Last weekend, hubby and I took a course to help us gain confidence in riding our bicycles in the city. Admittedly, I dragged hubby with me–since he wasn’t particularly interested. But I was very glad that we took the course.
There were 4 main things they wanted to teach us:
- See and be seen
- Be predictable
- Bike courteously
These are really in order to make sure that you are safe on the road. They seem pretty basic and obvious–but somehow they make more sense when they are listed.
But what really struck me was something that was repeatedly mentioned during the course. Make a choice when you ride. Don’t get pushed around by the cars. If you want to move over to let cars past, that’s great. But it should be your choice. Make sure you are riding in a position where you get to make that choice, rather than having the cars make that choice for you. Ride confidently.
This means that as a cyclist, you are essentially riding in the middle of the road. Because if you are to the side, it’s a passive position and cars will think they can easily pass you–whether you like it or not. It always seemed like a very aggressive position to me–right there in the middle–taking up as much space as possible–almost challenging the cars.
But it is like life. There are times when we feel pushed into a position where we don’t get to make a choice–or at least we don’t feel like we have a choice. But we do have that choice–even when it may seem like we don’t. Sometimes we need that reminder. Don’t get pushed around. Make a choice.