The hazards of cycling in Cambridge

My bicycle collision last week resulted in irreparable damage to my bike, and as a consequence I have been reading up a bit on what makes a good commuter bike as well as the situation with safe cycling in Cambridge. I’ve discovered a couple things.

First, commuter bikes don’t seem to be easily available in the US. I’m talking a hybrid-type bike with fenders, a rear rack, chain guard, perhaps some sort of lights, and no fancy shocks or handlebars. They are available, but not everywhere, and not cheap. That said, there are several local bike shops around me that might have some good choices. I’ll have to do some shopping.

Second, despite its very good reputation on this count, Cambridge has made many mistakes with regard to cycling safety, and still has a long way to go before cyclists can really feel safe on Cambridge roads. A good list of local bike safety faults is maintained by cycling expert John Allen. I’ve noticed a few of these as I’ve ridden, but I’ve had just as much trouble just in terms of figuring out where it is safe to ride (not to mention my incredibly bad direction-finding ability), so those things combined have substantially reduced the scope of my cycling. I think I need to find a partner if I want to keep up this hobby.