**This is for the Riding with Ray section:**

Ray Hall is one of the GVCC's resident cycling gurus. A Canadian Cycling
Association (CCA) certified instructor, Ray teaches regular Can-Bike 
courses which teach cyclists how to operate bicycles safely in traffic.

For current Can-Bike schedules, see the GVCC Main Menu.  
Ray has summarised some of his best advice for us here:


  A recent article in the Canadian Cycling Association news letter
  pointed out that cyclists suffer a credibility gap compared with
  drivers.  It cited as an example an experienced driver who hit a 
  very experienced cyclist.  In court, the driver pointed to his 
  spotless driving record and to a list of driving courses, certificates
  and log books.  The cyclist, as experienced or more so, lacks
  recognized credentials.  Whom does the court believe?  A cyclist who
  takes a recognized cycling course such as Canadian Cycling Association
  "Can-Bike" shows an interest in improving road skills.  Passing with
  international certification clearly demonstrates that a recognizable
  skill level has been achieved.

Beater Bikes:

  Ugly, functional, cheap transportation:   a street bike with drop
  bars, narrow tires and ten gears.  Depending on how far you plan to
  ride, they can cost between  $50 and $150.  Beaters are great for rain
  riding. Aluminum alloy rims are the first thing to look for;  they
  retain 80% of their dry stopping ability when wet compared to 20% for
  chrome steel.  Fenders keep things cleaner, easier to maintain and
  less appealing.  Mud flaps front and rear reduce flying grime.
  Friction shifting gears [no click stops for the gears] are cheaper and
  easier to maintain than indexed models.  Yes, you can find the gears
  yourself!  Drop bars can be comfortable when adjusted to your body.
  Believe it or not, narrowish 28mm tires do very well in town but
  puncture-resistant kevlar belts or "Mr. Tuffy" tire strips help the
  flat-tire squeamish avoid messy situations.  Ten gears can get you
  around with light loads.  Bike theft is a constant problem:  keep a
  beater unattractive.  Buy them in the fall and recycle them in the

Car/Bike Accidents.  

  Most accidents happen in front of you at intersections.  This applies 
  to almost all vehicles.  The common misconception is that cyclists are
  hit from behind by drivers who don't see them.  The three most common
  car-bicycle accidents:
    (1) An oncoming driver who turns left in front of a cyclist. 
    (2) A driver who overtakes the cyclist only to suddenly turn right
        in front of her.
    (3) A driver who stops at a sign or light in front of you and 
        re-  starts into you.  

  In all three situations, riding further out from the curb reduces the
  chances of an accident by increasing your visibility.

Eye Protection.

  Flying debris and insects can cause permanent eye injuries.  This was
  brought home when a Ride Across America participant was found dead
  beside a quiet road with insect parts in one eye.  You don't have to
  spend hundreds of dollars for the latest eyewear.  A pair of safety
  glasses from the local safety supply store works just as well.  Be
  sure to check your peripheral vision before buying any glasses.
  Whenever possible try to get optically correct lenses that do not
  distort colors or depth perception.


  If the cyclist doesn't know what he is doing, how do the drivers
  around him know what to expect?  When a cyclist waffles and wobbles,
  drivers can't anticipate her next move and they become anxious.  If
  the driver makes a decision based on what the rider is doing at one
  moment and the rider changes her mind, the situation becomes
  dangerous. Bicycles are very maneuverable and can change direction
  much faster than can cars.  This catches drivers by surprise, leaving
  them unable to react in time.  Think at least one minute ahead; plan
  at least five minutes ahead.  Know where you are going and what you
  are going to do before you reach an intersection. Only then can you
  communicate clearly with the drivers around you.