Cycling: A Year Later, Getting Faster



This is similar to the ‘left turn’ situation where the car going in the opposite direction as me needs to cut across my lane. I had a close call or two before I put on the front bike light as you can see I’m in the shadows.

You can see literally how lights make you more visible. Hopefully, this helps prevent a car from hitting you because getting hit sucks. Onto the next topic which is ride location. Personally, I try to only ride in locations where the roads are wide with a bike lane or wide shoulder. There are some relatively narrow city surface streets I’ll ride on but they only have a speed limit of 30mph max which limits the speed differential between me and the cars. When the traffic is actually a bit thick, I just take up the whole lane because I’m going just as fast as the cars. You definitely need to stay completely aware of everything going on around you in this situation and I generally try to avoid it.


This shot is from a motorcycle ride I took up Angeles Crest Highway. It’s a great road for going on a cruise on due to the twists and turns. Cyclists also like it due to the big elevation gain. In my personal opinion, riding a bicycle up ACH is dangerous for two reasons: there is a lack of a bike lane or wide shoulders in much of ACH and speed differential. Let’s face it, cars and motorcycles go up ACH to go quickly. Because it’s a climb up, cyclists are going slowly. Even if cars and motorcycles went the speed limit of 45 and 55 mph (depending on what section you’re on), cyclists are doing between 10-15mph up the climbs. That’s a speed differential of 35mph plus. There are many blind corners on ACH and more than once I’ve come across a pack of cyclists taking up half the lane (remember no shoulder or bike lane). Cyclists have every legal right to be there of course, but in my personal opinion, it’s not a very safe place to ride. All you have to do is look up videos on YouTube of cars and motorcycles going up ACH and see how many crashes there are due to people going faster than their abilities. While I have every right to be on ACH on a bicycle, and in the court of law I would be in the right, that doesn’t really mean much if I’m dead. My instinct for self-preservation keeps me off this road on a bicycle.

This picture is from a stretch of Mulholland also popular with cars, motorcycles, and bicycles. Again, there is no shoulder to speak of. You will not catch me up here on a bicycle, but I do take Project S2000 and the motorcycle up here once in a while.
This is my preferred location to ride with a nice and wide shoulder. Notice how I’m currently in the shadows. Yup, the bike lights help here even in the middle of the day.

Being visible and choosing safer places to ride will greatly improve your odds of not being hit by a car. My last personal preference is to not ride at night or when the sun is rising or setting. Yes, you can outfit your bicycle with lights that rival cars and wear bright and reflective clothing, but I think there is still inherently more risk to riding at night. Another critical time I avoid riding is when the sun is rising or setting and I would be riding into the sun.


All of you know this view, you’re driving home from work and the sun is setting blinding you. You really do not want to be on a bicycle in front of said cars with drivers who cannot see well due to the sun blinding them. A friend of a relative was hit from behind in exactly this situation where the driver didn’t see the cyclist due to the sun blinding them. Well, my relative’s friend, after extensive surgery to fix a broken back among other many broken bones, was bed-ridden for the better part of a year and had to relearn to walk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *