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View Poll Results: Do you know anyone with excessive fear of from-behind traffic?

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  • Yes, I know at least one person who will not ride on roads with traffic because of this fear.

    28 60.87%
  • No, I do not know of anyone who will not ride on roads with traffic because of this fear.

    14 30.43%
  • Other

    4 8.70%
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  1. #1
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Do you know anyone with excessive fear of from-behind traffic?

    Do you know of anyone with an excessive fear of from-behind traffic, such that they will not ride a bicycle on roads with motor traffic, largely if not exclusively due to that fear?

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    Nope.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    yes or no is fine.
    I mean, if you don't know of anyone like that, what else could you say about it anyway?

  4. #4
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Do you know of anyone with an excessive fear of from-behind traffic, such that they will not ride a bicycle on roads with motor traffic, largely if not exclusively due to that fear?
    No, but I know of one BF poster who has an excessive fear of motor vehicles"drifting" to the right that causes him to ride his bicycle all over the road instead of maintaining a predictable course.

  5. #5
    N_C
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    No, but I know of one BF poster who has an excessive fear of motor vehicles"drifting" to the right that causes him to ride his bicycle all over the road instead of maintaining a predictable course.
    Who would that be? How would you know? You've ridden with him?

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    No, but I know of one BF poster who has an excessive fear of motor vehicles"drifting" to the right that causes him to ride his bicycle all over the road instead of maintaining a predictable course.


    Seriously, the reason I take a centerish position away from the margin space on the road whenever possible (including whenever same direction faster traffic is not present) is much more about being better positioned to deal with potential hazards in front of me (improved sight lines to/from me, larger escape/safety buffer to the right, riding in a more conspicuous lane position, etc.) but I do feel it also helps those behind me to be more likely to notice me up ahead, and be less likely to choose to attend to a distraction, and be distracted, as they are passing me 10 or so seconds later. But that requires me to monitor periodically and regularly to the rear with my mirror, so I know when to pull aside.

    (If we had an FAQ where I can explain this once and for all, I wouldn't feel compelled to explain this every time someone brings it up)

  7. #7
    N_C
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head


    Seriously, the reason I take a centerish position away from the margin space on the road whenever possible (including whenever same direction faster traffic is not present) is much more about being better positioned to deal with potential hazards in front of me (improved sight lines to/from me, larger escape/safety buffer to the right, riding in a more conspicuous lane position, etc.) but I do feel it also helps those behind me to be more likely to notice me up ahead, and be less likely to choose to attend to a distraction, and be distracted, as they are passing me 10 or so seconds later. But that requires me to monitor periodically and regularly to the rear with my mirror, so I know when to pull aside.

    (If we had an FAQ where I can explain this once and for all, I wouldn't feel compelled to explain this every time someone brings it up)
    HH, I'm pretty sure he does it to bait you. When you answer to it it gives him satisfaction. What movie was that, that had the line "Don't give the ***** the satisfaction."? He's probably sitting there at his 'puter thinking, "yes, I did it again, baited him & he fell for like every other time!" Take the advice from that line in the movie & don't give him the satisfaction.

    Or do you not realize this is happening? If you do, why do you give him the satisfaction? Are you afraid it is the only attention he get's from people? Maybe it is, but what do you care?

  8. #8
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    The only guy with an excessive fear of traffic I've ever heard of IS you, mr. head.

    your powerweave is an expression of your fear of traffic. ride predictably, not swervy, brother.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  9. #9
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    No.

    If you don't mind the question, what is the point of these polls? Do you use the data collected for any purpose, or is simply a discussion starter (or argument as seems more common on this board)?

  10. #10
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    I have to agree. If you're out there in the lane, you have to stay out there and keep a line like a laser beam and ride like the wind. If you dodge back and forth like a chihuahua it will confuse the hell out of everyone.

    You only have to dodge to the right if you're think the guy in back is being inattentive or malicious. Of course you get this detailed information from a Mirror! Not by snapping your head around every 5 seconds until you end up like Linda Blair in The Exorcist (of course... turn and look before you make a move).



    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    your powerweave is an expression of your fear of traffic. ride predictably, not swervy, brother.
    Peter Wang, LCI
    Houston, TX USA

  11. #11
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barba
    If you don't mind the question, what is the point of these polls?

  12. #12
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    This sounds like some kind of prison question.

  13. #13
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    I know lots of people with excessive fears of being struck from behind on a bicycle. Not one of them has ridden a bicycle since they were about 10. They're the same ones that think I'm crazy for riding my bike to work everyday, but ... here I am.
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  14. #14
    Senior Member Nycycle's Avatar
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    I do avoid heavy traffic that is traveling 50 MPH, I find 30 MPH limit areas the drivers are more considerate.
    Don't know why.
    I do not get to ride every day, my job forces too much overtime.

  15. #15
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    My stepdad fears riding on the correct side of the road because he thinks he'll get hit from behind. He's a stubborn guy, nothing will convince him. Doesn't stop him from riding on the road, though, he just rides on the wrong side.

  16. #16
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kf5nd
    I have to agree. If you're out there in the lane, you have to stay out there and keep a line like a laser beam and ride like the wind. If you dodge back and forth like a chihuahua it will confuse the hell out of everyone.

    You only have to dodge to the right if you're think the guy in back is being inattentive or malicious. Of course you get this detailed information from a Mirror! Not by snapping your head around every 5 seconds until you end up like Linda Blair in The Exorcist (of course... turn and look before you make a move).
    Peter, no one I have ever ridden with has described the way I ride as "dodge back and forth like a chihuahua", or anything close to that. Please do not buy into Bek's mischaracterization of the technique.

    Have you read Cyclecraft by John Franklin? Basically, I'm just following his advice, choosing a centerish position for my default position, and only moving aside when safe, reasonable and necessary to let faster traffic pass. The amount of back and forth is much less than you seem to imagine, and is anything but confusing or unpredicatable. To the contrary, it's very "in tune" with traffic around me. It's obvious what I'm doing when I move aside, just as obvious as whenever any driver of a slow moving vehicle moves aside to allow faster traffic to pass. And I don't move back until there is no one behind me, so there is no one to see that, much less be confused by it.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 02-23-07 at 12:39 AM.

  17. #17
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Seriously, the reason I take a centerish position away from the margin space on the road whenever possible (including whenever same direction faster traffic is not present) is much more about being better positioned to deal with potential hazards in front of me (improved sight lines to/from me, larger escape/safety buffer to the right, riding in a more conspicuous lane position, etc.) but I do feel it also helps those behind me to be more likely to notice me up ahead, and be less likely to choose to attend to a distraction, and be distracted, as they are passing me 10 or so seconds later. But that requires me to monitor periodically and regularly to the rear with my mirror, so I know when to pull aside.
    When motorists see you move to the side for them, doesn't this just reinforce the "bikes must get out of the way of cars" notion? Even though I see merit in using a centerish position by default and l will often do so, (depending on conditions) this aspect does slightly trouble me.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  18. #18
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    Awwwwww.... ain't he cute ?!

    Well, I guess I can't argue with moving over to let one car pass you. It's only polite sometimes. Problem is, the guy who is tailgating right behind the person you're in the process of moving over for doesn't know you're there, and you don't know he's there, and you're going to conflict with each other because you haven't negotiated his pass. And then the guy behind him, and the guy behind him. Pretty soon, you've allowed yourself to be made into a chronic curb-hugger. Not good. Which is why I subscribe to staying out there in the lane.


    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Peter, no one I have ever ridden with has described the way I ride as "dodge back and forth like a chihuahua", or anything close to that. Please do not buy into Bek's mischaracterization of the technique.
    Last edited by kf5nd; 02-22-07 at 09:20 PM.
    Peter Wang, LCI
    Houston, TX USA

  19. #19
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    I voted other.

    I know people who have an excessive fear of traffic, but they still do ride in the roads. But they hop on the sidewalk as soon as they get the chance and are very vocal in their fear while riding in the street. They just can't wait to get away from the roads they fear.

    I really don't understand such an excessive fear. I mean, sure traffic can be dangerous, but when I've ridden with them the stuff they are afraid of seems pretty benign to me. I sometimes end up leading a small group to ride more VC than they do, to endless heckles about how crazy and determined to die I am (but also to grateful thank yous from those who don't share such fears.)

    Yes, that's true. ME. I lead the charge. I'm the VC person in the group of riders I know. I'm not kidding.

    Being VC, not having a fear of traffic, and being able to navigate and negotiate traffic with confidence is not mutually exclusive with use of or advocacy for on-street cycling facilities.
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  20. #20
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head


    Seriously, the reason I take a centerish position away from the margin space on the road whenever possible (including whenever same direction faster traffic is not present) is much more about being better positioned to deal with potential hazards in front of me (improved sight lines to/from me, larger escape/safety buffer to the right, riding in a more conspicuous lane position, etc.) but I do feel it also helps those behind me to be more likely to notice me up ahead, and be less likely to choose to attend to a distraction, and be distracted, as they are passing me 10 or so seconds later. But that requires me to monitor periodically and regularly to the rear with my mirror, so I know when to pull aside.

    (If we had an FAQ where I can explain this once and for all, I wouldn't feel compelled to explain this every time someone brings it up)
    Oh? Explain this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Of course, the argument to use a more conspicuous position in the main traffic lane to reduce the likelihood of falling victim to inadvertent drift is presented in the OP of this thread.
    That's from this gem of a thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

  21. #21
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    The ONLY cyclist I've EVER heard of the fears of 'inadverdant drift' from, is Mr. Head.

    I've NEVER heard of wavering to and fro in front of every car on the road, to prevent 'inadvendent drift'

    I've even been hit from behind, by a cabbie, on his cell phone, and don't FEAR "Inadverdent drift" like Mr. Head does.

    the Original poster is the most fearful of being hit from behind of any of the vehicular cyclists I've seen posting in Bike Forums.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  22. #22
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    I was walking along a narrow two-lane rural road last year when two teenage cyclists on mountain bikes passed me. One was in the roadway, the other riding behind him on the soft shoulder next to the pavement. The one in back yelled to his friend: "You'd better not ride in the road, or you're going to get hit by a car!" His friend responded by steering off the roadway onto the soft shoulder, where he then lost control and ended up falling in the drainage swale.

    There were no cars in sight.

  23. #23
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I've biffed it hitting a soft shoulder with no cars in sight too. loaded touring bike, stopping for a map check or pee or something. boy, places should improve those shoulders, eh?



    did the kid mention 'inadverdant drift' at all, steve? bet he'd never heard of it.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  24. #24
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostTrick
    When motorists see you move to the side for them, doesn't this just reinforce the "bikes must get out of the way of cars" notion? Even though I see merit in using a centerish position by default and l will often do so, (depending on conditions) this aspect does slightly trouble me.
    I understand the concern, but I think context is important.

    I think drivers of slow moving vehicles, including bicyclists, are obligated to move aside for faster same direction traffic when it is safe and reasonable to do so. It's common courtesy, in the same league as yielding right of the way to the person who arrives at the intersection first. I have no problem demonstrating this.

    The key is that prior to faster same direction traffic getting close enough to me for me to move aside, I am demonstrating proper assertive/conspicuous lane usage to not only those approaching from behind, but to anyone else who happens to see me. Perhaps someone waiting at a cross street, anyone in oncoming traffic passing me going the other way, etc.

    The key difference between cyclists and drivers of other slow moving vehicles, is cyclists have many more opportunities where it is safe and reasonable to move aside, because of our relatively narrow width. But I don't see a problem with a cyclist demonstrating proper driving practices for a driver of a slow moving vehicle.

    Finally, my experience with riding this way is almost exclusively positive. When I ride in the center and then move aside, it is very common for drivers to wave, nod and/or smile at me when they pass. I'm viritually never acknowledged at all, much less acknowledged in a positive manner, when I'm simply riding off to the side at the road margin maintaining a straight path where I'm easy to ignore (and therefore easy to overlook).

  25. #25
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kf5nd
    Well, I guess I can't argue with moving over to let one car pass you. It's only polite sometimes. Problem is, the guy who is tailgating right behind the person you're in the process of moving over for doesn't know you're there, and you don't know he's there, and you're going to conflict with each other because you haven't negotiated his pass. And then the guy behind him, and the guy behind him. Pretty soon, you've allowed yourself to be made into a chronic curb-hugger. Not good. Which is why I subscribe to staying out there in the lane.
    If the lane is not wide enough to safely share, then, yes, absolutely, I will not move aside!

    But I'm talking about a road with either a WOL, or a bike lane. For lack of a better term, I've been using the term "road margin" to refer to the space nearest the curb on such a road, whether that space happens to be demarcated with a bike lane stripe or not.

    So on such a road during significantly long gaps in same direction faster traffic, I will normally be in the "default riding position" somewhere between the left and right tire tracks. Then, as faster traffic from behind approaches, whether it's one car or a long line of cars, I will usually wait to see (with my mirror) some acknowledgment from the driver of the lead car that they have noticed me (a slow down, and/or a move left), then I look back over my right shoulder (which let's them know instinctively what I'm about to do), to make sure it's clear (it's just a good habit, as you know), and then merge right into the road margin, where I stay until the whole platoon of cars passes me. If I managed to get the driver of the first car to slow down and/or move left before I moved aside, which I usually do, so much the better, because at least 9 times out of 10 everyone behind follows the lead car, whether they noticed me or not.

    But, again, I only use this technique on roads where almost all cyclists would be riding in the road margin (not necessarily hugging the curb, but the standard 3' to the right of motor traffic "Forester speed positioning position") on this road, whether faster same direction traffic was present or not.

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