I wrote about this last year at this time, but this is a safety issue and definitely bears repeating. It is that time of year again when people are rushing all over town trying to max out their credit cards buying things they think their friends and loved ones want for Christmas. That means that our normally barely-safe roads are becoming much less safe and are bordering on downright dangerous.
That doesn't mean that we should all stop riding and let all the turkey and stuffing take over our bodies. What it does mean is that it is super-important that we all be extra careful and ride more defensively when cycling in heavily-populated areas especially around shopping malls.
One of the biggest problems I see this time of year are drivers who are in a huge hurry to get wherever they are going. This means that they fail to use their turn signals and often make right or left turns without really checking. Their quick glance might warn them of an approaching car, but cyclists may not be detected which means we could easily get hit.
Again, the key to surviving the holiday, besides laying off the eggnog, is to ride defensively. It is a good idea to just assume that car drivers can't see you. Heck, when the 30% off sale is looming large at Macy's the drivers are on a mission and that doesn't include looking out for cyclists.
So, you have been warned. Hopefully, you don't meet a car, up close and personal, these holidays. Unlike the car drivers, give yourself some extra time on your rides and be prepared to be a bit slower when you hit the urban areas on your route. It just makes good sense.