It’s yin yang, not yin yin or yang yang. Everyone has an enemy: Harry Potter has Voldemort (shhh!!!), 50 Cent has Ja Rule. Philadelphia bikers have these:
Biking in the dark can be dangerous, especially if you are in an area where the streets are poorly lit. The most important thing is to pay attention to your surroundings: listen for approaching vehicles and keep an eye out for ones that are turning, too. Also, you don’t have to wear a Mylar body suit, but brighter clothes might be a good idea.
2. Trolley Tracks
What could be good about a groove in the road that is a similar size to your tire? Trolley tracks are the pits, especially in traffic where you have to move horizontally. It’s easier to go the extra two blocks and cruise track-free. If you’re on a road like Germantown Avenue, just take extra care when crossing the tracks.
3. Bike Lanes
On roads with bike lanes, the biker is trapped between oncoming traffic and parked vehicles that can move at any time. This is a recipe for hood-flipping disaster, and unless you’re trying to get on World’s Most Extreme Biking Accidents, you’re out of luck. Riding is easier where there are no lanes and where vehicles are expected to “share the road.”
4. Broken Glass
This one is personal: in the past week I’ve had TWO flats because shards of glass tear up my poor, flimsy tires. An easy way to avoid this is to stay off the sidewalk, but glass ends up in the street too. Just keep an eye out for shiny piles of tire-death as you’re watching for traffic and potholes.
5. SEPTA Buses
This should come as no surprise. How could a gigantic, smelly, disgusting hunk of metal be biker-friendly? SEPTA buses block lanes and always stop to let people on and off. They emit loads of carbon monoxide into your face and the atmosphere. Transportation or spawn of Satan? You decide.
James Saul can be reached at email@example.com.