SEATTLE—Seattle’s Ride to Work Day (presented by F5) was an attempt to raise bike awareness and ridership.
It’s also a chance to for newcomers to see that not all bikers are snarling abusers of the rules of the roads, and for bikers to remember that not all drivers are clueless bike haters. In fact, most people drive and ride. The less anger out there, the safer we’ll all be. It’s dangerous enough as it is.
We did a couple of things to demonstrate that Friday. One was to do a bike riding live shot for the news, on a tandem bike, through a dangerous construction zone. I wouldn’t recommend it. I would recommend you listen to the advice of a bike professional.
Seattle bicycle messenger Brian Yumul is a fixture on the streets. He gets packages and letters from points A to B faster than an Amazon drone. Along the way he mingles with every road menace imaginable. His advice is exactly what Bike to Work Day is all about.
“If you ride too emotional or too fast then you’re committed and locked in,” advised Yumul. “That’s when bad things happen because you don’t have any options at that point.”
Yumul said if he has a nasty encounter or close call, he sheds it like a rain layer in a sun break. He warned that holding on to anger for even a short distance can get you in big trouble.
He said he also keeps his distance from other riders, cars and pedestrians. Space is good.
Finally, he said find the rhythm of the road and flow with it.
Rhythm was important for our tandem bike ride, but I think our flow left something to be desired.