Created
16 Dec 1998
The Lounge Modified
19 May 2015
 
Ohio Bicycle Events Calendar
Area Events:     Organized Rides     Local Group Rides
Bicycles and the Law
Street Smarts          Dog Owner Liability          Ohio Bicycle Law Digest          Bicycle Attorney
Bicycling in Southwestern Ohio
Detours, Daylight, and Weather
Ride Itineraries          Area Communities
On This Page:
Events     Information     Articles     Links     I, Cyclist
 

BY LAW, BICYCLES ARE VEHICLES
under the Uniform Vehicle Code and traffic laws of all 50 states.
Except where expressly prohibited, bicycles are to be operated on public roadways in compliance with vehicle law.
With only a few explicit exceptions,
bicyclists HAVE the same
rights and responsibilities as operators of other vehicles.

Looking for great places to cruise?  See what the Cincinnati-Dayton area has to offer!                     Seeking the camaraderie of an organized ride, or the challenge of a race?  Join the crowd!                     Wondering how to survive in traffic?  Get tips from those who've been at it awhile!                     Wish cyclists would get off the road?  Learn what the law says about bicycles as vehicles!                     Don't worry, my dog won't bite!  Maybe not, but he can still cause a crash, and that's bad news for the dog's owner, who's liable for all injuries and damages!

 
AREA RIDES AND EVENTS
(SOUTHWESTERN OHIO, CINCINNATI-DAYTON AREA)
Local Group Rides (in and around Middletown) Mod. 05/19/15
Organized Group Rides Mod. 05/19/15
 
 
AREA INFORMATION
(SOUTHWESTERN OHIO, CINCINNATI-DAYTON AREA)
Detours, Daylight, Weather Mod. 04/14/10
Communities near Middletown Mod. 03/11/06
Touring Itineraries & Maps Mod. 06/18/04
Bike Routes & Bikeways / Multi-Use Paths Mod. 10/01/07
Bicycle Clubs Mod. 01/30/07
Dog Owners' "Absolute Liability" under Ohio Law Mod. 10/30/04
 
 
ARTICLES
All-Time Dumbest Moves — shortcuts to courtroom and emergency room Mod. 03/15/03
Helmets — for those with something worth protecting New 09/18/99
Survival — what cyclists should know New 09/18/99
Those Other Vehicles — what motorists should know New 09/18/99
What's with the Weird Clothes Bicyclists Wear? — it's function, not fashion New 08/25/13
 
 
LINKS
Bicycle Attorney (Ohio) — Steve Magas Add 02/03/06
Bicycling Street Smarts — by John S. Allen Add 04/30/04
Mike's Mega Bicycle Links — outstanding reference Add 01/31/02
Ohio Bicycling Events Calendar Upd 04/13/08
State Bicycle Laws — learn the bicycle traffic laws of your own state Upd 04/30/04
 
 

I, CYCLIST

A recreational, non-competitive road-bicyclist, I travel mostly suburban streets and secondary country roads over rolling terrain, usually on trips of about 15 - 60 miles.  Depending on terrain, traffic, and weather, I usually cruise at 15 - 18 miles per hour and average about 13 - 16 mph.  I typically roll up 2,000 - 3,000 miles per year, on both solo and club rides.

In my early college days during the 1960s, I got around on a Raleigh Sport 3-speed.  It was utilitarian, but low-maintenance, and ideal for getting about campus and for short rolls on weekends.  Sometime during my subsequent stint in the army, the Raleigh disappeared, so I bought another of the same model in 1973.  It got used for occasional rides of up to 20 miles or so.  However, I am the lazy sort, and the hefty Raleigh was never a joy to crank uphill, especially as I was approaching middle-age.  So I never envisioned myself as becoming a passionate cyclist.

Then one evening in the spring of 1988, a neighbor suggested that I take his lightweight 18-speed for a trial spin around the block.  I had never pictured myself on one of those multi-geared contraptions with the super-skinny tires, narrow seat, and curvy handlebars—they looked so damned uncomfortable.  But the following weekend, I was down at the local cyclery, picking out a new Schwinn World 12-speed!

It was immediately clear, however, that the Schwinn and I were not going to become friends without a few alterations.  First of all, that horrid original-equipment seat had to go!  It was replaced with a much more butt-friendly gel saddle, which alone more than tripled my comfortable riding range.  After a year or so of riding bike paths, I decided to replace the lowest two gears with a couple of bulldog climbing cogs, and that gave me the confidence to get off the trails and tackle some serious hills.  As I rode, I even found that those "swoopy" drop handlebars—a real advantage in maintaining speed against the wind—weren't at all uncomfortable once I got used to them.  The Schwinn and I formed a fond, if somewhat leisurely, partnership that would last the next ten years.  As I saw it back then, I didn't need a lot of speed.  As long as I was riding solo, all I had to do was maintain a pace that was comfortable.  When I later joined the Dayton Cycling Club, however, that changed.

On club rides, it quickly became clear that I was carrying too much weight.  Even though the evening and weekend rides were not "races," the group pace was considerably faster than that to which I was accustomed, and I simply couldn't keep up for more than a few miles.  Yes, it was obvious that I could stand to shed a few pounds, but I also needed a lighter bike with more gears if I was to stand a chance of staying with the group beyond the first hill.  My steed of choice became a 1997 Fuji Roubaix, a moderately speedy and light chro-moly steel touring bike with triple chain ring and modified cassette.  After several years (and 30,000 miles), I've downgraded this machine to commuter service, and replaced it with another Fuji Roubaix, this time an aluminum-framed 2005 model with carbon fork and stays.  By the time I turned 60, I had pretty much given up on lifting my climbing ability into the mediocre category, but my speed and endurance have gradually improved over the years.  With draft-sharing, I can usually hang with a 20-plus mph pace line as long as the terrain stays horizontal.  And I'm feeling great and having a ball!

So where do I go from here?  Well, I suppose "when I grow up," I'd like to be like the senior member* of the cycling club, who, until he moved out of the area in his mid-nineties, was still cranking away on a 40-mile ride every week!

=SAJ=

*Clair Duckham moved out of the Dayton area when he was in his nineties.  He continued bicycling—with assistance—until he was nearly 103; he died shortly before his birthday in 2009.