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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 11-29-07, 08:51 AM   #1
substructure
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Ima skeerdy-cat

Yesterday was my first full commute dark to dark. I no likey.
(~85 miles ~5000' of climbing)
(Blinkies, headlights, reflective vest and all)


In the morning everything is great. Traffic was low, I felt fresh. No problem.

Then I was warped to Psycho-ville.

On the way home it sucked. Traffic was real heavy when I got to Crowders Mountain. It was dark and no one wanted to pass because of it. And when they did, it was usually inches from me. People were honking, reving their engines, and just actin' a fool. It was brutal on the nerves. Nothing like this happened when I had plenty of daylight hours in the summer. What, do people turn in to idiots after they set their clocks back? God!
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Old 11-29-07, 09:07 AM   #2
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You are nuts.

I just performed my last 56 mile RT commute Monday. Dark each way.
Like you said the morning is fine. However, on the way home it was nerve racking. Dark and way too much traffic. I did not feel remotely safe even with all my blinkies on.
I'm taking the bus each way half the distance until it warms up and the days grow longer.

Oh and people are always idiots. It is the lack of light that increases it 10 fold.
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Old 11-29-07, 09:12 AM   #3
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Maybe people have trouble judging distances in the dark. They know you're there, but don't know how much room they're giving you and have trouble telling whether it's clear for them to change lanes to pass you. Maybe you should get those flags that stick out to let drivers know how much distance they need to give you.
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Old 11-29-07, 09:34 AM   #4
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Last night after work I rode out to where I'm going to be attending a training class next week then headed home. The trip from class to home was a meager 27 miles but almost all in the dark.
Almost everytime I peered into my mirrors I noticed people piling up behind me. I usually travel on 4-6 lane roads and drivers will merge into the other lanes without even slowing during the daytime.

Another strange thing was some of the people ended up taking a right 1/4 - 1 mile down the road but wouldn't pass me even with no other cars around. It is like they didn't know when their turn was coming up. I got kinda unconfortable on a 45mph road with this big diesel pickup behind for a few minutes and then have them turn and peel out when they got to their road. Argh why didn't they just pass me. I think about the third time this happened I started pulling into driveways to get out of these peoples way. Not ideal but got me out of the situation.
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Old 11-29-07, 10:05 AM   #5
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That does suck. One thing that fixed my commute was leaving 15 minutes later. When I left work on time, the traffic was horrible. When I left 15 minutes late, it had all but cleared out. Very nice.
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Old 11-29-07, 10:20 AM   #6
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I will try it at a different time to see what happens. I ain't giving up totally.
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Old 11-29-07, 10:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyossarian View Post
Maybe people have trouble judging distances in the dark.
I think that's it. Also, it's easier to judge distances of larger objects; it's easier to tell the distance of a car with both headlights working than a car with one headlight working. A single blinky light doesn't give you a good sense of where a bicycle is. I wish there was a way to get two lights, far apart and side by side, without making it look like a car...
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Old 11-29-07, 10:43 AM   #8
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I was thinking of adding another Super Flash and putting them both on opposite seatstays. Would that help?
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Old 11-29-07, 12:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I think that's it. Also, it's easier to judge distances of larger objects; it's easier to tell the distance of a car with both headlights working than a car with one headlight working. A single blinky light doesn't give you a good sense of where a bicycle is. I wish there was a way to get two lights, far apart and side by side, without making it look like a car...
Have thought about velcro or zip tie a piece of PVC to the back of the rack. Could give lights some decent separation.

I have cars zip by in groups at 45-60mph. The sidewalks are lot safer but its not legal for 1/2 my route. Snow and ice will make for rough sidewalk travel so I'm practicing my road skills. Semi honked at me today.

Last edited by sumguy; 11-29-07 at 12:58 PM. Reason: more stuff
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Old 11-29-07, 01:04 PM   #10
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Don't forget that evening commute drivers are more aggressive/less tolerant than morning commuters. I have noticed this on my commutes.
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