Crash Course

Riding a bicycle is relaxing, fun and good for your health. However, it can also be a dangerous undertaking if we don't practice defensive riding techniques and aren't highly attentive to other users of the roadway.

Most of us who ride our bicycles on a regular basis hop on our bikes with the attitude "it can't happen to me."

We block out the fact that the minute we set our wheels on the road we are putting our lives on the line.

I'll never forget the day I was cycling to work and was struck from behind by an inattentive driver. I became airborne, was thrown over the top of the car and landed on the sidewalk. My bicycle was mangled, but luckily for me I just ended up with bruises and awfully sore muscles. Despite the fact that visibility was good, and there wasn't a glare from low sun angle, the driver said she never saw me.

All bicyclists should mentally prepare for the day they become the victim of an accident. The more miles you ride, the higher your chances of being involved in an accident. Either a bicyclist's or a motorist's momentary lack of attention or judgment can result in serious injury to the bicyclist.

Ride your bike defensively, stay alert at all times and hopefully you will avert a bicycle accident. But just in case the unfortunate happens, it's important to know how to deal with the situation.

In Oregon, bicyclists who own automobiles and have car insurance should be covered while riding bicycles. No companies presently offer insurance for bicyclists without automobile policies.

If you feel your accident was caused by a motorist or some unsafe condition on the roadway, you may want contact a lawyer to recover medical expenses, damage to your bicycle, or other compensation.

I highly recommend you seek the advice of an experienced Oregon bicycle injury attorney — preferably one who is an experienced cyclist and who has handled numerous cycling cases.

Be safe and have a pleasant ride.

Bicycling enthusiast Bob Korfhage of Phoenix is a former president of Siskiyou Velo bicycle club.

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