Facing a Fear: Bike Riding in the Big City

Ever since I got my shiny bike (see below for photographic proof), I’ve been afraid to take it out on the street. I stuck to paths and trails while the streamlined silhouette of bikers zipped by me on the elevated road, hugging curves and traveling in packs like hungry wolves. Meanwhile, my non-conditioned legs kept my travel to a slightly-above-average pace while darting couples taking casual strolls.

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With a long weekend staring me down, I figured it was as good a time as any to test my resolve and take my out on the street. My apprehension would be understandable to most, since Dallas is consistently ranked as one of the worst cities for bikers, and the city has been wrestling with how to incorporate bike lanes and protect bikers. Despite these reasons, I couldn’t rationalize driving less than two miles to yoga. So I strapped on my helmet, inflated my low tires (it’s been a while, what can I say) and took to the street.

As I text my boyfriend upon my arrival at the yoga studio: I managed to not get maimed, have a soda thrown on me or get yelled at. Mission accomplished! It definitely helped that the main road I traveled isn’t a bustling one; I think I can count the number of cars that passed me on one hand. Keeping to the right side of the right hand lane, not wearing earbuds and being cautious in my speed and maneuvers also mattered. Since the weather actually resembles “spring” and not summer-lite, a miracle in terms of the temperature fluctuation you get in Texas this time of the year, I’ll be sure to make this a regular part of my weekend plans.

As I celebrate my (small) accomplishment, it’s clear that riding bikes on Dallas roads is still a risky proposition. Use the below resources to travel safely on two wheels, and let me know what best practices you use if you’re a biker.

Bicycle Safe – How Not to Get Hit By Cars

BikeDFW

Bike Friendly Dallas

Cycling Savvy DFW

One Reply to “Facing a Fear: Bike Riding in the Big City”

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Veleisa. I’m working up the courage to again begin riding a bike regularly, too. The Metroplex area in general, and Dallas in particular, is not a welcoming place for bicyclists or pedestrians. Hopefully that will change. Good luck!

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