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Old 10-28-12, 09:29 PM   #1
009jim
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My greatest danger is from ............

I was riding to work earlier than normal on Friday. I was going up a slight hill and keeping to the correct side of the bicycle path (path is about 6-8 ft wide and I was no more than 1 ft from my side).

A gang of roadies came up fast from behind and began passing whilst in their pack mode (2-3 abreast). This meant that the ones closest to me were way too close to me. I started to wobble and as one guy passed we were within feeler gauge of each other. He got a fright and said "oh oh oh #@$%". When they had passed me I thought a comment was appropriate so I yelled out loud "GET OVER".

One of the gang turned around and looked and gave me this hand expression we have in Australia that says "What are you going on about?" I glared at him. None of them wanted to get left behind so they pedaled away in gang format still.

After a number of not dissimilar incidents to this I am now firmly of the view that the greatest danger to me is from other cyclists!! On my way home on Friday a friendly guy tried to ride beside me and wanted to even shake hands. Whilst I wasn't terse with him I spelled it out that I wanted none of this. What do you expect those roadies were thinking? Did they think I would just run off the path into the bush for them?

Last edited by 009jim; 10-28-12 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 10-28-12, 09:40 PM   #2
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Locally, cyclists are not even close to my greatest danger, matter of fact, a 200+ lb cyclist and bike has never really been a danger to me. If you don't use a mirror, maybe getting one is in order.
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Old 10-28-12, 09:44 PM   #3
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I was riding to work earlier than normal on Friday. I was going up a slight hill and keeping to the correct side of the bicycle path (path is about 6-8 ft wide and I was no more than 1 ft from my side).

A gang of roadies came up fast from behind and began passing whilst in their pack mode (2-3 abreast). This meant that the ones closest to me were way too close to me. I started to wobble and as one guy passed we were within feeler gauge of each other. He got a fright and said "oh oh oh #@$%". When they had passed me I thought a comment was appropriate so I yelled out loud "GET OVER".

One of the gang turned around and looked and gave me this hand expression we have in Australia that says "What are you going on about?" I glared at him. None of them wanted to get left behind so they pedaled away in gang format still.

After a number of not dissimilar incidents to this I am now firmly of the view that the greatest danger to me is from other cyclists!! On my way home on Friday a friendly guy tried to ride beside me and wanted to even shake hands. Whilst I wasn't terse with him I spelled it out that I wanted none of this. What do you expect those roadies were thinking? Did they think I would just run off the path into the bush for them?
I would be more specific than just saying 'roadies'. Because that means all roadies.
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Old 10-28-12, 09:47 PM   #4
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depending on how confident you are in your bike handling, someone gave me a pretty good suggestion for this situation. Put a hand on their jersey and give a firm but slow push away from you. Or chop their handlebars, your choice
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Old 10-29-12, 08:04 AM   #5
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Greatest danger is yourself -- majority of bicycle crashes involve only the cyclist.
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Old 10-29-12, 08:55 AM   #6
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Greatest danger is yourself -- majority of bicycle crashes involve only the cyclist.
And how many of those said crashes lead to nothing more than skinned knees?
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Old 10-29-12, 09:19 AM   #7
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And how many of those said crashes lead to nothing more than skinned knees?
Most of them. But then again, half of all cycling accidents involving other vehicles are the cyclist's fault, too.

Greatest danger is yourself. Greatest way to stay out of danger is riding experience. Riding is safe. Even though you might be the greatest danger to yourself, you're generally a safe rider, not likely to crash in the first place.
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Old 10-29-12, 10:19 AM   #8
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I too find myself the greatest cycling danger and take that as good news because I can control my own behavior.
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Old 10-29-12, 11:11 AM   #9
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Stupidity
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Old 10-29-12, 11:22 AM   #10
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In all my years and miles of cycling... I have NEVER managed to put myself into a hospital. Seems it takes others to do that.
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Old 10-29-12, 11:25 AM   #11
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They probably expected you to be able to ride in a straight line. Improving your bike handling skills will keep you safe in this, and many other situations.

Of course, they should not have passed so close nor without warning.
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Old 10-29-12, 11:28 AM   #12
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I will agree, a cyclist's greatest danger CAN BE themselves. But an equally great danger is the 'errant traveler' that isn't the cyclist. From a jaywalking pedestrian, or a motorcyclist who thinks they can easily get by within the same lane at high speed. To a motorist, who could care less about a cyclist's right to be on the road, and refuses to share the road with a cyclist.
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Old 10-29-12, 11:43 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
I was riding to work earlier than normal on Friday. I was going up a slight hill and keeping to the correct side of the bicycle path (path is about 6-8 ft wide and I was no more than 1 ft from my side).

A gang of roadies came up fast from behind and began passing whilst in their pack mode (2-3 abreast). This meant that the ones closest to me were way too close to me. I started to wobble and as one guy passed we were within feeler gauge of each other. He got a fright and said "oh oh oh #@$%". When they had passed me I thought a comment was appropriate so I yelled out loud "GET OVER".

One of the gang turned around and looked and gave me this hand expression we have in Australia that says "What are you going on about?" I glared at him. None of them wanted to get left behind so they pedaled away in gang format still.

After a number of not dissimilar incidents to this I am now firmly of the view that the greatest danger to me is from other cyclists!! On my way home on Friday a friendly guy tried to ride beside me and wanted to even shake hands. Whilst I wasn't terse with him I spelled it out that I wanted none of this. What do you expect those roadies were thinking? Did they think I would just run off the path into the bush for them?
1. Get a rear view mirror.

2. When you see a peleton approaching from the rear, weave randomly. They will scatter around you. Once they get up to you, follow a predictable, straight line.


I'm increasingly a fan of being unpredictable. People leave you lots of space, both other cyclists and motorists.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 10-29-12, 11:51 AM   #14
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I agree with weaving a little, but it's not always possible to tell that cyclists are overtaking you. Cue the mirror advocates
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Old 10-29-12, 01:12 PM   #15
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I understand the OP's point but I wouldn't go so far as to say other cyclists are "my greatest danger". Denver has a large network of MUP's and, like any multi-use pathway, you see all sorts of skill levels and judgment calls. Invariably, some are less skilled than others and some are prone to make poor judgments. I don't have a problem passing others or being passed but there are some riders who simply refuse to slow down for anything. This includes high traffic areas where pedestrians, skaters, kids and dogs may be present. Also, our paths tend to follow rivers so we have many blind corners leading to or exiting from underpasses. It doesn't happen often, but every now and then a rider moving too fast for his/her skill level will take one of these turns too wide or try to pass a slower bike when they obviously cannot see more than a few feet in front of them. I've been sent to the weeds once or twice when an oncoming rider was out of his/her lane for whatever reason and, I have to say, I really don't like it. I've also seen some pretty serious crashes but, fortunately, haven't been involved in any.

Every group has its share of bad judgment or stupidity. I'll take a dumb cyclist over a road-raged Hummer any day though.
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Old 10-29-12, 01:14 PM   #16
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Greatest danger is yourself -- majority of bicycle crashes involve only the cyclist.
I was thinking the same.

I vaguely remember my Scuba class (45 years ago). It is the same for Scuba, the greatest danger is yourself.
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Old 10-29-12, 01:29 PM   #17
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They probably expected you to be able to ride in a straight line. Improving your bike handling skills will keep you safe in this, and many other situations.

Of course, they should not have passed so close nor without warning.
The passer has the responsibility to make a safe pass. A hybrid at 12 mph will wobble a bit. It's not skill. It's physics.

Last edited by unterhausen; 10-29-12 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 10-29-12, 01:42 PM   #18
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The passer has the responsibility to make a safe pass. A hybrid at 12 mph will wobble a bit. It's not skill. It's physics.

Last edited by unterhausen; 10-29-12 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 10-29-12, 01:58 PM   #19
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They probably expected you to be able to ride in a straight line. Improving your bike handling skills will keep you safe in this, and many other situations.
I hope that is your response when a cyclists complains about motorists passing too closely... After all you wouldn't want to be accused of being a hypocrite would you?

I don't believe I have seen a single bicycle race without at least one crash, presumably caused by cyclists getting too close who should be able to 'ride in a straight line'...
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Old 10-29-12, 02:01 PM   #20
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I hope that is your response when a cyclists complains about motorists passing too closely... After all you wouldn't want to be accused of being a hypocrite would you?

I don't believe I have seen a single bicycle race without at least one crash, presumably caused by cyclists getting too close who should be able to 'ride in a straight line'...
The fact that you equate a three ton car passing you too close to a 20lb bicycle, and a bit of a close pass on a MUP to a road race is...let's just say, 'instructional' as to your state of mind.
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Old 10-29-12, 02:23 PM   #21
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The fact that you equate a three ton car passing you too close to a 20lb bicycle, and a bit of a close pass on a MUP to a road race is...let's just say, 'instructional' as to your state of mind.
We recently had a death of a cyclist caused by a 20 lb bicycle passing (or riding) too closely to another 20 lb bicycle... So care to explain how the result can be any worse then that when passed to closely by a car? I suggest that you get over your prejudices. The situation the OP described is just as unacceptable as being passed closely by a car, and like a car the responsibility is solely that of the operator of the vehicle doing the passing...
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Old 10-29-12, 02:26 PM   #22
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My greatest danger - as in most severe - is the surface road hazard remaining on a short stretch of the 4-lane road that I take to work. It's an abrupt 3-inch drop from the road surface to the gutter, no shoulder narrow lanes with high speed traffic. If you fall off and then hit that ledge you're going down.

My greatest danger as in most likely to cause an injury greater than road rash, are the mup cyclists who swing wide around blind turns (into me, head-on from the other direction), when they're either passing someone or going faster than their cornering skills would dictate.
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Old 10-29-12, 02:33 PM   #23
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We recently had a death of a cyclist caused by a 20 lb bicycle passing (or riding) too closely to another 20 lb bicycle... So care to explain how the result can be any worse then that when passed to closely by a car? I suggest that you get over your prejudices. The situation the OP described is just as unacceptable as being passed closely by a car, and like a car the responsibility is solely that of the operator of the vehicle doing the passing...
I assume you don't honestly believe that a bike has similar capability to create mayhem as a car, and surely you don't believe that a cyclist has the same responsibilites as that of a car driver in this area. Also, solely the responsibility of the vehicle doing the passing? I suggest you don't try that defense should you find yourself in court explaining why you suddenly veered your car left as a car overtook you.

You must just be trying to start an argument here, predicated on that frankly hilarious idea that you find the 'ability to ride in a straight line' a completely unacceptable requirement.

Possibly you just have too much time on your hands...like me, waiting for this machine to finish its cycle.
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Old 10-29-12, 03:57 PM   #24
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when this same thing happened to me recently, the people doing the passing had absolutely no idea how we were riding. I ride with a couple of people that will occasionally make a sketchy move when they aren't being passed by a car. I don't ride inches away from them, and I don't think it's really a safety requirement that you ride a straight line to the degree that it is in a race. The close pass the other cyclists made was entirely unnecessary and could easily have ended up with us in a pile with multiple broken bones or worse on a busy road. I used to be a fast, arrogant roadie, but I have always valued my own (and other's) health enough not to pass someone within inches if they didn't know that was a possibility. In fact, I'm pretty sure the crowd I used to race with would have put some people in the ditch as a preventative example for the rest of the club. As it was, I chased them down and blew up their paceline (passing safely first, mind you)
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Old 10-29-12, 04:22 PM   #25
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... A&S trolls.
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