On the Start of the New Year

We received this message from Ben August recently:

I was riding through downtown Carrboro the other day on my way to work when a cyclist passed me at a red light at Jones Ferry and Main. Not two blocks further, I found him upside down in the right lane, having been run off the road by a driver in a work van who passed him, forgot about him, and then turned right in front of him. Thankfully, this was in downtown and everything was low-speed and nobody was hurt. The driver admitted that he passed him and didn’t realize he was still coming up on the right. The cyclist admitted his brakes didn’t work (a quick glance at his rear wheel confirmed this). The cyclist didn’t need any help, so I left for the office as they exchanged information.

This is the first week of school here at UNC, and there are a lot of newbies on the roads, both on bikes and in cars. There might be even more bikes here than there were last year. Here are a couple of common-sense things we all can take from the above:


– Stop at red lights and stop signs. Follow the rules. Would you run that red light in a car? Of course not.
– Wear your helmet. The cyclist above was lucky in that he was not helmeted and turned out okay. But brain injuries are serious, and getting more serious as sports medicine folks continue to understand their long-term effects.

– Don’t ride it if you can’t stop it. Make sure your bike is in working order, both the ‘go-parts’ and the ‘stop-parts’. There are three bike shops and a co-op within a mile or so of campus.

– Give cyclists 2 feet when you pass them: it’s the law.
– Don’t forget the cyclist you just passed… he’s probably still heading in your direction!

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