Road debris: Let's all do our part to help follow cyclists!

Road debris: Let's all do our part to help follow cyclists!

May 21, 2018

When you are part of RedMonkey Sports, its all about caring for the broader cycling community and setting a good example. Over the past couple of years, there have been a few big crashes that have rocked the Orange County cycling community. One resulted in injuries but could have been way more serious and the other was, sadly fatal. Both may have been prevented by some simple altruistic behavior on the part of the cycling community at large. We can do better and we can make a difference. The root cause for both of these crashes was large debris in the road, specifically rocks causing flat tires and a loss of control at high speed. We must be the stewards of our own safety rather than relying on the city or county for periodic street sweeping.


So, what can you do? Remember, whether alone or in a group, situational awareness on a bicycle is life. Literally.

First - your front wheel must be protected at all times. You must have awareness of anything that may impact your front wheel including other riders’ wheels, debris, potholes, etc. Accomplish this by maintaining a view beyond the rider in front of you. I like to look around people’s hips, or over their shoulders during a group ride. Adjust how far down the road you can see based on your speed as the faster you are going, the more distance you will cover in a shorter amount of time. For reference, traveling at 22 mph, you are covering about 33 feet per second.

Second - if you are in a group ride, it is paramount that you call debris out for the sake of other riders around and behind you. Not only is this common courtesy, but it mitigates a huge safety concern. If you do point something out, try and do it well in advance to give people behind you a chance to react. The last ‘millisecond point-and-swerve technique’ isn’t going to do much good. Normal human reaction times vary in the .5 to 1 second range and referencing our 22mph rate of speed above, you would have covered 16.5 to 33 feet by the time you can actually make a reaction. Note that this reaction time value will vary depending on many factors like how long it takes to comprehend what you are avoiding and forming a reaction to avoid it in a way that won’t crash you.

Third - if you do happen to notice a large rock or piece of debris in the road, particularly on high speed sections, please make an effort to stop, turn around, and remove the debris from the path of other cyclists.

That's it. A small inconvenience, but with potentially life-saving consequences. Please consider it the next time you see a large asphalt colored rock in the bike lane.

Thank you from RedMonkey Sports and all your fellow cyclists.




Also in RedMonkey-Blog

Recycle Like a Boss... a 9-Year old Boss!
Recycle Like a Boss... a 9-Year old Boss!

July 06, 2018

I think this article can best be told in Ryans own words! Smart, funny, and out to save the world! There is no stopping this kid! In 2012 at the age of 3, Ryan went along with his dad to the local recycling center and cashed in a few small bags of cans and bottles and decided that recycling was in his future. 

Read More

The Art of Letting Go...
The Art of Letting Go...

November 20, 2017

As racers and cyclists we hold on tight to many things, both literally and figuratively. We hold tight to our handlebars so as not to lose control. We hold tight to our training plans and goals for probably the same reason. I’ve spent many seasons racing my bike and hoping it would look a certain way: [...]

Read More

Paceline Method
Paceline Method

November 12, 2017

Ahhhhh the paceline! A paceline is the most efficient way for a group to move at speed through the wind and is achieved by having one line of fast riders 'pulling' through and another adjacent line of slow riders 'drifting' back to rejoin the faster line. This rotation effectively allows the slower group to rest while [...]

Read More