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  1. #51
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    See http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slate...irst_ever.html

    Relevant info from the speedy cyclist:
    "Around 8 a.m. I was descending Divisadero Street southbound and about to cross Market Street. The light turned yellow as I was approaching the intersection, but I was already way too committed to stop. The light turned red as I was cruising through the middle of the intersection and then, almost instantly, the southern crosswalk on Market and Castro filled up with people coming from both directions. The intersection very long and the width of Castro Street at that point is very short, so, in a nutshell, blammo. ... It was commuter hour and it was crowded as all getup. I couldn't see a line through the crowd and I couldn't stop, so I laid it down and just plowed through the crowded crosswalk in the least-populated place I could find."
    He must have been going very fast and had not very good brakes. I've got cargo bikes with brakes good enough to stop even when carry 100+ pounds of cargo at any sensible speed in less distance that it takes to cross an intersection with even just a two lane narrow cross street.

    Sounds to me to be more of a problem with the operator of the vehicle exceeding its capabilities and pushing too far beyond its limit and not showing due care. If your brakes suck and you know it then either upgrade or ride slow enough to accommodate that week point of your vehicle. And if your brakes suck and you don't know it then you jump on a bike and just take off with way too much recklessness not even bothering to check your equipment in the slightest way.



    -----------------------------------


    As to "learn how to skid" I believe that refers to riding fixed gear bikes with no brakes where a particular learned technique can be used to lock your legs on a pedal stroke and skid the rear wheel to stop quicker then you can just by putting back pressure on the pedals. (I would strongly suggest a front hand brake even if you know how to skid). There is also the old BMX trick where you can learn how to flip off the seat to one side and reach around with one foot and use the bottom of your shoe wedged in behind the seat-post against the rear tire to lock it up and skid brake the rear wheel that way. (Again, I still don't suggest deliberately riding a bike with no brakes and depending on these techniques at least on the road or public paths with other people around, but they are good to know how to do just in-case you ever need them.)

  2. #52
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    From the linked to article:

    . . . Bucchere also blew past two other red lights and a stop sign and was traveling at 30 miles per hour, said Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the District Attorney's Office. . . .
    I think that strongly indicates that speed alone was not the only factor but only part of the equation and lends a lot of credence to my suggestion that the cyclist in question was being reckless period and although speed certainly played a roll it sounds like it wasn't the only thing in the equation. I'm not so sure he couldn't have stopped when the light turned yellow considering that the federal minimum required timing of a yellow light is 3-seconds. Ask yourself if you could bring your bike to a stop in that amount of time or not or at the very least slow down enough that you are far less likely to kill a pedestrian when you hit them, not to mention the peds. had time to fill the cross-walk completely so there were no breaks open so you can add however many seconds it takes for peds. to walk half way across (he said they came from both sides) to the initial minimum 3-seconds he had with the yellow light plus whatever the red light overlap time is on those lights (up in my area most of the lights I deal with have the red light over-lap set to about 1-second although some major intersections have longer and some of the older lights that haven't been upgraded for at least a decade don't have any all red over-lap time).

    Although I can't climb inside his head, from what I just learned of the incident, plus what I know about light timing and bike braking distance. I don't think it was a matter of him not being able to stop, but more a matter of him not wanting to stop.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    See http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slate...irst_ever.html

    Relevant info from the speedy cyclist:
    but I was already way too committed to stop
    A sociopath.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

  4. #54
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrkAngel View Post
    Personally ... I can decelerate from 20mph to dead stop in about 1 car length ... (less than 2 seconds~).
    Might take me 10 seconds and the length of several intersections to go from 10mph to 25mph.

    So I would much rather maintain good speed and slow quickly ... than cycle slowly and rely on comparatively feeble and desperate acceleration!
    Quote Originally Posted by DrkAngel View Post
    Actually ... skidding will increase stopping distance.
    The most effective braking requires well trued wheels, (for rim brakes), adjusted brakes and a "feel" for the precise point before wheel lockup.
    Yes, it does require practice!

    I've tested to the point of a lifted rear wheel ...
    Practicing stopping technique/skill in a parking lot does not guarantee that a cyclist will have the reflexes or presence of mind to apply the brakes in time with the same skill set when surprised in an actual emergency situation.

    I would think this especially true if the cyclist has a mindset to maintain high speed and not slow down in traffic for potential problem areas such as intersections, but rather depend on his skillful technique to get himself out of any jam.

  5. #55
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Practicing stopping technique/skill in a parking lot does not guarantee that a cyclist will have the reflexes or presence of mind to apply the brakes in time with the same skill set when surprised in an actual emergency situation.

    I would think this especially true if the cyclist has a mindset to maintain high speed and not slow down in traffic for potential problem areas such as intersections, but rather depend on his skillful technique to get himself out of any jam.
    So true, not just for bicycles but for motor vehicles too.
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  6. #56
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Practicing stopping technique/skill in a parking lot does not guarantee that a cyclist will have the reflexes or presence of mind to apply the brakes in time with the same skill set when surprised in an actual emergency situation.

    I would think this especially true if the cyclist has a mindset to maintain high speed and not slow down in traffic for potential problem areas such as intersections, but rather depend on his skillful technique to get himself out of any jam.
    I agree. Besides, no matter what speed a cyclist is traveling, there's still a window where they are committed to being directly in the path of a potentially crossing vehicle. Doing this at a lower speed will aid the cyclist in maneuvering out of danger, or at least not crashing with as high of an impact.

    Regarding the overtaking situation that the OP started off with in this thread, I'd like to add my experience.

    Part of my work commute is on a 45 MPH road where I feel it necessary to take the lane. Motorists often drive 55. I ride this section as fast as I comfortably can. Due to a bridge with incline/decline, and variable winds, my speed can vary anywhere from barely over 10 mph, to nearly 30.

    After 8 years of doing this, I have determined that speed matters little for safety in this situation. Drivers all change lanes or slow behind me every time, no matter my speed.

    I will admit a higher speed is a little more comfortable, but only because I try to hold others up as little as possible, not because I'm afraid they might run me over if I'm not traveling close to their speed.

    I suppose if you're encouraging unsafe overtaking by riding too far right under conditions where you really shouldn't be, then your concern of being passed by cars may hold some validity.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  7. #57
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    30 mph!

    If you could ride 30 mph for any length of time you would be in the Tour Day Frantz.

    Anyway...In populated areas, most of the car-bike crashes involve a motorist turning in front of or pulling out in front of the bicyclist. Hits from behind aren't as frequent. As you pick up speed, it becomes more likely that you'll be overlooked by turning/crossing motorists, and of course any collision with their vehicles will be more violent.

  8. #58
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertHurst View Post
    30 mph!

    If you could ride 30 mph for any length of time you would be in the Tour Day Frantz.

    Anyway...In populated areas, most of the car-bike crashes involve a motorist turning in front of or pulling out in front of the bicyclist. Hits from behind aren't as frequent. As you pick up speed, it becomes more likely that you'll be overlooked by turning/crossing motorists, and of course any collision with their vehicles will be more violent.
    This thread started out in the e-bike section and then was moved to A&S, many states including mine allow bikes that are hybrid drive combining the power of the human motor with an electric motor to operate at reasonably high speeds (at least compared to a pedal only bike unless there is a big hill your going down or a big tail wind). I personally can maintain slightly over 20-mph over short distances on the flat on a pedal only bike (not a road bike even, just a MTB equipped with smooth rolling street tread tires) and I have the majority of my hybrid powered bikes that combine the power of the human motor with another auxiliary power source set-up to cruise at about 25-mph on the flat.

    I have found the increased speed to not be an hindrance to my safety and to actually be safer as the OP of this thread asserts in some cases. But a lot of that has to do with riding style and using to additional speed to best advantage while actively avoiding the situations where it can be a detriment. If you instead choose the extra speed to be more reckless then it can certainly be counterproductive.

  9. #59
    Senior Member DrkAngel's Avatar
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    The faster cyclist will numerically reduce the quantity of potential cross traffic interactions.
    Per mile (20mph = 3 minutes) there are 50% the number of cars in intersections (10mph = 6 minutes)

    While traveling faster will increase the severity of a cyclist hitting the side of a car, it will greatly reduce the possibility of a car hitting the side of a cyclist (half the time being a target in intersection.).

    Additionally, speed-forward momentum will reduce the possibility of the faster cyclist going under the car that broadsides him-her (faster horizontal speed moves cyclist further, out of car path, before hitting pavement.)
    Last edited by DrkAngel; 11-06-13 at 07:01 AM.
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  10. #60
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrkAngel View Post
    The faster cyclist will numerically reduce the quantity of potential cross traffic interactions.
    The faster I ride, the smaller the traffic gap required to run red lights.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrkAngel View Post
    The faster cyclist will numerically reduce the quantity of potential cross traffic interactions.

    While traveling faster will increase the severity of a cyclist hitting the side of a car, it will greatly reduce the possibility of a car hitting the side of a cyclist.

    Additionally, speed-forward momentum will reduce the possibility of the faster cyclist going under the car that broadsides him-her.
    This is pretty much getting into the realm of nonsense. Increased speed makes it more likely that you will be overlooked by a turning/crossing motorist. It makes it more likely that somebody will turn left in front of you or into you or pull out in front of you (ask a motorcyclist). It makes it more likely that a pedestrian will overlook you and step into your path. It gives you less time to avoid the collision, and less maneuverability to avoid a collision (the faster you ride, the slower you turn). It makes any collision more violent, more likely to cause serious injury or death.

    Riding fast in traffic is fun and useful. But if you don't understand the risks...

  12. #62
    Senior Member DrkAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Practicing stopping technique/skill in a parking lot does not guarantee that a cyclist will have the reflexes or presence of mind to apply the brakes in time with the same skill set when surprised in an actual emergency situation.
    Becoming familiar with your, and your bikes, stopping ability has got to be advantageous ... ?

    Preparing your mind and body (and bike ... of course) for maximum braking effectiveness "tunes" your "reflexes and presence of mind" towards quicker evaluation and implimentation of your practiced "emergency stop".
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  13. #63
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Practicing stopping technique/skill in a parking lot does not guarantee that a cyclist will have the reflexes or presence of mind to apply the brakes in time with the same skill set when surprised in an actual emergency situation....
    Are you suggesting that study and practice doesn't improve performance?

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    If you filter up and as a result you are either making better time then they are and getting further and further ahead of them at every light or worse yet they have to pass you over and over again (yes in the mental state of 99% of all car drivers when it comes to a bicycle in the road ahead of them they do have to pass even if it is in the middle of a block between stop lights and they know your just going to filter up again), now that is what gets them ticked off. They will blame you for constantly getting in their way and it just about makes them go critical mass nuclear with a lot of dirty fallout.
    The ironic thing is that even though I cycle primarily for transportation, when I am driving I also prefer to pass cyclists rather than ride next to them because it seems safer, like the idea of a 'safe following distance.' I see the point about it being slightly annoying to have to pass the same cyclist repeatedly because they keep passing you but when I am cycling, I just refuse to adjust my cycling speed to please others on the road. My time is simply more important than whatever 'feelings' anyone gets from my cycling. Would they drive slower to make me feel 'better' in some way? I don't think so. Their time is their top priority so why shouldn't mine be as well when cycling?

  15. #65
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrkAngel View Post
    Becoming familiar with your, and your bikes, stopping ability has got to be advantageous ... ?

    Preparing your mind and body (and bike ... of course) for maximum braking effectiveness "tunes" your "reflexes and presence of mind" towards quicker evaluation and implimentation of your practiced "emergency stop".
    It might; might not. Performance under pressure is not as simple as just making pretend by tuning presence of mind.

  16. #66
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Are you suggesting that study and practice doesn't improve performance?
    It might; might not. Improved performance under pressure (when it counts) is not as simple as study and practice in a parking lot under controlled conditions.
    Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 08-12-13 at 08:35 AM.

  17. #67
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    What the hell?.......why didn't it work, it worked out great on paper.........

  18. #68
    Senior Member DrkAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    It might; might not. Improved performance under pressure (when it counts) is not as simple as study and practice in a parking lot under controlled conditions.
    Damn ...
    Are you saying that all the training given to firemen, policemen, soldiers, air traffic controllers etc. might be a worthless waste of time? ...
    if they are put under pressure ???
    Last edited by DrkAngel; 06-15-14 at 07:58 AM.
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  19. #69
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrkAngel View Post
    Damn ...
    Are you saying that all the training given to firemen, policemen, air traffic controllers etc. might be a worthless waste of time? ...
    if they are put under pressure ???
    No, I was discussing a bicyclist's claim about his amazing stopping and handling skill (gained through practice in controlled conditions) will see him through emergency stopping and handling situations brought about by reckless disregard for proper speed and precaution at intersections and other conflict points in traffic.

    Don't fool yourself into thinking that your home brew practice sessions, tuning presence of mind, and wacky safety mathematics are equivalent to legitimate safety training.

  20. #70
    Senior Member DrkAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    No, I was discussing a bicyclist's claim about his amazing stopping and handling skill (gained through practice in controlled conditions) ...
    I claim no "amazing stopping" ability!
    You should have read the referenced article!
    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    Mebbe those TdF riders should learn how to skid and/or buy some disc brakes. Just sayin'
    http://www.exploratorium.edu/cycling/brakes2.html
    The "Minimum Stopping Distance of a Bicyclist" calculator, charts minimum stopping distance from 20mph as 15.17 feet.



    ***********************************************************

    With practice, any cyclist should be capable of attaining close to this.

    You, I-Like-To-Bike, seem intent on trying to discourage cyclists from developing this basic-essential skill. ... ?

    20mph bike.jpg
    Last edited by DrkAngel; 08-13-13 at 10:13 AM.
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  21. #71
    Senior Member asmac's Avatar
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    All of my half dozen falls over the years have been at very slow speeds. In one of them I cracked my helmet on a curb so I guess my head really accelerated over those six feet.
    Nonetheless I'd really hate to have a blowout in the middle of a fast descent. Or hit a patch of gravel. But it sure feels nice to go fast.

  22. #72
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    You didn't hit the ground any harder for the speed. You'll get more road rash at the higher speed if you're sliding, and probably more impacts if you're bouncing. I've hit the ground at 60 without a scratch or bruise, and at 10 with some pretty serious contusions. Snapped my collarbone on impact with a curb at 25 mph (last year ). That's where the higher speed hurts you - anything vertical in your path - and sliding against a rough surface of course. But the energy equation (or momentum also) is not a good representation of how hard you're hitting.
    Not correct. At any angle, more speed means more energy for the primary impact. More speed in primary impact more and harder secondary impact(s).

    If you start tumbling, you'll REALLY wish you were going slower.

  23. #73
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Null66 View Post
    Not correct. At any angle, more speed means more energy for the primary impact. More speed in primary impact more and harder secondary impact(s).

    If you start tumbling, you'll REALLY wish you were going slower.

    Disagreed on both points.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrkAngel View Post
    ...
    The "Minimum Stopping Distance of a Bicyclist" calculator, charts minimum stopping distance from 20mph as 15.17 feet....
    Amazingly, this is just about exactly right for an upright bicycle. That's about .88 g deceleration. For decades (prior to the publication of my book Art of Urban Cycling) cyclists were instructed that the best they could do would be maybe .7 g. In fact the latter number describes the max deceleration (aka minimum stopping distance) for a cyclist who sits on the seat like a sack of potatoes. A rider who knows how to use the body mass to aid deceleration can take 5 feet off minimum stopping distance at 20 mph.

    You and ILTB are both correct. Practice does help bicycle handling, and stopping quickly is a pretty important handling skill as well as a full-body athletic maneuver. However, in real-world situations your reaction time is probably more important than handling skill. And the rider who simply watches where he or she is going probably won't need to stop quickly or make any evasive maneuvers.

  25. #75
    Senior Member DrkAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrkAngel View Post
    I claim no "amazing stopping" ability!
    You should have read the referenced article!

    The "Minimum Stopping Distance of a Bicyclist" calculator, charts minimum stopping distance from 20mph as 15.17 feet.



    ***********************************************************

    With practice, any cyclist should be capable of attaining close to this.

    You, I-Like-To-Bike, seem intent on trying to discourage cyclists from developing this basic-essential skill. ... ?
    I tend to meander-comfort cruise at 16mph.
    Practice allows me to stop in about 10 feet! ... less than one traffic lane!



    So, rather than discouraging practice and familiarity ... I encourage it!

    10mph.jpg
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