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Old 06-26-07, 04:40 PM   #1
velocity
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Anyone tried this?

I have been commuting for some time and mostly I wear a kit with my road bike to get to work. When I ride most people are kind and give clearance but I get almost every time a person that feels they need to pass no matter how fast I am going ( past the speed limit) But I noticed something the other day when I rode my Mt Bike with my shams underneath my khaki shorts with my bomber helmet and tee. Even though I ride the bike the same way everyone gave me room some gave me weird looks as they went past at lights but I have come to a conclusion after 4 times out with this set up. People see us in our full kits as competition and when you look like a Fred you like your not well adjusted to your surroundings and a easy accident. Therefor they give you room. Any takes on this?
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Old 06-26-07, 05:57 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velocity
I have been commuting for some time and mostly I wear a kit with my road bike to get to work. When I ride most people are kind and give clearance but I get almost every time a person that feels they need to pass no matter how fast I am going ( past the speed limit) But I noticed something the other day when I rode my Mt Bike with my shams underneath my khaki shorts with my bomber helmet and tee. Even though I ride the bike the same way everyone gave me room some gave me weird looks as they went past at lights but I have come to a conclusion after 4 times out with this set up. People see us in our full kits as competition and when you look like a Fred you like your not well adjusted to your surroundings and a easy accident. Therefor they give you room. Any takes on this?
I'm really new but I think you're right, absolutely. I wear a geeky vest, have panniers, am on platform pedals and ride around on a cruiser--very upright. People are SO kind to me, so far. They give me a lot of room and I haven't had so much as a weird look, definitely not anything mean. I'd guess that being a woman probably has a little to do with it (Aigh! Woman on wheels! Guard the children!) but I'm betting the Fred Factor is huge, too. Unlike you, I don't have anything to compare it to, though.
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Old 06-26-07, 06:30 PM   #3
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Over the years I have noticed the same thing.
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Old 06-26-07, 06:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velocity
I have been commuting for some time and mostly I wear a kit with my road bike to get to work. When I ride most people are kind and give clearance but I get almost every time a person that feels they need to pass no matter how fast I am going ( past the speed limit) But I noticed something the other day when I rode my Mt Bike with my shams underneath my khaki shorts with my bomber helmet and tee. Even though I ride the bike the same way everyone gave me room some gave me weird looks as they went past at lights but I have come to a conclusion after 4 times out with this set up. People see us in our full kits as competition and when you look like a Fred you like your not well adjusted to your surroundings and a easy accident. Therefor they give you room. Any takes on this?
I've not really noticed this. In general motorists treat me pretty well, and wearing my geeky bright yellow and black outfit or street clothing hasn't made any difference. That's just my experience in Atlanta though. The driving culture in other cities may be considerably different.
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Old 06-26-07, 08:05 PM   #5
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Sure, I ride with a huge tin foil hat while screaming "I can't hear you", and they give me a very wide berth as well.
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Old 06-26-07, 08:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freako
Sure, I ride with a huge tin foil hat while screaming "I can't hear you", and they give me a very wide berth as well.
Try a wedding dress and beanie.
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Old 06-26-07, 08:14 PM   #7
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Didn't someone question the use of helmets using this same philosophy?
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Old 06-26-07, 08:23 PM   #8
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Maybe wearing shirts advertising various law firms loudly would have a similar effect? Something like this on the back of your shirt:

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Old 06-26-07, 08:26 PM   #9
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Study

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0911102200.htm

Quote:
Dr Walker suggests the reason drivers give less room to cyclists wearing helmets is down to how cyclists are perceived as a group.

"We know from research that many drivers see cyclists as a separate subculture, to which they don’t belong,” said Dr Walker.

"As a result they hold stereotyped ideas about cyclists, often judging all riders by the yardstick of the lycra-clad street-warrior.

“This may lead drivers to believe cyclists with helmets are more serious, experienced and predictable than those without."
If you meet motorists' conception of an experienced, competent cyclist, they tend to give you less margin for safety.

Last edited by Niten; 06-27-07 at 09:46 AM. Reason: added title
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Old 06-26-07, 09:10 PM   #10
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I'm sure the reaction to a spandexed cyclist is "I bet he thinks he's cool", but someone in a reflective vest, a helmet, and a little bell on their handlebars gets "Isn't it special that they can get around and have a productive life".
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Old 06-26-07, 09:34 PM   #11
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Whew! I thought that I was the only one. I am going to keep the stats going. Trying different types of clothing and see what gets the least amount of hits- I may even try the wedding dress Chip
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Old 06-26-07, 10:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreggy
but someone in a reflective vest, a helmet, and a little bell on their handlebars gets "Isn't it special that they can get around and have a productive life".
LOL! I have often wondered this myself as I am riding to work.
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Old 06-26-07, 10:17 PM   #13
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I could see the wedding dress causing more auto-to-auto accidents due to serious rubber-necking. I don't do the spandex/lycra thing on my 'comfort' bike, but motorists do give me plenty of room when I ride. I wear cargo shorts and a white T-shirt 99.9% of the time that I ride.
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Old 06-26-07, 11:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreggy
I'm sure the reaction to a spandexed cyclist is "I bet he thinks he's cool", but someone in a reflective vest, a helmet, and a little bell on their handlebars gets "Isn't it special that they can get around and have a productive life".

hahaha.
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Old 06-26-07, 11:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreggy
I'm sure the reaction to a spandexed cyclist is "I bet he thinks he's cool", but someone in a reflective vest, a helmet, and a little bell on their handlebars gets "Isn't it special that they can get around and have a productive life".
C'est moi! I am freaking absolutely positive that's what people think when they see me.

Plus I smile and wave at almost everyone. They must really wonder what kind of disorder I have, 'round here.
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Old 06-27-07, 04:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryfeltonj
I've not really noticed this. In general motorists treat me pretty well, and wearing my geeky bright yellow and black outfit or street clothing hasn't made any difference. That's just my experience in Atlanta though. The driving culture in other cities may be considerably different.
In Atlanta, maybe. Out in suburban sprawl hell, there's definitely a difference. I commute from the 'burbs to a slightly more metro location every day and the difference a few miles make is noticeable. In suburbia the giant SUVs rule, and you better stay out of thier way.

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Old 06-27-07, 06:33 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velocity
Whew! I thought that I was the only one. I am going to keep the stats going. Trying different types of clothing and see what gets the least amount of hits- I may even try the wedding dress Chip
V
Don't forget the propeller beanie...that is key.

I see the difference on every commute. On my morning commute I am wearing an alert-shirt and have the rear blinky on the seat-stay going. I get tons of room from the drivers.

Riding home, I am usually wearing a jersey or one of many bright orange sleeveless Ts I have - and don't have the blinky going...and I get a lot more close passes. Before the temps started getting hotter, I was wearing the alert shirt home...and again, got a lot more room from drivers.

I don't see much difference between wearing cargo shorts or bibs...I don't think drivers pay that close attention to even notice what shorts I am wearing.
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Old 06-27-07, 06:46 AM   #18
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There was a study by a british guy that showed cars will give more room to people with no helmets because they assume that a cycler with no helmets are newer and therefore more unpredictable. The more experienced the rider the closer the cars would stay to them. The people who get the most room? Blonde women with no helmets.

edit: here's a link http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/5334208.stm
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Old 06-27-07, 06:47 AM   #19
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Happens to me too!

When I wear the colourful jersey and spandex bike shorts I tend to get more harrassement than if I am in regular shorts and a t-shirt.
teenagers yelling and older adults passing too close.

I think it is a homophobic thing for the teenagers, as they tend to view cyclists as gay, hence the harrassment.

For adults I think it is a "what are you doing exercising on the road, don;t you know this is meant for transportation"

Ugh, people...worse thing on thing on the planet....except for you and I of course.
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Old 06-27-07, 06:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter76
There was a study by a british guy that showed cars will give more room to people with no helmets because they assume that a cycler with no helmets are newer and therefore more unpredictable. The more experienced the rider the closer the cars would stay to them. The people who get the most room? Blonde women with no helmets.
I haven't worn a helmet for over 40 years...except when required by some event for on icy winter commutes...I note no difference if wearing one and if not.

A platinum blonde wig, on the other hand, actually causes people to slow, check me out, then either attempt to crash into me, or crash into something else as they are attempting to scratch their own eyes out.
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Old 06-27-07, 06:52 AM   #21
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I seem to get treated the same way by drivers whether decked on on the roadie - or the ready wear look for trails on the mtb. They just plain would prefer I was not on the street.

What I do notice though is that when I'm on the mtb (live in a city, therefore I'm an "urban mtb") - riding down the road - even maybe with a backpack on (oh the horror), I get less acknowledgement from the roadies - not even a head nod. Now, when I'm in a kit and on the roadbike, I am back in the club and get the wave, headnod. Interesting. I treat every bicyclist the same.
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Old 06-27-07, 07:32 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velocity
I have been commuting for some time and mostly I wear a kilt with my road bike to get to work.
This is what I read, and I'm disappointed that it's not what you wrote
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Old 06-27-07, 07:55 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter76
There was a study by a british guy that showed cars will give more room to people with no helmets because they assume that a cycler with no helmets are newer and therefore more unpredictable. The more experienced the rider the closer the cars would stay to them. The people who get the most room? Blonde women with no helmets.

edit: here's a link http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/5334208.stm
You're drawing a conclusion that was not present in the study. The study was just that, a study. He found that given his test criteria, people with helmets got passed a little closer. Any reason for this, given the scope of the study, is conjecture. Unless they were able to interview drivers after passing and find out why they gave X or Y room, it's just guesswork. Even if they did, I doubt most drivers even are doing anything of the sort consciously, and wouldn't be able to give a good answer.

The article clearly says "Dr Walker THINKS (emphasis mine) that the reason is..." not that this reason is shown to be true by the study.

Also left unknown by the study, but which I think most experienced riders will agree to, is that the behavior of the cyclist bears a much stronger correlation than helmet use on driver behavior. If I'm getting passed too close, it's almost certainly because I'm not demanding enough room. Every time it's happened to me, I've corrected my own behavior by moving farther left, and I always get more room by subsequent vehicles.

This is an interesting study but using it to defend not wearing a helmet is ridiculous. I don't really care whether people wear a helmet or not, but base your choice on real issues.
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Old 06-27-07, 08:04 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digger
When I wear the colourful jersey and spandex bike shorts I tend to get more harrassement than if I am in regular shorts and a t-shirt.
teenagers yelling and older adults passing too close.

I think it is a homophobic thing for the teenagers, as they tend to view cyclists as gay, hence the harrassment.
I can't figure this one out. You rarely see people yelling "***" at the other bunch of men that I can think of that wear tight spandex pants and helmets, even though they go around slapping each other's bums. I'm talking about football players of course.
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Old 06-27-07, 08:06 AM   #25
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Today was the first ride to work with my rack trunk and handlebar bag instead of a backpack. I didn't notice that cars were giving me any different passing distance.
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