News Ticker

To ride safely

Simone Bates, staff writer

Visual by Tara Mandrekar

7:50 A.M. Maneuvering through cars, pedestrians, and other bicyclists– or, at least, trying to. Cars pulling into the bike lane to turn right, cars pulling onto the sidewalks blocking them from bikers, cars pulling dangerous moves; here bicyclists ride- or, at least, try to. 2:15 P.M. Repeat.

As a Leigh High School bicyclist, there are a myriad of frustrations and elations associated with riding a bicycle to and from school.

Most often, riding a bicycle is a fun and enjoyable experience that satisfies many aspects of life: transportation, movement, spending time outdoors, and time alone to think. However,the busy roads of the Bay Area, where traffic is the protocol, are cause for some irritation.

“People are so concerned about getting where they want to get,” said history teacher Frank Von Rassler, who chooses biking as his mode of transportation to and from school.

With this knowledge that drivers tend to not pay attention to bikers, how does one remain safe on the road?

“I used to not wear a helmet, but Mrs. Peterson got on my case, so now I wear a helmet,” said Rassler.

Making sure to route biking trips on streets that have bike lanes and take the “back streets” or neighborhood roads is another trick to avoiding drivers.

It seems the more tricks and experience that the bikers at Leigh High School acquire, the more comfortable they become.

“There are tons of stupid drivers out there, but I am a smart rider and I know how to weave my way around traffic,” said Samson Lucero, senior.

When asked on a whole whether or not they felt safe biking around Leigh, there was an overwhelming answer of yes from Rassler and Lucero.

Lucero said it best:

“My safety is in my own hands.”

Despite the epidemic of halfway conscious drivers, bikers generally feel safe because they have control over their actions. It is easy to blame one side, but this seems to be a two-way conflict. As long as the bikers follow the road rules and remain courteous, so should the drivers, creating a cohesive and safe environment for bike riding around Leigh.