Auto Club, AAA, For Bicyclists
August 17, 2009

share the road licenseGhost BikesLast month Triple A of Oregon started covering bicyclists as well as motorists. They may or may not fix your flat tire, but they will give you and your bike a lift home or to your car as part of your membership benefits.

This is great news for those of us who bike alone, or those of us who don’t pack a spare tire. This is fantastic news for those of us who have had some ‘incidents’ while bicycling. For example, a friend of mine on a bike path was hit head on by another bicyclist and dislocated her collar bone. A trip to the hospital followed the accident and her bike was locked to a sign and wasn’t retrieved for days. Had she Triple A, they would have taken her and her bike to her home, or even to the hospital.

Many women and men over the age of 50 bicycle for recreation and exercise. Over used knees respond well to biking. Biking is easier on the knees compared to running or even walking, especially on roads and streets. The speed, fun and mobility biking gives is reminiscent of childhood. Biking is a great way to explore an area or neighborhood.

I have always loved to bike. Here in Portland we are spoiled by the many bike paths and traffic friendly drivers to bikes. Of course there are always accidents especially at night. Ghost Bikes (bikes painted white or plastic flowers glued to the frames locked to a post) adorn those intersections where someone lost their life in a biking/car accident. They are a grim reminder to motorists and cyclists to share the road.  In Oregon we even have a license plate option that has a bike and share the road caption.

Many Portlanders bike for transportation. Their daily commute is often a mix of biking, busing, and walking. It is amazing to see some commuters biking up some very steep roads. A common conversation among biking enthusiasts is wrapped around the safest and flattest directions to various destinations.  There are slang expressions used for cyclists who cruise through a stop sign, or pass on the right on a bike path. Biking etiquette is reinforced on paths in signs and paint on the pavement that are shared with walkers and joggers. Personally my favorite bike etiquette is the bell. Often I have been scared when another cyclist passes me with a quite “On your left”. I prefer a ringing bell to alert me that some one is passing me on the bike paths, and reminds me to share the road, or path.