Sit. Rep. #138: Cycling, Cloud ID

Cycling, Biking, Bike Riding:

1- No matter what you call it you can pass off Cycling Merit Badge and have some fun.  There are many similarities to hiking and backpacking.  Review the two checklists called Pocket Stuff and a Day Hike List.    These are both in Google Docs and are downloadable.  Some initial safety reminders were in Sit. Rep. #38.  Review them all.  Remember that safety is your responsibility.  Pay attention at all times to all of your surroundings.

O: This coffee is awful.  It tastes like mud.
P: It was ground this morning.

1B- Hazards to watch out for:

  • Pedestrians
  • Bike Traffic
  • Motor Vehicle traffic
  • Electric cars make very little noise
  • Parked cars suddenly moving
  • Parked cars open doors suddenly
  • At least one hand on handlebars are all times – no hot dog moves – one hand holding on while giving hand signals
  • Adjust your bike to properly fit you – a Scout may be growing that the bike needs adjusting quite often.
  • Check tires for alignment, pressure, and wear in your pre-trip inspection
  • Check the brakes and function in your pre-trip inspection
  • Do not carry any items in your hands while biking – use a backpack or bike basket/carrier
  • Potholes, open manholes, gutter grates, broken glass, litter, loose gravel, puddles, animals, leaves
  • Ride on the correct side of the road – go with traffic – do not ride against traffic
  • Wait for motor vehicles to clear before proceeding
  • If necessary – dismount & walk when safety is an issue
  • No phones, earbuds, music, or any distraction while biking
  • Stop, Look, & Listen before entering traffic
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):  Under 10 years of age – ride on sidewalks, Over 10 years of age – ride on the street… But do so only if state or local laws allow bikes on sidewalks.
  • Alert pedestrians before passing
  • Be alert for distracted drivers:  like on the phone, talking to passengers, yelling at children, reading GPS, looking for an address or street sign…
  • Rail Road crossings, Rights-Of-Way, Private Property – dismount & cross only when safe – minimize time around railroads and tracks
  • Narrow bridges and trails
  • Poor weather
  • Improper signals or none at all
  • Following to close
  • Not in single file
  • Parking lots where “anything” goes
  • Bike at a safe speed where you can fully stop without hitting anything – watch out for downhill speeds – and maintain control of your bike at all times
  • Alert for animals

Q: Can you telephone from a submarine.
R: Of course.  Anyone can tell a cell phone from a submarine.

2- Your actions to mitigate hazards:

  • Use proper hand signals for stopping and turning
  • Headlight and strobe lights even during the day – I like strobes attached near your ankles because they are constantly moving and are easier for a motorist to notice
  • Avoid rows of parked cars
  • Stay off of private property esp: railroad property
  • Safe following distance
  • Both hands-on handlebars
  • Highway and pedestrian awareness – stay alert
  • Yell out to other bikers about hazards
  • Stay in touch with the “Tail” rider
  • Co-ordinate communication plans to pass information to lead rider
  • Bike maintenance and inspections
  • Leave an itinerary with a responsible adult, have a backup plan to rescue a downed bike and rider
  • Long sleeve shirt, long pants, leather or motorcycle gloves (bright colors so your hand signals can be seen)
  • Hi-Vis / reflective, brightly colored, clothes
  • Properly fitted helmet
  • Sunglasses
  • Rear view mirror
  • Cell phone to call if an accident happens
  • If your bike is in an accident – do not ride it – walk or get a ride home
  • Drink plenty of water and then some more – stay hydrated
  • Make sure that your First Aid kit has some antihistamine in case of sting on trip
  • Wash, clean, and inspect your bike after every trip – I like Dawn Dishwashing Liquid…Dry the bike…Then lube per mfg. instructions

S: One way to learn a new skill is to start at the bottom and work your way up.
T: But I am trying to learn how to swim.

Meeting Plans & Notes:

Cloud ID
Weather associated with certain clouds
Weather Fronts
High and Low atmospheric pressures
Weather map symbols

Esto Paratus,

Dare to Soar:   by Thomas Mercaldo

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