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Old 08-21-07, 01:40 PM   #1
noisebeam
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Driving more cycling less

Due to Dr. orders I've been cyling much less and driving more. (This difficult situation will be over soon I hope.)

I've made a some observations. The one that sticks out most is noting and not noting cyclists.
If I am hyper aware I feel like I could hit a cyclist at any moment. But this feeling only comes from not seeing one, with the sense that my higher speed means one could pop up any second with only fractions of a second to react.

But when I do notice a cyclist, they are always much futher away than I think motorists will see me as a cyclist. This is true no matter what they are wearing, if they have good lights or not, if they are on sidewalk or in center of road. It is very easy to see cyclists (even the visually less aware ones). I see them then I know to accomidate them well before I am near. Mostly nothing of me is required, I practially can ignore them as most often they are on sidewalk, in bike lane or curb hugging. I only pay enough attention in case they do something erratic.

Mainly I post this as I am surprised how far in the distance the narrow cyclists shadow profile does show up. 1/2mi away is easy too see - and that 'shadow' looks the same whether cyclist is wearing black or ANSI yellow.

Al
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Old 08-21-07, 01:50 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
Due to Dr. orders I've been cyling much less and driving more. (This difficult situation will be over soon I hope.)

I've made a some observations. The one that sticks out most is noting and not noting cyclists.
If I am hyper aware I feel like I could hit a cyclist at any moment. But this feeling only comes from not seeing one, with the sense that my higher speed means one could pop up any second with only fractions of a second to react.

But when I do notice a cyclist, they are always much futher away than I think motorists will see me as a cyclist. This is true no matter what they are wearing, if they have good lights or not, if they are on sidewalk or in center of road. It is very easy to see cyclists (even the visually less aware ones). I see them then I know to accomidate them well before I am near. Mostly nothing of me is required, I practially can ignore them as most often they are on sidewalk, in bike lane or curb hugging. I only pay enough attention in case they do something erratic.

Mainly I post this as I am surprised how far in the distance the narrow cyclists shadow profile does show up. 1/2mi away is easy too see - and that 'shadow' looks the same whether cyclist is wearing black or ANSI yellow.

Al
You are a cyclist, therefore you notice and filter for other cyclists.

Others who do not cycle, may not notice cyclists as you do.
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Old 08-21-07, 01:56 PM   #3
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You are a cyclist, therefore you notice and filter for other cyclists.

Others who do not cycle, may not notice cyclists as you do.
You have to trust me that I don't try hard to see cyclists in the distance. In many ways easier to notice than the cyclists that are closer who may not be directly in ones straight ahead sightline.

No differently I see people crossing the street at non-intersections in the far distance (far enough away I don't need to consider slowing) but it can be harder to properly notice peds who are waiting to cross the street that are much closer.

I am talking about relative visibility and attention of far vs. close cyclists, not my perception vs. other drivers.

Maybe the distance is where more motorists look, after all they are traveling at 45mph, not 20mph and pay attention further ahead and decide well ahead of time what conditions to ignore vs. continue to monitor. This is something as a 100% cyclist I had lost touch with. When I started driving again, it took a bit to adjust my focus distance to be further away.

Al
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Old 08-21-07, 03:26 PM   #4
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You have to trust me that I don't try hard to see cyclists in the distance. In many ways easier to notice than the cyclists that are closer who may not be directly in ones straight ahead sightline.

No differently I see people crossing the street at non-intersections in the far distance (far enough away I don't need to consider slowing) but it can be harder to properly notice peds who are waiting to cross the street that are much closer.

I am talking about relative visibility and attention of far vs. close cyclists, not my perception vs. other drivers.

Maybe the distance is where more motorists look, after all they are traveling at 45mph, not 20mph and pay attention further ahead and decide well ahead of time what conditions to ignore vs. continue to monitor. This is something as a 100% cyclist I had lost touch with. When I started driving again, it took a bit to adjust my focus distance to be further away.

Al
I trust that you are not consciously trying to see cyclists in the distance.
That your subconscious is noticing them and bringing them to your attention is no surprise, considering you are a cyclist.
Because you are a cyclist, cyclists are inherently relevant to you.
To non-cyclist motorists, only cyclists who may affect them on the road are likely to be relevant enough for their subconscious minds to bring them to the attention of their conscious minds.
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Old 08-21-07, 04:33 PM   #5
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Hilarious!
So what, you think that motorists see and are aware of all cyclists? In your dreams.
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Old 08-21-07, 04:41 PM   #6
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I trust that you are not consciously trying to see cyclists in the distance.
That your subconscious is noticing them and bringing them to your attention is no surprise, considering you are a cyclist.
Because you are a cyclist, cyclists are inherently relevant to you.
To non-cyclist motorists, only cyclists who may affect them on the road are likely to be relevant enough for their subconscious minds to bring them to the attention of their conscious minds.
I get this, it is not just cyclists though, but all 'things' in the road ahead. I guess since I am pedestrian too I see them well ahead as well - but so is every motorist a pedestrian too.

Anyway my main point was that the more I motor, the more my focus of attention moves 'up the road' vs. 360deg. I have to consciously try to keep the type of vigillance I have had when cycling. For example I have to consciously try and not ignore cyclists who are not directly in the road ahead.

This is only after 6wks of motoring only; motoring more has made me a worse driver. I already note the changes in attention patterns and concerns.

Al
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Old 08-21-07, 04:59 PM   #7
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I get this, it is not just cyclists though, but all 'things' in the road ahead. I guess since I am pedestrian too I see them well ahead as well - but so is every motorist a pedestrian too.

Anyway my main point was that the more I motor, the more my focus of attention moves 'up the road' vs. 360deg. I have to consciously try to keep the type of vigillance I have had when cycling. For example I have to consciously try and not ignore cyclists who are not directly in the road ahead.

This is only after 6wks of motoring only; motoring more has made me a worse driver. I already note the changes in attention patterns and concerns.

Al
OK I think I get your point, and I tend to agree... that act of keeping your head on a swivel as a cyclist tends to make you more aware of all your surroundings as a motorist... speeding up tends to give you tunnel vision. (a well known effect)
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