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TRIA Orthopaedic Center Your Cycling Blog

Ride Safely and Be Prepared for the Worst

May 26, 2009

Bob McEnaney has over 33 years experience coaching performance athletes of all ages, genders and ability levels. He has trained and competed in triathlon, cycling, and running races of all distances. His personal experience is backed by years of formal training which has aided in formulating effective performance training plans used by hundreds of athletes across the country.

Bob is a certified coach through both USA Triathlon and USA Cycling. He also is a member of Joe Friel’s exclusive “Ultrafit” Association of Coaches. Additionally, he is a Certified Personal Trainer and holds a Sports Fitness Specialist advanced certification through NASM. This combination of long-time coaching experience and personal race experience puts Bob in a unique position to create time efficient and effective cycling training plans to help athletes train properly.

McEnaney will be contributing to the NVGP blog for additional tips that will help riders of all ages and abilities get to that next level. His insight can be found at Total Cycling Performance. Here’s his first contribution:

I nearly got hit by a semi this morning; one of those big sand/gravel trucks.

I was riding toward a roundabout, something I do on most rides. It’s a harmless roundabout, with great visibility all around. The truck was coming from my right hand side, and I’m quite sure he saw me. But even so, I put my hands on my brakes, just in case.

I arrived at the roundabout before the truck, so technically I had the right of way. There are two lanes in this roundabout and I was in the outside lane because I was going to go straight through.

I was very close to the truck’s entrance into the roundabout and I could see that he wasn’t slowing down so I started to brake. The truck was in the right hand lane and blew right through the roundabout and cut into the left lane as he was going around.

I was forced to slam my brakes on. The semi was so long that even as I skidded its rear tires were right in front of me. Fortunately I was able to stay upright and avoid skidding toward the wheels. I know who would have come out on top of that one.

The lesson of the day is to be aware. Be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of your situation and who’s around. And anticipate that the driver won’t see you or won’t care about you.

And while avoiding traffic is a topic that’s discussed often, the same rules apply to group rides. Riders are often side by side at high speeds, wheels overlapping and riders changing position. Awareness in a group situation is every bit as important as traffic awareness.

Anticipate that the riders next to you aren’t aware of you, or that they don’t possess good bike handling skills, and that they aren’t able to hold a line.

A crash is a crash, whether it involves a vehicle or another bike. Ride defensively, communicate, anticipate and be aware. Enjoy your riding, but ride safely.