And exercising regularly would of course reduce the potential for heart problems in the first place…
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Working up a sweat may be even better than angioplasty for some heart patients, experts say.
Studies have shown heart patients benefit from exercise, and some have even shown it works better than surgical procedures. At a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology on Sunday, several experts said doctors should focus more on persuading their patients to exercise rather than simply doing angioplasties.
Posted in Health
, Transportation Cycling
E-mails are flying and cycling forums are full of the story of the Town of Jupiter (FL) considering passage of a local code limiting the size of cycling groups. As often happens when reactionary minds get together, the proposed law goes too far, requiring nonsense such as bells and “safety” flags on bikes, and it seems to limit the ability for solo cyclists to drive as defensively as State law allows.
Responses from local cycling groups has also been disappointing. The more vocal folks seem to believe the solution is for everyone to ride single file and hug the edge of the road. For years now I have been arguing that the problem with groups rides in Florida is primarily group size. But few if any of the clubs and groups seem willing to try reducing group size.
Keeping the same size groups and going single file along the edge will not solve the problem, and it may make things worse.
Cyclists ride two abreast because humans are naturally social animals. The desire to ride side-by-side and talk to somebody will create constant tension between those attempting to keep everyone single-file and those who just want to enjoy the ride.
Long, single-file pacelines are inherently squirrelly at the end, and dropping back after a pull takes quite a while with a big group, so there will often be at least one rider outside the line.
Hugging the edge invites motorists to pass when it’s not safe to do so. They will squeeze by within the lane (many rural roads have lanes of 10 or 11 feet wide), and in many cases pass closer than three feet.
The problem isn’t cyclists “riding in the middle of the lane;” it’s cyclists making it difficult for motorists to pass by choosing to travel in large packs. Larger groups leads to other problems, too.
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Posted in Cars
, Traffic Law
I’m not quite sure where people get those all-or-nothing attitudes when it comes to cycling. I’m continually amazed at how many people immediately start up with “Americans aren’t going to give up their cars” when bicycle transportation is brought up.
Similarly, many cyclists (and motorists who seem to revel in hanging out in cycling-related comment boards) seem to think lane control (aka “Taking the Lane,” aka “Commanding the Lane,” aka “Riding in the Middle of the Road,” aka “Impeding Traffic,” aka “Getting in the Way of the Important People in Cars”) is an all-or-nothing proposition. As though lane control proponents do nothing but ride in the middle of every lane.
Of course that’s not the case. We control the lane when it’s prudent; when keeping right will invite motorists to squeeze by dangerously close, when intersection conflicts are an issue, when pavement is bad, when we’re going as fast as other traffic, and in a variety of other situations.
I and others describe a lane that is too narrow to share as less than 14 feet wide. (By the way, it’s not just us arrogant lane control advocates who say this; FDOT does, too. See Florida Green Book, page 211.) But there are situations in which a narrower lane might be shareable; particularly when motorist speeds are low. One of the many benefits of lane control is that it slows motorists down so that they can pass safely. While many cyclists like to tout Florida’s 3-foot law (motorists are required to give at least three feet of space when passing a bicyclist), many of us are comfortable with closer passes when motorists are going only a few miles per hour faster than we are (but want more than 3 feet when speeds are high!). I’m happy with 2 feet when cars are doing 20 mph and the pavement is good.
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Posted in Advanced Skills
, Traffic Law
, Traffic Skills
, Transportation Cycling
Last week I had an encounter with a woman who seemed to believe her horn was an effective tool for expressing her displeasure at being “stuck” behind a bicyclist (me).
After over 30 years of suffering the full variety of beeps, honks and blasts, I’ve gotten beyond the knee-jerk rage many cyclists use to respond. And I believe the key in many circumstances is pity. Really. If somebody gives you a short honk give them the benefit of doubt that they’re either giving a quick “I’m coming by” or they honked at someone else. If it’s a real blast definitely aimed at you, just feel sorry that they’re so miserable that they can’t bear to wait a few extra seconds behind a bicyclist. Trying to cheer them up will not work of course, but you can at least entertain yourself with your response.
The same motorists will likely give no thought to using their horns to express frustration with all the delay they experience sitting at red lights, behind stopped transit buses, behind cars waiting to turn left, etc. But being behind a bicyclist? That must just be a downright humiliating experience. To be so important and to have all that horsepower and yet be stuck going 15 miles per hour behind a lowly bicyclist…
Posted in Fun