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Photos and Comments from RIDE BROOKLYN

WHERE THE BIKE LANE ENDS
March 20, 2013 at
RIDE BROOKLYN, Williamsburg

The first day of Spring saw another successful VB Traffic Skills seminar, our first hosted at Ride Brooklyn’s new and beautiful Williamsburg location.

The weather had not yet turned Spring-like, and though turnout was light, it was a perfect group of riders for the class – active daily commuters who wanted to improve their experience.

Subjects covered included; NYC Traffic Law, Communicating with Motorists, Establishing your Right-of-Way, Positioning for Visibility, Avoiding Common Hazards, and Broadcasting an Aura of Competence and Cooperation. The 2-hour session passed quickly and everyone seemed enthusiastic and glad they attended.

Ride Brooklyn provided a warm welcome with snacks and drinks, and showered the group with valuable prizes. Thanks to Al at Ride Brooklyn for being such a fabulous host.

To all the attendees – you’re now honorary Virtuous Bicyclists! I hope you’ll keep in touch, ask me questions, and let me know how it’s going. I care about each of you, and your success and friendship is my reward.

Remember your Mantra!
Lance

Ride Brooklyn

Group

Signal Left

VB's dramatic flashlight demonstration - can you see me now!

VB’s dramatic flashlight demonstration – can you see me now!

A Winner!

A Winner!

Another Winner!

Another Winner!

Big Winners - one and all

Big Winners – one and all

About the author

Lance Jacobs

A native New Yorker, biking has been part of my life from my paper route in 5th grade, through my international tours on 4 continents. Now, as a League Certified Instructor (LCI #3507), my focus is on studying and teaching the best way to ride in NYC's unique street environment. I love cycling and I love my city. I believe riding our streets can be stress free when approached with some solid skills, some basic knowledge, and the right frame of mind.

4 comments

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  1. Salvatore Denise

    Thanks Lance & Marty. The seminar was just what I needed to feel more confident on my daily NYC bike commute. Your comments about connecting with drivers really resonated. I agree that taking a respectful & positive approach is important. It may even convince some drivers to get out of their cars & on to bikes.

  2. ileana

    I wanted to add that I applied some of what I learned on my ride home yesterday. I rode on a narrow street with no lane and rode in the middle when I needed to. I’ve started using more communication and looking over my shoulders more. Thanks again for the great class. No more “hug and hope” for me.

    1. Lance Jacobs

      Hey Ileana,

      Thanks for the great comment! So nice to hear that the info is having an impact on your ride. Remember, it’s a process and you’ll get better and more confident with experience. Keep in touch in the weeks and months ahead and we can talk about specific situations.

      In the Q&A at the seminar you asked, “On which side of a one-way street should I ride?” A seemingly simple question, yet as I think more about it, I realize that there are many factors influencing the which-side decision, and like many NYC traffic skills, it’s often a question of judgment in a fluid situation. Here’s a little more on the subject.

      (these comments assume one-way streets that are wide enough for you to remain clear of the door-zone while sharing the lane with passing cars)

      Generally, in terms of pure traffic principles, slower traffic rides to the right. On most roads that’s all you need to know. But in NYC there are a few other considerations.

      First there’s the consistent placement by the DOT of bike lanes on the left side of one-way streets. This is creating a new culture here in the city, and many cyclists are favoring the Left Side.

      NYC has a special rule that allows bicyclist’s to ride on EITHER side of a one-way street that is at least 40 ft wide. Leaving the tape measure at home, I mention this rule because its existence does influence a rider’s decision process.

      What I often find is that, whichever side I’m on, another cyclist has chosen the opposite side. This is a problem for both of us as the street has now been made artificially narrow inviting tense, close passing. Unless there’s another overriding concern, I will consider joining other riders on their side, just to create an orderly flow.

      Finally is consideration of the Left or Right direction of the road that crosses at the next intersection – let’s say it’s a one-way avenue. You don’t want to find yourself riding straight as traffic is turning across your path (the “Right Hook”, or “Left Hook” as the case may be). If you see ahead of you that cars are planning to turn – they’re slowing, signaling, and waiting behind other turning cars – then you can move to the non-turning side of the street (scanning and signaling to change position.) You can usually anticipate and make this move mid-block or so. On a Manhattan crosstown street, this leads to alternately favoring Left, then Right, as the avenues alternate their uptown/downtown direction.

      Ileana, this is why I love getting questions from riders. It encourages me to clarify the decision process that influences my riding and in doing so, enables me to better communicate to others. Thanks so much for posting your comment!

      Lance

  3. ileana

    Lance, it was a fantastic seminar. Informative and fun. I learned so much. Ride Brooklyn was a great host.

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