A Moment of Distraction
The pothole that claimed the life of Ralph Brazier probably came out of nowhere, a simple moment of distraction that all cyclists are subject to. That’s why it’s so important to keep an eye on the road at all times. If there’s one thing to keep in mind, it’s to stay alert when cycling.
Potholes Cycling and Maintenance
The Bunny Hop
The Scenario — What to Do In an Emergency
Staying alert is the best way to avoid hitting a pothole cycling. If you start to drift mentally while you’re riding — so easy to do on a nice day — you may find yourself face to face with a pothole and a serious injury. Keeping alert at all times with your eyes scanning the road ahead of you helps you to avoid injury and damage to your bike, particularly your expensive wheels. And don’t forget to wear your helmet. You’re never too old for a helmet or a serious accident. Your helmet can mean the difference between life or death.
What Cyclists Can Do About Pothole Awareness
Bicycling communities in the United Kingdom and United States have begun to organize to specifically address pothole hazards. Here’s what you can do if you see a pothole. (This is particularly for cyclists who use cell phones, because motorists typically don’t have the time or inclination to report potholes.)
Fillthathole.org.uk is sponsored by Britain’s National Cyclists Organization. It offers an online tool to direct local authorities to potholes spotted by cyclists.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition sponsors its Good Roads Campaign which encourages members to use the city’s 3-1-1 system to report potholes as well as to mark dangerous potholes with neon yellow spray paint. The Coalition also conducts audits of worst-condition pavement and lobbies the city to prioritize pavement maintenance of key bicycling corridors.
Most cities have a 3-1-1 system in place but other phone apps such as SeeClickFix and SaveMyTire enable bikers to report pavement problems to the appropriate municipalities by shooting a photo with a GPS-enabled smartphone. The report is then made automatically. Be safe out there and pay attention.