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Old 10-12-05, 09:04 AM   #1
Bekologist
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I drove my car yesterday for the first time since July 4 and took it out into the country. Later I drove around Seattle after dark. I saw some bikers, and I have some thoughts from behind the windshield.

As background,I'm a good driver with no accidents or tickets in all the years I've driven (knock on wood), but I'm strongly anti automobile and usually do everything on a bike around the city and use my car as a tool to get me and my skis and climbing gear into the mountains. I've driven very little in the last five years.

On the country road I wound up behind a cyclist on a long curvy downhill, I stayed behind the cyclist on the curves, blocking, and passed when the road was straight and clear. However, as a driver, I felt unsure as to when it was safe to pass, even though I know exactly what was safe, and wonder how many people who DON'T cycle feel the same way overtaking a bicyclist.

A sense of being unsure what to do.


And then around town, at night, I was driving on this street with wide outside lanes, that had been striped for bikes and I was drawn to looking at this white line bright as day on the side of the road with the bicyclist stencil every couple of blocks, and that was very, very definitive to me as a driver. It was more obvious then the center line even.

I hadn't cleaned the windshield, and with my broken hip and my own mental deficiencies, I felt like a card carrying member of AARP (no offense, everybody! I'm there soon enough) and felt like a driver with 'visual' and 'mental' and 'physical' handicaps.

The bike lane stripe was the most obvious thing on the road.

Just some observations behind the windshield from a very occasional driver.

Last edited by Bekologist; 10-12-05 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 10-12-05, 09:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
I drove my car yesterday for the first time since July 4 and took it out into the country. Later I drove around Seattle after dark. I saw some bikers, and I have some thoughts from behind the windshield.

As background,I'm a good driver with no accidents or tickets in all the years I've driven (knock on wood), but I'm strongly anti automobile and usually do everything on a bike around the city and use my car as a tool to get me and my skis and climbing gear into the mountains. I've driven very little in the last five years.

On the country road I wound up behind a cyclist on a long curvy downhill, I stayed behind the cyclist on the curves, blocking, and passed when the road was straight and clear. However, as a driver, I felt unsure as to when it was safe to pass, even though I know exactly what was safe, and wonder how many people who DON'T cycle feel the same way overtaking a bicyclist.

A sense of being unsure what to do.


And then around town, at night, I was driving on this street with wide outside lanes, that had been striped for bikes and I just looking at this white line bright as day on the side of the road with the bicyclist stencil every couple of blocks, and that was very, very definitive to me as a driver. It was more obvious then the center line even.

I hadn't cleaned the windshield, and with my broken hip and my own mental deficiencies, I felt like a card carrying member of AARP (no offense, everybody! I'm there soon enough) and felt like a driver with 'visual' and 'mental' and 'physical' handicaps.

The bike lane stripe was the most obvious thing on the road.

Just some observations behind the windshield from a very occasional driver.

You may be more apt to notice the bike lane do to being mostly a cyclists and driver secound. You have probably ridden onmany many bike lanes and know they are there. Other drivers may not notice them as quickly if at all. My personaly feeling is most drivers will be aware of them and see them easly. Isue with bike lanes comes in with motorists who see them as a means to help them pass a car waiting to turn in to a buiss. After all heres this nice 4 to 5 foot wide lane they can use to pass a stopped car. It sets up the perfect place for a cyclists to get nailed. This is why i say BLs have no buissness being in a buissness district or place where there are alot of intersections or drive ways.
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Old 10-12-05, 12:41 PM   #3
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Whatever, the fog line/bike stripe visibility was secondary, I was more confounded by my reaction being a driver unsure what to do behind a bicyclist, and imagine about 90% of non cyclists have a similar sort of uncertaintity about what to do driving behind a bicyclist.
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Old 10-12-05, 02:00 PM   #4
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The cyclist determines how much uncertainty there is in the driver behind him. He affects the uncertainty through communication.
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Old 10-12-05, 02:20 PM   #5
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I say let 'em know when it's safe to pass. I think a lot of cagers share Bek's uncertainty and they usually appreciate some help. At least look at them so they know you're aware. Pull over more to the right to let them know it's OK to go around. Wave them through if you want them to pass you quickly for any reason.

Bek brought up a good point. We're always thinking about stopping cagers from passing us when it's risky. It's almost as important to let them know when they're good to go.
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Old 10-12-05, 02:26 PM   #6
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I say let 'em know when it's safe to pass. I think a lot of cagers share Bek's uncertainty and they usually appreciate some help. At least look at them so they know you're aware. Pull over more to the right to let them know it's OK to go around. Wave them through if you want them to pass you quickly for any reason.

Bek brought up a good point. We're always thinking about stopping cagers from passing us when it's risky. It's almost as important to let them know when they're good to go.
Very true. Part of my commute is on a winding two-lane parkway. I routinely signal to drivers coming up behind me whether it is safe to pass or not and I think they appreciate it, as I would if I were the guy behind the wheel.
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Old 10-12-05, 02:40 PM   #7
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Agree totally. Most drivers are considerate and it is far more common to get more space than needed than less. On a numberical basis I have a lot more trouble with drivers that are overly cautious aboput passing than the other way around (Note the exceptions emotionally more than make up for it).

One good example is when getting stuck in a left turn lane with a signal activated by sensors. It can be a real problem getting the car behind to move close enough to trigger the light for both of us.
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