Posted by: kendra | November 19, 2007

My Fitness Goal is Not to Get Hit by a Car

I one time read something somewhere that gave me the idea that I needed to have a fitness goal to work towards.  For those who know me, I am actually very lazy, even though I do ride my bike everywhere and have a job that involves walking all day.  So I sometimes come up with “fitness goals” to motivate me; sometimes they are like “I will walk 5 more feet to the end of this sidewalk,” which is always good, because I usually reach that goal and feel super successful.   My fitness goal right now is not to get hit by a car. In a earlier thread, Dean posted a link to a site titled “Bicycle Safety:  How to Not Get Hit by Cars.” I had seen the site before, but I really needed to go back and read it again since I have been riding in the road all time. It is really a helpful site and the advice given in it is good… I know someone who was hit in the crosswalk on South Street & James when they had their baby on the back of their bike (Collision Type #9), and last month I almost got hit by a car turning right right in front of me (Collision Type #4), but another car saw what was happening and honked really loud at me so I slowed down. Thanks to you, anonymous driver, for honking! I also checked out a book from the library, the Art of Urban Cycling: Lessons from the Street, but haven’t gotten into it yet.  Anyhow, I do freely admit that I am scared to ride in the street in some places in Morristown. I might be crazy, but I actually like riding at night better than during the weekday downtown; at night there are fewer cars, and as long as I am lit up like crazy I feel visible. During the weekday, I feel like people are all talking on their phones, and in a hurry to get the parking space up ahead or to pick up their kids or whatever, and are a little bit on the scary side. Just this afternoon, I was coming home and taking a left onto Western Avenue, and waiting for traffic to clear with my arm out to signal my turn, and a car moved left into oncoming traffic to make a left turn around me. It really freaked me out. So now everyone knows I am scared a little bit. I think I’m not the only one who is a little bit nervous, otherwise all the people on the sidewalk would already be riding in the road. So, if anyone has any ideas about I can keep safe, and how to keep other people who will be riding their bikes in the road instead of on the sidewalk safe, please post your ideas or links or whatever.Thanks Dean for the link too!



  1. Motorcyclists are most often run into by oncoming cars making left turns because the drivers inexplicably fail to see them. If motorcyclists are not easily seen, I assume bicyclists are even less easily seen. Watch out for those left turners!!

  2. Yeah, it sucks, but when you ride on the road you will often have strange, scary or angerizing encounter with cars. Its best to be prepared, I’m visual and the diagrams from that site make it easy to picture dangerous meetings with a car in my mind and always coming out allright. Cars are heavy hard and people are soft and squishy.

    Riding at night when normal people eat dinner is a good time to ride.

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