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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 03-15-14, 11:11 AM   #1
Krellon
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When is close too close?

Hi,

I wondered what your thoughts were on acceptable vehicle passes and when is close too close.

I had a few in the past on my commutes which I thought were maybe a little too close. Especially considering the speed they were doing.

Here is a link to some of those passes. What do you think?

Just a little too close for my liking - YouTube

Br

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Old 03-15-14, 11:57 AM   #2
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Ugh. All of those looked too close for me as well. Cameras typically make things look less close than they are for real so I'm sure they felt even worse than they looked.
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Old 03-15-14, 12:02 PM   #3
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Ugh. All of those looked too close for me as well. Cameras typically make things look less close than they are for real so I'm sure they felt even worse than they looked.
Yes mate. All were filmed with wide angled go pro's. I can assure you they were a lot closer in reality!.

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Old 03-15-14, 12:19 PM   #4
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Those all looked too close to me. Someone on the forum (can't remember who right now) has a milk crate on the back of his bike with a bright blinky mounted to the far left (that would be right in your case). It seems like that might help, though the aesthetic of a milk crate might not work with your current ride :/
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Old 03-15-14, 12:27 PM   #5
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In UK/Scotland , i've seen cars pass each other at a good clip on opposing directions on one lane roads ,
been passenger in some . NZ GF driving , so they do that too, down there..

those are 2 lane at least.

wind shear wave of air pressure off the front of a heavy goods hauling vehicle ..

Ie Truck/Lorry doesn't have to be close but still can knock you down , so be careful on the Open Highway .

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Old 03-15-14, 10:42 PM   #6
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I finally came to the conclusion that I don't care how close people get. You're going to hit me or you're not... if you do (and you don't immediately take off), I get a new bike and some P&S. So really, there's not much to worry about.
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Old 03-16-14, 04:42 AM   #7
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I finally came to the conclusion that I don't care how close people get. You're going to hit me or you're not... if you do (and you don't immediately take off), I get a new bike and some P&S. So really, there's not much to worry about.
Lol, so long as you don't get your arms or legs ripped off

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Old 03-16-14, 12:08 PM   #8
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Hi,


Today I rode further out from the curb as posters suggested.
For the best part the drivers did give me a wider birth but I sensed there frustration with speed and revs.
One actually took a very silly risk in a overtake into a blind bend on a hill.


Unbelievable! - YouTube


These are the risky overtake maneuvers drivers take the further out we ride.
We become safer but oncoming traffic is put in more danger.
Looks like we can't win.


Br
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Old 03-16-14, 12:23 PM   #9
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I recall seeing side fences ahead of the rear wheels on the Articulated Lorry trailers in the EU.

a couple summers ago an elderly father and his middle aged son were going south cycletouring

on the popular Coast US 101 route , there is a decent shoulder . alongside the road ..


a wind shear pressure wake caused dad to fall and since there is no fence on US

tractor trailer rigs , dad fell and was under those wheels .


wonder is if there were that guard fence regulation, the fall may have been against it and not immediately fatal.
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Old 03-16-14, 04:16 PM   #10
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All too close for me. You should ride farther out into the lane to prevent these. At least it gives you some extra room to bail out.

And that last video. Wow! I'm surprised the red car wasn't hit.
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Old 03-16-14, 05:23 PM   #11
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Hi,

We become safer but oncoming traffic is put in more danger.
Looks like we can't win.


Br
No, that guy was just an idiot!
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Old 03-16-14, 06:36 PM   #12
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If I can reach out and touch the vehicle, it is too close!
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Old 03-16-14, 07:20 PM   #13
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That doesn't look like the most bike friendly road. However, didn't seem too dangerous as long as you can hold your line.
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Old 03-16-14, 07:25 PM   #14
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hell I've had other riders pass me even closer with no warning... which pisses me off. Hell today I was passed by 2 tandem's and maybe 4/5 other singles all riding together. Once we made the turn and it become uphill (4-5% max) I passed them up like they where standing still. Even other riders should say.. on your left.
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Old 03-16-14, 10:45 PM   #15
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While that passing distance is fairly common, I'd call it uncomfortable, to say the least.

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But at least he didn't pass too close! Now seriously, that guy is a potential murderer!
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Old 03-17-14, 02:30 PM   #16
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While that passing distance is fairly common, I'd call it uncomfortable, to say the least.



But at least he didn't pass too close! Now seriously, that guy is a potential murderer!
If the run of wasn't there then the red car would have had no where too go and a collision would have been inevitable With the speed they were going I shudder to think of the outcome
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Old 03-17-14, 02:32 PM   #17
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That doesn't look like the most bike friendly road. However, didn't seem too dangerous as long as you can hold your line.
That's the problem though, the road surface here is pants and we end up have to sometimes make last second coarse correction to avoid potholes. The vehicle give no margin for error.

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Old 03-17-14, 07:23 PM   #18
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That's the problem though, the road surface here is pants and we end up have to sometimes make last second coarse correction to avoid potholes. The vehicle give no margin for error.

Br
Without having road cycled, I don't think most motorists realize things like this. I can't tell you how many times I've heard comments like "I just hate when there's a huge bike lane and the rider decides to ride right on the fog line. He just doesn't want to ride on gravel/mud/tree debris/through potholes/etc." As if you CAN ride through that stuff on a road bike, you just choose not to. I think most peoples only experience riding was their Huffy mountain bike when they were 14, and have no idea that potholes and debris can very easily cause thousands in damage, injury, or even death, on 23mm tires at 120psi

So we don't get much grace out there, 'cause they just assume we're not "sharing the road."
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Old 03-17-14, 07:38 PM   #19
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Hi,

I wondered what your thoughts were on acceptable vehicle passes and when is close too close.
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.
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Old 03-17-14, 08:56 PM   #20
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Ouch, you survived, OP. Didn't you use mirrors?
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Old 03-18-14, 04:46 PM   #21
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Without having road cycled, I don't think most motorists realize things like this. I can't tell you how many times I've heard comments like "I just hate when there's a huge bike lane and the rider decides to ride right on the fog line. He just doesn't want to ride on gravel/mud/tree debris/through potholes/etc." As if you CAN ride through that stuff on a road bike, you just choose not to. I think most peoples only experience riding was their Huffy mountain bike when they were 14, and have no idea that potholes and debris can very easily cause thousands in damage, injury, or even death, on 23mm tires at 120psi

So we don't get much grace out there, 'cause they just assume we're not "sharing the road."
I reckon compulsory 3 hour cycle ride with a road bike on main roads should be a compulsory part of the driving test

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Old 03-18-14, 04:48 PM   #22
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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.
Hi FBin,

I have started to ride slightly further out now. It does make a difference and fewer cars are passing although I'm certain there frustration levels have gone up 10 fold

Br
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Old 03-18-14, 05:11 PM   #23
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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.
+1

My experience is that if you give drivers just enough room to squeeze past, they'll do it. If they have plenty of room they generally give you more space. If oncoming traffic would make a pass tight, I move over enough to make it impossible. If everything looks clear the other way, I give drivers all the space I can. Obviously you have to know the road and know where things are likely to fluctuate.

Other things I've heard that you can do to get more space... (1) ride erratically, if driver's think you might swerve at any moment they give you more room; (2) grow your hair long, studies have shown that drivers give more space to bicyclists that they think are female.

I don't use the first technique often, but once in a while I'll pull it out if I'm nervous about someone behind me. I do have long hair, so I guess I get the second benefit. I also have a big bushy beard, but by the time you can see that I've already got my space.
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Old 03-19-14, 05:03 AM   #24
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Ouch, you survived, OP. Didn't you use mirrors?
+1 Only reply #19, out of 22 on this thread mentioned mirrors, which can reduce the element of surprise. Unbelievable, but let's not get started.

Similarly, only reply #6 of 7 mentioned mirrors on this similar thread on Advocacy and Safety, "How much space do people give during a pass?

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...Many riders rely on mirrors (and have interesting stories of life-saving bail-outs). Some folks develop a keen sense of hearing that clues them in to what's happening behind them. Others are able to turn their heads without losing their line and many riders do all of the above. ....
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Old 03-19-14, 07:30 AM   #25
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+1


Other things I've heard that you can do to get more space... (2) grow your hair long, studies have shown that drivers give more space to bicyclists that they think are female.

I don't use the first technique often, but once in a while I'll pull it out if I'm nervous about someone behind me. I do have long hair, so I guess I get the second benefit. I also have a big bushy beard, but by the time you can see that I've already got my space.
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.
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