gpollice

Cycling scores

In Cycling on August 22, 2009 at 3:35 pm

I really enjoy getting out on my bicycle. I have a hybrid bike—a Bianchi Boardwalk—that I don’t get out enough on. I did just hit the 3,000 mile mark on my bike, but that’s over several years. I’m hoping that I’ll have over 500 miles this year before I put the bike away for the winter.

Since I got into cycling, I’ve been interested in how people ride. Specifically, I look at whether people ride safely or not. It’s only common sense that one should wear a helmet when riding, especially if they use toe clips or have the locking shoes like I have. More than once I’ve not been able to disengage the shoe from the pedal in time as I came to a stop and ended up falling. A couple of times my head hit the ground. Thankfully I had my helmet on. Although some think that I’ve got a rather hard skull, I’m sure that I would have had a few cracks in it were it not for the helmet.

What really amazes me is the other things people do when riding. My wife, Vikki, and I have begun to count the number of cyclists per hundred who don’t have helmets on. The Jersey shore is the worst place since so many people are there for vacation and just go off riding without thinking about safety. during the summer the average is 10-15 per 100 who wear helmets. Around here there is a much higher incidence of helmeted riders since most of the people are out on bike trails or on the roads getting their exercise.

Lately, Vikki and I talked about a more fun way of counting the people on bikes. We want a point system. Here’s what we’re thinking (low scores are best).

  • Wearing a helmet (-2 pt.)
  • Going with traffic (-1 pt.)
  • Going against traffic (1 pt.)
  • No helmet (1 pt.)
  • Kid with helmet, parent without (2 pt.)
  • Talking on the cell phone while riding (2 pt.)
  • Texting while riding (4 pt.)
  • Carrying a passenger (handelbars or otherwise) (3 pt.)
  • Dog in a front basket (2 pt.)

So, what am I missing? I’d really like to hear what people think. Maybe I can create an app for a mobile device that will let one tally the scores easily—you know, when we’re driving the car and not paying attention to the road but looking for cyclists. 🙂

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