Cycling

I am blessed to be able to ride a bike. I certainly was not able to for so many years of my life. I was forced to try it after the pain from bone spurs in my feet caused me to walk less than I was accustomed. I was too big to get on a bicycle when I began this journey. I am thankful God carried me far enough to finally be able to bike and keep my weight loss momentum going.

When I started cycling, I only cycled around my neighborhood. Now, as I need more activity to continue my weight loss, I am expanding my cycling zone.

I have a Huffy, seven-speed, multipurpose bike. It works great for getting around town and making it up and down the hills safely. You can buy a bike just like mine here.

As I am expanding my zone, I had to research some basic rules of the road. I will share them with you, below. Please remember I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice.

First, wear a helmet. I know it is not a law in most of our great state of Oklahoma; it is a law in some cities and it makes a lot of sense. Plus, I got tired of everyone lecturing me about bike safety. That mostly stopped after I started wearing the helmet.

Second, be courteous. Most Oklahomans are unfamiliar with the rules of the road for bicycles and may be less than courteous to you. Be careful not to make the situation worse by losing your cool. The same applies to law enforcement; they may know less than you might think about cycling rules so be patient if they pull you over.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. – Ephesians 4:29 ESV

Third, you have a right to be on the road, a right protected in state law, a right which cannot be infringed by local ordinances. You also have the right to a three-foot berth. Drivers of motor vehicles are prohibited from driving within three feet of you. Plus, if you are in a bike lane, chances are the motorist would get in a lot of trouble by infringing on your lane.

Fourth, most traffic laws apply, but not laws specifically for motorized vehicles and not laws which cannot realistically be met by human powered transportation. So, stop at the stoplights, signal, drive on the right side of the road, use lights if driving at night, etc., but don’t worry about meeting the mandatory minimum speeds, driving the speed of motorized traffic, maintaining your signal through the turn, etc.

Fifth, stay to the far right unless you are turning or cannot continue on the far right of the road due to obstacles like cars, potholes, or people. Use common sense.

Sixth, and this is not Oklahoma law…but, keep your hearing and vision free from obstacles of your own making. Don’t wear a hood or other clothing that may block your vision. Do not wear ear buds or headsets, no Bluetooth either. Stay off the phone. It’s just common sense and you can enjoy your ride much better without those things. You need to be able to look behind you by turning your head and you need to listen for traffic.

Seventh, use a backpack or special bike attachment to carry things safely. I tried, unsuccessfully, to hang bags on my handlebars. It’s just not safe. Use a backpack or buy a bike attachment that can safely transport your things without inhibiting the action of cycling and without distracting you.

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