Last night I was needing to take a little longer route and mix things up a little. Riding to McAllen’s Archer Park seemed as a good place as any. Knowing this, there was only one road to take, Business 83 and it’s one shoulder. That meant riding over there on the should with traffic and coming back on the same shoulder against traffic at night.
There is a reason the law says that cyclist have to ride with traffic, it is extremely dangerous to do so otherwise. On my ride back home I started thinking of all the extra hazards to look out for that you wouldn’t normally blink an eye. While riding against traffic you have three more hazards to look out for at intersections:
- Vehicles traveling from left to right may want to make a right turn and run into you
- Vehicles coming towards you may want to make a right turn and cut in front of you
- Vehicles traveling in the same direction as you may want to turn left and broadside you
Out of the three listed above, the last one is the most dangerous as they may not see you as they make their turn and you would have to constantly look over your right shoulder to make sure no one has entered the left turning lane. Very dangerous situation.
I see people riding on the wrong side when there is a perfectly good shoulder on the other side of the road. I even had a family tell me that I’m riding on the wrong side of the road! I meant to catch up to them at the parking lot of the Hike n Bike trail in Mission, but they were gone.
Talking to an older friend of mine, that rides his bike for commuting, says he rides on against traffic so he can see the cars coming at him and avoid being hit. Also, a cop told him that he needs to ride against traffic. Those are the two major reasons why people ride on the wrong side of the road. Greater education for the population and police officers is the key to solve this issue.
In the mean time, if you have to ride against traffic, be alert and extra cautious when approaching intersections.
To learn more of the rules of the road in Texas, here are some links to browse:
I started trying out this App recently and was really starting to like it. It has about eight different screens you can flip through to get the data you want to see on the screen. You can turn off anyone of the eight screens and just have your favorite ones available at your finger tips. For sharing of the rides you can post to TrainingPeaks
. It would be nice if they included dailymile
and Garmin Connect
in the list.
The App has all the usual information, GPS tracking and supports ANT+ Sensors such as, bike speed and cadence, heart rate and power meters. After a couple of tries I finally got the wheel size correct and the distance was pretty accurate compared to the GPS. It also includes auto pause so when you get to a stop light, the system stops recording and resumes when you take off.
The system has an auto announce that announces distance, speed and time, but I was never able to correctly get it going, so I abandon the idea. A nice feature that it has is the use of the Proximity sensor to turn off the screen to save battery life. Get started and place the phone in your back pack or pocket and it will blank the screen and quietly continue to record.
What killed the app for me is the cardinal sin of losing your data. I was on a group ride with Ciclistas Urbanos and the half way point we stopped to get some water at a gas station and rest up a bit. The App was in auto pause mode with the screen off. When we were ready to start-up again, I woke up the screen and noticed that I had a missed call. Well that ruined the data for the lat hours ride. All the data was lost, zeroed out! I could not believe what I was seeing, nn hours worth of data out. I closed the App and loaded up LiveCycling and recorded the second half of the ride without incident.
Although this App is free and is pretty good, that glaring problem of losing your data is a deal breaker for me. I cannot trust this App to safely handle the data that it collects. Until they fix the problem, I would not recommend this to my friends. Fix that one problem and I’ll be happy to recommend it to people.
Shortly after my car accident I was thinking what would have happened if I was unconscious. How would my family know what happened? How would First Responders know my medical conditions? I then recalled an article I read from another blogger where he talked about the same issue. Bryan, from his BikingtoLive
blog, mentioned a product called Road ID
, so I looked it up on-line. Before you know it, I went ahead and ordered one.
What is Road ID? Put it simply, it is a band that you wear that has contact and medical information for First Responders to use in their assessment. There are wrist or ankle bands as well as a shoe tag and they come in a variety of colors for you to choose. The band uses the hook and loop connectors along with reflective stitching type of material and the label, with the information, is on a metal plate. The metal tag is also interchangeable with the Shoe ID tag. The website steps you through the process of determining what information to put on it and in what format. It is fairly easy to do and gives me peace of mind that First Responders will know whom to call if the situation should ever arise.
There are several versions available on the RoadID site to choose from; Wrist ID Sport, Elite and Slim plus the Shoe ID, Ankle ID and the FIXX ID (like dog tags worn by the armed service). The one I purchased was the Wrist ID Sport for $19.95. The Wrist ID Elite and Slim are of a rubberized band type and do not use the hook and loop type of connector.
If you have seen me with a red wrist band lately, that’s it. I wear it all the time now except when I’m taking a shower or sleeping. It’s not only for cycling, but for everyday use. I highly recommend this piece of gear as it is simple, inexpensive and could save your life or that of a loved one. Go to the web site and take a look at what they have to offer or hunt me down and I’ll show you mine.