I’ve been riding my bike commuting to work every day. And it has a nice and good feeling to it. It’s been a month since I’ve started! and the experience was pleasant and still is! Of course, there were times I felt having all my gear can be troublesome. Especially when shopping at the mall carrying all that gear can be daunting and a hassle. That’s why it’s best to always meet someone or be with someone and put your gear in the trunk of a car. If you’re expecting a good hot weather then just wearing a helmet plus gloves will be just fine :).
When you’re riding in the city your maximum speed is 50 km/hr so the risk of being seriously injured from a fall doesn’t exceed the same risk as being on a scooter or bicycle. Yes, I’m all for gear all the time every time, but only if you have a big bike or going fast enough and you’re planning to go on a motorway! Anything else will be left to your best judgment? The risk of being hit or hitting an object is the same with or without a gear and believe me once that happens being fully geared or not won’t make a huge difference on a slow road.
What I’m trying to say what matters is your attitude when riding! what you do in town is the deciding factor in making it or breaking it!. That said, I’ll throw three examples I’ve noticed during my commuting ride here in Nz and what makes having a defensive attitude worth it?
You’re coming up a traffic light and as you’re going to slow down you notice you can lane split up to the front with the intention that before you get down in gear and fully stop the light will turn green and you can easily dash thru. The horrible mistake in assuming this? is that you aren’t giving yourself the time to see what is exactly happening at that intersection?
a- Are cars still passing the yellow light on the other side?
b- Pedestrians (especially mothers with baby strollers) are still crossing the street?
c- The first car might be daydreaming and suddenly remembers to turn instead of going straight?
Tempting to speed instead of slowing down when overtaking or thinking to overtake and doing it on the driver side. This is like asking for it?! once you do that you will give the driver a straddle! As he is not expecting anything to pass him from his side of the seat and second you more likely to be facing incoming traffic from the opposite lane. You can always use the left side of the road or the cycle lane if needed to just make sure not to make it a habit as it is illegal to use the cycle lane. in this case, just slow down and once the traffic gets to a halt pass with care.
Think of the unexpected. like if you are following a vehicle what happens when something surprises you on the road from underneath the vehicle? will you have time to react? sudden braking or falling off items are things to consider. Hell, even the bugs and birds (like that Seagal in the horizon eyeballing for a nice dump on that shining gear of your’s) not to mention those little jack russell barking their teeth out at every chance a biker pass by. sometimes a dog might get too excited and managed to run away from his owner and cross the road and causes cars to suddenly brake or shift look always ahead of at least 3 cars. (that’s why having a higher seat position is important)