Riding Your Bicycle
Don't be a hood ornament! To this aim, we offer the following advice:
Wear a helmet. This is the number one bicycling safety tip for Davis or anywhere else. It is illegal to ride your bike without a helmet for anyone under 18, but it would be smart to wear one at any age. If you have a serious bicycling accident, then the doctors can repair many kinds of damage, but they can't repair brain damage. Even concussions that do not lead to hospitalization carry a risk of mental impairment because by definition they are a type of brain injury.
One student was quoted as saying "I'm coming to UCD because I value knowledge, why wouldn't I protect my brain if I can?"
You can get a ticket for not wearing your helmet properly, so buckle that strap. Wearing a helmet with the strap undone is like wearing a condom with the tip cut off.
- Follow both the California Vehicle Code and Davis bike laws.
- Do not go the wrong way in bike lanes. Most bike paths in Davis are two-way, but most bike lanes are one-way. Biking the wrong way is unsafe, illegal, and obnoxious.
- Do not block bike traffic on the busy campus bike paths by walking in the middle, talking on the phone while biking, or biking slowly side-by-side with a friend. These modes of travel are only reasonable when there aren't 50 cyclists behind you trying to get to class.
- Using Cell Phones Using your cell phone while riding your bike is a very dangerous thing, in that it greatly distracts you from where you are and what you are doing. While having that conversation with someone you would be less likely to notice the people walking around you, the bikes coming towards you, or even the car that is right behind you. It is imperative that you know what is going on around you at all times for the safety of everyone involved..
- Biking under the influence is illegal. You can be arrested for BUI.
- Don't react aggressively to rude drivers or bicyclists. You may think that you're helping public safety by teaching them something, but retaliation actually works against public safety.
Wearing headphones This is also an illegal activity for bicyclists. While not strictly enforced, you could get a ticket for doing so. This causes various problems, most of which are due to the inability to hear your surroundings. Other bicyclists can't warn you if they are passing you, you will be unable to hear a vehicle approach, and if you have the volume up enough you wouldn't be able to hear a car that is honking to warn you. There is also danger if you are really getting into the music and start to weave your bike back and forth, as some do. This makes them particularly dangerous as it is unclear as to what they are planning on doing (turning?), no one is able to warn them of possible dangers, and they are weaving in and out of traffic lanes for cars, endangering themselves greatly, as well as the drivers around them. The fine for wearing earphones is $189 as of September 2010. Some may find this law ridiculous and unfair.
- It's actually only illegal to wear headphones that cover/block both ears. If an officer tries to give you a ticket KNOW YOUR RIGHTS.
- A good suggestion for listening to music and not blocking your ears is to go and get a set of "around the neck" headphones. A set that has a single wire attached to the left ear-piece preferably. The headphones can be worn around your neck with the volume adequately high enough that you can still hear the music, but easily hear if someone is approaching you. You can also put the wire down through the back of your shirt and lower the chances of it accidentally getting pulled by the tires.
- Be aware of city bicycle hazards. See the Bicycle Hazards page.
- Understand bike circles: Take the circles seriously; don't zip through the middle. Merge into the circle smoothly, like merging onto a freeway. Traffic always flows counter-clockwise, and bikes already in the circle have the right-of-way over bikes entering the circle.
- Beware of parked cars. Their doors can open at the most inopportune times. Leave yourself some room so you can react.
- The speed limit for bikes is 15 mph on central campus and 10 mph in parking lots. Elsewhere, all posted speed limits must be observed. Rumor has it that campus bike cops enforce the speed limit, although enforcement seems to be rare. If you want to be sure of how fast you are going there are a variety of speedometers available from any of the bike shops in town, that are fairly cheap (especially in comparison to a ticket), and are very easy to install.
Don't cruise through stop signs. Bicycle stop sign violations are a common ticket given in Davis, and can make you a victim of a bike trap. Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to put your feet on the ground to be legal. You just need to come to a complete stop. Davis cops have been known to ticket people based on this imaginary standard and the tickets have been thrown out when challenged in court. The confusion arises from a requirement that a rider must be able to stop and put at least one foot on the ground when riding on a highway. The law doesn't say your stops have to actually be like this. If you do treat stop signs as yield signs, at least be smart about it and watch where you're going. Make sure that it is clear and you're not taking anyone's right of way. Contrary to what some would have you believe, it's perfectly safe if you're aware of your surroundings. It has been legal in Idaho for about 30 years with no statistically significant increases in bicycle injuries. Oh, and watch out for cops, assuming you don't like being ticketed, because it isn't legal here.
A legal stop is defined as having the wheels of your vehicle stop moving. This is completely possible on a bike, without having to put one foot on the ground, but only for a few seconds (unless you're pretty skilled at this).
- Don't speed through parking lots. Cyclists are small, fast-moving objects that often aren't visible to drivers until attached to a fender or bumper. If you are on your bike you must obey the same laws as a car in parking lots (i.e. flow of traffic, not crossing lines). If you don't want to follow the laws then you can hop off your bike and walk wherever you want. Just please keep your eyes open.
- Beware of motor vehicles turning right. It's difficult for a driver who wants to turn right to see cyclists coming up from behind. In one of the few Davis bicycle fatalities, a cyclist was killed by a tractor-trailer turning right.
- Use Hand Signals to let cars know what you are going to do. It is also helpful to other bikers, especially at high-traffic areas where one person is turning. You can get ticketed for not using hand signals, just like a car driver can get a ticket for not using their turn signal. Some turns are harder to make one handed, or the rider doesn't have the skill to pull off a one-handed turn, and in those cases signalling before reaching the turn is accepted by authorities.
- Many drivers don't use turn signals as they should. Don't count on a car to signal, nor for that matter a bicyclist. Use hand signals yourself if there is any chance of a collision.
- Pedestrians have the right-of-way at crosswalks and at corners (Can Bicycle Light Reduce the Risk of Traffic Accident?). They do not have the right of way if they jay-walk, but that does not mean you have the right to run them over either.
- Be visible. Your bicycle should have a headlight and a flashing rear light. Reflective clothing, a bright-colored helmet and reflectors on the moving parts (pedals, spokes) also help. If you have an exceptionally low bike (children, adults on low recumbent bikes), a flag is the only way to be visible to even cautious and well intentioned drivers.
- Maintain your bicycle at least at a minimum level. Make sure that your brakes and lights work, that your wheels aren't way out of alignment, that your chain isn't a rust nightmare, etc. Local Bike Shops can fix specific problems for $10 to $30, usually, and they also have maintenance packages of various size. Or the people at the Bike Forth can help you for free.
At Night Make sure you have a light on the front of your bike, as well as a light on the back. It is rare, but you can get a ticket if you don't have these and a cop sees you at night. It is very easy to see when you are a bicyclist, but it is very hard for a person in a car to see you if you don't have these attached.
It is also a good idea to have reflectors put on your tires, so that cars can still see you if they are coming at you from the side.
Close your eyes about half-way and see how well you can see a bicyclist from ten feet away, that will give you an idea of how visible you are to a car.
- Change gears if you're pedaling furiously in low gear. Unless, of course, you're on a fixie. For those with gears, the general rule is: if your lungs hurt more than your legs, shift up; if your legs hurt more than your lungs, shift down.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Don't ride like you're wearing blinders. Be sure to check your surroundings before entering bike circles, turning, stopping, or entering traffic.
- Don't ride on the sidewalk or crosswalks. The city of Davis does not recommend riding on the sidewalk, and it is illegal downtown. You're more likely to hit a pedestrian or get run over by a car backing out of a driveway or making a turn. Drivers do not expect a fast-moving bicycle on a pedestrian thoroughfare, increasing the odds of a collision.
- Make full use of a traffic lane in the rare cases in Davis when cars can't pass you safely — these are mostly traffic circles and left turns. As stated in the California vehicle code, this is your right as a bicyclist. However, use common sense when doing this. Sometimes, it's safer to find a different route than to exercise this right. Sharrows, or shared use lane markers, are being added by the city to areas where this is a particularly good idea. Keep an eye out for them, and watch out for opening doors on parked cars or vehicles backing out from diagonal parking without much visibility.
- Remember where you parked. It is easy to get caught off guard by the sheer number of parked bicycles on campus. Parking in the same place every time is ideal but not always practical.
- Tie your shoelaces properly. Otherwise your shoe laces can get caught in your wheels or your gears, which is a great way to wreck hard. (See Ian's Shoelace Site for tips.)
- Bind your pant legs at the ankle. This seems silly, but it will keep you from staining your pants, keep your gears and chain clean longer, and stop you from having an unnecessary accident. You can pick up straps for this at any of the bike shops. If you have access to a sewing machine (or are good at sewing by hand) you can easily make your own with a piece of fabric, a buckle, and a piece of velcro. The latter will cost you less than $10, and keeps your stuff in good working order.
Russell and Fifth Street are the city's central east-west route and they are the most dangerous streets for bicycles in Davis. 41.6% of all automobile accidents and a high fraction of bicycle accidents occur on these roads (see this article). The stretch between Sycamore and L Street has particularly narrow traffic lanes and no bike lanes. Your safest option is to avoid Russell and Fifth between Sycamore and L Street. Fortunately, you have other options:
- Make use of the bike path on the campus side of Russell between County Road 98 and A Street.
- If you're traveling east or west, use 8th Street. It has wide bike lanes and the drivers expect to see bicyclists.
- Bike through downtown on Second Street or Third Street. Although still no bike lanes, traffic is slower and motorists are used to bikers on these streets. For your safety, do not bike too closely to parallel-parked cars (doors can open at the most inopportune times). Also, remember that it's your right to make full use of the lane.
- If your destination is northeast Davis, bike north on Sycamore, Anderson or Oak Avenue, and make your way east on Covell.
It is your right as a bicyclist to make full use of the right lane as permitted by the California vehicle code. But this isn't really reasonable on Russell Boulevard or Fifth Street because there are just too many cars.
Preventing Bicycle Theft
General Rule: Crappy Bike + Strong Lock = Thief looks for better target. All locks are just deterrents, but if you make the thief work hard enough they won't bother with the low payoff.
If you don't want your bicycle's owner to be someone else, you might consider the following:
- Buy a bike lock. Stay away from cheap chain and cable locks, because they don't really offer protection. Older U-Locks tend to be vulnerable to more methods of attack, including by Bic pen. Fortunately, newer U-Locks now have flat keys and are a pretty good choice, but they may be vulnerable to car jacks (see image) if they are too large for how you are locking your bike.
- Lock the frame of your bicycle, not just the wheel, to a solid fixture (ie: not a chain-link fence). Most newer bikes have quick-release wheels, which means a quick-theft frame if you just lock the front wheel. Ideally, lock both the frame and the rear wheel with the U-Lock. If your front wheel also has a quick release, you should lock it to the frame as well. See Bicycle Parking for pictorial examples. If you don't lock your bike, it may become a bike sculpture or just plain stolen.
- Buy a cheap or used bicycle. Thieves only steal what they can sell. Your best option here is probably an old bicycle that was once a nice bike in its youth. Cheap new bicycles tend to fall apart quickly. Be retro! Then again, you would have to steal an extremely old and crappy bike for the parts to not be marketable... so crappy that it probably isn't worth riding.
- Modify your bicycle Bike-Messenger Style: take spray paint, duct tape, and a bunch of crap to mutilate the nice bike you already have. It'll ride like a charm and won't be targeted for theft. Sure, your bike will look like shit, but that's the point, isn't it? If you really think having a hot-rod red bike will get you some Sex, then you need to re-evaluate your love plans. So dirty-, spray-paint-, mud-, tape-, etc-up that nice bike and pray to the bike Gods. NOTE: Bike thieves have also been known to target crappy bikes no matter what they look like, it really doesn't matter.
- Bring your bicycle inside, especially if your bike costs more than a typical laptop.
- Leave your bicycle in a visible area and where other bikes are parked, especially at night. NEVER leave your bicycle at the Amtrak station.
- Move your bike. If you're on campus all day, don't leave your bike locked in the same place - this gives potential thieves less opportunity to steal it.
- Replace your quick-release components (ie: seat, wheels) with something less convenient. A bike shop can help you with this.
- Register your bicycle. This costs $10, lasts three years, and can be obtained at Freewheeler, B&L Bike Shop, the TAPS office, or Farmers Market (on the second Saturday of the month). For more information, see the city page or the UC page on bicycle licenses. Both share the same bicycle license program, but enforcement differs.
- TAPS may steal your bicycle if you leave it on campus and forget about it for several weeks. TAPS periodically goes through campus to identify and remove abandoned bicycles. A courtesy notice is usually posted on bikes that appear to have been abandoned about five days before they're removed. If the bike is licensed to a residence hall student and has been left in one of the residence hall areas, they get a bonus $75 fine for not taking all their junk with them when they move.
- Utilize those goofy-looking 'bike pods' if they're available. There are a bunch of these near the MU
- Report it as stolen to the Davis Police Department if—despite all your best efforts—your bike has become a Davis statistic. Having previously registered your bike will increase the chances of it being recovered. You can also mention it here on the wiki.
- If your bike has been stolen and it wasn't registered (or you didn't report it missing), check out the TAPS bike auction, which happens twice a year. This is where all the "unclaimed" or "abandoned" bikes are resold to the public. If you see yours (or a new one you like better), you have a chance to buy it back.
See also: CA Vehicle Code section 21201 - Equipment Requirements for the regulations.
- Brakes. As listed in the linked Code, you must have at least one functional brake on your bike. If you have two, use both brakes every time you stop (squeezing the levers, not grabbing), so that you'll be used to using your front brake when you have to make an emergency stop (a good rule of thumb is that your front brake provides 80% of your stopping power, your rear brake 20%). The cause of flipping over one's handlebars is grabbing the front brake and locking the front wheel. Arguably better than running into whatever you were trying to avoid, but not ideal. Learn to use that front brake and it will serve you well. Note that being able to skid your rear wheel on a fixed gear bike is not sufficient to meet the brake requirement in Davis and Sacramento, and you will receive a ticket if you do not have an additional (functioning) hand brake.
- Lights. When biking at night, front and rear lights make you visible to those around you. The brighter your lights, the more likely it is that other road users will see you and be able to react to where you are. California State Law requires that you have at least a headlight (attached to either you or your bike) visible to 300 feet. A tail light is also a VERY good idea for your own safety. Being invisible, while an asset if you're Harry Potter, is dangerous when biking. For this reason, cops may ticket you for riding without lights at night. The light in front should be white, and the light in back should be red. Putting a red light on the front of your bike won't prevent a ticket at night, is confusing to drivers and bicyclists alike, and is dangerous. Not having a front light or rear reflector makes you a prime target for a bike trap. Besides, there are few flash bike tail lights are available on the market, it is recommend to get a flash light than the normal one.
- Reflectors. On the back, front, pedals, and wheels.
- A formidable bike lock. See the above section on theft.
- A Helmet. Yes, one of those silly looking things. This is absolutely critical, despite being relatively uncommon on campus. You'll notice that the more time someone spends on their bike, the better the chance they're wearing a helmet. Helmets aren't for bad cyclists - they're for all cyclists who are surrounded by bad cyclists and drivers, which means everyone in this town. When a freshman wipes out in front of you, a helmet worn properly can save your life (or at least some skin). In California, wearing a helmet is required by law if you are under 18 years old.
- Fenders. In the wetter months, they'll prevent freshman stripe, which is basically water, road grime, and mud that is kicked up by your rear tire onto your back. Make sure you get fenders that are long enough. Many fenders are too short and will allow a small amount of dirt and water to fly onto your back. If you have fenders like this and don't want to buy longer ones, cut up a soda bottle and tape it onto your fender to extend the thing.
- A comfortable seat. You'll be a lot more likely to actually use your bike if it's comfortable to ride. A good seat can make a world of difference. If you have bucks to kill, get a waterproof seat cover so you don't end up with a wet butt on rainy days. However, most people just use plastic grocery bags for this purpose. UC Davis Bookstore bags are the best for this use.
- A rearview mirror. This will help you spot the rampaging SUV before you're a spot on its grill. Available in helmet, glasses, and handlebar mount varieties.
- A horn or bell. The world needs to know you're coming. They are most useful on bike paths, where you should use them to indicate to pedestrians or other bicyclists that you are passing. Not very useful to get the attention of a car, though. For that, a company called Delta makes the Airzound compressed air horn.
- Gloves. They keep your hands warm in the chill, protect your hands in the event of an accident, and keep your hands comfortable. The fingerless ones are cute and effective.
- Pant strap. A small strip of cloth or elastic that you wrap around your lower leg, above your shoe. If you are wearing a loose or baggy pair of pants, it prevents any material from getting caught in the chain and gears, which usually rip and dirty the pants, as well as possibly causing you to fall off of the bike.
- Saddle Height. If you are like most students, you probably ride a Wal-Mart mountain bike (see next point) with the saddle way too low. Raise the saddle to a comfortable height where your knees are almost straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke. You'll go faster with less effort and put much less strain on your knees. You can check your saddle height by sitting on the saddle, putting your heel on the center of the pedal, and making sure your knee locks (note that you should not ride with your heel on the pedal; this is only for checking saddle height). If your knee is fully bent, your saddle is too low; if you feel like you're stretching to reach the pedal, it's too high.If you have a bike that is fairly old (such as one you have been riding since 1994 or earlier) then you should be able to stand next to your bike and position the seat so that it comes up to your hip-bones. This won't give you the best fit possible, but will give you a good approximate if you don't want to spend the money for someone to tune your bike for you. It is very important that you DO get your bike tuned, so that it is easier to ride and you won't have to buy a replacement as quickly, which is much more expensive.
- Appropriate Bicycles. Consider a bicycle that is appropriate for the type of riding you do. If all you do is ride around campus, you will be better served with a cruiser or hybrid type bicycle, rather than a mountain bike or road racing bike. Many a freshman show up to Davis with a cheap mountain bike that is about 3 sizes too small and far too heavy and lumbering even for the off-roading purpose for which it was ostensibly made. If you want a cheap bike, consider looking for a used bike on Craigslist or at the Bike Forth that will serve your needs better. You'll be far happier with a rusty old Schwinn cruiser that fits than a shiny new department store piece of junk.
- Proper Maintenance. Along with a low saddle, most students ride around on their too-small cheap mountain bikes with the chains squeaking and the tires almost flat. Buy a small bottle of oil at a local bike shop, and it will last you your entire undergraduate tenure. Do not use WD-40, as this is also a solvent, and will strip lubricant from your chain. Also consider purchasing a pump, or familiarize yourself with the locations of pumps around town. Riding around with low air pressure puts you at risk of flat tires and requires more energy to pedal.
See also: Bicycle flat tire repair and Sheldon Brown's comprehensive page on flats and their repair. Many people have an irrational fear of flats because bike shop rates start at around $10 for a flat repair. You really should learn how to patch tubes because it is pretty easy and so much cheaper in the long run!
- Avoid shiny sparkly things in the road, as they're likely shards of glass or metal.
- Avoid debris, obviously.
- Avoid ruts, rocks and other jolts. You'll pinch your tube and get a flat.
- Learn to recognize and avoid puncturevine, a weed that grows along railroad tracks, in some vacant lots, and along roads by some farm fields.
- Inflate your tires to the recommended PSI rating found on the side of the tire. Doing so will decrease the chance of pinch flats. You'll need a tire gauge, or a bicycle pump with a built-in gauge to do so. The air pumps at gas stations may not work out for you, since automotive tires inflate to much lower pressures. Also, they can blow your tires as they're expecting a tire with an air capacity much larger than what is on your bike. By the time the compressor realizes that the pressure is too high, it might have already overinflated and blown your tire.
- Buy quality tires.
- Inspect the tire for the culprit thorn or shard of metal or glass when fixing the flat. If the prickly thing is still embedded in your tire, you'll be back where you started.
- Buy tire liners and/or thicker tubes. Puncture resistant tubes are significantly thicker than regular tubes and work wonders for preventing most flats. Combined with some sort of tire liner, your chances of getting a flat significantly decrease. Either will obviously add rotational weight, but you won't notice it on an around-town bike. Tire liners by themselves will actually increase the chance of pinch flats, so make extra sure to keep your tires inflated properly if you use them (puncture resistant tubes are very difficult to pinch flat, so the combination really does work well). Any local bike shop can sell you these, too.
- Put Slime in your tubes. This non-toxic goop automatically seals small punctures. When you get a puncture, simply remove the offending object, re-inflate your tire, and ride away. Large punctures and pinch flats are too large for Slime to seal, and thus create a large mess. This isn't recommended for riders concerned with performance, since the goop adds rotational weight. It is also not recommended if you use tire liners. Many local bike shops can sell you this, though Slime's website lists only Wheelworks as a dealer.
2007-01-29 16:40:06 Please please please use bike lights as soon as it gets dusk. It's very hard for fellow bikers to see you, and even harder for motorists. Also, for the love of all that is good, put a helmet on your head. What's the use of going to college to build a useful brain if you plan to treat it so recklessly? Cars kill. —JoRo
2007-08-25 09:22:22 FRESHMEN- please be careful at the corner of Russell and LaRue with right hand turners going from Russell onto Anderson. I saw a girl get hit on the last day of lecture this year because some jerk didn't stop or yield to her right of way. Point is cars don't always do that no matter where you are, be careful. —GabrielleGilmore
- 2007-10-12 15:09:27 Gabrielle - I don't know how often it happens, but I also saw a chick get hit (albeit not horribly) by some person making the right from Russel to Anderson. Could have been the same day. In CA, in an auto, you are allowed to make right turns on red (unless otherwise posted), but you need to STOP first. Not stopping can become dangerous when there are pedestrians and cyclists out and about. —AndrewLeonard
2007-09-27 21:49:20 A couple of days ago, I was riding on F Street and suddenly heard car horns. A girl on a bike was talking on her cell phone and had rolled casually into a a busy, uncontrolled intersection. Drivers stopped, kept honking and she didn't even seem to care or even to notice, talking and laughing on her phone. Seems like more and more people are talking on cell phones while riding their bikes on city streets...distracted, weak hand on the handlebar, usually without a helmet and riding through traffic. Not a good idea. —DukeMcAdow
2007-10-02 22:16:48 I waver when it comes to wearing a bike helmet on campus. I've been riding for many years. I think a helmet is a very good idea when you go riding on the regular streets or on regular rides. But I wonder if the people who recommend wearing helmets on campus actually ride regularly on campus, in situations where they have to take them off regularly. When you're going on multiple short trips between classes and the coffee house or the library, it can become a real pain to continuously put on, take off, carry around, or try to lock up your helmet. I value my brain. I've tried wearing a helmet on campus. But I don't know if the trouble is worth the very small chance of head injury. Maybe it is. I just haven't decided for sure yet. And if you disagree, I ask, do you personally ride frequently on campus, without an office where you can conveniently set your helmet? Maybe I think they're a good idea, but I can understand why people wouldn't wear them on campus. That said, my lawyers have advised me to recommend wearing your bike helmet at all times.—RonB
- I rode my bike daily to campus at UMass (currently work in Davis, but don't attend UCD), and I wore my helmet everywhere on campus, because a collision and fall were more likely there than anywhere else I rode, due to the large numbers of pedestrian and bike traffic. Based on some favorite pastimes (watching the carnage), I would wager good money that there are lots of accidents on campus. Not all of them (or even most, probably) include the connection of head and pavement or other hard object, but the more accidents there are, the more head injuries there are. So says one who's gotten a concussion by crashing completely on his own, while wearing a properly fitted helmet. It doesn't take much force to jar the brain; it just takes the wrong situation. I also found that carrying my helmet into class wasn't that much of a pain (helmet went under the chair, generally); and even less when I'd hit the library or other place where there were tables to spread out a little. A true pain in the ass were the days I layered for 15F weather, then had to take off a couple layers when I got to class (and find a place to put everything), only to put everything back on at the end of class. It's a helmet, it fits in a standard-issue backpack or messenger bag; just don't drop the bag while the helmet's inside.—BrettHall
* 2007-10-03 Yeah, I think you're right. Today, I was riding in the shuttle bus from Sac to Davis, thinking about my comment. And I also thought about what it would feel like or be like for me or someone else to go over the front of his bike and land on his head, and the internal bleeding in the brain, or maybe cracked or bounced skull. I was just thinking about what might happen. The person might end up mentally damaged, slow, or whatever. Also, I thought, what if somebody reads my comment, and just gets it in their head to not wear his or her helmet, then gets hurt. I wouldn't want that. So don't not wear a helmet because of my comment. I probably _should_ wear the helmet and will do so, even though it it takes a little bit of time and effort. (No, I don't work for the Safe Biking Commission or anything.) Then I started thinking about the bus window I was leaning against, you know...the kind that have emergency handles to open them so they can swing out. I thought if that latch failed, I could be asleep and fall right out into the highway...so I stopped leaning against it. Maybe some little kid might even pull the handle. Who knows? By the way, when you crashed and got your concussion, how fast were you going and what happened?—RonB
2007-10-03 16:48:04 I just moved here and rented a bike to try to remind myself how to ride one. I am now looking to buy a used one and was wondering if anybody could provide some tips on how to make sure you aren't getting a peice of junk? I have no clue how to check that the bike I am buying is ready to ride, and not, in fact a fixie. Maybe this would be a good section for this page by a bike expert? —Judge
2007-10-03 22:44:34 It seems like from what I've seen, the bikes at the bike auction on campus and at used bike shops are pretty damn junky. I think craigslist.org is a pretty good place to buy a used bike. But it seems that almost any used bike is going to require some fixing and adjustments to personalize it to you—things like handlebar tape, installing a lock, new handlebar neck to fit your height, etc. Did you rent the bike from the Bike Barn on campus? I'm not sure if they sell any bikes. Also, I recommend not getting fat tires for rolling around Davis. And of course, make adjustments to your bike to avoid the freshman stripe. —RonB
2007-10-09 17:53:44 Bike Barn sells bikes. —AlexanderHo
- for absurd prices. Go with Craigslist, TAPS Bike Auction (should be better this year), or other used bike sources (i.e. seniors on facebook). Do not pay 130+ for a nice bike from the Bike Barn only to have it become a flashing light for thieves. -Tushar
- I dunno, I bought my old cruiser there for a good $100 and it lasted me for more than a solid year, plus it looked like shit so I never had to worry about it getting it stolen. Guess that's more the exception than the rule, though. —AlexanderHo
2007-10-26 14:41:39 I joined this site as a newbie to Davis (2 months now, previously from Santa Cruz and San Francisco) and cannot believe how irresponsible people riding bikes are in this "bike town". I for one wear a helmet nearly all the time now, after having a bad accident by myself. And now, I wouldn't dream of going without one in Davis, ESPECIALLY on campus. I think part of the problem is that there are so many students riding around campus, and a lot of them are probably not regular bicyclists. They don't think about the fact that a collision at just 4 miles per hour can do brain damage. You can run into someone else's bike when one of you isn't looking and get your skin torn up in various places, fracture bones, etc. I don't want to be alarmist about this, but people NEED TO BE CAREFUL. Don't ride the wrong way in the bike lane. Look around you, esp when crossing a street with traffic (bike or auto), turning (I don't signal necessarily, but try to always make sure I know if there's someone behind me before I slow down to turn), stopping for no reason, or weaving around in the middle of a two way bike path. Please stay to one side, so people can pass you if they want. Please don't talk on the cell phone while on your bike. That is just plain stupid. Wear a helmet if you care about keeping your brains in your head and would rather have messy helmet hair than a concussion, etc that can happen easily. Please don't take up the whole bike lane when you are just walking your bike and there is a sidewalk 3 feet away (like that guy on Arthur St. the other day, grr, means i have to veer out into traffic to avoid you). Sorry this post is getting long, but I can't believe that after riding my bike in Santa Cruz for a couple years, then in Oakland and San Francisco for about a year, I felt safer in those places. Oh, and the helmet thing—if I'm not going to my office on campus, I usually lock the un-cuttable part to my Kryptonite lock. —Jesa
2007-10-28 16:19:54 There is a large plant in the middle of the bike circle at the edge of the ARC parking lot near Primero Grove; the plant obstructs the view of anyone approaching the bike circle. Every time I go through that bike circle I expect someone to turn the wrong way on the other side and cause a head-on collision. Has anybody else thought something similar either there or anywhere else? —ScottMorgan
- Yes! Are we talking about the circle that is near the driveway of the dining commons across from ARC? I've come around that circle heading west (maybe it's northwest) and had to brake and swerve to miss people (who I couldn't see because of the plants) walking in the middle of the path in the opposite direction. I've also seen many people skipping the circle and going in the wrong direction. Any idea who to contact on campus about this poorly maintained circle? I spent time searching for a phone number or email address, but didn't find one. —JimEvans
- That's the one. I don't know who to contact though.—ScottMorgan
2007-11-21 13:49:15 From what I've witnessed a lot of bicycle related crashes are a result of negligent riders. i.e. not following traffic laws, not using lights after dusk, talking on their cell phones and not paying attention. This is not to say that that true statistics reflect my observations, however thats just what I've observed. I'm glad the UCD PD writes tickets to bicyclists who don't make any attempt to stop at stop signs. People forget that when riding a bicycle you are subject to the same laws that automobiles are subject to. I'm just annoyed by people who think they have the right of way while biking through a crosswalk especially at the intersection of Bst. and 2nd. —DavidHolcomb
2008-02-05 12:51:40 Is the name of that bike pictured with stolen wheels made by "Stealing" or is that just some random sticker? That's just asking for it if that's really the name of it. Plus no one would ever find the company website because when you google "stealing bikes" you get many many results. Okay I just figured out it was SteRling Bikes, that R looks like an A. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterling_Bicycle_Co. ... That is all. Wait no Sterling went out of business in the 19th century... WILL the MYSTERY ever end? Must research mediocre 1990's STERLING hybrid more. —JasonDunne
2008-04-12 18:47:21 Anyone have any tips for bicycling in the summer? I tend to take Unitrans or my car during these hot days as I'm not a fan to coming into class or work drenched (and I mean drenched) in sweat. —SunjeetBaadkar
- Lightweight, breathable fabrics (read: not cotton). Cycling-specific jerseys are great, but so are lightweight running jerseys, which look more like normal t-shirts. Similarly, cycling-specific shorts work really well, but the baggy ones that look like normal shorts tend to be really heavy, and who wants to go to class in lycra (besides me... and that only happened once)? Running shorts work really well - lightweight, no need for cotton underwear, wick sweat. You WILL sweat if you ride when it's hot. Wearing lightweight sports fabrics will make you less sweaty and less stinky, and make you feel more human. —BrettHall
- Try to go early in the morning. It's usually still pretty nice out at 8am. —JimEvans
2008-05-14 18:36:39 Dear cyclist,
Today I almost ran you over. I had no idea you were coming down the street, and I didn't see you at all when I started to make my right turn. You were going so quickly and you didn't appear to be a very skilled rider. I am very tired after 5PM from classes and work all day long, so you must forgive me for not noticing you.
You were riding on the wrong side of the road. I don't know why you did this, I don't know why you didn't notice that cars were coming towards you from the front rather than the rear. I don't know why you didn't notice that there were convenient lane markers that designate a portion of the street for bicycles as well as indicate the direction that you are supposed to move. When I am making a right turn, I am almost never looking to see if there is oncoming traffic from the wrong way.
In physics we say that velocity is additive. If you are going 15mph and I am coming the opposite direction at 30mph and we collide head on, it will not hurt me much but you will feel as if you were hit at 45mph. If you follow the law regarding traffic flow and we collide with my coming up behind you it will be as if I hit you at 15mph which, though still awful, is not quite as bad.
If I hit you and you are going the wrong way, it is your fault. This means that though I will be utterly destroyed and depressed and feel worse about it than anything, you are still responsible for all damages to yourself, your bike, and my car.
I hope you keep this in mind in the future.
2008-11-24 01:21:06 watch out for cars please. i was hit by a unitrans Ford Escape car not to long ago, not injured thank god but it was a eye opening experience. —DavidAtwereboandaThompson
2009-04-29 01:37:41 Nice Heat Map, Russell. Keep up the good work. Though you do not work in the field, you should consider furthering your efforts in bicycle safety within Davis, it is needed badly. —MorganTorngrenTatman
2014-02-14: 10:06:01 Today, driving east on Russell: three students were on their bicycles on southbound Anderson at the eastern pedestrian crosswalk (this takes you from Rite Aid to Segundo). They proceeded to bike away from the crosswalk, crossing diagonally across the entire intersection, to reenter traffic at the southbound bike lane on the far right side of the La Rue/Russell intersection, just north of the southern crosswalk. That's NE to SW corner. Unfortunately for them, the eastbound Russell traffic had right-of-way on green and they left the crosswalk after the lights had turned. It was baffling, and none of them had helmets, so eastbound Russell cars all waited behind the limit line while they completed their illegal maneuver. —JudithTruman