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Publisher's Statement

By Jeff Guerrero

I’ve got a confession to make. I run red lights. I don’t do it every time, but if the coast is clear I just keep on rollin’. The same goes for stop signs, and my bad habits don’t stop there… I pass cars on the right. I ride the wrong way on one-way streets. And I make a point of breaking the speed limit any chance I get. Still, I wouldn’t say I’m reckless. I’m just a guy on a bike, trying to get by in a city designed for cars.
Everyone knows most drivers don’t follow the letter of the law—some of the most straight-laced people I know roll through stop signs. By and large the speed limit is treated as though it was a suggested minimum. Traffic lights seem open to interpretation, too—green means turn without looking, yellow means hurry up, and the first few seconds of red are a grace period.

So why shouldn’t we, as cyclists, feel entitled to bend the rules? Without a motor we’re left at a severe disadvantage fighting for our share of the road. Stop signs and traffic lights kill our momentum, and traffic congestion threatens to keep us at bay. New highways spring up every day, but bike lanes are still an afterthought at best. Why not go beyond taking a lane and make our own?

Unfortunately, without a ton of armor, we’re vulnerable out on the streets. I’ve lost track of how many cycling deaths I’ve read about in the past month, and it’s a sobering reminder that we all need to keep self-preservation in mind. While it’s a sad fact of the matter that with an increase in cycling comes an increase in casualties, there are things we can all do to avoid becoming a grim statistic. I’ll admit I’m not the best person to be preaching about safety, so do as I say, not as I do. Because while there might be bike lanes in heaven, you can’t ride bikes here on Earth when you’re dead.