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  1. #1
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I'm the Invisible Man - Should I Apply for "Heroes?"

    I'm the Invisible Man - Should I Apply for "Heroes?"

    On my ride this morning, I was going on a main street through a neighborhood when I noticed a car at a stop sign.

    I have a rule that I never go in front of a car unless I actually see their eyes looking at me. This person had sunglasses on, I couldn't see her eys, and though I saw her looking right near where I was, I never saw her head turn towards me.

    So, I slowed WAY down and watched her car, which, predictably, pulled out right in front of me. Then she saw me. Of course, I had stopped, but the look she had on her face when she saw me was worth the effort I had made to avoid being hit.

    All-in-all, it was a great ride, and as I had a very stressful Sunday (son in emergency room 6 hours) and an exhausted Monday and was up in the middle of the night Monday, the ride really did me some good!!!

    Anyone else "Invisible?"
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

  2. #2
    Laid back bent rider unixpro's Avatar
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    Oh, yeah. I'm invisible at least once or twice a week. I wish I had control over when it was, though. Being able to trigger it on my next trip to the bank would be amusing

    I hope your son is OK.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    I'm the Invisible Man - Should I Apply for "Heroes?"

    Anyone else "Invisible?"
    Apparently I am too.

    I am JUST NOW getting back to riding my road bike after laying off for (ashamed to admit it) 4 years. I was relatively new to road bikes, I was several months into it and progressing nicely when an old man turned left in front of me while I was doing in the low 20's mph. I had no time to react, I turned HARD right, both brakes on, I skidded into his right front side slamming my left hip (and ribs) into the car; I started to go up and over. I extended my left arm and slammed my left hand onto the windshield which stopped my progress but I was up on top of the hood. The driver NEVER STOPPED! He was very elderly man, the car was dragging on its springs - a real beater. He carried me a few yards before I fell off and fell down. Scared the schit outta me and I stopped riding. I didn't intend for it to be so long but it was and I am only now getting back on. Hopefully I am a bit more visible now..i oughta be, I'm fat as hell from not riding for so long. In fact its why I am getting back on.

  4. #4
    lube addict
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    I could be invisible to some so I stay vigilant with all. You practice that as well, I see.

  5. #5
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    I always ride as if I'm invisible while trying to wear a bright jersey and/or use bright lights when riding at night. Not trying to be a hero like the OP, just trying to survive!

    Rick / OCRR

  6. #6
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    I've noticed that teen aged girls, talking on cell phones, don't see so well when driving. They also think they can just follow the car ahead right thru a stop sign intersection.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  7. #7
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    I've noticed that teen aged girls, talking on cell phones, don't see so well when driving. They also think they can just follow the car ahead right thru a stop sign intersection.
    Yeah. I had one turn left right in front of me -- no signal, just all of a sudden she was headed across my lane. Grabbed the brakes and turned to try and get behind her, but she was too close. Fortunately, my handlebar took most of the impact, and a little on my right shoulder but nothing serious. I did put a hell of a gouge and dent in the passenger door of her car.

    From the look on her face, I think she needed to change her underwear, though...

  8. #8
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    I've noticed that teen aged girls, talking on cell phones, don't see so well when driving. They also think they can just follow the car ahead right thru a stop sign intersection.
    I'm definitely invisible to teenaged girls. I've noticed in recent years that I've become invisible to just about all members of the female persuasion.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  9. #9
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    I think there are a couple things going on:
    People are simply preoccupied - a frightening thought while piloting an X,000 lb. vehicle!
    They are on the cell phone, listening to the radio, thinking about their kids, whatever....its going to result in one of us killed or maimed.

    Another liklihood is they MAY see us but have no idea how to judge the speed capability of a bicycle (and we assume they do, "hey, everyone's ridden a bike in their life"). They cut in front of us because they automatically assume "it's a bike-its slow-I can easily pass in front of it" again, the outcome is we are killed or maimed.

    Regardless of the reasons our only options are: Don't ride on the street - not an acceptable option to most of us. Ride as though we are literally invisible - not entirely possible in all situations. Take your chances....which is why bicycle riders are occasionally badly hurt or worse. Another option I know some bikers do which is to retaliate - hit the car, throw something etc. It may feel good in the moment but it also may well make an enemy who will take it out on the next bicycle rider he/she encounters - you or me!

  10. #10
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Even pedestrians are invisable. Drivers keep trying to hit me when I cross the street downtown. You know those walk/don't walk signs with the loud buzzer during the walk cycle, well it appears that their purpose is no longer taught to drivers.

    Buzzzzzzzzzzzz.......walk, walk, walk......now in the middle of the intersection...........youw, watch it here they come....right turn on red. Generally, we hit thier cars with whatever is available. In the summer when there are town events on the green, it's amusing to see one of the cars trapped in the middle of an intersection while dozens of pedestrians mill around it.............often offering a one finger salute.

    I'd say that that was an effective lesson but................so many drivers.............so little time.

  11. #11
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan in Pasadena View Post
    Regardless of the reasons our only options are: Don't ride on the street - not an acceptable option to most of us. Ride as though we are literally invisible - not entirely possible in all situations. Take your chances....which is why bicycle riders are occasionally badly hurt or worse. Another option I know some bikers do which is to retaliate - hit the car, throw something etc. It may feel good in the moment but it also may well make an enemy who will take it out on the next bicycle rider he/she encounters - you or me!

    Also, it tends to raise my ire and sort of ruin my ride, which absolutely defeats the purpose of my ride, which is destressing.

    In this particular case, I did make a sort of a face at the lady, but otherwise kept my cool, and smiled after I saw the look on her face.

    I don't ride on the street much, as we have a wonderful trail system without much other traffic, especially on a weekday at 8:00 am on a chilly morning.

    In this case, there is a missing section of trail, which is why I was on a street, between trail sections.

    Someday that trail will be finished - the only missing link in about 600 miles of trails I have access to.

    Last edited by DnvrFox; 03-17-09 at 04:11 PM.
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

  12. #12
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    Well we've got no one to blame but ourselves. It is our fault after all. If so many of us weren't such wusses (myself included) we all would have rode our bikes all Winter long and the all those drivers, both attentive and distracted, would be more accustomed to sharing the road with us little guys.

    It's due to our weakness towards Winter riding that the poor car jockeys aren't used to seeing us on their roadways. Now we've got to train them all over again. Will we never learn? Sigh!!

    Oh, I've just resumed commuting and I have seen many of those shocked faces through the windshield (windscreen). It would be funny if it weren't so scary.

  13. #13
    Senior Member dorosz's Avatar
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    I saw more riders this winter here then in any of the last three years that I've ridden the winter, and that said the drivers don't act any differant, in fact as we have a burst of unseasonably nice weather right now they don't even seem to see each other let alone pedestrians or bikes. A lot of the problem is the cocoon effect that modern cars provide, so well insulated from noise with tinted windows to keep out light...add in the never sufficently be damned cell phones, and its a wonder any of us outside of a car can stay safe.
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  14. #14
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    It's not winter riding. Rode most of the winter and no difference. Worst is right turns, about 1/5 driver look left, make the right turn and only when they are 1/2 way in the crosswalk do they stop to see if anyone is in front of them. Brighter colors would not help, they are not looking in the general direction.

    Here's a new safety idea: when the ped crossing walk turns to walk, one way tire ripping bars pop up until the ped crossing walk ends, you know like the one way entry into rental car lots.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  15. #15
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    When I last rode a motorcycle, (in the 70's) the theory was to "make eye contact" with whoever was about to do something stupid.....did not work. still doesn't...
    and those a-holes still keep buzzing me......(different problem)
    Bud

  16. #16
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    I still remember the time I swear I made eye contact with a driver and then she drove across 4 lanes and a center turn lane and just about t-boned me. That was chilling, and before the days of the cellphone. I think motorcyclists have noted this as well, motorists just don't see motorcycles (or, by extension, bicycles). I always feel invisible, so I try to act as if I am and try to make myself as visible as possible.

    The only thing I think we can do is move out as close to the left edge of the lane as possible. If there is a car behind you, this isn't necessary, because they are going to stay in place due to that car. At night, I have a helmet light, and I use it. Thought I was going to buy it a few weeks back, the guy stopped to my right went at the last second, and the guy stopped on the left figured he could go because the other guy went. I was going 30 or so, and was getting ready to jump off the bike onto his roof, but he stopped. I had to laugh, because when I saw him start up I started moaning "nooooooooo." I think he might have heard me. I'm out of practice, I've found a forceful "HEY!" works pretty well in these situations.

  17. #17
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Hope your son is OK.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  18. #18
    The "now retired" Old Guy Ed in GA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Travis View Post
    I'm definitely invisible to teenaged girls. I've noticed in recent years that I've become invisible to just about all members of the female persuasion.
    Dang, I have that same affliction.

    When I see a Car approaching an intersection and its driver, male or female, has their head tilted to one side, I immediately go into defensive posture because I know they are paying more attention to their cell phone conversation than they are to the road and traffic.

    I've had more than one pull out in front of me while riding.
    "The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?"

  19. #19
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    I'm the Invisible Man - Should I Apply for "Heroes?"

    On my ride this morning, I was going on a main street through a neighborhood when I noticed a car at a stop sign.

    I have a rule that I never go in front of a car unless I actually see their eyes looking at me. This person had sunglasses on, I couldn't see her eys, and though I saw her looking right near where I was, I never saw her head turn towards me.

    So, I slowed WAY down and watched her car, which, predictably, pulled out right in front of me. Then she saw me. Of course, I had stopped, but the look she had on her face when she saw me was worth the effort I had made to avoid being hit.

    All-in-all, it was a great ride, and as I had a very stressful Sunday (son in emergency room 6 hours) and an exhausted Monday and was up in the middle of the night Monday, the ride really did me some good!!!

    Anyone else "Invisible?"
    Casper here.

    I have seen that "Oh My God" look too many times... you know the look, the one where the driver suddenly notices you as you pass before them.

    What irritates me, is right on red drivers that just look through cyclists.

    I too look for the signs that I have been recognized... but with tinted windows, glare, and sunglasses, I just can't be sure if a motorist is looking at me or the traffic behind me. And the bad part of moving slowly to verify, is some motorists take that as some sort of invitation to go anyway.

  20. #20
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan in Pasadena View Post
    I think there are a couple things going on:
    People are simply preoccupied - a frightening thought while piloting an X,000 lb. vehicle!
    They are on the cell phone, listening to the radio, thinking about their kids, whatever....its going to result in one of us killed or maimed.

    Another liklihood is they MAY see us but have no idea how to judge the speed capability of a bicycle (and we assume they do, "hey, everyone's ridden a bike in their life"). They cut in front of us because they automatically assume "it's a bike-its slow-I can easily pass in front of it" again, the outcome is we are killed or maimed.

    Regardless of the reasons our only options are: Don't ride on the street - not an acceptable option to most of us. Ride as though we are literally invisible - not entirely possible in all situations. Take your chances....which is why bicycle riders are occasionally badly hurt or worse. Another option I know some bikers do which is to retaliate - hit the car, throw something etc. It may feel good in the moment but it also may well make an enemy who will take it out on the next bicycle rider he/she encounters - you or me!
    The problem with "hey, everyone's ridden a bike in their life" is that most people who are not cyclists ride at about 10-12 MPH, and have no appreciation of the speed potential of regular cyclists. Regular cyclists move faster and and accelerate quicker than "everyone."

  21. #21
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    Hope your son is OK.
    Thanks. He is doing better.
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

  22. #22
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    A lot of times when I approach an intersection that someone is stopped at, I notice them staring to the right (even though the left lane is the first lane they will be crossing). I yell "HEY!" to get them to look my way so they don't "ease" into my lane right in front of me. Drives me nuts.

  23. #23
    Old Enough to Know Better WalterMitty's Avatar
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    I may sound like a broken record, but here goes:

    Fact: The vast majority of automobile drivers that survive a crash with a bike claim they didn't see the bike.

    Fact: The vast majority of automobile drivers that survive a crash with a train claim they didn't see the train.

    Facing horns that require hearing protection to operate, lights visible for miles (in daylight), warning signs/bells/lights/gates/tracks, and the ground shaking thundering mass of a freight train, automobile drivers routinely face certain death by driving in front of, or into the side of, moving trains.

    Always yield to greater mass.
    Youth we got, what we need is a fountain of Smart!

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  24. #24
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Fact: The vast majority of automobile drivers DO survive a crash with a bike.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalterMitty View Post
    I may sound like a broken record, but here goes:

    Fact: The vast majority of automobile drivers that survive a crash with a bike claim they didn't see the bike.

    Fact: The vast majority of automobile drivers that survive a crash with a train claim they didn't see the train.

    Facing horns that require hearing protection to operate, lights visible for miles (in daylight), warning signs/bells/lights/gates/tracks, and the ground shaking thundering mass of a freight train, automobile drivers routinely face certain death by driving in front of, or into the side of, moving trains.

    Always yield to greater mass.
    This post makes a very good point. Maybe the train operators need to get helmet lights.

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