Top Ten Things Not to Do on a Bicycle


Top Ten Things Not to do on a BikeThe inspiration for this list is my three days a week eight-mile ride on the single speed beach cruiser bike which is pictured above. I get some crazy thoughts while moving along and I thought I would share them with you. For those of you who have seen my bike before will recognize the fact that this is a newer version. It is all aluminum, so maybe it won’t rust and collapse under me like the last model. Hope you enjoy the list.

10 On a bike, do not think you are riding a motorcycle. If you do, at best the hand wave you make to the Hells Angles will be ignored. At worst, the leader of the pack, Tiny (WWF champion) will use you as an example of what happens when you mock the Hells Angles. (Don’t worry he will untie you and let you go at the next town or fifty miles whichever comes first, Ferd.)

9 On a bike, do not think you can take phone calls. If you do, at best the other end will hear two out of ten words. At worst, you might be distracted enough to miss your turn and end up with a thirty-mile ride. (You have always warned people about that turn, and now you are the poster child, huh Bunky?)

8 On a bike, do not think riding on a busy highway is the way to go. If you do, at best you’ll get used to the horn honks. At worst, that eighteen wheeler blast of air will knock some sense into you as you go airborne. (You were sure people couldn’t fly, weren’t you Tex?)

7 On a bike, do not insist on exercising your rights to the right of way. If you do, at best all others will concede. At worst, you’ll confront a passive aggressive psychopath who has just been told they need to be more assertive.( That crumpled aluminum mass can be sold for scrap, Buster. Just pick it up and walk the ten miles to the recycle center.)

6 On a bike, do not neglect proper clothing. If you do, at best the stares by those you pass can be ignored. At worst, the citation for indecent exposure will be seen as a mark down from public lewdness.( All because of that speedo, huh Ace?)

5 On a bike, do not forget that wet roads are slippery. If you do, at best a couple of  slides will be a reminder. At worst, that long hill ending at dead man’s curve seems to be a challenge right now in that you are going twenty miles an hour straight down. (Brakes are a liability in this situation aren’t they Buford?)

4 On a bike, do not forget insects will hit you at the speed you are going. If you do, at best a couple of moth hits is all you will experience. At worst, you’ll have the pleasure of being dismounted by the largest June bug on the planet. (This is not a joust, and there is no princess kiss at the end either, Duke.)

3 On a bike, do not watch the scenery more than the road. If you do, at best you’ll get a warning to return to your lane. At worst, that lovely cottage and flower garden holding your attention is at the corner of the road and a drainage ditch. (mud and water are easy to get off you, What about the bike, Mike?)

2 On a bike, do not think more about your plot line and less about the double line. If you do, at best you will get home safely. At worst, your story line development will be interrupted by a quick ride to the ER. (Now with your leg in the air you have plenty of time to do the story line huh, Ernest?)

1 On a bike, do not think you can do tricks like you’ve seen on the trick bike championships. If you do, at best you’ll remember that all those champions are under twenty years old and stop yourself. At worst, you’ll get half way through a triple spin and realize that your arthritis is no longer your major bone problem. (Enjoy everyone visiting you in the hospital and asking, “What were you thinking John?”)


  1. Gwen Plano · ·

    What a fun read! I couldn’t help but hope that next Christmas Santa brings you a GoPro camera. 🙂

    1. Oh. That is a great idea, Gwen. I will put that on my list. Might even make America’s Funniest Home Videos. 😀

  2. Ha, ha, great, John. I kind of figured Tiny would be a member of the Hells Angels. At his size, he must have had the leather jacket specially made. 😀 — Suzanne

    1. Thanks, Suzanne. He does. It was made by Omar the tent maker. 😀

  3. Now I’m picturing you popping wheelies as you cruise down the beach. Great list, John!

    1. I have learning in these grey hairs. Thanks, Jill.:-D

  4. If you had stopped at nine, John. I would have only been guilty of occasionally looking that the scenery. A friend of mine and I tried to jump an “end of road” barrier when we were kids. I lost the “you go first, no, you go, no, you…” battle and ended up bruised and walking a bike with a bent rim home. Great list.

    1. Been there and have the shirt. The word IDIOT on the shirt is in red letters. (Broke several ribs) Thanks, Dan

  5. Fun list. Reminds me of when my friends and I would pop the curb, which was the extent of our daredevil ways. Pretty sure I’ve seen all the outward distractions you mentioned and then some. Favorite is a biker in Florida who tried to rush through a puddle that should have been labeled as a pond. Didn’t get very far before stopping and toppling over.

    1. Ha ha ha. That would be a good video. Thanks, Charles.

  6. LOL. John, you’ve got me “conditioned” already! The instant I see Tiny’s name I start chuckling before I’ve even read your caution.
    Holy Hannah! Eight miles? It’s been a long, long time since I’ve done that. (Of course having a bicycle would help, but still doubtful it would happen. Although having a beach would help more! 😀 )
    Have a marvelous Monday. Mega hugs!

    1. Thanks, Teagan. I’m afraid if I stop I’ll never start again.So, on I goooooo. 😀

  7. Number one makes so much sense – unless you’re Pee Wee Herman…

    1. Ha ha ha. Good one, Hook. 😀

  8. When I worked in Minneapolis City Hall, I would look out the window of my tower (yeah, it looked like a castle and I worked in a tower) and watch the bicycle messengers ply through two foot snowdrifts in -30F weather. How I envied them.

    1. I waled my bike through a snow drift delivering newspapers in Michigan. Thought I was going to die.

      1. These guys, the bike messengers, have one fixed gear. They can pedal forwards and backwards and if anyone attempts to steal their bike, they will fall over when they try to ride it.

      2. Ha ha ha. I would love to see that.

  9. Omar the tentmaker?? I’m rolling on the floor this morning, John! Thanks for the fun here today!

    1. You are welcome and thank you for the nice words.

  10. I was guilty of #1 at an early age – only time I ever got stitches. Riding with no hands and feet on the handle bars wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve done – but probably not the dumbest either.

    1. Ha haha. Sound like something I would have done.

  11. Perfect! I used to ride my bike a lot and have definitely either done or seen some the mistakes you mention. I can understand getting distracted by scenery and then having a near miss with a tree 😉 What amazes me is the number of people I see on their phones while riding a bike. Unsafe at any speed!

    1. I know right? I have dodged a couple of those in my day.

  12. I’ve experienced #1 and #3…..#1 as a stupid teen and #3 not that many years ago. Talk about embarrassing!
    I’m impressed by your 8 miles 3 times a week. Of course with the beautiful scenery you have (#3 aside) you must look forward to it!

    1. I do look forward to the bike ride, Mae Clair. Clears the head. 🙂

  13. I love bike riding myself, but people do need to put safety first. We have so many people on the streets down here with bikes wearing dark clothing at night, no reflectors on the bikes, no lights. And they just pull across busy streets without watching. Two nights ago, saw a guy cut across in front of an SUV and get hit. He flew through the air. Traffic stopped and he got up and went and picked up his now wobbling bike and rode off. I figure he must have been drunk to survive that.

  14. 😀 😀 😀 Rode a bike for a super short time many eons ago. Fell off into a ditch and my riding days were over. Anyone who rides one in traffic must be nuts or have more faith in good drivers than humanly possible.
    These are all fabulous.

    1. A ditch is not a good thing. Glad you weren’t seriously hurt. 🙂

  15. I used to enjoy watching the bike riders along the seawall in Galveston. Wondering where they were headed and admiring their leather skin. 🙂 Wear sunscreen, Butch. Great list!

    1. I wear sunscreen. Thanks, Audrey

  16. Also, eating soup or drinking a hot beverage from a mug are bad ideas.

    1. Yup. Learned that the hard way. Thanks, Don

  17. Ah, John, #2 is the one I’d be guilty of, hands down! What is it about writing that makes the GOOD ideas arrive when you’re busy doing something else (like showering or trying to sleep)?!?

    1. The shower I understand. It is an ion exchange. Sleep? beats me.

  18. Love these posts, John! As for moi and bikes … strictly a no, no. I’ve always been a little unbalanced. Sigh.

    1. Ha ha ha. I can imagine. Thanks for stopping by Soooz

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