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  • Some fifteen years ago, I taught a class on Bicycle safety at the place I then worked. Companies everywhere were getting involved in alternate methods for commuting to and from work, for environmental, as well as economic, and health reasons. The bicycle was my choice for aesthetic pleasure, as much as all other reasons.

    Safety; my own, and that of others was the primary factor in opting for this mode of transportation in the beginning. My vision, (a result of a condition known as 'vitreous floaters') had become a problem that was making it unsafe for me to drive a car. I was literally swerving to avoid objects that were in my view, and did not exist. After being pulled over for erratic lane usage twice, I gave up my license, and driving in general.

    Safety being an important issue, I took some classes through community agencies, and my local police department. I was willing to give of my time at work to share what I had learned.

    Today, I read a cowbird story by Kari Writes, titled "Look twice, save a life". Sound advice, and not just for the motorists, it's the responsibility of cyclists to assure their own safety in all situations. They should never assume that someone else will look after their well being.

    The most important advice I ever received, or gave in classes, involved just the two words in my title.

    In regards to anything you encounter during a bicycle ride, or when walking, or driving a car, the most important advice is this; if it is not stationary (if it moves) make eye contact with the operator before crossing it's path. Most people will not run over anything, or anyone they are aware of willingly, and the only way you can be sure you have their knowledge of your existence is; Eye Contact.

    Aside from the obvious advice, like wearing a helmet, (if you survive an accident, even a small bump can grossly affect your quality of life) These two words can save more lives than any others I can think of, or offer you.

    Live to ride. Stay alive to ride longer.

    Thanks, Kari, for bringing this to light.
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