Safety on the Road for Cyclists Part 3

Applying Riding Skills in Traffic and Proper Road Behavior

There are established rules (by legislation) that govern the behavior of all road users, motorized as well as non-motorized. Someone who wants to get a driver’s license has to know the rules and must pass a test on them before a license is issued. A bicyclist does not need a license and often, unless he or she also drives, is not familiar with those rules, which can be a disadvantage. However, equipped with solid riding skills, a cyclist can quickly pick up the rules of how to ride on the road in a safe manner, whether through learning by doing or by learning from the example of others. Learning to ride on the road by going on group rides with experienced cyclists is a great way to learn proper road riding behavior. Actual experience also teaches you not to depend on other road users following the rules religiously. You learn how certain drivers, depending on the vehicle they drive, behave in or react to certain situations. For example, bus and jeepney drivers may swerve and stop suddenly to pick up passengers so one must be alert to such “bad” behavior. However, even private car drivers can suddenly change lanes without warning so one must be always be aware and wary of quickly changing traffic conditions. This requires the cyclist to constantly focus on the road—on what is happening ahead, behind, and to both sides—which requires considerable effort. One tip that I’ve found helpful is to talk to yourself, even aloud, and describe what is happening around you to yourself. It’s not as easy as it sounds but it is helpful.

                      

Figure 1. Proper road positioning is important for safety

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Is There an Electric Bike in Your Future?

 vision electric bike

Figure 1. The Vision electric bicycle—monocoque carbon fiber frame, mid-drive motor, controlled with your smart phone

Purists abhor the idea of putting motors in their bicycles—they say it destroys the very idea that the bicycle represents. Athletes of course need their workout—the harder they have to pedal, the better for their bodies. Environmentalists regard all motorized vehicles to be anathema, and putting a motor in a bicycle is the antithesis of pedal power. Yet, the goal to get more people on bicycles may necessitate advocates embracing the idea of motorized bicycles, or at least bicycles that use electric motors to assist the cyclist.

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National Bike Day: A First for the Philippines and all Filipino Cyclists

The FIREFLY BRIGADE fully supports the petition to the Office of the President to proclaim the month of November as National Bicycle Month and Every Fourth Sunday of November thereafter as National Bicycle Day.

We are advocates of the use of the bicycle as a primary means of transportation and believe that if our city roads were transformed into a bicycle centered/non-motorized transportation centered society, more motorized vehicle-owners would leave their cars at home and be encouraged to come out and use their bicycles to work, to school and to run errands. Many of our citizens/road users would be happier, healthier, more social towards each other, and less stressed because they would be bike commuting on safer roads while not having to deal with traffic issues and air pollution.

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Are All Cyclists Eco-Friendly by Default?

eco-friendly biker

In a perfect world, we would all be environmentalists and we would all own and use bicycles to go around.  This might sound too utopic for some and indeed it could be. But if we would like to survive as a civilization, we would have to start today to think of all the things we can do to minimize our negative impact on the environment.  Sounds too serious, right? However, if  you are reading this, we could assume that somehow, you have thought of joining advocacies that push for the adoption of nature conservation.  You could already be a proud owner of a bike that perhaps you use to go on errands from time to time, or maybe, you even use it to bike to work.  Riding a bicycle, with all its simplicity and elegance as a machine, is an ideal way to proclaim your own way of being one with those who are already aware of their responsibility in contributing to nature conservation.

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The Firefly Brigade does a lot of things besides promote bicycling. Please subscribe to receive news and information about the Firefly Brigade.

Please read our newest section:

Life in the Bike Lanes

A Survey: Please help us understand the current state of cycling in Metro Manila.

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The FIREFLY BRIGADE

Fully supports the Office of the President's proclamation of the month of November as Natinal Bicycle Month and every Fourth Sunday of November thereafter as Natinal Bicycle Day. 

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