Comments

How to Brake on a Bicycle

Whether you ride fast or slow, being able to stop quickly is an important skill. Your ability to stop also depends on how well your brakes perform. In Bicycle Quarterly Vol. 10, No. 1, we tested brake performance to determine: … Continue reading

Posted in Bicycle Quarterly Back Issues, Cycling Safety, Testing and Tech | 84 Comments

Separated Cycle Paths: Who Asks the Cyclists?

In the discussion about separate or “protected” cycle tracks, it has been surprising that planners and decision makers don’t seem to want input from those who actually ride bikes. In some cases, there is open disdain for those who have … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety | 167 Comments

Cyclepaths: Perceived Safety and Actual Safety

I’ll say it up front: I want to see more people ride bikes for transportation. However, I am also concerned when perceived safety turns out to be anything but… which is exactly what happens with the “protected” bike lanes that … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety | 70 Comments

Cyclepaths in Berlin

I recently visited relatives in Berlin, Germany. One morning, I borrowed an old mountain bike and rode around town. I love Berlin, especially the neighborhoods away from the tourist bustle. It’s so down-to-earth and accessible. Berlin mixes businesses and residential … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety | 39 Comments

Partners on the Road

I am always surprised how many cyclists are afraid of cars and their drivers, or have downright animosity to them. I prefer to see drivers as partners in a big game called Traffic. It starts with the wording: “Share the … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety | 58 Comments

Bike to Work 4: Best of all worlds, together

In a previous post, I pointed out that the popular “protected” bike lanes in fact are less safe than cycling on the street: The protection ends where cyclists need it most – at intersections. Here I propose an alternative model … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety | 62 Comments

Separated Cycle Paths – A Summary

When I criticized the new “cycle path” in Seattle – the first of many that the city plans to install – I was surprised by the number of comments (more than 260), but even more about how much agreement there … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety, Rides | 75 Comments

Bike to Work 3: Separate or Equal?

In recent years, there has been a worrisome trend in the U.S. to advocate for separate bike paths (“cycle tracks”), or at least some visual barrier between bike and car lanes. An organization called “Bikes Belong” advocates for “protected bike … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety | 266 Comments

Bike to Work 2: Where to Ride?

Many cyclists wonder whether it is safer to ride to the very right of the road – out of the way of cars – or whether they should “take the lane” and ride in the middle of the lane as … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety, Rides | 26 Comments

Bike to Work Month: Riding Safely

May is “Bike to Work” month. With winter weather behind for most of us, it’s a great time to use your bicycle more often for transportation, and not just for recreation. Cycling for transportation for most of us means that … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety, Rides | 27 Comments

Are “Safer” Cars a Menace to Cyclists?

Today’s papers report of a new government safety initiative: Cars talking to each other, for example, to warn the driver that cars ahead are stopped at a red light, or that another car is about to ignore a stop sign … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety | 58 Comments

Crossing Tracks Safely

A while ago, we wrote about railroad tracks and how narrow tires can fall into the gap between rail and pavement. We suggested that wide tires are safer, because they don’t fit into that gap. In the comments section, a … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety, Rides | 31 Comments

The Dangers of Narrow Tires

It is unfortunate that most “road” and even “hybrid” bikes are sold with tires so narrow that you cannot cross streetcar tracks at an oblique angle without risking a fall. The Seattle Times reported recently about a rail line that … Continue reading

Posted in Cycling Safety, Rides, Testing and Tech, Tires | 27 Comments