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Bike Safety advice?

miss riot

TRIBE Promoter
Soooo.... I finally got a bike to ride around the city just in time for the fare hikes & am wondering where the hot spots are not to leave your bike. Say, if I wanna go down to Dundas/Yonge where should I leave my bike so it doesn't get stolen/damaged? Or the club district? Maybe I'm being paranoid but I heard bike theft is super common. My bike isn't some piece of work, just the regular ish but I wanna take some precautions since I'll be using it every day. Any other advice for bikers in the downtown?
Is it really neccessary to get an air mask?
 

xopus

TRIBE Member
locks: kyptonite or abus chain locks. the abus ones are a bit heavier (the company specializes in industrial locks) the chains however are identical. get a set of locking skewers if you are running quick release. they use a key, that is actually pretty specific to each set. these will prevent wheels and seats from being stolen. If you have nice components, remove or mask the logos. You can also put a bit of epoxy in any bolt heads so that it is harder to strip the bike. number one thing is to make the bike look like shit. i've seen $4000 custom ti mountain bikes that looked like pos delivery bikes at first glance.

as for riding in the city, if you are confident on your bike, i think is is safer to be on the offensive at all times. Try and stay ahead of the traffic. When you come to a one way street, you can move to the side away from approaching traffic, and look to see if the road is clear before you have to put on your breaks. If you get a good series of lights, you can usually do 4 or 5 blocks without ever having to deal with cars.

Pedestrians are dumb (no offence to pedestrians). always keep an eye on them. The worst is when they see you, get startled and stop walking, keep an eye out for this, and give yourself room to avoid it. If you're coming up to a group of pedestrians, pick your line carefully (same applies with taking right hand turns where people are crossing).

Watch for movement inside parked cars to avoid being doored, and also keep an eye on the front tires on cars that are idleing. it provides a good clue that they're about to pull out.

I ride in nyc traffic on a regular basis. I have only had one incident so far, and it was pretty small. Riding is the best way to get around in the city. I hope this stuff helps.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Avoid dark spots obviously. High pedestrian areas are decent, but can promote damage. Getting a good lock is your best defence. Krypronite 'New York' is the way to go. Lots of threads avaoil with a quick search.
 
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kick

TRIBE Member
xopus said:
Watch for movement inside parked cars to avoid being doored, and also keep an eye on the front tires on cars that are idleing. it provides a good clue that they're about to pull out.
you can also look into the rear-view mirrors of cars parked on the side of the street...if you see a face in it they may be getting out; proceed with caution!
 

Polymorph

TRIBE Member
xopus said:
Watch for movement inside parked cars to avoid being doored, and also keep an eye on the front tires on cars that are idleing. it provides a good clue that they're about to pull out.
I once knew a girl who got killed when she got 'doored' by some pathetic-idiot who just swung his door open when she was 'right-there'. So this advice there is no joke. In fact, those parked car 'tards are more dangerous than the moving vehicles to the left of you. Always keep an eye on the 'parked' cars. I've also had several near-misses in this regard.

As for locks, having personally had around 6 bikes stolen in the past, oh, 8 years, I now double lock the things, with two distinct and different types of locks: one 'krytonite', and the other that thick-chain encased in plastic doodad, which I use for the front tire....
 

Polymorph

TRIBE Member
miss riot said:
omg... so would getting a mirror help?
1stly, I'm presuming that you are moving 'with' traffic when you ride on city streets, so, no, I don't think a mirror would necessarilly help substantially. In fact, it might pose to be another distraction. I don't know. I've never used a mirror.

Fact is, the moving vehicles and their drivers can see you. They know you're there, and they're not going to hit you, 99% of the time.

But these parked car 'tards aren't thinking. They're on their cellphones, in a rush (to get out of the car), they swing open their car door and *bam*. So ALWAYS keep an eye on the parked cars, especially on busy, hi-traffic streets. (The girl-in-question there got flipped out into traffic, in front of a truck, and got killed instantly). So, no joke that.
 

lucky1

TRIBE Member
xopus said:
locks:
Pedestrians are dumb (no offence to pedestrians). always keep an eye on them. The worst is when they see you, get startled and stop walking, keep an eye out for this, and give yourself room to avoid it. If you're coming up to a group of pedestrians, pick your line carefully (same applies with taking right hand turns where people are crossing).

Watch for movement inside parked cars to avoid being doored, and also keep an eye on the front tires on cars that are idleing. it provides a good clue that they're about to pull out.

.

good tips.. pedestrians are the worst. they start mosseing across the street so you keep riding (with intention of going aroud them on their backside) then they stop midstrike and freak like you are going to hit them.. or then they back up ...

as per doors.. I got doored once badly... and once not so bad, and almost doored a couple other times but I got out of the way. Toronto drivers are bad for this. Also drivers in torotno who like to try and pass around the streetcar are bad becasue they don't look, they just want to pass the streetcar which involves speeding into the biking lane.

don't leave your bike unattended anywhere ever. always lock up somehow even it you are just stepping away for a second
 
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xopus

TRIBE Member
i would stay away from mirrors. the time that it takes to refocus on the mirror makes it more dangerous when compared to just swinging your head around. imo at least.
 

The Tesseract

TRIBE Member
yeah, you want to stay off the sidewalk at all times. Police will ticket you for riding on the sidewalk, if they feel assholish enough.

Some roads are better than others. My suggestion is to stay away from Yonge and Bloor (and other major arteries) until you get a feel for riding on the road.
 

lucky1

TRIBE Member
xopus said:
i would stay away from mirrors. the time that it takes to refocus on the mirror makes it more dangerous when compared to just swinging your head around. imo at least.
i don't think so. if you are used to driving a car then checking mirors is nothing...
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Far as keeping the bike safe from thieves, use a good lock as others have said. Always lock your bike and its components when leaving it out side and try to avoid leaving it in places where somebody could spend 20 minutes on it without anyone seeing them.

Far as keeping yourself out of the hospital, don't hit anything or let anything hit you. I know that sounds obvious but I'm being serious, always remember that if you hit anything there is a good chance that its going to hurt you. Hitting a car will hurt hitting a pedestrian will hurt, hitting a street car track the wrong way will hurt (my only cause of an accident last year). Always drive with your defence in mind and remember that your on the road and other people are likely not watching or paying attention.

For me cycling is about keeping alert and defensive.


As well, don't try it while drunk.
 
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