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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

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Old 11-28-13, 01:57 PM   #26
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Old 11-29-13, 08:08 AM   #27
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Too bad, you refuse the best safety device of your entire list, the mirror.
Should a car lane split the OP at high speed, his decision may very well change.
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Old 11-29-13, 08:29 AM   #28
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What about 3 front and 5 rear?

Besides, collecting all the gadgets and lights and figuring out how to attach them to your bike is part of the fun! It's what gives ME joy in riding anyway.

The front of my bike now looks like the front of a Star Destroyer.

Multiple lights and a camera all poking forward...
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Old 11-29-13, 09:11 AM   #29
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You need more rear lights.
I need to see that lit up.
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Old 11-29-13, 09:27 AM   #30
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I need to see that lit up.
in a video.... that has got to look like the alien mothership.

some 20 years ago i used to run 3 belt beacons with a rescue strobe for my night lighting. ILTB had a tall light bar with quite a few lights for his "highway" commute. More light IS better, right!
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Old 11-29-13, 09:39 AM   #31
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Today's bicycle light setups are light years ahead of my old bottle generator setup on my commuter of years ago, so no quibbling on my part when it comes to having too much lighting.
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Old 11-29-13, 09:44 AM   #32
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Yeah! Just returned from a ride with a Shimano dynohub and B&M headlight--sometimes I will run it during the day just out of not noticing the drag. Lighting is so much better than 10, 20,or more years ago--why not run max lights?
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Today's bicycle light setups are light years ahead of my old bottle generator setup on my commuter of years ago, so no quibbling on my part when it comes to having too much lighting.
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Old 11-29-13, 10:36 AM   #33
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It's true that cars use mirrors primarily for backing and checking the blind spot before changing lanes.
That is not what mirrors are on cars for.
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Old 11-29-13, 11:54 AM   #34
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I will continue to wear my helmet, and use my mirror. And I will ride with all that common sense and experience has taught me.
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Old 11-29-13, 12:28 PM   #35
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In working urban traffic, I use hearing and peripheral vision when checking my mirror blind spot when I'm making a lateral movement. Riding in urban traffic has become much more enjoyable to me with the addition of a mirror, since hearing and peripheral vision tends to be overwhelmed in noisier/faster traffic.
Hmmm.....Mine doesn't get overwhelmed. But that is how I can do it easiest, not you. In my case it has to do with my eye-hand coordination. So, If I didn't have the problem, I would probably agree with you. C'est la vie.
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Old 11-29-13, 02:43 PM   #36
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As for mirrors, I did a group ride this morning with two other guys equipped with helmet mirrors. Most of the time, I would heard a car coming from behind before they saw it in their mirror. So there's that.

As far as lights, specifically the picture that 10Wheels put up, I met a guy who had about that many lights on his bike, which of course generated a discussion about the lights. Which, for him, always leads to the time that he had all of them blazing at night and got rear ended by a cop car. So there's that as well.

Two very anecdotal bits, but isn't this all anecdotal?

When it comes to hi-vis, I like some of it. I have the Mavic hi-vis arm warmers, bright orange with a reflective stripe, which I love. I've been on the lookout for a hot pink jersey, because that's less likely to be confused for a traffic worker, and really catch people's eyes. And it's, you know, fun! But when you feel like you HAVE to wear hi-vis everything to be safe, that's when it becomes a chore.

And that brings me to my main point, and what probably really made me start this thread: cameras. Cameras are supposed to be fun. Riding is supposed to be fun. Riding with a camera on a really great ride can be really fun. Keeping tabs on charging batteries, making sure there's enough space on the card, and mounting it day in and day out to and from work/school/whatever because you're SURE you're going to eventually be involved in a hit and run? That sucks.

And it all flows from there. It reminds me of preppers. Bitter folks who seem like they almost can't wait for something terrible to happen so they can finally prove how prepared they are. Hi-vis jackets and helmets instead of camo and work boots. On-bike cameras in place of home-surveillance systems. Mirrors in place of laser guided scopes. But if a prepper gets hit by a meteorite, all his prepping really doesn't matter, does it? So if I have one light or 7, that car that rams me down really doesn't matter, does it?

It's just a level that seems too militant to me. I'm enjoying my commute. I might don spandex, I might ride in shorts and a t-shirt, but I'm wearing my helmet (because it would be silly not to in this traffic) and I've got my lights (quality over quantity, and sometimes I'll run a second rear on the backpack), and I'm following the rules of the road and being a generally good citizen. I don't feel like it's my responsibility as a cyclist to add all these other things to the list that would become a chore, just to make myself that 1 percent safer on the roads. I'm not anti-helmet, but one of their favorite arguments is that a helmet implies that cycling is dangerous. If a helmet says that, then all the things I've listed earlier must make riding a bicycle look absolutely horrifying. I have a hard enough time convincing non-cyclists that commuting by bike is great fun. I think I'd have an even harder time trying to tell them it's fun if I looked like a construction worker riding a landing strip.


Now to be fair, I understand that some of the things are actually enjoyable to some people. And hey, that's awesome. I'm happy for you. Especially the one commenter that mentioned he enjoys documenting his ride/changing seasons, etc. That sounds like fun. (my commute is too ugly for that). I get that people dig lights and gadgets, that's cool as well. But at the same time, some of you pointed out exactly why I started this post. All of this stuff is optional, but a good bit of people seem to think that it's mandatory in order to qualify as a safe, responsible rider. F*** that.
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Old 11-29-13, 05:49 PM   #37
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As for mirrors, I did a group ride this morning with two other guys equipped with helmet mirrors. Most of the time, I would heard a car coming from behind before they saw it in their mirror. So there's that.
I am interested how you are able to hear a Nissan Leaf with a texting driver 100 yards back while a garbage truck is passing right next to you.
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Old 11-29-13, 06:18 PM   #38
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I refuse to have an opinion about this.

Cute!!

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Most of the time, I would heard a car coming from behind before they saw it in their mirror. So there's that.
They probably heard it as well, before or after seeing it in the mirror. But there must be times when they see a vehicle in the mirror before you hear it.
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Old 11-29-13, 06:20 PM   #39
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Now to be fair, I understand that some of the things are actually enjoyable to some people. And hey, that's awesome. I'm happy for you. Especially the one commenter that mentioned he enjoys documenting his ride/changing seasons, etc. That sounds like fun. (my commute is too ugly for that). I get that people dig lights and gadgets, that's cool as well. But at the same time, some of you pointed out exactly why I started this post. All of this stuff is optional, but a good bit of people seem to think that it's mandatory in order to qualify as a safe, responsible rider. F*** that.
C'est la vie

I would rather be visible, than invisible. If that means hi-vis attire, then so be it. If that means having lights' as bright or brighter than a motor vehicle, then so be it. If that means 'taking the lane' in the traffic flow, instead of being treated like a 'vehicular addendum' to the traffic flow, then so be it.
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Old 11-29-13, 07:45 PM   #40
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I think mirrors are effective when you cycle on high speed open roads with few intersections or merges. In a dense urban environment I think relying on a mirror is potentially dangerous.
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Old 11-29-13, 08:00 PM   #41
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WalksOn2Wheels, looks like you just like to post wall texts of gibberish.
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Old 11-29-13, 08:17 PM   #42
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I am interested how you are able to hear a Nissan Leaf with a texting driver 100 yards back while a garbage truck is passing right next to you.
My wife and I played a little game. She was riding captain and I was stoker (pretty normal set up for us on our tandem). She was using a mirror, I wasn't. We each agreed to tell the other when either of us first became aware of an overtaking vehicle. I don't remember the exact numbers, but it was mighty rare for her to be the first to know there was a motor vehicle behind us, like on the order of 2%. In fact, the one Leaf the overtook us, driven by a mutual friend, was heard by me long before she saw it.

Tires on lousy pavement are anything but quiet and air being violently shoved about is pretty easy to hear and interpret. While it is possible for a garbage truck, or any other loud noise source, to mask the sound, it's mighty rare in my experience, perhaps owing to the different frequencies of the sounds.

By the way, I'm not anti-mirror. I'm glad my captain prefers to use one. As my hearing gets worse, I'll likely start using one as well. But don't discount the value of listening well to what is going on. I have dived into ditches based only on the sounds I heard and that has saved me from great harm. I guess for now, I'm good with a belt. Someday, I'll add suspenders.
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Old 11-29-13, 08:39 PM   #43
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In a dense urban environment I think relying on a mirror is potentially dangerous.
It's not relying; the mirror assists.

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She was using a mirror, I wasn't. ...it was mighty rare for her to be the first to know there was a motor vehicle behind us,
So what happened to her ears? Using mirrors does not conflict with using ears.

To both of you: having mirrors is having something in addition to your ears and eyes, not a replacement.
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Old 11-29-13, 09:51 PM   #44
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To both of you: having mirrors is having something in addition to your ears and eyes, not a replacement.
And in a situation where a cyclist is riding the river of urban traffic a mirror is, IMO, at best a *distraction*.
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Old 11-29-13, 10:01 PM   #45
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And in a situation where a cyclist is riding the river of urban traffic a mirror is, IMO, at best a *distraction*.
It's your problem, not the mirror's fault, that you get distracted. I agree that for people who can't use mirrors to their advantage, it's better to be without mirrors.
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Old 11-29-13, 10:20 PM   #46
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.......... I REFUSE to live a life where I must don hi-vis vests at all times, wear a helmet mirror, constantly run a go-pro camera for collecting evidence, or run seven rear lights and 4 front. That would simply suck all the joy out of biking for me. It would feel like letting the terrorists win.
I have real mixed feeling about hi-vis vests... I myself don't own one.
I love cycling... and I have a couple lawyer friends. But the idea of mixing a chance of litigation with cycling... doesn't appeal to me.
In heavy traffic or poor weather I use flashing lights... even if it isn't dark.

Mirrors. I hate mirrors because they look dorky and they are a lot like walking sticks or canes. They are a needed aid for a disability. But because I am not suicidal and I am an older rider and I greatly benefit by the use of a mirror.... I use one every time I ride.

A little yoga has got me limber (just barely) enough I can get by without a mirror. Hoping I can loosen up a little more.
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Old 11-30-13, 01:41 AM   #47
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The mean urban streets require powerful lights and video cameras in my opinion. There are too many intoxicated, distracted, and dangerous motorists on the road. Powerful taillights have the effect of slowing down drivers behind you. A bright helmet light in addition to a bar light can fill up the inside of the vehicle cabin. A video camera will capture license plates, the driver behind the wheel, in addition to the model. This evidence can be very useful in the event a cyclist is smashed by a 3,000 pound rolling couch. If you refuse to put the odds in your favor, this is entirely your choice.
And if you are dead and your camera busted or taken?

Cameras are for after the fact. your mind is for NOW.

Offhand I've always wondered what you western Oregonians are doing using the bike lanes over the East Idaho Avenue interchange at I-84...you don't realize the Department Of Travesty wanted you to walk the sidewalks or all the stick figure cyclists ironed on to the start of each lane would not be HEADLESS?

Try DRIVING over there...it's not so hard although it's hectic.
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Old 11-30-13, 02:13 AM   #48
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My wife and I played a little game. She was riding captain and I was stoker (pretty normal set up for us on our tandem). She was using a mirror, I wasn't. We each agreed to tell the other when either of us first became aware of an overtaking vehicle. I don't remember the exact numbers, but it was mighty rare for her to be the first to know there was a motor vehicle behind us, like on the order of 2%. In fact, the one Leaf the overtook us, driven by a mutual friend, was heard by me long before she saw it.

Tires on lousy pavement are anything but quiet and air being violently shoved about is pretty easy to hear and interpret. While it is possible for a garbage truck, or any other loud noise source, to mask the sound, it's mighty rare in my experience, perhaps owing to the different frequencies of the sounds.

By the way, I'm not anti-mirror. I'm glad my captain prefers to use one. As my hearing gets worse, I'll likely start using one as well. But don't discount the value of listening well to what is going on. I have dived into ditches based only on the sounds I heard and that has saved me from great harm. I guess for now, I'm good with a belt. Someday, I'll add suspenders.
My experience is quite different. There are five times that I bailed off the road based on my mirror and not on my hearing. In an urban area, there is just too much noise and traffic to rely on hearing. One of the five times, the motorist braked hard and stopped before they would have hit me. The other four times, the motorist would have plowed right through me: 1 guy was picking up a CD player off the floorboard, 1 woman was reading a religious pamphlet, 1 old guy had glaucoma and could only see a tunnel in front of him (he side swipe a car on a freeway ramp 2 weeks later), and the last 1 was likely a DUI.

And there was the one time I held my line as two cars crashed behind me and 1 went right of me and the other went left of me.
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Old 11-30-13, 02:25 AM   #49
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I have real mixed feeling about hi-vis vests... I myself don't own one.
I love cycling... and I have a couple lawyer friends. But the idea of mixing a chance of litigation with cycling... doesn't appeal to me.
In heavy traffic or poor weather I use flashing lights... even if it isn't dark.
So, If someone runs you off the road causing you serious injury and the police blame you. When you obviously didn't cause the accident, you won't pursue it?
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Mirrors. I hate mirrors because they look dorky and they are a lot like walking sticks or canes. They are a needed aid for a disability. But because I am not suicidal and I am an older rider and I greatly benefit by the use of a mirror.... I use one every time I ride.
I agree with you here. I hate mirrors too.
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A little yoga has got me limber (just barely) enough I can get by without a mirror. Hoping I can loosen up a little more.
Oh
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Old 11-30-13, 07:27 AM   #50
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For what it's worth, it also depends ON THE MIRROR.

Eyeglass mirrors end up requiring me to turn my head some anyway even when they're aimed as good as I can get it, and actually are a distraction. Still, it's less distracting than physically turning around to look backwards as much as looking forwards.

The nice big Mirrycle on my trike? Well-aimed, big image, and easy to glance at.
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