Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
24 posts • Page 1 of 1
I would love advice from all kinds of cyclists (roadies/fixies/mountain bikers) as I encounter all of you on my commute to work.
What do you all think of a `Baby on board` sign on a bike? Would it make a difference to the way you approach the pregnant cyclist?
- Give them more space when overtaking and generally be more cautious?
- Cycle as usual because you are an awesome cyclist who doesn't rush slower cyclists and only overtakes when safe anyway?
- Cycle as usual because it makes no difference to you?
- Think that a pregnant woman has no right cycling and risking the life of their unborn child?
Any thoughts would be great!
Pointless I imagine unless it is HUGE. By the time someone is close enough to see what the sign reads, it will be too late.
Also, practically, where would you place such a sign so that it is easily read?
Finally. those damned hipsters on their fixed gear will ignore you whatever sign you hang
To be honest it wouldn't occur to me that the sign meant "pregnant cyclist, please take care", i would just think it was intended to be humorous somehow. EDIT: which is not to suggest it's a bad idea by any means.
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
Hi Sar, congratulations.
Having recently had the joy of a little boy, one thing that confuses me is that apparently, as a pregnant person you are now public property - complete strangers will suddenly feel it is OK to advice on everything & even physically handle you. But seeing as you asked ...
While I don't know whether it will help, the only downside might be more gratuitous advice.
I asked my wife whose reaction was "why not" & pointed out that I get much more room from cars when towing our son in a trailer or weehoo
Co-incidentally quite a good article on bike radar about cycling while pregnant
Given ldrcycles comment, maybe a sign like this would be less subtle
. . . . . . .
Firstly, congratulations on your expected arrival.
Secondly, why do you feel it necessary to advertise your pregnant status to all and sundry - what is the incentive?
No, I don't reckon it is a worthy idea at all and could simply attract the wrong type of attention.
I think something like the sign pictured would be better. Baby on board wouldn't click for many I think. I've ridden with a few pregnant ladies and it's nice to know, even if only in case something happens.
Yes I think it's a good idea. I'm sure i'm not the only one who goes out of their way to run into other cyclists or cars for the matter unless they are displaying a baby on board sign
I would show you the same care and consideration that I always show, so your condition would not make any difference to me.
Sadly, I don't think it would make any difference to the aggressive riders I see on the paths every day either.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
Congrats. My partner who cycled pregnant with both our kids didn't do anything different and had no out of the ordinary issues. Her feeling was by advertising the fact there'd be more moral high ground types who'd have a go. She certainly had enough of those as it was.
De Rosa Macro | Trek Superfly 100AL Elite | Claud Butler Sovereign
Me three. I also count myself among those who worry that a sign might invite people to think your pregnancy is their business - but will stop short of telling you what to do Good luck & happy new kid!
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“Lexa”: 2012 Trek Lexa S; “Bluey”: 2006 Trek 7.0FX
The overarching theme seems to be to just leave the sign off...which I have decided upon for the following reasons:
The third point has, just this morning, become far more apparent, as I nearly slammed into a car because she effing CUT ME OFF to turn left into a road. It's the ONLY stretch of road that I am forced to cycle as there is no bike path in my neighbourhood. I had a shrill shouting match (for the FIRST time ever in my life) and she had the nerve to say that I had to "Watch out for cars", "Did I have a registration for my bike" and "I should stay off the roads". I was furious!! She gave me NO time to react and I nearly effing fell or hit her car as I had to brake suddenly on the wet road.
So ladies, seriously, you can do all you can on YOUR SIDE (http://www.perthnow.com.au/man-charged-over-cottesloe-cyclist-hit-run-death/story-fn6mh6b5-1226317516253) but you can never account for bad drivers! Don't risk the life of your unborn child and stay safe
Last edited by sarahactivated on Thu May 22, 2014 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I just recently bought an electric bike and it came with a HUGE basket on the back. So I was planning on strapping it to that..and making sure I got a huge sign..coz I you say, maybe people wouldn't see it.
And actually I haven't seen many hipsters on my commute! Haha...I do see them mostly in the city though.
Thanks for your SOLICITED advice And congrats on your baby boy! The image would be far more effective and most likely bring a smile to most people's faces..which I like! I've seen the link you gave me before. I'm just glad it doesn't say that I'm not allowed to cycle anymore...because seriously..that would be rough for me. And I don't know if it's a coincidence or not, but the first trimester has been so ridiculously smooth. No morning sickness or weird cravings. It could be the cycling and regular exercise?? I just like to tell myself that anyway.
Okay, I guess I didn't take into account that the sign doesn't mean much to other people. I just always happen to notice them on cars though! Maybe it's a female thing? How terribly stereotypical of myself
Thanks The incentive most likely stems from my paranoia that now that I'm pregnant, I feel as if I'm an accident-magnet. This is actually the same for my husband. He has all of a sudden felt the need to wear high-vis on his scooter AND I have been telling him FOR YEARS too. For somebody like HIM to want to wear high-vis makes me think that maybe there's a survival instinct that kicks in for parents-to-be.
I'm only realizing now that for some people the sign would be practically useless. I've actually decided against it now
Thanks Jim. I thought it was a good idea too but from most of the posts, I'm concerned that the sign would not only be ignored, but attract negative attention. And I'm assuming that you meant " i'm not the only one who goes out of their way to AVOID running into other cyclists or cars"..?
Honestly I thought the side would make a difference...but I have a feeling it won't! The aggressive behaviour I see everyday is unsafe overtaking (from cyclists heading the opposite direction - so TOWARDS ME). I just don't know what to do! I am faced daily with an oncoming cyclist and NOwhere to go.
Thanks so much Ranger. It's very comforting to know first-hand (or as first-hand as forums go) of somebody who has ridden through her pregnancy...and not just reading advice from health articles. Did she have to stop at anytime due to discomfort?
Thanks heaps Lizzy. I wish there were more people like you haha
Oh yeah... you might want to cut back on the durries as well.
... I jest.
Since I keep misplacing my common sense down the shed, I guess I'll have to borrow someone elses off the internet.
My partner suffered pretty heavily from 'morning' (read all day) sickness, so a few times she physically couldn't make it onto the bike. Having said that she always tried pretty hard to do the ride, as generally it made her feel a better by the end of it. She cycled up to about 7.5 months pregnant before it became too awkward, basically through breathlessness and an abdominal hernia that developed
De Rosa Macro | Trek Superfly 100AL Elite | Claud Butler Sovereign
I read about you wearing an awesome rainproof high-vis vest and looking like an orange marshmallow. Its a sad thing to say but drivers are blind at times....often down to inattentiveness but nonetheless, for their own reasons, they just don't see cyclists on their radar whatever the weather or the cyclists clothing. I'm not wanting to put you off but that is the reality. Good luck with it all though.
Most of the accidents I've either been involved in with other people, or witnessed have been from one party (usually the non cyclist party) failing to look. Unfortunately, this means the sign and potentially the jacket, are not enough, pregnant or not.
Flashing light to draw attention to you might be an idea.
I also found choosing routes which stuck to bike paths away from traffic and busy (pedestrians) streets decreased the number of 'close ones' on the commute (also haven't had another accident since changing route to a quieter/more appropriate one, touch wood).
Or it has nothing to do with rights and they are just genuinely concerned for your safety. Accidents do happen.... too frequently.
How ironic that I wrote the last response just recently. Tonights commute was a perfect example of what I was trying to convey. There I was cycling happily in the cycle lane wearing my bright yellow fluorescent cycle jacket where there was good light, in a 40 km built up zone, little traffic, a long straight road, when a car overtook me and then immediately stopped and turned left across the cycle path which I was in. Luck more than anything avoided me hitting the car. The car didn't stop when I shouted and when I caught up (yes I chased it down such was my anger and frustration) the girl said, 'sorry, I didn't see you'. With idiots like these on the road, there is no way a baby sign, no matter how large it was, would be of any use.
That's exactly what happened to me!!! But I cannot believe that she didn't see you! It makes me upset just reading posts like this. Glad to hear you weren't hurt. All the best for your commutes from now on
Before pregnancy, 50% (3.2 km out of 6km) of my commute used to be on the roads because you could go much faster with the road bike. But now that I'm expecting, I've cut it down to 3% (3km out of 10km - I've moved house) but only because of the absence of a cycle path in my neighbourhood - AND I'm on a much heavier and slower electric bike.
So yes, knock on wood that changing our routes will safe our lives. The busier (bikes/pedestrians/cars..WHATever) the higher the likelihood of those dreaded 'close ones'. Not looking forward to those.
Are you SoR or NoR Sarah?
I commute from Warwick Rd to Karrinyup, I used to cruise along the roads mostly but have now switched to the bike paths for about 8 of my 13km. Luckily the other 5km is on dual lane roads with wide left hand lanes, so I don't feel too scared most of the time.
But just yesterday, I had a 4WD pull onto the road resulting in me needing to do some panic braking, I'm sure the guy was looking me right in the eyes as I was approaching but he pulled out regardless. And I was wearing my reflective hi vis yellow jacket, and I've got 3 flashing white front lights, and I'm 6 foot 2 riding a big mountain bike, so not many excuses for him not seeing me!
Safe riding everyone
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!
I'm east of the river near Belmont and yeah, I think swapping to the bike paths as much as you can is the smartest thing to do...and it helps when you're on a wide road like you are.
And if the guy was looking you dead in the eyes, they most likely misjudged the distance a bike can travel in a small amount of time. It's happened to me plenty of times where it's not exactly a close call but still you wonder why the driver pulls out!
If anyone's interested in an update...I now finally have free time to get back on the computer, now that the boys are three months old - I had them back in November!
I never ended up using a sign because it sounded like it wouldn't have made much of a difference. I think A) wearing lights and hi-vis all the time and B) changing your route to lessen your road time is the way to go.
Good luck to anyone else thinking of cycling during their pregnancy!
My sister was cycling up until the day before she gave birth and was back on the bike with bubs not too long afterwards. The little one sits up front on a handlebar seat and gets to view the world. He isn't excited about cars, but gets excited as soon as you say bicycle. He is 16 months now.
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