Category Archives: commuting

Aside

When a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and a car to share safely, the cyclist is entitled to the use of the entire lane. Within this lane, the cyclist usually rides on the right half to facilitate visibility … Continue reading

driver pleads guilty to killing cyclist, gets $500 fine and 6month license suspension

$500 fine/6month license suspension for driver pleading GUILTY to careless driving and KILLING a cyclist. THE MEDIA AND GOVERNMENT HATE CYCLISTS! what is Michael Jackson’s doctor charged with? how much prison time did Micheal Vick serve for animal cruelty? martha stewart for insider trading? how many people do time for having a freakin’ joint on them? Shit like this is why Key West and every city needs a strong, vocal, real, cycling advocacy group that will challenge the status quo, and truly rock the boat, squeak, scream, protest and do what ever is necessary to TRULY create a safer environment for cyclists.

Read Story Here

The cyclist was an advocate, much loved in his community. This could be any one of us next week on the Southard Street “bike lane” or Olivia Street or Truman Avenue.

We need to make sure this doesn’t happen here. again. and again.

u lock missed concept/bike lock FAIL

i saw this very very new cruiser locked up on (XXXcensored to protect owner!XXX) Street last week. the owner decided to use the U-Lock to connect the much thinner cable. Now, usually, the U-Lock is used to lock the frame to a rack or pole and use the cable to secure the wheels to deter their theft, especially if you have quick release skewers. yes, the was no way to use the U-lock on that fence… but there was plenty of secure spots very near by.

also, please notice the cable locks around the vertical plank, which can be easily ripped off allowing a bicycle thief to abscond with the sweet cruiser. it would have been much more secure to lock the cable around the horizontal supports which cannot be simply ripped out.

lock smart everyone, i hate hearing about stolen bike and there are too many bike thieves roaming this island and they will always go for the low hanging fruit first! lock safe, ride hard!

take the lane!


The Florida Bicycle Law Enforcement Guide is a great little booklet. Everyone should carry one 😉

Today’s lesson is Position on Roadway {316.206595)}.
A cyclist traveling less than the “normal speed of traffic” must ride as close as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway, except in the following situations:
when passing another vehicle
when making a left turn. you should be positioned in the center of the lane or more towards the left side of the lane. This lets other traffic know your intention as well as signaling a left hand turn by simply pointing or looking to the left.

when reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal or surface hazard. This includes an opening car door and potholes as well as drunks wandering into the street.

when a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side. This is almost every road on the island!

The guide recommends cyclists stay about two feet out from the curb to be safe and visible and four feet out from parallel parked cars to avoid being doored. State Law requires cars to pass cyclists by at least three feet of clearance. This pretty much puts a cyclist in the middle of the lane on most streets on this island, which wouldn’t be a problem if more cars respected this as well slowed the F down. Riding in this style will certainly get you beeped at, and that means the car behind you sees you, which can only be a good thing. It is the car that doesn’t see you that is an accident waiting to happen.

Of course you will also encounter the driver who will wail on their horn and yell at you to get out of the road. This driver obviously feels as though they have more of a right to the road and that their life and their car are far more important to you. Perhaps they feel inferior to be stuck driving their noisy expensive purchase behind a happy, healthy cyclist enjoying their travels. I wonder where else in their pathetic lives they simply and  quickly throw honking or yelling tantrums. I can imagine them driving a shopping cart at the super market yelling at people in their way. No, wait. Actually i can’t, because these people don’t have the balls to yell at someone when they are not encased by thousands of pounds of steel and tinted windows!

I’d like to quote BikeSnobNYC where he compares a car driver telling a cyclist to get off the road to, “telling women to get out of the voting booth and back in the kitchen or telling Japanese-Americans to “Go back to China!” The ignorance inherent in the statement is almost as offensive  than the sentiment behind it.” Well written BikeSnob. We have the right to be able to ride safely in peace and without intimidation from other drivers or misinformed police officers. Now get out there and own that right…ride on!

The Florida Law Enforcement guide is available two ways on the
The Florida Bicycle Association website
A third way is to stop in at Fixed Gears Bicycle Shop, 421 Simonton Street, and pick up a free copy. There are lots of rights that many cyclists do not realize they have and this guide explains them well. I hope to continue to share this information and am very grateful to the FBA for all of their work, thank you! If you are not a member, please consider joining.

Come and visit us? key west?

This evening i finally got around to reading my June issue of Adventure Cyclist. Yes, such a magazine exists, its pretty cool. Anyways, a letter from a reader got me thinking about Key West. He wrote about two signs at his city’s main entrances that said, “Welcome to Snohomish, Thank You for Sharing the Road.” The thought was to welcome people entering the city, increase awareness of bicycle activities, increase safety and enhance a mutual respect between motorists and cyclists, and encourage cycling for commuting, recreation and fitness. Nice! Well done.

The reader also mentioned how his city was the terminus of a 27mile rail-trail and added, “Come visit us.”

Here in Key west we are the terminus of the Overseas Heritage Trail, a 106 mile corridor from Key Largo featuring more than 70 completed miles. We are a destination for worldwide travelers and have thousands of cyclists.

And our sign?

I remember last year the electronic trailer sign thingee on Rt.1 at the Triangle of Death as you enter the island said something like, “Cyclists must obey traffic laws, $5million fine for running a red light.” This was of course right next to the sign that says “right lane keep moving don’t stop” 30 yards before a freaking crosswalk. A crosswalk with no walk signal and no reminder to cars they must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. That isn’t mutually respectful, encouraging, positive or even remotely safe.

We have a long way to go here to really have cyclists and pedestrians thought about and cared for by the city, and truly supported by the city. Hopefully that will happen as Key West and the Keys can continue to be a world destination for cycling, touring or just taking a holiday from work and cars and enjoying the island by bicycle.

National Bike Summit

Here’s a cut and paste from an email from the FBA.:

National Bike Summit- Acting on a simple solution

There are more people riding bikes than ever. Yet half of all U.S. trips are three miles or less, and more than 90 percent are made by car. The National Bike Summit has improved bicycle-friendliness and livability in many communities, but the need and opportunity to improve physical activity, safety and livability in the U.S., while reducing congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on oil – remains greater today than a decade ago.

These issues seem difficult to solve but the answer is simple. The answer is the bicycle. Now is the time to ask Congress to make strategic transportation investments that foster healthy people and healthy communities. Join us March 8-10 in Washington, D.C. to act on a simple solution – the bicycle.

Janette Sadik-Khan, the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, is the keynote speaker at the National Bike Summit’s opening plenary, Wednesday March 9. Since her appointment in 2007, New York City has completed more than 250 miles of bike lanes and 20 miles of cycle track; passed innovative bicycle parking legislation and delivered extensive education and safety programs. Bicycle use has doubled since 2006, while fatalities have fallen to their lowest level in decades.

Visit the League of American Bicyclists website today, and register for this exciting event: National Bike Summit 2011

ride safe and know your rights

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Hello my fellow riders. there’s a few things we should all be doing to stay legal, but more importantly, to be safe and stay alive to enjoy another healthy day. These few things would certainly reduce accidents, anger and broken bones.

Please ride on the right side of the street. Though some believe they are safer facing the traffic, its is a proven fact that riding against traffic is far far more dangerous and results in more accidents.

Lights at night. A red light in the rear and a white headlight are a state law that makes sense. You really want cars to see you, especially in Key West where you got gawking tourists, cellphonetalkingscofflaws and drunk drivers are not paying much attention to the road…or your life.

Please respect one way streets. Please don’t pedal the wrong way in a bike lane. It creates a bad situation for everyone and no one knows what you’re gonna do next.

You have the right to take the entire lane if a car cannot safely pass you. State law requires cars to pass cyclists by at least three feet. If it is not safe to be passed, take the lane. The car does NOT have more right to the road and legally and safely must yield to you until safe to pass.

There are two great, free publications available.
The Florida Bicycle Law Enforcement Guide
The above link opens in the FBA website with two ways to get the guide. A third way is to stop in Fixed Gears Bicycle Shop, 421 Simonton Street, and pick up a free copy. There are lots of rights that many cyclists do not realize they have and this guide explains them well.
I am working on a link for the other publication, check back this weekend!

Ride on!