As I ride my bike to work, there are a few places that I ride with extra caution:
1. Near a School. Moms and Dads are always in a hurry to drop off/pickup their kids and drive away without really looking out for cyclists or cars.
2. Near a Bus. Specifically at Bus stops. Don’t know why, but bus drivers like to really get close to me while riding or they pull out in front of me.
3. Supermarkets/Shopping areas. People coming in and out of the stores always cut me off. The saying ‘ride as if you were invisible’ really applies here.
4. Freeway On-Ramps/Off Ramps. I believe that mirrors are essential while riding on streets that have merging on-ramps/off ramps. Cars travel faster than usual when exiting a freeway. It’s like dodging bullets.
5. The sidewalk. I know, I know, we are not supposed to be riding on the sidewalk. But tell that to the 95% of bike commuters that ride on the sidewalks. With cars coming out of driveways, cars turning on intersections, pedestrians and other riders, sidewalks are more dangerous to ride than streets.
These ‘obstacles’ are based on my 20 mile round trip commute from Whittier to Downey, CA. I’m interested to hear about other surroundings that cyclists need to ride with extra care.