Thursday, October 23, 2003

Purdue Cyclists Need My Help

Girl on BikeI'm amazed at the bicycle riding habits of Purdue students. I see them riding all over the sidewalks. Gang - you're not twelve anymore. You can ride on the street.

Now, I'm not talking about the academic campus area where there are no streets. On 3rd street, 1st street, Grant, Stadium, Intramural, and many others, you should be using the pavement. If there is a bike lane - use it. If not, ride in the right lane about 2 feet to the left of the white line. Take the lane and follow all traffic laws. This includes stop signs!

We also need to pay attention to the side of the street we use. I was riding to my office one day, and I came across two young ladies riding towards me on their left side of the street. I politely yelled "You're on the wrong side of the road!" One of them answered in her best Jerry Springer audience member tone "I know where I'M supposed to be!" (you have to wag your finger bag and forth when you say it.) So, I ran them both off the street into a patch of thorny rose bushes. (Sorry, I've been watching Scrubs tonight, and I'm trying out my daydreaming during conversations. My wife doens't appreciate it.)

One time, I saw a guy speeding down the sidewalk, and he came up to an intersection where he needed to cross a multi-lane, one-way street. He didn't stop at all. The driver of the truck in the first lane saw him and waited, but the guy in the next lane couldn't see past the truck and started to proceed. He tapped the cyclist, who was knocked off his bike into the street. The rider was so embarrassed that he got up a pedaled away before the driver could check on him.

Something else I've seen is that many of the young ladies on bikes have the seat all of the way down. It makes my old knees hurt just looking at them. My wife tells me that women do that so that they can touch the ground with both feet when they stop. Think about it, gals. You spend almost all of your bike time with both feet on the pedals, not stopped. When you do stop, just lean to one side. The experts say that when your foot is on the pedal at its lowest point, the angle at your knee should be around 150°. That angle will give you the most power and least strain. Plus, you'll look less like a circus clown riding a 4 inch bicycle.

OK. Done ranting now.

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