Riding safely in 2012 with more fun and less injuries by Susan Reeves
Most of you know her as Extreme Susan, for those who don’t we’ll call her Susan Reeves. She is one of the kindest people you will meet on two wheels, she’s a hoot too! Susan and I have been discussing some of the recent bike crashes and two in particular were a wake up call for some of us. One escaped serious injury but his helmet split into two pieces, and the other has an array of broken bones and lacerations yet she’s slowly recuperating. This subject hits home for Susan, as you’ll read below, so I asked her to write something on the topic. When I asked her to meet me so I could take some current photos of her she said she was in on her way to a Viking themed party and ride and wondered if I’d rather meet her one day when she was not in costume. Are you kidding me, was my reply. – Chris
Happy 2012 bikers! I’m looking forward to another great year of biking in Dallas and as I reflect back on 2011, there are a few things I would like to see change in the coming year. First and foremost, I do not want to see ANY more of my bike buddies injured in crashes. I know we are a small community and as much time as we all spend on the bikes it is bound to happen but if we all commit to acting and thinking more about safety, we might be able to prevent some of these senseless accidents. Here are the details of my own:
My accident happened on Saturday, September 24th. I was not wearing a helmet
and I ALWAYS wear a helmet! I was running late and drove part of the way to my destination. I had my helmet in the car but jumped out and forgot it. I was riding around the corner at the DART rail Mockingbird station where there were a couple of guys ahead of me. The road was closed due to a huge crane working on a building. They said “get left” and as I was looking at them moving to the left side I followed their path without closely watching what was immediately in front of me. Then I hit a double row of “city titties” which popped my front tire and I lost control. My injuries included two lacerations and stitches to the forehead, mild concussion, stitches in my right calf, bruised ribs and some soft tissue damage in my right hip-joint. And a slightly bruised ego. I feel very fortunate that my injuries were not more severe.
Looking back, I can recall a pretty serious bike crash involving a friend almost monthly in 2011. I hope we can put an end to that in 2012. Here are a few tips I have put together to help us all have a safe and happy 2012
Wear your lid, people! Heads burst like watermelons when they hit the pavement. Even wearing a helmet does not guarantee you will not have a head injury in a crash but it sure helps. Bring lights and use them. Be visible. Use reflective tape. A seen biker is a safer biker. Check your bike for loose parts before you ride it and make sure to have it serviced regularly. We have plenty of great independently owned bike shops in the area such as Transit Bikes in Uptown, Switching Gears in Fair Park, Oak Cliff Bicycle in Oak Cliff and Trinity Bicycles in Fort Worth. Check them out.
Know your road limits, especially when it comes to your downhill speed. And if the most you have ever ridden is 5 miles, you are probably not ready for a 40 mile trip. Communicate your limits to the leader if you are on an organized ride. It may be decided that the ride might not be best for you. Better safe than sorry. Obey the law and never assume that “THEY” see you because you have the right of way. Ride defensively and stay aware of your surroundings. One second of distraction can put you quickly on the ground. Ride friendly and most importantly enjoy yourself and have fun. Best wishes bike buddies and keep it safe!
“Every minute spent on the bicycle is one spent in perfect balance.” – Jacquie Phelan
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- Riding safely in 2012 with more fun and less injuries by Susan Reeves - January 8, 2012