Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 43
  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Riding Against Traffic

    In California in the 1950's we were schooled to ride against traffic with special attention to vehicles driving out of cross streets and driveways turning right crossing our path (since the driver is generally looking to their left). I never paid any attention to the fact that ridding on the left allowed you to view everything coming at you. The only down side was stopping for drivers at cross streets and driveways.

    At some point California Code had finally been written or revised that required riding with the flow of traffic. I recall how sensible it felt to ride with the flow as a defined vehicle with almost the same rights. Since then I've been seriously rear ended twice and turned into many times as I'm sure many have.

    I've since moved to Danville Ca. a very bike friendly laid out community with a large SUV population. There are a few 45MPH (45-60MPH actual speeds) four lane boulevards with luxurious 6'-10' marked bike lanes which are swept weekly, very nice. Still, with this huge buffer of space I've touched paint on a number of occasions well into the bike lane with preoccupied drivers.

    Since last fall I've been riding against traffic only on these boulevards and while it's wrong it feels so safe. I've already avoided three serious incidents of preoccupied drivers drifting into the bike lane. There is no way I could track these drivers so clearly with a mirror and afford myself the time for the up on the curb evasive action needed for one incident in particular.

    I'd appreciate your comments and experience, thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Erie, PA
    My Bikes
    Bacchetta Giro 20, Trek 7000, old Huffy MTB, and a few others
    Posts
    1,546
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It scares me to ride against traffic, I've done if for a few feet waiting to cross the road. The cars feel so much closer. Car's don't normally look right for traffic before turning right. And I can't move into traffic if I need to. And it's illegal.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  3. #3
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful Long Beach California
    My Bikes
    Eddy Merckx MXL; 2012 CAAD10; 2013 CAAD10 - The Silver and Black; Cannondale CAAD10 DI2 - The Black Dahlia; 2013 Cannondale CAAD10 DI2, The Black Mambo
    Posts
    3,274
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's just an all around bad idea. Not only are you a danger to youself with automobile traffic, you are a danger to any rider riding legally in the bike lane.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA USA
    Posts
    2,986
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Motorists aren't looking for traffic going the wrong direction so accidents may be 3.6 times more likely than going with the flow of traffic.

    If there is an accident, it'll be much worse with traffic the wrong way. Going the right way, a 45 MPH rear-end collision may mean a 30MPH speed difference. Head-on it's a 60 MPH difference.

    Ride the right way.

  5. #5
    Senior Member sojourn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    San Marcos, CA
    My Bikes
    Madone 6.2
    Posts
    825
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    STOP it!

    You're being a hazard to your fellow cyclists, motor traffic, and yourself.
    Always ride with traffic.
    There's no valid argument to do otherwise.

  6. #6
    LCI #1853
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Scott. Arkansas
    My Bikes
    Trek Madone 5.2, Fisher Caliber 29er, Orbea Onix
    Posts
    666
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Riding against traffic is the quickest way, short of doing the same thing in the dark without lights or reflectors, to get somebody to organize a Ride of Silence in your memory.

    http://www.RideofSilence.org

  7. #7
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    AZ
    My Bikes
    Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
    Posts
    13,916
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you've 'touched paint' a 'number of occasions' in what seems to be a relatively short period you need to reassess what you are doing.

  8. #8
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    My Bikes
    Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
    Posts
    29,667
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you're going to be a bike salmon I hope you at least yield to your fellow cyclists who are correctly, safely, legally, and sensibly riding with traffic.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Windsor, CO
    Posts
    314
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Think of an intersection and somebody turning right at a stop sign or a red light. They don't often look to the right when turning right. If you ride against traffic in the perpendicular lane (their turn lane) you would REALLY be putting yourself in danger by not only their inattentiveness.....but their close proximity to your bike as they turn somewhat blindly into your path.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Windsor, CO
    Posts
    314
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    The cars feel so much closer. Car's don't normally look right for traffic before turning right.
    Sorry, I didn't see your points earlier.

  11. #11
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    25 miles northwest of Boston
    My Bikes
    Bottecchia Sprint
    Posts
    12,033
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    interesting post
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  12. #12
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    My Bikes
    Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
    Posts
    29,667
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Am I the only one who thinks it's weird that Vic Damone has a join date from 5 years ago but this is his first post?
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  13. #13
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    In The Wind
    Posts
    25,375
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    Am I the only one who thinks it's weird that Vic Damone has a join date from 5 years ago but this is his first post?
    He just is very slow when typing.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  14. #14
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    In a state of 5th Dimension, where size has no meaning.
    My Bikes
    Gunnar Street Dog
    Posts
    1,903
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A very interesting post. What do you suppose ever happened to that person from a few years back, who advocated riding against traffic, and also claimed (providing no proof whatsoever) that his father invented smoke detectors?
    "The People will believe what the Media tells them they believe". George Orwell.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    My Bikes
    late 80's bianchi campion d'italia, early 90's trek 2100, early 90's shogun selectra, mid 90's aluminum marin xcMTB, dept. store grade but upgraded columbia double eagle tandem
    Posts
    437
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by vic damone View Post
    In California in the 1950's we were schooled to ride against traffic with special attention to vehicles driving out of cross streets and driveways turning right crossing our path (since the driver is generally looking to their left). I never paid any attention to the fact that ridding on the left allowed you to view everything coming at you. The only down side was stopping for drivers at cross streets and driveways.

    At some point California Code had finally been written or revised that required riding with the flow of traffic. I recall how sensible it felt to ride with the flow as a defined vehicle with almost the same rights. Since then I've been seriously rear ended twice and turned into many times as I'm sure many have.

    I've since moved to Danville Ca. a very bike friendly laid out community with a large SUV population. There are a few 45MPH (45-60MPH actual speeds) four lane boulevards with luxurious 6'-10' marked bike lanes which are swept weekly, very nice. Still, with this huge buffer of space I've touched paint on a number of occasions well into the bike lane with preoccupied drivers.

    Since last fall I've been riding against traffic only on these boulevards and while it's wrong it feels so safe. I've already avoided three serious incidents of preoccupied drivers drifting into the bike lane. There is no way I could track these drivers so clearly with a mirror and afford myself the time for the up on the curb evasive action needed for one incident in particular.

    I'd appreciate your comments and experience, thanks.
    I have some bad news for you vic. you are what is known as a "salmon". even worse, you have entered that all important stage of your life when the idea of "swimming upstream" seems like the best option for you. I'm sorry to tell you this vic, but this most definitely means the end is near. It is time for you to find a female salmon that will let you spray your milky seed on her clutch of eggs, and then cover them up with a shallow layer of gravel so that one day soon, baby salmon (alevins) can be born, and make their journey to the sea.

    Did I forget to mention what was going to happen to you in the meanwhile? you're going to die, and you're eyes are going to be pecked out of your skull by seagulls, or maybe a hungry eagle if you're lucky. What can I say? So is the life of Salmon.
    All You Haters Suck My Pawls.

  16. #16
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Burlington Iowa
    My Bikes
    Vaterland and Ragazzi
    Posts
    19,831
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
    Motorists aren't looking for traffic going the wrong direction so accidents may be 3.6 times more likely than going with the flow of traffic.
    Ya sure it isn't 4.6 times, or maybe it was 6.3, or maybe it was .0123? Maybe you better check your dream book for today's number.

  17. #17
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yes, this is my first post since joining. Weird? OK. I type reasonably well it's the spell checking that I spend a lot of time with.

    I apologize if this subject seems somewhat trollish but I've been able to avoid a few sketchy moments in the short time I've been doing this on the few roads I feel a danger. In 1973 I was hit from behind stopped at a red light with one foot on the curb. Low speed collision, no injury but my beloved Grand Criterium was totaled. Once again in 1992 at the back of a six rider group riding legally in a marked bike lane in a 25 MPH zone. Recently a women texting in an Escalade drifted well into the bike lane and brushed my shoulder with the passenger side mirror. My scariest incident occurred last week on a straight stretch 45 MPH zone. A gentleman in a large Benz sedan reading a document and holding the steering wheel with his left hand and a cell with his right. He suddenly entered the bike lane contacting the curb with his passenger side tire. I avoided this driver by bunny hopping the curb. Had I been riding legally with the flow of traffic I'd be...well you get the picture.

    Hand held cell phone usage and texting are illegal in this State but the entitlement that many drivers feel they have is simply stunning to me.


    The cars feel so much closer. Car's don't normally look right for traffic before turning right.
    The cars ARE actually further away because of my tendency to steer away from the on coming traffic. Yes, drivers do look left before beginning their right turn. Even with eye contact I stop and let the driver make the turn. This is one of the few downsides.


    Motorists aren't looking for traffic going the wrong direction so accidents may be 3.6 times more likely than going with the flow of traffic.
    If there is an accident, it'll be much worse with traffic the wrong way. Going the right way, a 45 MPH rear-end collision may mean a 30MPH speed difference. Head-on it's a 60 MPH difference.

    3.6? Where can I find this stat? The difference in impact speed is compelling but, IMO, much more avoidable than being rear ended.


    You're being a hazard to your fellow cyclists, motor traffic, and yourself.
    There's no valid argument to do otherwise.

    Actually, the majority of the time I'm able give full berth to oncoming cyclist by ridding in the vacant traffic lane. When this isn't possible I simply stop at the curb as these are very wide bike lanes.


    If you've 'touched paint' a 'number of occasions' in what seems to be a relatively short period you need to reassess what you are doing.

    Thank you, that's exactly what I'm trying to do.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    438
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Wow, just wow. Incidentally, while working I nearly got hit by a car-salmon yesterday. Didn't even know that existed...

  19. #19
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Tampa/St. Pete, Florida
    My Bikes
    Specialized Hardrock Mountain; Giant Seek 2
    Posts
    8,530
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by vic damone View Post
    In California in the 1950's we were schooled to ride against traffic with special attention to vehicles driving out of cross streets and driveways turning right crossing our path (since the driver is generally looking to their left). I never paid any attention to the fact that ridding on the left allowed you to view everything coming at you. The only down side was stopping for drivers at cross streets and driveways.

    At some point California Code had finally been written or revised that required riding with the flow of traffic. I recall how sensible it felt to ride with the flow as a defined vehicle with almost the same rights. Since then I've been seriously rear ended twice and turned into many times as I'm sure many have.

    I've since moved to Danville Ca. a very bike friendly laid out community with a large SUV population. There are a few 45MPH (45-60MPH actual speeds) four lane boulevards with luxurious 6'-10' marked bike lanes which are swept weekly, very nice. Still, with this huge buffer of space I've touched paint on a number of occasions well into the bike lane with preoccupied drivers.

    Since last fall I've been riding against traffic only on these boulevards and while it's wrong it feels so safe. I've already avoided three serious incidents of preoccupied drivers drifting into the bike lane. There is no way I could track these drivers so clearly with a mirror and afford myself the time for the up on the curb evasive action needed for one incident in particular.

    I'd appreciate your comments and experience, thanks.
    I have a nice 2 - 2 1/2" mirror on my helmet and I am able to track approaching traffic and if needed make defensive moves, as I am sure the vast majority of other mirror users on this site. Maybe you need to practice more with your mirror to build up the skill set needed to track and react to traffic approaching you from behind.

    It would be a very rare and very limited occasion for me to ride either a sidewalk or as a salmon. And unless all of my batteries "decided" to "die" on me all at once I will never be a ninja.

    What exactly were you doing when you "touch/traded" paint? And had you had a mirror and learned how to use it you would have avoided some of your close calls. Only once in my entire life of riding and that includes the vast majority of my adult life I have only been hit from behind once. And considering that I just recently turn 46 and only being rear-ended once I'd say that those are some pretty good odds.
    Digital Cowboy
    Cyclists Against Carlos Bertonatti
    1.0.0 Normal Grey Cockatiel (Hikaru)
    0.0.1 2005 Specialized Hardrock MTB
    0.0.2 Albino Cory Cats
    0.0.? Ghost Shrimp
    0.0.3 Neon Tetras
    1.0.0 Red Betta
    0.0.? Snails
    1.2.0 Swordtail
    2.10.0 Swordtail (fry)
    0.0.3 Zebra's
    0.0.1 G. rosea (Kirk)
    0.0.1 A. avicularia (Pinkie)
    0.1.0 Orange Tabby Cat (Little One)
    0.0.1 2009 Giant Seek 2
    Live Long and Prosper

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The fish are spread out between several tanks.

  20. #20
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    In a state of 5th Dimension, where size has no meaning.
    My Bikes
    Gunnar Street Dog
    Posts
    1,903
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by kludgefudge View Post
    I have some bad news for you vic. you are what is known as a "salmon". even worse, you have entered that all important stage of your life when the idea of "swimming upstream" seems like the best option for you. I'm sorry to tell you this vic, but this most definitely means the end is near. It is time for you to find a female salmon that will let you spray your milky seed on her clutch of eggs, and then cover them up with a shallow layer of gravel so that one day soon, baby salmon (alevins) can be born, and make their journey to the sea.

    Did I forget to mention what was going to happen to you in the meanwhile? you're going to die, and you're eyes are going to be pecked out of your skull by seagulls, or maybe a hungry eagle if you're lucky. What can I say? So is the life of Salmon.
    Actually, it ends up as Smoked Salmon, packaged and ready for me to eat.

    Back on topic: I grew up in the 60's, and it seems many kids of that time were given a lot of misinformation about bicycling by well-meaning, but very misguided authority figures, such as parents, school officials, scout leaders, etc. Undoing this cycle of misinformation is a monumental challenge. i.e. "You should ride facing traffic, so you can see the cars!!" Or, "You should only ride on the sidewalk!!" My personal favorite: It came with reflectors, so I don't need lights!

    Vic, you need to read John Allen's "Street Smarts". Mr. Allen is a well-known expert in the field of bicycle safety. He has posted this work on-line right here. You should also read California's bicycle laws.

    Riding against traffic is in fact the fastest way,, to the cemetery.
    "The People will believe what the Media tells them they believe". George Orwell.

  21. #21
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Southern Florida
    My Bikes
    http://www.theheadbadge.com
    Posts
    22,731
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by vic damone View Post
    If you've 'touched paint' a 'number of occasions' in what seems to be a relatively short period you need to reassess what you are doing.
    Thank you, that's exactly what I'm trying to do.
    It sounds more as if you came here to tell us what you want to do.

    -Kurt

  22. #22
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Green Valley AZ
    My Bikes
    Trice Q; Volae Century; TT 3.4
    Posts
    3,772
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I recently tried a couple miles of counter-flow riding just to see what I felt like.

    Frightening!
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  23. #23
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Baltimore, MD +/- ~100 miles
    Posts
    4,077
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm curious what the op's average speed is. One of the topics we have discussed locally is having the bicycle designated a dual mode vehicle/pedestrian the same as a Segway is. That is to say at a slow and cautious speed bicycles can safely operate as a pedestrian.
    Cycling Advocate
    http://BaltimoreSpokes.org
    . . . o
    . . /L
    =()>()

  24. #24
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Burlington Iowa
    My Bikes
    Vaterland and Ragazzi
    Posts
    19,831
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by trackhub View Post
    Riding against traffic is in fact the fastest way,, to the cemetery.
    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    I recently tried a couple miles of counter-flow riding just to see what I felt like.

    Frightening!
    Oy!! The Drama!! Are you fellows really that helpless when cycling?

  25. #25
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Toronto
    My Bikes
    1984 Trek 520; 1990s Peugeot (Canadian-made) rigid mountain bike; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others
    Posts
    8,437
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don' t know which I dislike more - bike salmon or the term "bike salmon" . Rear end collisions are actually pretty rare. I find I can pretty much tell by sound how close a car is going to buzz me and I regularily shoulder check, and I really don't worry about being rear ended. Mind you I am mostly on normal speed city streets, and I'm not sure I would be as confident on a higher speed road.

    However I find wrong way cyclists very irritating and dangerous to me as another cyclist. I don't want to be forced into traffic to avoid them (let them veer out into the street - at least they can see what's coming!), I don't want to guess if they are going to pass to my left or right, and I don't particularily want to slow or stop every time one approaches.

    Even on one way streets where the wrong way cyclists are on the other side from me, they create a hazard for me as they push my overtaking traffic to the right and closer to me.

    They should get the Hell off the road until they learn to ride properly.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •