RAGBRAI XLIV Countdown – July 24-30, 2016
Friends of RAGBRAI

Ride Right

RIDE RIGHT Safety Tip #9: The RIGHT Attention



It isn’t easy to concentrate for seven days of bicycle riding with 10,000 or more people, but you have to.  There are all kinds of things to pay attention to including emergency vehicles, gravel or debris on pavement, pavement cracks and railroad tracks.  

I’ve worked as a paramedic in Iowa City for 19 years.  I have driven through some horrendous traffic.  It doesn’t compare to the skill that the RAGBRAI ambulance crews show when they respond to emergency calls within the massive group of riders.  When you hear an ambulance or other emergency vehicle, first locate where it is coming from and where it is going to.  If they will be passing you in either direction, slow down, pull over, and stop.  No drafting, playing chicken, or impeding their path.  To do so is asking for bad karma.  Slow down, pull over, and stop.  

Everyone has seen an increase of attention grabbing devices like cell phones and iPods.  I remember a moment last year when a rider takes BOTH hands off the handle bars and sends a text message.  You know as well as I do that it isn’t that important.  You are on vacation.  Slow down, pull over, stop and then send your text message or answer the phone.  

Leave your iPod in your bag and enjoy it at camp.  You can’t hear what is going on around you and that makes it dangerous for you and everyone else.  Bicycling is social.  Instead of blocking the outside world, make a new friend or two while you are riding.  

You will see some great pavement along the RAGBRAI route, but you will also see some horrible pavement.  Some crashes happen because of sand, gravel, branches and other debris.  Slow down and pay attention.  

Roads are sometimes constructed with expansion joints in the center of the road.  Pavement expands and contracts and those joints take the stress off from the pavement and extend the life of the road.  Those joints can produce gaps wide enough to swallow a bicycle tire and cause a crash.  Don’t ride in the centerline area or any part of the road with lateral cracks.  

Finally, railroad tracks can be hazardous.  Many are very rough.  Riders need to cross them at right angles.  You will often see riders swerving to a different position on the road when approaching railroad tracks so they can get a right angle across them.  If you are going to change lane position, signal and call out the railroad tracks.  

The key to the RIGHT Attention on RAGBRAI is keeping your head up, eyes and ears open to any hazards.  When you have emergency vehicles, road debris, cracks and pavement irregularities, or railroad tracks, slow down, move to the right, and stop if you need to.  Leave your attention grabbing devices in your luggage so you can keep your eye out for problems on the road.  

If you are going to ride RAGBRAI safely, you are going to keep in mind the following safety tips:
1. The RIGHT stuff.
2. The RIGHT gear.
3. The RIGHT communications.
4. The RIGHT riding.
5. The legal RIGHT.
6. The RIGHT frame of mind.
7. The RIGHT abilities
8. The RIGHT attitude
9. The RIGHT attention.
10. The RIGHT condition

Mark Wyatt is the executive director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, a statewide advocacy organization for bicycling.  Mark is also a League Cycling Instructor (LCI), board member for the Alliance for Bicycling and Walking.  More information about the Iowa Bicycle Coalition can be found at www.iowabicyclecoalition.org.  

 

4 Responses on “RIDE RIGHT Safety Tip #9: The RIGHT Attention

Jim Kuhn

July 16, 2011 at 4:14 am

Great advice. Thank you.

Brian

July 17, 2011 at 7:07 am

I saw a young lady loose a few teeth last year outside Garner when her attempt to send a text while riding failed. Avoid the temptation, its not worth ruining your RAGBRAI.

ALL RISKS INSURANCE

March 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your weblog. You have some really good articles and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some material for your blog
in exchange for a link back to mine. Please
send me an email if interested. Cheers!

hd

July 13, 2013 at 10:45 pm

hey there and thank you for your information – I’ve definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise some technical points using this website, since I experienced to reload the site lots of times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for a lot more
of your respective fascinating content. Ensure that you update this again soon.

Leave a Reply

Latest Blog Posts

  • RAGBRAI XLIV Daily Maps are Now Available!

    The daily bike maps for RAGBRAI XLIV are now available for downloading. You will find bike maps, mileage between towns, meeting towns, elevations, bike shop locations, service times and ...

  • RAGBRAI Training: Rule #4:  Resting is Training Too

    Number 4 on my 5 Rules of Training list is rest. God said to rest one day a week, I say you can even rest two or even three days ...

  • RAGBRAI Adds “Mile of Silence” to Remember Riders We Have Lost

    A “Mile of Silence” will be dedicated to the memory of those who sadly have been injured or killed while enjoying a bicycle ride.

  • RAGBRAI Training: Rule #3: Ride Fast

    All right, I know I’ve said numerous times in this blog that RAGBRAI is not a race, so why would I tell you to go out and ride fast in ...

  • Wristband Transfer Form Now Available

    Wristband Transfers: If you are unable to participate in RAGBRAI, and won’t be asking for a refund on your registration, you have the option to sell your wristband packet on our ...

  • RAGBRAI Training: Rule #2 : Ride Far

    Rule #1 is Ride Consistently. Rule #2 is built upon Rule #1. Riding consistently will prepare your body for the daily rigors of riding on RAGBRAI. ...

  • RAGBRAI Route Inspection Pre-Ride Day 7 - Washington to Muscatine

    Today we completed our ride from the Missouri to the Mississippi and rode 49.7 miles from Washington to Muscatine with 1,314 feet of climb.

  • RAGBRAI Route Inspection Pre-Ride Day 6 – Ottumwa to Washington

    Today we rode 68.5 miles from Ottumwa to Washington, with 2,541 feet of climb.

  • 45 photos: Friday RAGBRAI Route Preview

    Take a peek at ride what riders could encounter between Ottumwa and Washington in July.

  • RAGBRAI Route Inspection Pre-Ride Day 5 – Centerville to Ottumwa

    Today we rode 53.2 miles from Centerville to Ottumwa, with 1,999 feet of climb. The landscape stole the show today, we had to stop many times for photo ops.

Latest Videos

  • On Tuesday, June 28, 2016 a "ghost bike" was installed in rural Boone County to mark the spot where Mark Snopek was killed while riding his bike on August 8, 2007.

  • RAGBRAI 2016 Jersey

  • Merchandise Monday! Riders Try on the 2016 RAGBRAI Jersey

  • Darrel Harken of Riceville said goodbye to his daughter Grace as she headed home on her bike. Moments later he and his other daughter Hannan stop at a car accident only to discover the woman who was hit by a car is Grace.

  • Where will RAGBRAI ride in 2016? See the full RAGBRAI XLIV route including overnight and stopover towns.

  • Register reporters talk with RAGBRAI founder John Karras about the announcement that RAGBRAI and the Des Moines Register were working to create a statue of Karras and fellow founder Don Kaul.

  • RAGBRAI director T.J. Juskiewicz talks about the southern Iowa 2016 route. "We haven't been to some of these towns in a long time!" he says.

  • Miss the live RAGBRAI 2016 overnight town announcement show? Join Kyle Munson, Michael Morain as they chat with RAGBRAI riders and towns vying for a spot on this year's route. And learn the overnight towns, of course!

  • Watch as RAGBRAI director T.J. Juskiewicz unveils the 2016 RAGBRAI overnight towns. The route is heading to the southern cities of Glenwood, Shenandoah, Creston, Leon, Centerville, Ottumwa, Washington and Muscatine.

  • Get the details on this year's RAGBRAI overnight towns in southern Iowa.

Find us socially

Email Signup

Sign up for the latest RAGBRAI news and notes (if there is no news in a day, you won’t get an e-mail).

© 2016 RAGBRAI | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy