Information on safe cycling in Florida

Don't ride without a helmet.
Don't ride against the traffic.
Always have a light front and rear at night
Courteousness to pedestrians on sidewalks.
Always carry your cell phone and ID with you on rides.
Ride with a buddy.
Wear cycling gloves.
Hydrate on those hot Florida days
Sunscreen on your arms and the back of your neck!!
Sunglasses to protect your sclera from nasty sun scarring.
Put air in your tires before your ride- saves your energy.
On long rides: drink before you're thirsty, snack before your hungry.
Don't trust that the driver sees you- s/he doesn't. Eye contact does not mean s/he won't run you over.
Don't ride drunk unless you are the back of tandem-You will get a ticket.
If the traffic is rush hour, stay on the sidewalk- cell phones can kill.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Another example of the misunderstood bicyclist. Recently DOT wanted to spend some money on a bicycle safety campaign. GREAT IDEA! Let's make driver's stop driving distracted. When I got news of it from Alan Snel of SWFBUD, the West Central Florida bicycle advocate, I was pleased there was a move in that direction by the governmental agencies. However, the money appeared to have been given to an ad agency with no bicyclists in it. And weirdly, the agency had been told "Seventy-five percent of all crashes are the fault of cyclists."  I hit the roof when I heard that.  Whaaaaaa?!?!?!?   What stinking orifice did that come out of?  I mean, that's just nuttier than squirrel poo.   

I have been doing this "awhile" and let me tell you, I've talked to lots of riders, read lot's of Traffic Crash Reports and taken hundreds of motorists depositions.  Let's leave it law enforcement doesn't always get the full story. 

Based on this erroneous info, I'll just say the first campaign had a picture of a tank with a cyclists. The caption was... um..... well..... um..... I am really trying to be fair........ un repeatable. Okay, so anyway Alan Snel made voice the concerns of the members of SWFBUD (I am one) and the campaign was changed. To this:

Well....... at least it's focusing on the motorists. I like that! I won't tell you the original caption. At least it tells the motorists cars kill. Wait... everyone knows that.                    
Well, at least motorists know that cars are tanks...Wait, that's silly, the message is missed.
Well, at least it tells motorists that bicyclists can be hurt by cars.... Wait.... that's obvious.
Well,  AT LEAST IT'S A COOL IMAGE. Which is all that can be really said about this
Well anyway, I wrote a five (5) page letter to the DOT in no uncertain terms and told them the basis of their first campaign was dead wrong.  For you folks interested, the letter is below and here: DOT ltr 050911

The St. Petersburg Times picked up the "firestorm."

We could use the awareness, but sheesh. Talk to a bicyclist about what is going on the road... the motorists are too distracted by radio, CD, DVD, iPad, iPhone, Android, Pre, and kids screaming in the back. 

What do you think?