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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-03-06, 08:36 AM   #1
amward
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Eventful commute this morning

I had my most eventful ride this morning in more than 14 months of commuting. It was overcast and had stopped raining quite recently. I had my lights on in flashy to-be-seen mode.

1. Riding up to an intersection to make a left turn; car with a stop sign to my left at the intersection. He came to a stop, then proceded to drive out in front of me. I had already slowed considerably for my (signalled) turn, then went into emergency braking mode. I clearly need to practice keeping my weight back for an emergency stop, as I performed a (not altogether ungraceful) dismount over the handlebars (something akin to a vault over the bars). I may have even been able to stick the landing, had both my feet come out of the toe clips, but only one did (the other pulled free of my shoe). He stopped to ensure that I was okay, and to appologize (profusely). I seemed fine, and still do a couple of hours later. I straightened out my bars and brifters before I got back on, and need to do a bit of adjusting on the rear derailleur before the ride home. I took down his plate number as he drove away, just in case.

2. A pedestrian started crossing in front of me on a very stale flashing hand crosswalk signal, and the light turned red as he was about halfway across the intersection. He continued to amble across in front of my wheel as I got the green, blissfully unaware of the presence of two bikes and a car waiting for him to pass.

3. Riding along a road on campus that intersects with a MUP, a cyclist rode onto the road from the MUP right in front of me without looking. If I was driving a car, I would have been calling an ambulance for him...

4. A car stopped at the side of a roadway pulled a u-turn in front of me without looking. I was among a group of pedestrians and cyclists who needed to slow or stop quickly to let this car turn in our path.

If I didn't know otherwise, I'd guess there was a full moon out this morning... I'll be taking my time on the ride home this evening.
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Old 10-03-06, 09:16 AM   #2
dalmore
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sometimes it seems people are out to get you doesn't it?
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Old 10-03-06, 09:28 AM   #3
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You wore your invisible jacket didn't you? Once I get three in a row, I slow down for the remainder of that commute.

Although your #2 doesn't sound very bad, I've been advocating that peds should feel free to take their damn sweet time. Everyone on the roadway needs to relax about getting off the line on the very same shake of the lamb's tail the light turns green.
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Old 10-03-06, 09:45 AM   #4
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You're invisible. Either that or you should patent your urban camo clothes.
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Old 10-03-06, 10:21 AM   #5
amward
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bike2math
You wore your invisible jacket didn't you? Once I get three in a row, I slow down for the remainder of that commute.
After the first over the bars incident, I was taking everything slow.

I definitely think this calls for a re-evaluation of my lighting. I forget the term for it, but I recall reading about the military using large arrays of not-very-bright lights to camoflauge vehicles against the bright background of the sky. I would have thought a blinking headlight would reduce that kind of effect.

Of course, if someone never looks in your direction, it won't much matter what you're wearing, or what your lights look like (although really bright blinkies may draw a glance that wouldn't otherwise occur). I couldn't tell for sure whether I was looked at in incident #1, as the windows were quite tinted. Numbers 2 through 4, nobody looked at me until afterwards, if at all.
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Old 10-03-06, 11:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by dalmore
sometimes it seems people are out to get you doesn't it?
The credo of the well adjusted paranoid: Everyone is out to get me, but its nothing personal.
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Old 10-03-06, 12:14 PM   #7
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It's not paranoia if everyone actually is out to get you.
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Old 10-03-06, 01:04 PM   #8
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It's kinda like that Andy Rooney comment. He wishes the papers would print the names of the lottery losers. That would put things in perspective.

How many peoples lives have been lengthened or improved through cycling vs. how many have died?
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Old 10-03-06, 01:06 PM   #9
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Whenever I get on this "out to get me" mindset I drive somewhere in my car.

Then I realize how bad motorists treat each other, and I get back on the bike.
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Old 10-03-06, 02:37 PM   #10
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Sunspots. *nods wisely*
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Old 10-03-06, 03:48 PM   #11
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[dating myself]You're Burt Campbell, aren't you?[/dating]
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Old 10-03-06, 03:54 PM   #12
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2-4 sound like a few minutes of a typical ride in NYC.
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