I still remember the sound of crumpling metal as the car leveled my friend on the bike behind me. I remember him waking up in an ambulance and me having to explain to him how he got there. Getting hit by a car is every biker’s fear. But it has an easy solution.
Studies show that your happiness and satisfaction at work and in life are directly related to your commute. In brass tacks, an hour-shorter commute is the equivalent of a $40,000 raise. Those with shorter commutes feel less isolated, more engaged in the community and have more energy to do the things they love after work. And the workers who are the happiest? They bike to work.
So why then will someone sit in traffic for 45 minutes and ride an imaginary bike later at the gym? Because if they ride an actual bike, someone might kill them by opening their car door with the wrong hand.
Thankfully, there’s a solution. In the grand tradition of Going Dutch, The Dutch Oven and the classic Ed O’Neill film Dutch, we’re endorsing The Dutch Reach. This is the practice of opening the car door with your opposite-side hand, which forces you to pause and shift your body’s position so you can also look back for bikers. If you’re a righty on the drivers side just use your dominant hand.
As guys we do enough silly gestures (open the taxi door for a woman before you head home with her vs. the controversial open-and-scooch so she doesn’t have to claw her way across the backseat in skirt and heels). Let’s do one that will save lives.