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Old 11-12-08, 12:01 PM   #1
Rogue Leader
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The good part of high Gas priced and increased bicycle use... safer roads for us?

I started riding more regularly in April. And my time on the roads was in many cases nothing short of terrifying thanks to the insanity of local drivers here. But I noticed something as summer came and went. More people (cars) were leaving me room, less were honking (In fact I can only think of once in the past 2 months I was honked at, where I used to get honked at 3+ times a day). Lots of little things made me feel like people were being mindful of riders.

Anyone else have this experience? Im assuming the proliferation of riders due to gas prices has caused people to lighten up on us?
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Old 11-12-08, 12:05 PM   #2
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I started riding more regularly in April. And my time on the roads was in many cases nothing short of terrifying thanks to the insanity of local drivers here. But I noticed something as summer came and went. More people (cars) were leaving me room, less were honking (In fact I can only think of once in the past 2 months I was honked at, where I used to get honked at 3+ times a day). Lots of little things made me feel like people were being mindful of riders.

Anyone else have this experience? Im assuming the proliferation of riders due to gas prices has caused people to lighten up on us?
Thats kind of old news.

As an example- the gas station near my home was priced (regular) at over $4 at its highest.
Today its $1.93
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Old 11-12-08, 12:08 PM   #3
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I started bike commuting in February. I feel more comfortable out on the roads now, but I think it's more to do with experience of being out in traffic has raised my comfort level. I don't think people are behaving any differently, except perhaps me. I think I'm riding more consistently, using hand signals, riding appropriate routes, etc., and because of that no one honks at me. And I'm making my own room by taking a lane when I should.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 11-12-08, 12:10 PM   #4
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Thats kind of old news.

As an example- the gas station near my home was priced (regular) at over $4 at its highest.
Today its $1.93
Oh i know gas is down now, abut I think people may have really changed their tune... I mean this time of year there are very few people riding on the roads anyway because its getting very cold.
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Old 11-12-08, 01:08 PM   #5
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More cyclists on the road does not only make it safer for us, it is safer for everyone else who is on the road. When drivers slowly learn how to pay attention to cyclists, they are going to, as a result, pay more attention to everything else. Speed will decrease as well as gas consumption and who knows what else. So the more we ride, the better this world is going to get. The safety is in numbers(wow, I just thought of that)
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Old 11-12-08, 02:39 PM   #6
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Oh i know gas is down now, abut I think people may have really changed their tune... I mean this time of year there are very few people riding on the roads anyway because its getting very cold.
I think drivers have changed. The price drop isnt for the right reasons, economically speaking.
Drivers don't have the money to spend on all the extra driving they used to do, so the price is lowered.
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Old 11-12-08, 02:47 PM   #7
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I think drivers have changed. The price drop isnt for the right reasons, economically speaking.
Drivers don't have the money to spend on all the extra driving they used to do, so the price is lowered.

Yes...in a few months gas prices have gone from being a cause to an effect.

Use the money ya save on gas to buy a better bike.

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Old 11-12-08, 02:59 PM   #8
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I hope the general population uses that saved gas money to get out of debt.
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Old 11-12-08, 07:38 PM   #9
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Maybe the difference was you!

Maybe the reason you were honked at less is because you became a better rider?

Or maybe because you continued to ride, drivers got used to seeing you out on the road and adjusted their driving accordingly?

When I went to Aruba recently it felt like every car was honking at me. But after a couple days of riding I got used to the road conditions and traffic and suddenly all the honking disappeared. I started to enjoy myself and the road conditions didn't bother me in the least. I bet you experienced something similar.
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Old 11-12-08, 11:43 PM   #10
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Maybe the reason you were honked at less is because you became a better rider?

Or maybe because you continued to ride, drivers got used to seeing you out on the road and adjusted their driving accordingly?

When I went to Aruba recently it felt like every car was honking at me. But after a couple days of riding I got used to the road conditions and traffic and suddenly all the honking disappeared. I started to enjoy myself and the road conditions didn't bother me in the least. I bet you experienced something similar.
I'd like to think so (better rider) but I'm not sure. Its definitely not people getting used to seeing me, I ride at all different times and a good portion of my most common training rides are on a 3 lane highway. Thats where I got 99% of my honks which got me to make this observation. I always stayed as far right as possible, I've never had control problems where I was jumping in and out of the lane or making sudden moves. Maybe they are honking and I dont hear it anymore LOL!
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Old 11-12-08, 11:52 PM   #11
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I'd like to think so (better rider) but I'm not sure. Its definitely not people getting used to seeing me, I ride at all different times and a good portion of my most common training rides are on a 3 lane highway. Thats where I got 99% of my honks which got me to make this observation. I always stayed as far right as possible, I've never had control problems where I was jumping in and out of the lane or making sudden moves. Maybe they are honking and I dont hear it anymore LOL!
a honk is one of those things you always remember, especially if the person yells something or attempts to yell at you. It doesn't happen to me very often so all the ones I do have are quite memorable. So probably people aren't honking as much.

On the note of gas, I love that gas is down under 2$. I hardly ever drive but with the winter coming and lack of a dedicated commuter I'll probably find myself driving a lot more. I'll be out on the road as long as it is not wet or icy though. Cold temps don't bother me, just the being wet part...
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Old 11-13-08, 12:33 AM   #12
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Yeah gas was over $4.60 here and now it's down to $2.49, but I just talked to a fellow bike commuter at the post office today...I walked my bike in to pick up a package and he was working at the window. He commented on my nice bike and how he commutes and it's a great way to get around. I've also noticed a seemingly gradual decrease in honking/yelling since I started riding as an adult in April of 2007 but I don't know whether it's an increase in my skill/assertiveness, an increase in the number of motorists that also ride bikes, the word "green" being increasingly used, or a combination of the listed factors and others not listed...
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Old 11-13-08, 09:49 AM   #13
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I don't know what planet you are on but gas here is 2.29 a gallon. what high gas price ?
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Old 11-13-08, 09:56 AM   #14
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More cyclists on the road does not only make it safer for us, it is safer for everyone else who is on the road. When drivers slowly learn how to pay attention to cyclists, they are going to, as a result, pay more attention to everything else. Speed will decrease as well as gas consumption and who knows what else. So the more we ride, the better this world is going to get. The safety is in numbers(wow, I just thought of that)
Lower speed doesn't decrease gas consumption of a vehicle. For instance, your mpg at 45 is higher than your mpg at 25. I agree that it is better when people go slower and pay attention, but it can also use more gas if not enough people are riding to compensate. I don't care how much they use though, because I am not dependent on it any more, per se. I still use it regularly, but if I woke up tomorrow and it was all gone, it wouldn't bother me on a personal level. I could still get from point A to point B. My food though, thats another story.
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