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Old 03-19-14, 08:12 AM   #26
CrankyOne
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Just to pile on. Those were all way too close in my book. Personally I wouldn't ride along that road with that kind of traffic. The thought of my wife, kids, and friends at my funeral or taking care of me when I'm a quadriplegic isn't appealing.
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Old 03-19-14, 08:13 AM   #27
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That gives me an idea...how about clip on long hair that attaches to your helmet? Combined with lycra, could be an effective safety device. The looks of disappointment would be priceless.
Ha! Perhaps I'll start shaving my legs and wearing a pink jersey too.
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Old 03-19-14, 01:13 PM   #28
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That gives me an idea...how about clip on long hair that attaches to your helmet? Combined with lycra, could be an effective safety device. The looks of disappointment would be priceless.
An article about one study: BBC NEWS | UK | England | Somerset | Wearing helmets 'more dangerous'

From the article: "While wearing the wig, drivers gave him an average of 14cm more space when passing." It doesn't say how he got drivers to wear the wig. (#grammar_nazi)

Also of interest: https://www.eta.co.uk/2011/04/01/saf...-built-in-wig/
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Old 03-19-14, 03:36 PM   #29
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An article about one study: BBC NEWS | UK | England | Somerset | Wearing helmets 'more dangerous'

From the article: "While wearing the wig, drivers gave him an average of 14cm more space when passing." It doesn't say how he got drivers to wear the wig. (#grammar_nazi)

Also of interest: https://www.eta.co.uk/2011/04/01/saf...-built-in-wig/
This is ridiculous. I was thinking something a little more subtle.

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Old 03-19-14, 03:58 PM   #30
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Nope. Nothing but love for fellow cyclist but I think this is a bit too sensitive. Taking note of how close they are to you is ok, but take note of how close these drivers are to the center line. Some even cross over a bit. To me that is a courteous driver. We can't expect them to drive behind us at 15-25mph or whatever your fitness allows.

I'd say acceptable, though I do agree with you that speed was a little fast on some. I remember the days before I was a cyclist though, and it isn't always bad intent. I used to speed by to pass so that I spent little time sharing the lane an favor of getting in front quicker.

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Old 03-19-14, 11:15 PM   #31
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I'm female and when I was in my early 20's, I did a lot of long-distance road riding and I was fairly slender at the time and had my hair cut short. Now, I'm in my late 30's, have longer hair and have a more "obviously female" build due to an extra 20 pounds. There is definitely a noticeable difference in how motorists behave around me. And believe me, I wear dark colors and avoid anything that looks remotely "girly" while riding.
I can't even think of a time in the last two years where I thought a motorist got too close. However, there are other issues, usually related to being around older male drivers... At stop signs, they will motion for me to go, even though they arrived at the stop sign first. This results in a time-wasting who's on first sort of dynamic. Sometimes drivers will stop dead in the middle of the street if they think I might want to turn left or something and then I am suddenly in the middle of a bunch of honking cars. One guy stopped in the middle of a busy intersection, before turning left and started insisting that I ride in front of him - while five cars behind him slammed on their brakes and honked... I was also turning left, but I was in a bike lane and turning left onto a road that had a bike lane - there was plenty of room for us both to turn left. I think I would prefer having cars pass me close as my issue. In fairness, I talked to another female cyclist about this and she said she experienced a similar thing, though she thinks it is because we live in an area with so many cyclists, that many of the drivers are also cyclists and trying to be extra courteous by anticipating what we might need to do as cyclists. I'm skeptical of this, as I almost never experience any of this while riding with my husband.

Be careful with the ponytail idea... I was recently driving behind a guy staring at the rear of a female jogger on the adjacent bike path - both of his right wheels were completely inside the bike lane for about a quarter mile while he gazed at the jogger.
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Old 03-20-14, 12:21 AM   #32
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My state is pretty bad with this as well


Side swiped by a school bus; and that's not road rash, that's from hitting falling into the bus; didn't fall away from the bus until the third or 4th collision.

As far as sticking your hand out and being able to touch the car (someone mentioned on the first page) that's the majority of the cars that pass me.
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Old 05-07-14, 12:24 PM   #33
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Drivers will always be drivers with the must get in front mentality! must get to destination at all cost mentality! complete disregard to the safety of those around. Not realizing that they literally save seconds only and yet there willing to risk it all for those few seconds :/
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Old 05-07-14, 12:46 PM   #34
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PA law says 4 feet, if its under 4 feet they are technically breaking the law and are too close. Dunno about other states. I think drivers need to realize that zooming around cyclists isnt a show of skill but of impatience & disregard for safety & traffic law.

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Old 05-07-14, 01:06 PM   #35
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That gives me an idea...how about clip on long hair that attaches to your helmet? Combined with lycra, could be an effective safety device. The looks of disappointment would be priceless.
My hair reaches my upper back in a pony-tail, but it doesn't seem to deter close passes. Sorry. Maybe if you make it blond and "big", and wear something more gender-bending ....
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Old 05-07-14, 02:01 PM   #36
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Drivers will always be drivers with the must get in front mentality! must get to destination at all cost mentality! complete disregard to the safety of those around. Not realizing that they literally save seconds only and yet there willing to risk it all for those few seconds :/
People are wacky about the whole lost time thing. Whats the longest anyone is ever going to have to reduce speed for sake of a bicyclist? 5 seconds? 10 seconds? 45 seconds? What if it's even a full minute? You have to slow down from 40 to 20 for a minute, you lose 30 seconds. THIRTY SECONDS. But if a driver had to go 20mph for 60 seconds, they'd absolutely lose their ****ing mind.

It's crazy. I'll never understand it.
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Old 05-07-14, 03:33 PM   #37
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People are wacky about the whole lost time thing. Whats the longest anyone is ever going to have to reduce speed for sake of a bicyclist? 5 seconds? 10 seconds? 45 seconds? What if it's even a full minute? You have to slow down from 40 to 20 for a minute, you lose 30 seconds. THIRTY SECONDS. But if a driver had to go 20mph for 60 seconds, they'd absolutely lose their ****ing mind.

It's crazy. I'll never understand it.
And what cracks me more than anything is that if I were a single driver in a 2 ton car taking up an entire lane doing 15 mph or 25 mph or whatever I wouldn't receive any abuse from other drivers. They merely wait for an opportune moment to overtake and do just that. Yet stick me on a bicycle doing the same speed and it's honk honk, get over too the left, single file get off the road loser! damn cyclist! etc etc God help us :/
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Old 05-07-14, 03:58 PM   #38
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I use a helmet mirror, ride a fair distance into the lane, monitor the cars approaching from my rear, and ease over to the right to let them pass when there is enough room, sometimes I even wave them by.

I agree that we don't do ourselves any favors by squeezing into a dangerous position at the edge of the road and letting drivers pretend you're not even there. At the same time, it drives me nuts when cyclists pootle along at 10 mph smack in the middle of the lane, bottling drivers up behind them. We have to share the road, and courtesy works both ways.
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Old 05-07-14, 04:15 PM   #39
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And what cracks me more than anything is that if I were a single driver in a 2 ton car taking up an entire lane doing 15 mph or 25 mph or whatever I wouldn't receive any abuse from other drivers.....
I don't know where you live, but you drive a car that way around here, and you'll get a ton of abuse. Far more than is heaped on cyclists.
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Old 05-07-14, 04:30 PM   #40
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I don't know where you live, but you drive a car that way around here, and you'll get a ton of abuse. Far more than is heaped on cyclists.
Nah, Over here in the UK I think we are a bit more reserved, certain parts of the county may have a higher ignoramus level but for the best part I don't think we are too bad. I have never been berated for sedate driving. I live in the country and here the country is narrow windy lanes so I think drivers have grown to expect slow drivers. Stick um on a bike though and it's a whole different kettle of fish.
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Old 05-09-14, 04:16 PM   #41
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Did I get hit or was I caused to crash? Yes = too close, No= Not too close.
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Old 05-09-14, 04:23 PM   #42
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My state is pretty bad with this as well


Side swiped by a school bus; and that's not road rash, that's from hitting falling into the bus; didn't fall away from the bus until the third or 4th collision.

As far as sticking your hand out and being able to touch the car (someone mentioned on the first page) that's the majority of the cars that pass me.
Dang, I hope you contacted the school the bus came from.
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Old 05-09-14, 05:13 PM   #43
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When wind shear knocks you down, and you fall under the back wheels of the Semi trailer
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Old 05-09-14, 05:20 PM   #44
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When wind shear knocks you down, and you fall under the back wheels of the Semi trailer
I actually like when semis pass close with long trailiers. The two or three seconds you get in their slipstream is so nice.
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Old 05-09-14, 05:23 PM   #45
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As long as you dont end up rolled over by those trailer wheels .
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Old 05-09-14, 05:31 PM   #46
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Been hit by big westcoast mirror on a pickup truck while climbing a hill on my single bike; ripped the mirror off the truck!
Never fell down . . . but had to do numerous visits to my chiropractor to straighten out my back.
Driver was arrested for drunk driving and had license suspended for 90 days and got the ticket.
Another time struck by a pickup truck fold-away mirror while on our tandem bike; hit the stoker in the backside and busted/folded the mirror.
Saw it coming in my glasses mounted mirror but could not avoid it; had a ditch to my immediate right and held my line. Again, did not fall down; stoker taken to emergency with bruised shoulder. Driver (in his seventies) had a restricted driver's license and he had his license revoked. He too got the ticket but had no insurance.
Now, THAT is considered too close for us!
After 40+ years of cycling, we are lucky to still be 'out and about' at ages 81 and 79.
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Old 05-09-14, 06:07 PM   #47
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Yes, those passes are illegal but I wouldn't raise a flag over them. I get that every time I commute. Some drivers are just more aware of cyclists than others,I try to hold the safest line and not worry about who gets to close because it would happen daily.
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Old 05-10-14, 02:02 AM   #48
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Nope. Nothing but love for fellow cyclist but I think this is a bit too sensitive. Taking note of how close they are to you is ok, but take note of how close these drivers are to the center line. Some even cross over a bit. To me that is a courteous driver. We can't expect them to drive behind us at 15-25mph or whatever your fitness allows.

I'd say acceptable, though I do agree with you that speed was a little fast on some. I remember the days before I was a cyclist though, and it isn't always bad intent. I used to speed by to pass so that I spent little time sharing the lane an favor of getting in front quicker.
State law here says crossing double center line is OK for passing cyclist. Not a matter of courtesy for giving space, as its actually the law. Passing on right is illegal, as any passing cannot exit the road ( cross outside line).

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Old 05-10-14, 02:03 AM   #49
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Yes, those passes are illegal but I wouldn't raise a flag over them. I get that every time I commute. Some drivers are just more aware of cyclists than others,I try to hold the safest line and not worry about who gets to close because it would happen daily.
Exactly. Defensive riding & knowing where you are allowed to be is best, i've found.

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Old 05-10-14, 03:31 AM   #50
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I don't have a hard and fast rule. It's more of a speed, speed difference, and road conditions kind of thing. Riding in NYC I'm used to working down to the last few inches, and have ridded for decent distance in a roughly 3' aisle between two buses.

But given that some did seem close, especially that bus that was wedging back to the road while overlapped.

I don't want to get into the "take the lane" VC thing, but you might not be doing yourself a favor riding close enough to the edge to allow a pass with oncoming vehicles. Try riding farther out so they have to commit and move over to pass rather than sneaking by.

I ride about 1 meter in from the edge, which gives me some room to give when squeezed. I also try to use my lane position to show when to pass and when not to.

As I said, I don't endorse the "take the lane" approach, as much as a share the road, where you use position to control your destiny, but give way if when it's safe.

There'a no hard rules, just strive for a balance between your needs and those of the other road users. After a while it becomes natural and you rarely think about it until a logging truck passes with the overhanging load passing above your head.

I'd second this. I'll often shift position on the road to aid or hinder cars behind passing me. If the road is narrow and windy, or there are obstructions in the road ahead, I'll move out. If there are things like the islands in the middle of the road for pedestrians to cross nearby, I'll pull to the middle of the lane. If the lane is narrow enough that a car can't safely pass without crossing the white line down the middle, I'll pull across a bit so they know they have to wait for the oncoming traffic.

If it's a busy road, wide enough for traffic to pass safely, and I can see far enough ahead to be confident I'm not going to guide myself into every pothole in the area, I'll move further to the side to let the traffic go by. If it's the kind of road where I struggle to maintain a decent speed and there's traffic building up behind me, sometimes I'll pull off the road completely into a driveway or similar to let it get past. As far as I can tell there's little if anything in the way of legal obligation to do that sort of thing, I just figure "share the road" goes both ways.

There are a couple of roads near me with a 20mph speed limit and which are flat enough that I am usually doing 20mph along them. Roads like that are residential so they have a 20mph limit for a reason. If someone is revving their engine behind me on a road like that I just leave them to wait. Usually if they do manage to squeeze past they don't get very far before they have to wait for something else (in which case they hold me up, because a bike and car can fit through a space two cars can't), so I position myself to make it very clear they aren't coming through.
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