Cycling

Yehuda Moon Cycling Comics On Sale

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Yehuda Moon is an excellent cycling comic that was in production for a number of years. The team behind Yehuda Moon is currently on a break from making new comics but some of their complilation books are on sale for $7 each for a limited time. If you have never heard of Yehuda Moon and you are a cyclist now is a great time to pick up the first several volumes of this wonderful comic strip and start reading!

You can purchase Volumes 1, 2 and 3 at a discount for a limited time here.

Illegally Yielding to Cyclists

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You might be asking yourself how yielding to a cyclist could be illegal much less a bad thing to do but it is most definitely both. I am out riding on the roads on my road bike every weekend and at least several times a month the following scenario happens to me...

I am signaling to turn left onto a residential street and there is a car approaching me in the oncoming lane of traffic to my left. They see me signaling to turn left so they stop in the middle of traffic to allow me turn left in front of them while they wait.

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Diagram showing me turning left when an oncoming car is stopped and attempting to yield to me (base image from hackerspace.kinja.com and then annotated by me)

Legally I have to yield right of way to the car but they are trying to do what they think is a kind gesture. Unfortunately I can't take advantage of this gesture of kindness. I have to nod my head no, stop in the middle of the road and wait for the car to proceed in confusion. Here is why this is such a dangerous situation for me...

As a cyclist my best defense on the road is to be as predictable as possible. That means following traffic laws...all of them. In the situation I just described above I have to yield to oncoming traffic when I turn left. When a car decides to yield to me (instead of me yielding to it) it does several things that put me in danger.

1) It confuses any cars that may be behind me in traffic. Remember, this is a very large and heavy vehicle that is traveling behind me. I don't want the driver of that car to be confused about what I am doing. I have already been signaling that I am preparing to turn left. So the car behind me is expecting me to yield to oncoming traffic (which means slowing down and sometimes coming to a complete stop) and to turn left. What if the car behind me is also turning left? Will they also try to turn in front of the same car? Maybe they will ride very close to me to try and squeeze through with me? These are all very non-standard activities which put me at risk.

2) The car that has stopped in the middle of the road to yield to me at the intersection has now confused any cars behind them. Most cars that see a car in front of them slowing down or stopping at a residential intersection assume the car is going to turn (regardless of whether the car has a turn signal on or not since it is common for people to not use them). Or even worse, they assume the driver of the car is lost or confused. Either way, the car approaching behind the car that is attempting to yield to me is now more likely to simply go around this stopped car instead of stopping behind it. If I were in the process of turning left when they went around the stopped car they would hit me before they even saw I was there.

3) Liability. If I turn left in front of an oncoming car in this situation I am now at fault for anything that happens anywhere in the vicinity. I have failed to yield to oncoming traffic and am therefore responsible for any accidents that may occur because of the situation.

So if you have done the act of kindness I describe above for a cyclist on the road first let me thank you for the kind gesture. Cyclists really do appreciate it when cars go out of their way to try and make things safe for them. But in this situation I simply can't take advantage of the act of kindness. I wish I could stop in the middle of road and explain to every driver that does this why this is such a dangerous situation for me, but stopping in the middle of the road to chat is also dangerous. So I am writing the blog post instead. So if you see me out on the road there is one thing you can do that will help keep me safe...treat me like any other vehicle on the road. It is what other cars are used to seeing and it causes the least amount of confusion (making my actions on the road as predictable as possible).

Cycling With an iPhone 7 Plus

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Normally when I am out on my road bike I stick my iPhone in one of my jersey back pockets. But if I am just out going for a short bike ride with my kids and I'm not wearing all my bike gear, I have a bit of a problem. Anything breathable enough to be worn while cycling either doesn't have pockets or the pockets are certainly not secure enough for my iPhone. Also, I don't own an arm band large enough for an iPhone Plus model. Partly because I don't have much use for one (I run with my Apple Watch only and leave my iPhone at home) and partly because wearing an armband with an iPhone 7 Plus looks like you strapped a surf board to your arm (unless you have arms like Chris Evans...which sadly I do not).

So how do I go for a short bike ride with my kids and take my iPhone along? Well, this may not be the most elegant solution but in a pinch it worked just fine. Everybody has a few of these sport drawstring bags laying around don't they? I mean what else do you do when you want to carry around a phone that is darn near as big as a tablet?

Morning Ride

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I saw this Apple ad for iPhone 7 the other day and absolutely loved it. Being a bit of a cycling nut this ad really speaks to me. For example, this past weekend I went for a morning ride just like I normally do except this time I didn't have to put my iPhone in a Ziplock bag before putting it in my jersey pocket. Since I have an iPhone 7 there is no longer any concern about sweat or rain getting into the phone a ruining it. I also ride in the 500-mile Bike Across Kansas (BAK) ride as often as I can, and we ride through some pretty atrocious conditions. In fact, some of my most memorable rides on BAK were in truly nasty weather conditions. There is just something about an extreme physical challenge...

Cycling Web Comic Yehuda Moon is Back!

From YehudaMoon.com

From YehudaMoon.com

My beloved daily ritual of grabbing a cup of hot joe and reading my favorite cycling web comic came crashing down several years ago when Rick Smith stopped producing the daily cycling web comic Yehuda Moon. Then last fall Rick Smith announced that Yehuda Moon was coming back and put out a Kickstarter Campaign. Rick announced that as part of campaign that he was writing all new comics, which the Kickstarter offered in a brand new Vol. 6 to be published this summer. And as promised, we now have an updated Yehuda Moon website where Rick is publishing daily web comics again. If you are an avid cyclist or even just somebody that enjoys getting out on your beach cruiser bike a few times a month, there are things in this comic that appeal to the entire cycling community.

The comic has a wide variety of characters, which is what makes it so appealing to entire cycling community. You have Yehuda Moon, the old-school dyed-in-the-wool (quite literally) utilitarian cyclist, Joe King the weekend "weight weenie" road cyclist and Thistle Gin the bike shop assistant who loves running errands around town with her daughter a way cool Bakfiets (Dutch cargo bike). So go visit the updated Yehuda Moon website, hit the "First" button to start at the beginning or just read a few random strips. You can even buy the physical books like I have, they are great for pulling out and doing a bit of binge reading when you need a break and good laugh. What ever you do, don't miss out on this great comic if you are into cycling...

From YehudaMoon.com

From YehudaMoon.com

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