RAGBRAI XLII Countdown – July 20-26, 2014
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

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Advertisement

Latest Blog Posts

  • RAGBRAI celebrity Taco Johnson helps dad, son connect

    How to make the boy understand and simultaneously stay better connected with him throughout the week? Eureka! The universal, ageless antidote for the doldrums: Legos.

  • Top 10 things we'll remember about RAGBRAI XLII

    After 42 years, each ride can seem pretty much like the one before -- except when they don't.

  • Beer ride: Microbrews catch up on RAGBRAI

    RAGBRAI has a reputation for being awash in light beer from corporate breweries. Yet more craft brewers are training palates at the state's biggest rolling party.

  • Conquered: What cyclists defeated to finish RAGBRAI

    This was only my fourth time on the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, and yet I struggle to conjure an appropriate description of this bizarre, beloved pilgrimage that ...

  • Colorado couple undaunted by RAGBRAI's tiny hills

    Dave and Kathi Dibbern perched themselves on a tree stump Saturday in Garber, the final pass-through town before RAGBRAI’s finish line in Guttenberg. They ride a tandem bicycle. And they’re unafraid ...

  • Video: How does it feel to finish RAGBRAI?

    Riders react at the Guttenberg dip site.

  • Video: Whoa! RAGBRAI riders overlook the scenic view in Guttenberg

    Riders stopped for photos on a bluff overlooking the mighty Mississippi River at Guttenberg.

  • "Strawberry Shortcake" greets RAGBRAI riders

    The 15-year-old Starmont High School student hands out strawberry hard candies to RAGBRAI riders in Strawberry Point

  • Video: Iowa's favorite bachelor steals hearts on RAGBRAI

    Iowan "Bachelorette" competitor Chris Soules greets riders in Strawberry Point

  • Iowa's favorite bachelor steals hearts in Strawberry Point

    A tire dip in the Mississippi is a rite of passage for RAGBRAI riders - but a smile and a hug from Iowa's favorite bachelor was the must-have photo opportunity ...

Latest Videos

  • A group of friends from Canada spent the week on RAGBRAI and recount their best moments.

  • As RAGBRAI XLII comes to an end, friends from California talk about the emotion behind dipping their tires into the Mississippi River at the end of the ride.

  • Riders react at the Guttenberg dip site.

  • Riders stopped for photos on a bluff overlooking the mighty Mississippi River at Guttenberg.

  • Iowan "Bachelorette" competitor Chris Soules greets riders in Strawberry Point

  • Former Iowa Hawkeye and NFL tight end Dallas Clark talks about his second RAGBRAI and his hope of someday moving his family back to Iowa.

  • The LeBeaus are known as royalty in Iowa and for their funky socks!

  • Jason Pardie, of Muscatine, is participating in his sixth RAGBRAI on a unicycle.

  • The LeBeaus are known as royalty on RAGBRAI and for their funky socks.

  • A Dutch woman describes the differences of biking in the Netherlands and biking in 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).

© 2014 RAGBRAI | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy