Advocacy & Safety - Small stuff
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12-10-05, 10:35 AM
Do you constantly scan the ground for small things that may give you a flat and then look up at the traffic?
All the time? Never?
12-11-05, 08:28 AM
The small stuff that I've received flats from would all have been too small to see from my raised position on the bike. I've never bothered trying to see tiny fragments of glass/metal/shells but if I hear my tires running over pieces of stuff, I'll move over to get out of it. I do keep an eye on the road ahead of me but I'm looking out for larger things like rocks, branches, tires, etc.
12-11-05, 09:27 AM
Not really. I scan the road surface, but mostly for cracks and potholes. I usually notice the small stuff when it's too late to avoid it.
12-11-05, 11:43 AM
Yes I do. It's wrong. I know it. I crashed and totalled my previous Vespa because of it. But I got sick and tired of replacing tires, and on the Vespa they went for $100 a pop. And I noticed my street is often strewn with nails and screws. So the habit began.
But after the crash I don't do it on my Vespa anymore. A $100 tire is better than buying a new Vespa or worse.
I still do it on my bike, though. I don't fear nails and screws so much as little things, especially metal, or large objects like rocks and palm fronds.
12-11-05, 12:56 PM
Not really. I avoid stuff if I see it, but I don't specifically look out for it. Apart from big patches of broken glass or hunks of metal, I haven't really swerved to avoid puncture hazards. The stuff I have gotten flats on (very few) I never would have been able to see:
1) a T50 staple
2) a tiny sliver of glass (BB sized)
3) a very small piece of steel wire, about 1/2" long, probably 28 gauge, rusty.
That's the extent of my flats since I started commuting, a total of about 4000 miles so far.
12-11-05, 06:33 PM
The small stuff that I've received flats from would all have been too small to see from my raised position on the bike.
I have to agree with you. I scan the road out ahead to avoid things. But most of the wee beasties that will give you a flat are too small to see when scanning ahead. I'm more worried about carrion, small rocks, bottles and objects that could upset the bike and the like. I've even learned to avoid cream packets. Half and Half can do in your brakes if it gets on your rims.
Shortest time between flat tires, about half a second when I couldn't avoid a glass field. Both tires were flattened. That also about the shortest time between destroyed rims, when I couldn't avoid a pothole in Hollywood. Saddest thing about the rims is that I had put them on the bike about 7 miles before... Won't do that again.
The Seldom Kill
12-12-05, 01:24 AM
I'm less worried about puncture hazards than I used to be and subsequently don't make a lot of effort to scan the surface of the road. I'll avoid large patches of glass (note: car glass doesn't tend to cause punctures when shattered) and stuff if I can but I've been over so much stuff recently that I've come to realise that punctures don't tend to happen that often.
I've tried to think back over my puncture history this year and can only come up with once instance in March where a thorn got in. Other than that there was a plastic fork that put a hole in the sidewall which wasn't what I would term a puncture per se.
The best defence that you have against punctures and so on is not what tyres you have but the pressure that you have them at. Naturally I'll be walking home tonight won't I?
12-12-05, 03:35 AM
I try to avoid visibly obvious patches of glass, nails etc. but that's about as much as my eyes and brain can handle. Fortunately, traffic is a concern for only a very small percentage of my riding, even on commute.
12-12-05, 07:39 AM
I look for the "line" of clean pavement to the left of the debris, gravel or sand. I never have a problem with sharp objects there.
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