Note: May is National Bike Month, and Street Smarts celebrated Bike Everywhere Day on May 19. Some other topics covered in celebration:
Perhaps it is my lack of oneness with the saddle, compared to a country where bicycles outnumber people. Maybe it’s my distaste for drowning anything in mayonnaise. Then again, it could be that I’m the shortest person in a family tree made of giants.
Still, how could I be descended from Nederlanders and have never heard of “the Dutch reach”?
Cyclists travel beside plenty of parked cars. The cars aren’t moving, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still pose a danger.
“The Dutch reach” is a tip for drivers, to help keep cyclists safe. The trick is taught in Dutch driving schools to help prevent car doors opening unexpectedly into the path of a passing rider.
Here’s how it works: When you go to open your car door, don’t use your left hand. Instead, reach across your body to open the door with the hand that’s farther away. The action makes you twist, giving you the chance to look back and check for cyclists.
This is more than a tip. Another tidbit I learned from that pocket guide? Checking before you open your car door is the law.
Melissa Slager: firstname.lastname@example.org, 425-339-3432