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Old 04-18-07, 08:19 PM   #1
slvoid
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FG... stops drivers at intersections, sort of.

After giving up my giant ocr road bike as a commuter for a fixed gear, I've noticed that since I can't stop pedaling, even as I'm slowing down at an intersection, drivers automatically assume I'm not stopping and let me through, sometimes... I'm having a harder and harder time being nice because some of them will literally stop in the middle of crossing an intersection thinking I wasn't stopping.
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Old 04-18-07, 08:27 PM   #2
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Sounds like a blessing and a curse at the same time. If you don't want it to happen, it is time to learn how to stop pedaling when you are slowing down. Time to learn how to skid! Learning to do a really good skid is my gaol for the summer.
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Old 04-18-07, 08:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
After giving up my giant ocr road bike as a commuter for a fixed gear, I've noticed that since I can't stop pedaling, even as I'm slowing down at an intersection, drivers automatically assume I'm not stopping and let me through, sometimes... I'm having a harder and harder time being nice because some of them will literally stop in the middle of crossing an intersection thinking I wasn't stopping.
Hilarious. I have that problem at the 4 way stop by my place of work. Either cagers blow the 4 way stop figuring they don't want to wait on me, or they stop in spite of their right of way because they don't think I will stop.
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Old 04-18-07, 08:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by oneredstar
Sounds like a blessing and a curse at the same time. If you don't want it to happen, it is time to learn how to stop pedaling when you are slowing down. Time to learn how to skid! Learning to do a really good skid is my gaol for the summer.
30 intersections each way = ...... oh about $100 worth of tires a week. On the bright side, I have 17 possible skid patches.
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Old 04-18-07, 10:10 PM   #5
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Skidding doesn't help. Neither does yelling. The best I've figured out is to slow down enough to give the car time to stop and go ahead of you. Although some people still have to wait for you to go first no matter what.
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Old 04-19-07, 08:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
30 intersections each way = ...... oh about $100 worth of tires a week. On the bright side, I have 17 possible skid patches.
34 if you ambi-skid.

It's hard to draw a general conclusion about drivers in NYC, but since bikes are part of the landscape, some drivers may see a rider and ease off the gas to slow down a bit to give the rider more time to clear the intersection in front of them. Some drivers see a cylist that may cross in front of them and speed up to prevent it. It's 50/50 so you get used to figuring out which kind of driver you're dealing w/ when running reds.
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Old 04-19-07, 08:24 AM   #7
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I generally pedal full cadence until the absolute last second, skid and hockey stop into a trackstand on the stop line, then look at the car and raise my palm in a 'What? Aren't you going to go?' motion.
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Old 04-19-07, 09:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
... I'm having a harder and harder time being nice because some of them will literally stop in the middle of crossing an intersection thinking I wasn't stopping.
well, try harder or you'll give all of us commuters a bad name!
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Old 04-19-07, 09:52 AM   #9
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That definitely is not unique to riding a fixie, as it's happened to me quite a bit. Nevertheless, the continuous pedaling probably exacerbates the problem.
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Old 04-19-07, 11:41 AM   #10
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It's AMAZING! And you don't even appreciate it! Tsk tsk tsk. I first commuted for a year+ in the suburbs (fairly classic new development urban sprawl car-land) and now I'm in Philly. And just like you describe... Some drivers will stop and let you go through even when they have right-of-way (by a mile). Even when I come to a complete stop, some drivers that beat me to the intersection (I have a lot of 4-way stops) will still gesture for me to go first.

Just accept it and enjoy it and go ride in some urban sprawl so you realize how good you have it .
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Old 04-19-07, 11:45 AM   #11
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Learning to do a really good skid is my gaol for the summer.
Freudian slip?
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Old 04-19-07, 11:52 AM   #12
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I think most drivers who notice cyclists (and of course this is a small subset of drivers) expect you to coast up to a stop. If your legs are turning, even slowly, they probably assume you're going to blow the sign. That's my experience anyway.
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Old 04-19-07, 12:05 PM   #13
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I believe the phrase uttered to me when I said I couldn't stop my FG was: Balls to the stem! (unweight the rear tire when slowing down and it'll be easier to skid/skip stop)

but seriously, I'm always amazed by the amount of coasting other cyclists in this town do. Even on my roadie I'm *always* pedaling, even approaching a stop (have to spin to downshift)
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Old 04-19-07, 02:18 PM   #14
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I'm trying to spin more even on slow downs now, partly because I want my legs to keep supple but also in prep. for *maybe* joining the fixie crowd (I'm scared and excited at that thought )

Last ride after work doing this showed more people slowing, looking at me because, I can only assume, they saw my legs still moving.

I always prefer vehicles I share the road with to do so by the rules, rather than courtesy - unless it's a non-standard situation. I would prefer, say on a 4-way all way, that the flow work in the way it's supposed to, instead of someone giving me the right of way as a courtesy, I just wave at cars to go ahead in front of me, that way I know they're gone.

I hate steaming up to an intersection, looking good for a fly-through on a stop, when the ONLY car around decides to creep to the line, creep a bit more, stop, then creep, then stop again trying to decide to go or wait for me. This means I then have to start braking, changing down gears all because this person decided not to follow the law. I guess the human aspect of "I don't want to hit a cyclist" is responsible, but that's the fault of idiot cyclists who do dangerous crap like that IN FRONT of cars, heh.

Wow I kinda went off there... back to the thread!
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Old 04-19-07, 02:52 PM   #15
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I have to admit that I've used this effect to my advantage on non-FG bikes if it's a situation where a cager is supposed to give me the right of way. Example: Coming up to a sidestreet where I'm not sure if the car waiting is going to pull out in front of me? If I decide I need to ease up to prepare for a panic stop I'll keep spinning even as I'm easing up on the pedals.
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Old 04-19-07, 10:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
30 intersections each way = ...... oh about $100 worth of tires a week. On the bright side, I have 17 possible skid patches.
Just bunny hop the cars and keep going. No big deal.
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Old 04-20-07, 05:54 AM   #17
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Yeah, sometimes cars will back off. Other times, I have had NYC cars (especially in Brooklyn) gun it to try to hit me. Fun!
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Old 04-20-07, 07:47 AM   #18
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Yeah, sometimes cars will back off. Other times, I have had NYC cars (especially in Brooklyn) gun it to try to hit me. Fun!
Heh, Brooklyn drivers can be playful. Bronx drivers can be downright aggressive.

Flimflam: drink the kool aid! BTW, I'll be in Toronto this week so if you see a blue IRO, give a shout.
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Old 03-18-08, 08:24 AM   #19
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its sort of like when i stop at a four way and there is an awkward situation where the car wants to let you go first because you are on the bike...i am like i can wait here until it is my turn no problem, i dont need special treatment...getting a new bike soon and i am going to try the fg thing...cant wait...i will be bunny hopping some cars very soon!
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Old 03-18-08, 08:35 AM   #20
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They are all conspiring to get you to let your guard down so the one car in the group can run you down.
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Old 03-18-08, 03:35 PM   #21
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I've found the best thing so far is to help direct traffic when I am coming to an intersection and can foresee the driver confusion. As I am slowing to a stop, I will often wave through an oncoming car when I make eye contact, letting them know I want them to proceed first. In the same manner, If I know I have the right of way and think a driver will jump their stop sign, I hold up my hand to indicate "STOP" and turn it into a happy wave on the way by.

It makes a huge difference for me and works well 90% of the time.
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Old 03-18-08, 03:47 PM   #22
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just do a backwards circle at the intersection, they'll know you're not going anywhere.
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