People

I work getting more people to ride bikes

Post Alley at Seattle's famous Gum Wall.

Post Alley at Seattle’s famous Gum Wall.

“I’m working to make the city safer for people to ride bikes so that all kinds of people — little kids, my women-of-a certain-age friends, and older people can ride their bikes. Tonight I was out at an event about lighting up your bike.”

Eric asks: Now that the dark wet days are upon us what do you think people need to know?

“I think the most dangerous time is at dusk when the light is gray or in the morning. I think people don’t realize that you can’t be seen very well, particularly when you’re wearing black coats. They’re highly fashionable but not highly visible. It’s important to run your lights and have some kind of bright spot. Maybe it’s your scarf or something.”

“You’re just trying to attract attention during the day. A bike can visually blend in with a bigger thing. If you’re a bike in front of a large object, the motorist is looking at the large object, and trying to figure out how they can make their turn and thread themselves between the traffic that’s coming. You as a bike — a small vertical piece — can disappear completely. Those are the most vulnerable times I would say.”

“When I get dressed in the morning, weather is a major factor. I’m going to wear things that are mostly natural fibres like wool and silk, because those things keep you warm even when they’re wet. I don’t really go in for a lot of bike-specific clothing. Anything that’s got a little stretch in it or a little bit of give or is naturally water-repellant. That’s going to work.”

“I did buy a very technical coat recently because in the Seattle rain you can get wet and freezing quickly if you’re not careful. My regular riding clothes are everyday things that hopefully look good when I get to the office. I don’t change my clothes when I get to the office. I dress one time. I work in a casual enough environment that I don’t have to shower and re-dress. If I’m going out to a fancy dance I might take a more utilitarian outfit and change when I get there — if I have a fancy dress on — particularly if it’s raining.”

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