GETTING “DOORED” ON A BICYCLE
By Larry Glickfeld
Any bike rider knows that, as healthy an activity as cycling is, it can also be hazardous to your health.
As opposed to the mostly self-imposed crashes while mountain biking on backcountry trails, we tend to be far more exposed to the whims and inattention of others on city streets and highways. This is especially so in this day and age when drivers too often have their eyes glued to their smartphones.
While most experienced road cyclists tend to be well aware of their surroundings, I’ve often noted riders aren’t as tuned in when riding along a roadway or bike lane beside a row of parked cars.
Cyclists need to be aware that vehicle doors can swing open with no warning. And riding into an open metal door at 15- 25 mph is the same as running into a concrete wall.
While it may be possible to watch for drivers or passengers in the vehicle, with all the other distractions out there, it would be best to leave at least a car door’s width between yourself and the vehicle at all times. Of course that ideal defense mechanism can become a bit complicated when there is also traffic, but the cyclist may just have to slow down a bit or swing out and “take the road” as necessary.
Additionally, use of a mirror on your helmet or handlebars can help bikers avoid having to turn their heads, which is asking for trouble in any situation.
True, this tends to be more of a big city problem — it was especially noticeable to me when I was riding with a small group along the bike lanes of Seattle – but we’re certainly not immune from this situation here in Wenatchee. Not only is getting “doored” no fun, but it can put you out of action for months or worse.
Another article for you to read if you are interested in learning more about getting “doored”.
Larry Glickfeld is a member of the Wenatchee Valley Velo club and has been cycling regularly for some 55 years.