Cyclists’ Concerns

As a cyclist safety is a big concern with everyone as they’re riding through town. Whether it’s a joyride around the block or the daily commute from home to the office, being safe out there on the road is something that follows us all as we pedal forward.

Being aware of your surroundings at all times as a cyclist is the biggest tool to being safe, next to wearing a helmet at all times. But sometimes that isn’t enough.

Careless drivers have put Thomas Berry, sophomore student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU, in danger in the past. A driver in Tempe cut off Berry while he was riding because the driver didn’t see him.

“There are a lot of problems with safety in Phoenix. There are not enough bike lanes for cyclists. A lot of drivers don’t respect cyclists so it gets dangerous riding on the road,” Berry said.

One thing that Berry thinks would make cycling safer in the valley would for there to be many more bike lanes than there are now.

When there aren’t bike lanes cyclists have to take to riding on the sidewalk when it is a busy street. Environmental Resource Management student, Sean Mayall, frequently rides on the sidewalk.

The roads are in poor condition frequently

The roads are in poor condition frequently

“I don’t always ride on the street,” Mayall said. “It depends on where I am and what time of day it is.”

Riding at high traffic hours can slow down cyclists and keep them on the sidewalk. Many of the sidewalks in Phoenix are in very poor array.

Every cycling related accident that I have gotten in while riding in Phoenix was on the sidewalks. Usually because of the large cracks and narrow ways on the sidewalks I’d find myself being flung off my bike with a skinned arms and knees, wishing there was a bike-lane.

But the roads aren’t much better off. In many places the roads are in poor condition too because of the hot sun that beats down on Phoenix.

Phoenix is much more biker friendly than it has been in the past, but it is still coming along. Thankfully, due to hotspots like Fillmore, Grand Avenue, and the Sonoran Bikeway cycling in Phoenix has become much more easy. But will it be perfect? Only time will tell.

 

 

 

 

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Guide to Flats

Just like when you’re driving a car, riding your bike can easily result in a flat tire. Especially here in downtown Phoenix where potholes, broken glass and debris plague the streets from time to time. Usually when a flat happens it is just the tube that is destroyed, but the tire can get shredded if proper care of the bike isn’t applied. Here is a quick guide to flat tires that is sure to keep your tires up and running while you’re cycling around the place you love, Phoenix.

How to Avoid getting a flat:

The most surefire way to avoid getting a flat is to keep the tire pressure up. Depending on how much tire pressure your bike needs always make sure that it is up to par at the least once a week. And in order to check if your bike has enough pressure place your thumb on your tire and firmly squeeze down on the tire. If it’s firm then you have enough air in your tire, but if the tire does give then be sure to pump it up.

Even with a good tire pressure a cyclist can still be a victim to flats. Always be aware of the road’s quality when you’re cycling. Look out for potholes, glass, garbage and anything else that might puncture your tire. If possible and always when it’s safest turn away from the debris on the road to ensure that you’ll be flat free.

bike tire

Squeeze the tire like so

To fix a flat:

Fixing a flat is a fairly easy process, but can be difficult to do on the road. You’ll need a multi-tool to take off your tire, depending if it’s quick release or not. A good one can be found here

A new tube, which can be bought at any bike shop around phoenix and a hand pump in order to pump it up is almost a must need. If you don’t know how to install a new tube here is a good video that teaches you how here.