RAGBRAI XLV Countdown – July 23-29, 2017
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

  • A big thanks to nuun hydration for supporting RAGBRAI

    A big thanks to nuun for supporting RAGBRAI and keeping riders hydrated this summer!

  • Thank you to TransIowa Equipment

    Thank you to TransIowa Equipment for helping keep the #RAGBRAI towns clean every day!

  • Thanks Jamis!

    Just wanted to thank Jamis Bikes for supporting #RAGBRAI this summer. This is the 3rd year Jamis has brought a fleet of bikes to Iowa.

  • Thanks Bianchi!

    Just wanted to thank Bianchi for their continued support of #RAGBRAI every summer by bringing their demo team to Iowa!

  • RAGBRAI Web Store Now Open!

    The RAGBRAI Web Store is NOW OPEN!

  • RAGBRAI Training: Now that RAGBRAI is Over for Another Year, What Should You Do?

    Well, RAGBRAI came and went, and I hope you were well prepared and had a great time. Hopefully you learned something to do better for next year.

  • Adventure Traveler's Video Captures the Essence of RAGBRAI

    Check out this great ‪‎RAGBRAI‬ video from Ryan Van Duzer, who travels the world and creating content aimed at inspiring people to hit the road.

  • Congratulations to the Dream Team on Another Great Year!

    The Dream Team uses the power of a bicycle to assist youth in developing a positive approach to life’s challenges.

  • Congratulations to Grace from Shenandoah for Winning the 2016 RAGBRAI Kid’s Art Contest

    This year’s winner of the RAGBRAI Kid’s Art Contest is 9 year old Grace from Shenandoah. Grace’s artwork depicted the local theme in Shenandoah of “Peace, Love, Ride”

  • Good and bad luck of another unforgettable RAGBRAI

    Amid tragedy and serendipity, you can't make this stuff up.

Latest Videos

  • Take a look back on all the fun moments the Des Moines Register staff captured on video during RAGBRAI 2016.

  • Riders brave the swinging bridge in Columbus Junction.

  • Winds remain out of the northeast for Saturday and with partly sunny skies, highs will hold in the lower 80s. The weekend looks dry for the most part, perfect for those finishing up Ragbrai or maybe heading out to the Indianola Balloon Classic.

  • Omaha-based Team Pump's bus is one of the most colorful, and oldest, team buses currently operating in RAGBRAI.

  • Hal Colliver has been collecting signs since 1973. Its a hobby of his he loves to share with others who often stop by to look at his barn.

  • Teresa Condon and Tracy Henriksen have fun in their infant costumes.

  • Riders take over Wooden Wheel Vineyard

  • The complete century ride, including the Karras Loop, from Leon to Centerville on RAGBRAI 2016.

  • Lyle Dumont has built and rebuilt enough model trains and full size tractors to fill 30,000 square feet of space. Take a look around his collections

  • \u0022The best part of this job is hearing all the thank-yous,\u0022 Iowa State Patrol trooper says.

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