May - June 2006
Table of Contents
May - June 2006
A Letter to My Riders and Friends of the 5BBC
By Liz Baum, 5BBC Vice President
I have been an active member of the 5BBC for over eight years. I have never written an article, but have been asked to do so on some very important issues. So I will give you my wisdom and experience on health, safety, food, water, and clothing regarding enjoying your day as a rider.
Riding without a spare tube is like riding without food, do you get me? I came to many rides where my riders do not carry a spare tube and other bike gear. So when the flat comes they are left at the mercy of others for help. So help yourself, bring a spare tube, a patch, pump, so that you can ask for help. But have what you need for others to help you.
Food for yourself is not any different. Eat something before you leave and bring some fruit, breakfast bar, goo, whatever you can eat in a pinch so that you donít go flat. Hydrationóbe prepared on the coldest day to the warmest day. We need water, juice, energy drinks, whatever makes you feel comfortable, I like a camelback, easy to fill, and always able to stick food, and supplies inside, like a jacket, I can remove it and have a place to stick it.
That leads me to clothing. Whatís with clothing? I learned the hard way, when someone kindly loaned me a jacket, sore rear end, needed some padding. I ride now with a small hard saddle, and the padded bike shorts work wonders. I like to keep a tee shirt in the summer to douse with water, and a kerchief for a wrap, or neckband to prevent sunburn, Oh and does that mean sunscreen, you should be wearing it now, early spring can be the worst time since you donít expect it, but you burn all year round, and those wearing sandals, your feet, feet, feet. Bike gloves as well, will leave you with some strange designs on your hands; some people where afraid to shake my hand, thought I was diseased.
SAFETY ISSUES- I call this bicycling defensive driving, for those driving cars you know always be prepared. I know that on a wonderful summers day, I like to daydream and ride, but thatís like falling asleep at the wheel, of a car. NOT GOOD. Be aware! Helmet- makes sure it fits, and if it is over three years old; get a new one. I learned to ride in traffic with the 5BBC, I used to dismount and walk my bike across streets, I was so afraid but now I ride like a motorist, observe traffic laws, stay in my lane and ride straight, do hand signals when making turns, stopping and slowing.
Remember when making turns, cars make right turns and sometimes we go straight, and then we go crunch, we need to be aware of turns and making a left turn. Donít try to beat out a car. When making turns watch out for gravel, holes, sand, dirt, and cars parked, as well as glass on the roads, those flats come quickly. When in the bike lane or riding by parked cars, leave four feet from a car door. Dooring is a serious problem and car owners think we are wrong... well we are not. Remember to check out your tires, brakes and spokes. And be prepared to HAVE FUN, FROLIC and HAVE A FANTASTIC DAY WITH US! SEE YOU ON A RIDE OKAY -Liz.