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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 09-04-09, 05:59 PM   #1
aadhils
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What's your style of commuting?

There's a defensive style (more dangerous imo) and there's an aggressive style (which tend to have the risk of pissing drivers off cause they thing you're being obnoxious by taking the lane).

The defensive style is where the cyclist considers traffic too dangerous to interfere with and works his way around it by using cross walks when intimidated, avoiding heavy traffic areas and staying out of traffic when possible (using bike paths etc).

The offensive style (which is what I do) is where the cyclist is right out there forcing drivers to pay attention to him taking the lane when necessary and the flow of traffic goes around the cyclist rather than the cyclist doing his best not to interrupt it. I'm lucky to live in the bay area where drivers rarely get pissed off and take care when cyclists are around. I haven't encountered a street that was too difficult to cycle in...yet...
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Old 09-04-09, 06:17 PM   #2
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I disagree with your terms. I take the lane and follow traffic rules as a defensive measure. I am never aggressive, only assertive, purposeful and predictable. I think of aggressive or offensive as being none of those.
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Old 09-04-09, 06:19 PM   #3
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Hmm... I ride on the roads, obey the traffic laws (mostly ), and do my best to watch out for the machines that outweigh me by anywhere from 1750 to 3750 lbs.

I will take the lane if I can do so safely, and I will use left-turn lanes if I can get to them safely. Sometimes, though, a cyclist simply has to ride across the intersection and press the crosswalk button to get a turn made. No biggie.
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Old 09-04-09, 06:19 PM   #4
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I'd say it's more like assertive vs. passive.
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Old 09-04-09, 06:40 PM   #5
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Yep--me too. I think of it as assertive, as in asserting my right to be on the road. I don't think of it as a defensive maneuver so much, though you could call it that easily enough. In taking the lane, you put yourself squarely in the vision of motorists, which to me is a lot safer (though somewhat counter intuitive). I find it works well. The overwhelming majority of motorists will respect it (even if they may not all like it).

When trying to explain this to people, I usually just say, "There's an old saying in the transportation industry: 'Tough sh*t.'"
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Old 09-04-09, 06:49 PM   #6
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What style?
Somewhere between Kabuki


and

Mid-century Modern
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Old 09-04-09, 06:50 PM   #7
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I ride on the road. I tend to mostly follow the rules of the road. I try to be aware of the traffic around me, and ride in a predictable manner. It seems to be working so far.
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Old 09-04-09, 07:24 PM   #8
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Eh, I tend to suit my "style" to the situation.
'
I'll even ride up a sidewalk on occasion.

I have a good understanding of the rules, and generally follow them,, but....


There are times as Joeybiker will no doubt tell you, when that isn't the best for you or them. ( My own situation doesn't lead me to the same... excesses? That Joey gets up to. )

I don't ride "passive" or "aggressive" as such. I try to take the best position or path consistent with the best result, which is getting there in one piece and without ticking too many people off. Unless they need to be ticked off and it doesn't put anyone in danger. I use the same formula when driving the 5 ton too.
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Old 09-04-09, 08:47 PM   #9
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My style is "Whatever It Takes" to stay alive. I've done it all. It's totally situation driven, not a premeditated riding style.
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Old 09-05-09, 08:20 AM   #10
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My style is "Whatever It Takes" to stay alive. I've done it all. It's totally situation driven, not a premeditated riding style.
I think that's pretty much what I said. I'm just not as flamboyant as you and the police around here have a stronger presence in the traffic side of things.

Also, a large chunk of my commuting is done on pathways.
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Old 09-05-09, 09:32 AM   #11
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Hmm... I ride on the roads, obey the traffic laws (mostly ), and do my best to watch out for the machines that outweigh me by anywhere from 1750 to 3750 lbs.

I will take the lane if I can do so safely, and I will use left-turn lanes if I can get to them safely. Sometimes, though, a cyclist simply has to ride across the intersection and press the crosswalk button to get a turn made. No biggie.

This is pretty much how I ride as well. Works fine for me.
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Old 09-05-09, 09:47 AM   #12
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I disagree with your terms. I take the lane and follow traffic rules as a defensive measure. I am never aggressive, only assertive, purposeful and predictable. I think of aggressive or offensive as being none of those.
X2

Follow the rules, ride predictably.

Jerry H
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Old 09-05-09, 09:53 AM   #13
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I disagree with your terms. I take the lane and follow traffic rules as a defensive measure. I am never aggressive, only assertive, purposeful and predictable. I think of aggressive or offensive as being none of those.
What he said
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Old 09-05-09, 10:31 AM   #14
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I use lower traffic arterial roads (to my advantage anyways). I usually drive on the right side, not taking a lane unless there is more traffic than normal.

Generally I do what I think is safest for myself.
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Old 09-05-09, 10:33 AM   #15
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I have a flexible adaptive style. It's closest to Hurst's.
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Old 09-05-09, 04:37 PM   #16
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I think of my style as very conservative. If there is any possibility of a car transgressing, I allow them to pass and get out of my way. "Let danger pass you by." is my credo. I assume that motorists are inattentive impatient morons. I try to promote traffic flow whenever possible.

But I'm not timid. I know that a bike belongs on the street. I take as much of the highway as necessary and go pretty much where I need to.
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Old 09-05-09, 04:57 PM   #17
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I'm also don't like your terms. I am assertive.

I ride in such a way to control the stupidity of drivers. I take the lane at intersections and blind curves. I do everything I can to control drivers and when they will do something stupid or dangerous to me. I let them know when I don't want them to pass or when it is OK to pass. I signal turns and stop at lights and stop signs.
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Old 09-05-09, 05:15 PM   #18
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Ninja Salmon Style

Try it, it is fun.
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Old 09-05-09, 06:00 PM   #19
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Saucy but never ostentatious.
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Old 09-05-09, 06:18 PM   #20
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In some sections of my commute, I almost always take the lane, while in others, I bail on street riding and use the sidewalk. I have also tweaked my route to avoid traffic wherever possible as long as it doesn't take me too far away a direct route. Overall, my goals can be listed as 1.) Arrive alive. 2.) Arrive unhurt. 3.) Arrive at work as quickly as possible.
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Old 09-05-09, 07:30 PM   #21
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My route is about 60% bike trails and 40% roads with no sidewalk and no shoulder. I am very defensive and aggressive at the same time. I have no problem taking the lane, but I always have a plan "B" too. I look over my shoulder offten and if a driver is getting to close or making me uncomfortable, I just pull over and let em pass. The point is being able to ride again the next day.

Also, I see the same cars most days on my commute. So pissing someone off is not in my best interests.
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Old 09-06-09, 05:08 PM   #22
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Strictly vehicular for me. I go where cars go, I follow the car rules. The only exception is that I try not to make left turns because that maneuver seems to confuse car drivers. I was in the left lane once, stopped, with my left arm out, wearing a neon green jacket, and people seemed to think I was directing traffic.
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Old 09-06-09, 06:22 PM   #23
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I ride in a manner that gets me home in one piece. I'm going to take the lane and be completely aware of my surroundings. Since most of my riding is in downtown New Haven, I have to be completely dialed in all the time.
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Old 09-06-09, 07:38 PM   #24
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I guess you guys who thump your chests and say "I go where car go" must not ride on roads with 55mph speed limits, curves, and small rolling hills. That's 9 or 10 miles of my commute. I take the lane twice on it -- once on the backside off a roller where there is no shoulder, and once at a light where I need to turn. If I took the lane all the time on that road, I'd be history. The rest of my commute is on 30 mph roads, and even then I only take the lane when I need to avoid the door zone or come to an intersection.
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Old 09-06-09, 08:33 PM   #25
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I guess you guys who thump your chests and say "I go where car go" must not ride on roads with 55mph speed limits, curves, and small rolling hills. That's 9 or 10 miles of my commute. I take the lane twice on it -- once on the backside off a roller where there is no shoulder, and once at a light where I need to turn. If I took the lane all the time on that road, I'd be history. The rest of my commute is on 30 mph roads, and even then I only take the lane when I need to avoid the door zone or come to an intersection.
Quite true for me. My worst stretch is a four-lane street, 35 MPH. On the way home, I stick to the side streets.
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