The United Nations has designated June 3 as World Bicycle Day, an opportunity “to draw attention to the benefits of bicycle use – a simple, affordable, clean and environmentally friendly sustainable mode of transport”.
has therefore embarked on a journey of cycling in France from Lille to Nice, from Nantes to Strasbourg, via Paris or Toulouse.
We asked our Ile-de-France readers for their techniques for riding safely.
The importance of complete equipment (lights, bell and helmet) is underlined by our readers who also advise to frequent cycle paths, but without forgetting to complain about the behavior of certain motorists.
We do touch-touch there.
We are not talking here about the ring road during rush hour, but about the new cycle paths in Paris.
Moreover, according to figures from the town hall of Paris, the index of use of cycling facilities jumped by 60% between 2019 and 2020. Faced with this increase and on the occasion this Friday of World Bicycle Day, we asked our cycling readers how they ensure their safety when riding their bikes.
The first provision they adopt is equipment.
Max, who claims "30 years of cycling", lists the rules to follow: "Have rear-view mirrors on your bike (but nevertheless turn around if necessary), good night lighting and a warning horn more powerful than the bell (even if it's is forbidden, it has often saved my life).
In terms of lighting, Paul indicates that he is "equipped with a very powerful flashing red light, visible by day at 600 meters".
In terms of clothing, Jérôme “wears fluorescent clothes with reflective strips”.
Caroline opted for "the yellow vest in Paris for the children and myself" while Cécile "invested in a kind of harness made up of reflective elastic yellow bands, it's super light, not bulky and adjustable. ".
The peak helmet
And above all, points out Alexis, “not an outing without a well-attached helmet, because a helmet with dangling straps is useless!
» And in fact, even if it is not obligatory, many of our readers are followers of the helmet, like Jean-Claude for whom it is « unimaginable to cycle without ».
However, concedes Thibault, "there are two obstacles to wearing a helmet: the style and the fact that it keeps you warm in the summer".
And we can't blame him.
Finally Max warns that you should “not believe that a helmet will save your life in a collision with a motor vehicle”.
Speaking of the latter, some contributors do not hesitate to relaunch the bike/car war like Anne (not Hidalgo, huh) who assures that “the best security measure for cycling would be the banning of cars”.
Jérôme is on the same line and assures that “the main danger is the aggressive attitude of a large majority of motorists who overtake cyclists without precaution”.
Marion "is fed up with refusals of priority, especially delivery vehicles".
For Olivier, “the cars accuse the bad cyclists of rolling anyhow” but “the problem is that we have never seen a bicycle overturn a car.
On the other hand, the reverse is very frequent.
Highly followed Highway Code
This is what happened to Alex in a roundabout: “A motorist grilled a give way and mowed me while then trying to flee.
“For Bruno, it is” the driver of a parked car [who] accidentally opened the door when [he] passed near his vehicle “.
Paul adds: “Having already been injured several times, I know that on a bike we have no other protection than our vigilance.
Marion doesn't say anything else.
“Aware of our vulnerability as a cyclist, I try to put all the chances on my side: […] hyper vigilance and respect for the Highway Code”.
Moreover, most of the contributors ensure that they follow the Highway Code, like Alex who says that he “respects it scrupulously”.
David nuance: “Respect the Highway Code when it is not a source of danger.
Max completes and affirms that it is necessary to "understand that the Highway Code is absolutely not designed to ensure the safety of cyclists, which does not mean that it should not be respected, but there are situations where it is necessary to adapt”.
But following the Code isn't always easy, as it is for Hélène, who happens to be “got yelled at by some other cyclists because it slows them down having to wait behind me”.
Because it happens that the ugly duckling is very present in the big family of cyclists.
“Not many of us stop at a red light,” observes Vincent, while Alexandre is categorical: “Other bikes are the most dangerous vehicles.
Your own bike can also be dangerous if poorly maintained, especially when it comes to the brakes.
And Jean-Paul, 76, does it seriously.
“My bike, I don't go a week without checking it: brakes, tires, he explains.
I have set up a workshop at home, everything is tightened with a dynamometric wrench”, which makes it possible to check the tightening torque of screws, nuts and bolts.
And Hélène also thinks of “regularly maintaining her electric bike”.
The hell of Denfert
Finally, some cyclists modify their route to reduce the risks, such as Cécile who “discovered small streets to avoid a roundabout that was too dangerous”.
Similarly, Vincent is "wary like the plague of places Denfert-Rochereau and Italy which are very poorly designed for two-wheelers".
But the popular solution is the use of cycle paths.
For David, the ideal is to "prefer routes with cycle facilities separated from the flow of cars, even if it means making detours".
Better for Caroline, "the massively developed cycle paths saved time on my journey, especially at La Défense".
But the cycle paths do not escape the harsh criticism of our readers.
“Unfortunately, there are very few routes without major discontinuity (bridge, narrowing where the development disappears, etc.), laments David.
Philippe, for his part, “avoids all those which are materialized only by strips painted on the road.
A bike path should NEVER be built this way” because it “gives a false sense of security”.
For Christian, “it is time to set up a real cycle network”.
Our file on the bike
He also calls for a #metoovelo and that "the police verbalize incivilities such as non-respect of overtaking distances, parking on cycle paths, non-respect of airlocks".
Similarly, Jean-Paul asks for “more people on the ground to encourage people to respect the Code and therefore safety”.
What all our cycling readers yearn for.
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