Friday, June 20, 2014

Safety first -- The "Door Zone" is real

The other day I learned a valuable lesson. The door zone is real. Like all sports, cycling has a certain amount of danger to it. You have to be aware of your surroundings at all times, because, in the words of my cycling guru and mentor in photojournalism and snarkiness, "Everything is trying to kill you."

One of my first lessons in safety I had was about the "Door Zone", the length of a car door when it's open. When in a car, you think nothing of it to swoosh open the door without looking while exiting the vehicle. But when you're on a bicycle, encountering a motorist who doesn't look before opening can turn into a serious accident.

I learned about this danger the hard way. A couple of days ago on my commute into work, I rode too far into the door t zone... and... well... hit a door. Thankfully not hard and thankfully not injured. Despite it's lack of seriousness, the incident reminded me that as a cyclist, I must be aware of everything that's around me. Because it's all trying to kill me.

There are lots of things you can do to prevent riding into a door, or as all the hip cyclist call it, "getting doored". Giving a good 4 feet between you and the car when possible, and look ahead for cars parking or motorists loading up and preparing to leave. Of course, things on a bike move pretty fast sometimes, so the good people of Bike East Bay have put together some great tips on how to get to your destination in one piece and without getting doored.

Avoid the "Door Zone" - Bike East Bay

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