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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-14-08, 09:48 AM   #1
Neil_B
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Bollards

Does anyone else have problems with bollards? My claustrophobia kicks into overdrive whenever I have to squeeze between these poles on the bike path. Hitting one and falling in January didn't help matters, nor did having my wobbly trailer bump one on tour last month. When my confidence hit bottom last week, I was walking the bike through whatever bollards I encountered. I did better yesterday on a 19 mile ride with "dercola" from Pottstown to Birdsboro and back, but I still tensed up as I approached and went through them.
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Old 07-14-08, 09:51 AM   #2
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Don't like 'em either. I always tense up and stop pedaling, fearful of smacking one with a pedal or something. So.. you are by no means alone!
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Old 07-14-08, 09:51 AM   #3
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Best advice I can give, Neil.....exposure, exposure, exposure. Practice riding through them and gradually desensitize yourself to it, Start with the wider gaps and as you get comfortable, progressively ride narrower gaps. It's all mental here. Eventually, you'll be able to confidently navigate gaps an inch wider than the handlebars.
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Old 07-14-08, 10:01 AM   #4
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unclip onbe foot and place it up near your fork... slowdown and land your foot on top to bollard.then puch off the bollard. and accelerate out.
i use this for wehen i encounter bolders and branches on a wooded path.
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Old 07-14-08, 10:28 AM   #5
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I learned not to fear them on the trail when i was pedalin' my a** off to get away from a BIG dog chasing me at 25MPH.
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Old 07-14-08, 10:54 AM   #6
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I get my bollard practice with pedestrians.
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Old 07-14-08, 11:14 AM   #7
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I'm only really nervous when i've got a trailer with a couple kids behind me
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Old 07-14-08, 11:24 AM   #8
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I tow a two-child trailer and know exactly what you're talking about.

Being a graphic artist by day helps because I'm used to centering things within given spaces. So I make sure I'm absolutely centered in the available space before I actually get to the bollard.
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Old 07-14-08, 11:27 AM   #9
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Neil, can you get a hold of a couple of traffic cones and set up in a lot and progressively move them closer? That would give you a similar visual without the same price of failure. Good practice that way. Look at it as an obstacle course. You can also use those cones to set up a figure 8 course you can practice various speed maneuvers on, as well as doing the same with your adult students. Just a thought......
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Old 07-14-08, 11:41 AM   #10
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Reminds me of years ago working in a chemical plant where a truck driver ran into one of our bollards. We had installed them to protect critical equipment. We made them out of 8 inch pipe, filled with concrete, and buried into the ground several feet.

Anyway the driver came up to me and complained: "your pipe hit my truck!!", so I asked him "how fast our pipe was moving?"... End of conversation. This was in my early wise a#* years, when I did not fully appreciate personal safety...
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Old 07-14-08, 11:56 AM   #11
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Just keep practicing. I have to deal with lines of stopped cars on my daily bike commute. That is a lot like you bollards, except if I mess up, I can have a very angry car owner to deal with. With all you have accomplished in the past couple of years you can master bollards as well.

Cheers,
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Old 07-14-08, 01:42 PM   #12
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Does anyone else have problems with bollards?
Yep, they scare the hell out of me. I have the same problem with cars that pull up too close to the side of the road at lights too...
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Old 07-14-08, 01:51 PM   #13
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They don't bother me anymore, but I used to coast through them. That's what I do when I get nervous on the bike. I dislike gravel road crossings on rail to trails much more. The feeling of your wheels sliding right or left is quite disconcerting. The problem is if you coast too much in gravel, you quickly lose speed and fall.

I second desensitization. My wife took a job that involved handling mice and rats in research a while back. She hates them and was quite skittish about holding them. She had someone suggest an internal dialogue along the lines of "cute, furry little critters" every time she goes to work on them. This helped a great deal...she handles them on a daily basis without complaint (or not much anyway).
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Old 07-14-08, 02:18 PM   #14
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I don't have any real suggestions to add. But I will say - good for you to take on those things that seem to take away from the pleasure of turning the pedals and wheel.
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Old 07-14-08, 03:10 PM   #15
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Reminds me of years ago working in a chemical plant where a truck driver ran into one of our bollards. We had installed them to protect critical equipment. We made them out of 8 inch pipe, filled with concrete, and buried into the ground several feet.

Anyway the driver came up to me and complained: "your pipe hit my truck!!", so I asked him "how fast our pipe was moving?"... End of conversation. This was in my early wise a#* years, when I did not fully appreciate personal safety...
We installed a length of rail (as in the heavy stuff trains run on) as a bollard by our front gate. It has a few deep scratches so I know there are some damaged vehicles out there.

When I was teaching driving classes, we always told our students to look at skid marks in the roadways. Many of them are two straight lines going straight toward a pole, tree or fixed object. If you focus on the object, you will aim for it. If you focus on the open space, you will aim for that. Focus on where you want to go not on what you want to avoid.
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Old 07-14-08, 03:38 PM   #16
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Learned something new today, never knew those path polls were called "Bollards"

Yes, same here, always afraid I am going to catch the mirror (left) of the handle bars one day, encounter 7 each time I ride my normal route. Two are tighter than the others, only because there is fence on the either side of the apth, otherwise they are all smack i the middle.

I do feel your pain though. Many years ago when a boy at home, was doing some stargazing with a friend telescope, she was very pleasant (fwiw), and the night was moonless, so very dark.

My younger brother (by 4 years), sneaked up on us, and some how managed to pour a gallon bucket of water on to only me. Mad as heck, I decided to show him and chase him down to beat the daylights out of him. Just about to reach his shirt collar, "WHAM". Several minutes later, dad applied a second pail of cold water to me and said, "see he is alive."

You see, mom's cloths line pole was made of a 3" pipe, shaped as a upside down "U", and was about 6 feet wide, my brother managed in the darkness to run straight between the two uprights, I on the other hand caught one dead center, bruise mark in a straightline from forehead, across my torso, and left thigh.

To this day my brother gets a chuckle, and says, "you gotta aim for the center." Yet he did admit, he was more afraid of being caught. He forgot about the poles as well. If he and I both hit them and stacked up, I would have likely hurt him real bad from the chain reaction

Neil - it will better.
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Old 07-14-08, 03:57 PM   #17
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I also didn't know the terminology, bollard. I tried smacking one with my hand as I rode by a week or so ago, almost ripped me off my bike. I wouldn't suggest it.
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Old 07-14-08, 04:08 PM   #18
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Maybe you just need a handy, instructional sign to guide you safely through them.





Yeah, I hate 'em too.
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Old 07-14-08, 04:21 PM   #19
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We are just taking about the concrete gizmo's right? Never even thought about them unless they are so close to each other that just riding through them could catch something. I guess I lost my fear of them surfing through the pier pilings and skateboarding through them as a kid.
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Old 07-14-08, 04:26 PM   #20
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Don't look at them, look at the clear space between. Your bike will follow your eyes.
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Old 07-14-08, 06:35 PM   #21
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Does anyone else have problems with bollards? My claustrophobia kicks into overdrive whenever I have to squeeze between these poles on the bike path. Hitting one and falling in January didn't help matters, nor did having my wobbly trailer bump one on tour last month. When my confidence hit bottom last week, I was walking the bike through whatever bollards I encountered. I did better yesterday on a 19 mile ride with "dercola" from Pottstown to Birdsboro and back, but I still tensed up as I approached and went through them.
I hate them as well, worse though, is the double gates, where you have a road wide enough for an MV, and they put two gates, offset one behind the other, about 1m apart, so you can ride through, but some drunk can't drive their car through, these gates can be opened to allow parks department trucks through. One in a park I ride through, has these, what is funny is that there is a path around the gates, because most riders, ride around the gates rather then through them.
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Old 07-14-08, 06:40 PM   #22
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There are no bollards on the roads/highways.
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Old 07-14-08, 07:25 PM   #23
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I agree with you. Many of the bollards on the SRT are too close. A mountain bike handle bar has may be 2" clearance on each side. Unfortunately for my mirror that wasn't enough. As mentioned, I eyeball the center and coast through. No desire to rock the boat and pedal through. When you ride further west into Reading, they get closer. One crossing finally had some removed. Don't know what they were thinking with 18" spacing.
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Old 07-15-08, 12:15 AM   #24
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Why did my post vanish without a trace? Are jokes forbidden in this forum?
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Old 07-15-08, 05:32 AM   #25
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Why did my post vanish without a trace? Are jokes forbidden in this forum?
Please send it to me in a PM, especially if it's at my expense.
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