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Thread: shielding

  1. #1
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    shielding

    Does anyone use shielding on their commutes? I have noticed it is hard when you have to turn left and there isn't a light present. I have figured out that when a car is turning I can turn to because it gives me a shield of safety.
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    Raving looney
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    I think it can be called "ghosting" or "shadowing" too, I use it at times when it's safe and practical to do so - nothing like a mobile roadblock to cork an intersection for you

    Don't believe it's super safe, but it certainly helps in a lot of circumstances. There are times that it adds to danger, so be careful!

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    I know that, I use it for when I have to go into the school parking lot and a car turns so I do too. I also use it at this funny intersection but I am very aware of the dangers of it but also know when and when not to try it. Thanks for the help :-)
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    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    I'll often ghost a turning vehicle through an unprotected left. It's basically second nature to me. And yes, like other things, it's a skill that when executed properly is totally safe, but performed by a neophyte can have disastrous results.
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    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    I loooove it on parts of my commute on turns and going straight. I find it works best with tractor trailers because once they commit to a turn or lane they keep it, I give them space though and never try and share a lane with them. It also helps that I can out accellerate a tractor trailer as they take it easy which allows me to keep my shield. Commuters, High Schoolers and Professionals in Vans I have found unpredictable in their path and accelleration and sometimes aren't worth it.

    It does make you invisible though so if you don't position correctly and someone passes the car they won't see you until you are on their hood.

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    Senior Member duppie's Avatar
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    I tend to ghost thru intersections with a stop sign. I will usually trail shortly after the car. That way I have time to respond if the car makes an unexpected turn
    However, there are limitations to it. I won't do it with trucks because a. I trust commercial drivers even less than regular drivers, and b. the other traffic in the intersection cannot see me if I am hidden behind a truck
    Duppie

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmac27 View Post
    Does anyone use shielding on their commutes?
    No, my brain is of sufficiently little power that any electromagnetic radiation created is completely blocked by my skull, and is approved by the FCC for operation on streets. No tinfoil hat needed.

    Oh. Wrong kind of shielding.

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    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duppie View Post
    the other traffic in the intersection cannot hit me if I am hidden behind a truck
    I fixed that for ya.
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    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I sometimes buy lunch at a Subway that's in a truck stop. There's only one exit, used by all vehicles. Most trucks turn left back to the expressway, I turn right back to work. If there's a truck turning left, I know I don't have to worry about any cars coming through for a good 15 seconds and just go on through.

    I do tend to snug up behind and just to the right of cars when I'm part of a line of traffic going through one particular intersection and there are people trying to turn left in the oncoming lane. The car behind me is usually hanging back a bit (I probably scare them with all my reflectors and lights) and I'm worried that some left turner is going to think "there's a spot I can squeak through." If there's no intersection and traffic is moving at my speed (or slower) as it usually is through there, I move back to the center of the lane and space back 10 feet or so.
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    Senior Member duppie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
    I fixed that for ya.
    Thanks for proofreading my posts, but I really did mean see me.
    I've had occasions where I am ghosting a truck while trailing it somewhat. As soon as the truck clears the intersection, some leadfoot from the opposite direction hits the gas while making a left turn, coming too close for comfort

    Duppie

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    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    I was just joking, but seriously if you're ghosting it, you're quite literally next to it and said leadfoot would have to hit the ghosted vehicle sufficiently hard for it to slide into you, if you're actually ghosting/shielding/etc as opposed to just trailing the vehicle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
    I fixed that for ya.
    No, the reality is that if you are behind a large vehicle, you are invisible to other traffic who may be impatiently waiting for that open space behind the vehicle... right where you are.

    Ghosting a car is not such a bad idea, as long as you are not invisible to others and the driver of the vehicle you are ghosting. Ghosting behind a van or large truck IS an iffy situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evblazer View Post
    Commuters, High Schoolers and Professionals in Vans I have found unpredictable in their path and acceleration and sometimes aren't worth it.

    It does make you invisible though so if you don't position correctly and someone passes the car they won't see you until you are on their hood.
    These are all good reasons why this is about the dumbest thing I've ever heard of! Let's see, position yourself on the blind side of a car as it's making a turn where they don't expect someone to come around on that side. What could go wrong? Oh, about a thousand things...many of them ending with a memorial grease spot on the pavement!

    And I thought filtering was stupid!
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  14. #14
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    When I ghost, it's only through a left turn, and I am actually riding next to the right fender, riding next to the car, inside the turn, not following it. I don't do it often, usually only when it's an unprotected left turn, or a stale protected left (in jeopardy of going yellow or red with me in the intersection).

    And of course, like many things, it requires utmost attention to your situation, including the possibility of an undesirable response by a startled motorist who gets an eye full of bicycle in their driver's side mirror.

    If you don't think it's safe, don't do it. No problem. I'm just saying the way I do it, I can't be hit by cross traffic, either. I don't follow the vehicle. I ghost it. It ranks up there with riding on the sidewalk. I'll do it on occasion, if the situation absolutely warrants it. It's certainly not the norm for me to do it, but it's an arrow in my vast quiver of riding tricks.
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  15. #15
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    And I thought filtering was stupid!
    And I thought riding without helmets was stupid. To each their own.
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    I usually only do this through 4 way stop signs when I have filtered my way to the front and it would be rude to take a full turn in the rotation. In those cases, I will filter up to a left turning vehicle and stay on their right through the turn. Works like a charm as long as you are aware that the vehicle could actually turn right on you and are watching for that.

  17. #17
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
    And I thought riding without helmets was stupid. To each their own.
    Huh?

    non se·qui·tur (nŏn sěk'wĭ-tər, -tŏŏr') n.

    Latin nōn sequitur, it does not follow : nōn, not + sequitur, third person sing. present tense of sequī, to follow.
    Stuart Black
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    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    I will explain it in very plain English, then.

    If you think that following a vehicle through a stop or riding directly adjacent to a turning vehicle is stupid, and you think that filtering is stupid, then you are more than welcome to avoid doing those things.

    There are a great many other things that plenty of cyclists do which I deem to be stupid as well, and I am more than welcome to also avoid doing those things. That includes riding without wearing a helmet. If I recall correctly, you are one of those. I could be mistaken. Regardless, I'm certain that like the things I do which you would not participate in, there are things you do which I similarly would not.

    I was simply clarifying my stance.
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  19. #19
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
    I will explain it in very plain English, then.

    If you think that following a vehicle through a stop or riding directly adjacent to a turning vehicle is stupid, and you think that filtering is stupid, then you are more than welcome to avoid doing those things.

    There are a great many other things that plenty of cyclists do which I deem to be stupid as well, and I am more than welcome to also avoid doing those things. That includes riding without wearing a helmet. If I recall correctly, you are one of those. I could be mistaken. Regardless, I'm certain that like the things I do which you would not participate in, there are things you do which I similarly would not.

    I was simply clarifying my stance.
    You are incorrect in thinking that I don't wear a helmet. I've worn one on every ride since around 1981. I've even driven over mountain passes to purchase a helmet when I've forgotten my helmet on rides that I've lead. I've even refused to lead the ride when I couldn't find a helmet. I've biffed somewhere around 6 or 7 of them through various accidents and only ever suffered a concussion once.

    Sharing a lane during a turn is a practice that shouldn't be done in any vehicle. There are likely laws against it. Simple common sense says that it's not a good practice. The only time anyone should be beside a car in a turn - of any kind - is if it's a two lane turn. And even then the cyclist should be very cautious of the vehicle next to them. People drift their lanes all the time and if they don't know, or don't see, that a cyclist is next to them, they are just a likely to move over into the cyclist. In a single lane left turn situation they would never expect another vehicle next to them. Once they are making the turn, they will never pay attention to where you would be riding next to them short of being in front of the right front wheel. And why would they?

    Would you do this in a car or on a motorcycle? How would you feel if someone else in a car or motorcycle did it? It'd probably scare the crap out of you...I know it would me. If I don't do it in a car, I certainly wouldn't do it on a bike. Predictability is the key to safe riding and this is about as unpredictable as you can get.
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    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    I had you confused with someone else on the helmet thing. Like you, I never ride without. Also, I'm not a habitual filterer either. But there are situations where I will split a lane. Sometimes that means filtering up the gutter cautiously if there's a logjam and no sidewalk or other path. Sometimes it means ghosting a car through an unprotected left if oncoming traffic is going to be difficult for me to traverse, getting moving once there's a clearing would be too difficult, and and there are vehicles behind me that will want to turn as well. I keep focused, have a plan for an out, and go for it. The necessity for this maneuver doesn't often arise, but I've done it when I needed to.

    For what it's worth, I usually try to choose routes that aren't subject to this kind of madness. If there are signals I can't trigger with my bike, bizarre, dicey intersections, or things like that, I usually change my route the next time I pass through that area.

    Anyways, all I can say is when I do it, it's done safely, and only if it's a lesser of two evils situation.
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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
    I had you confused with someone else on the helmet thing. Like you, I never ride without. Also, I'm not a habitual filterer either. But there are situations where I will split a lane. Sometimes that means filtering up the gutter cautiously if there's a logjam and no sidewalk or other path. Sometimes it means ghosting a car through an unprotected left if oncoming traffic is going to be difficult for me to traverse, getting moving once there's a clearing would be too difficult, and and there are vehicles behind me that will want to turn as well. I keep focused, have a plan for an out, and go for it. The necessity for this maneuver doesn't often arise, but I've done it when I needed to.

    For what it's worth, I usually try to choose routes that aren't subject to this kind of madness. If there are signals I can't trigger with my bike, bizarre, dicey intersections, or things like that, I usually change my route the next time I pass through that area.

    Anyways, all I can say is when I do it, it's done safely, and only if it's a lesser of two evils situation.
    We seem to have more in common then you think. I see the ghosting maneuver as trading one evil...side traffic at an intersection...for a far worse evil...sharing lanes with a vehicle. I avoid sharing lanes with cars as much as possible such as riding further out in the traffic lane on multilane roads, positioning myself in the middle of the lane at stop signs and lights, taking the middle of the lane on left turns, etc.

    I to avoid dicey situations. Denver is a grid town and there's always another road a block away...or nearly always
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