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Old 04-16-13, 03:27 PM   #51
David Bierbaum
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Way Way back when, I was in the army, a small group of us were always riding bikes around on the post. One of the guys got tired of the cars always buzzing him while riding. He started carrying a rubber mallet with him. The first few times that he smacked a car as it went past too close he said that the car drivers got out mad and the MPs were called. The MPs always gave the driver a ticket for driving too close and causing an accident. I'm sure their insurance companies loved them too. It didn't take long and every car on base gave us the full lane when they passed. I don't know if I would want to do that today, too many people out there with violent tendencies and no self control.
He's lucky that none of the cars were driven by the Base Commander!
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Old 04-16-13, 04:10 PM   #52
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He said that 2 of them were wives, I don't know who the 3rd or 4th was. I noticed that within a week of him smacking cars that word got around, don't crowd the bikes. He told me that he smacked 4 cars total and after that he didn't have to carry the mallet any more. I'm not sure how local cops would take that today. I live in Iowa and here bikes must be treated as any other vehicle on the road. I've only just gotten back into riding after a 35 year vacation, I run around in a small town and no one has given me any grief. In fact at 4 way stops most of the time they wave me threw the intersection first then they go, but that could be because I am 6' 2" weigh in at 300 lbs and look something like a gorilla riding a tricycle.
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Old 04-16-13, 05:45 PM   #53
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I ride my Long Wheel Base Recumbent Tour Easy on paved Mups and on the roads real early In the mornings before the cars come out. I ride my Mountain bike In the woods so that's safe.... When I ride my Harley I play a game called, "I am Invisible",,, When a thoughtless cager tries to kill me,,I won't be there, I will be moving... A Bicycle does not have the power to get out of the way...
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Old 04-16-13, 06:01 PM   #54
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Way Way back when, I was in the army, a small group of us were always riding bikes around on the post. One of the guys got tired of the cars always buzzing him while riding. He started carrying a rubber mallet with him. The first few times that he smacked a car as it went past too close he said that the car drivers got out mad and the MPs were called. The MPs always gave the driver a ticket for driving too close and causing an accident. I'm sure their insurance companies loved them too. It didn't take long and every car on base gave us the full lane when they passed. I don't know if I would want to do that today, too many people out there with violent tendencies and no self control.
It's nice to know there is someone else who was as nuts as I was in my youth. I used to walk over cars that rolled into the cross walk at stop signs when I was crossing the street. (Motorists tend to only look left when making a right turn so they don't see pedestrians coming from their right.) At 6'2" 190 lb. I left dents in the hoods.

The only time I ever did something like that as an adult was when I was walking on a gravel shoulder with my teen-age son. A rather course man in an old pick-up ran a stop sign in front of us and cut the corner such that he almost hit us (he was coming from our left and turning right towards us). Rather than push my son into the ditch so that I could avoid the side-view mirror that was coming at my face, I just punched the mirror. Like I said, it was an older pick-up so the mirror didn't fold back, it broke off. That fellow was as mad as a hornet and cursed up a blue streak, but in the end he picked up his mirror and drove off.
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Old 04-16-13, 07:45 PM   #55
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With complete respect for zonatnadem, 12 inches is close if you hit a stone or crack in the road and you swerve or wobble a couple of inches. I bet a car wouldn't pass another car(if the driver had any sense) at anything more than a crawl when only 12 inches away from the other vehicle. I also hope they wouldn't pass a pedestrian that close--in the case where a pedestrian has no choice but to walk on the road.
Interesting.

The fam and I were in Paris last week. Now I say that not exclusively to brag, but to say that once again, I got an up front and personal look at the cycling mores of yet another country. And I can say this. What you or I would refer to as "way to close" is the norm over there.

To be honest, there were fewer cyclists than I thought I'd see ... only about 5% of the people on the road were on bikes (in Italy, I think it was more in the realm of 20-30%). But those that were out there were passed by autos and motorcycles at distances and speeds I couldn't believe. And by all appearances, totally oblivious to it.

No helmet? No rear view mirror? No room?

No worries!

I tell you, those Parisians have nerves of steel and comme ci comme ca attitude down pat.
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Old 04-16-13, 08:25 PM   #56
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Interesting.

The fam and I were in Paris last week. Now I say that not exclusively to brag, but to say that once again, I got an up front and personal look at the cycling mores of yet another country. And I can say this. What you or I would refer to as "way to close" is the norm over there.

To be honest, there were fewer cyclists than I thought I'd see ... only about 5% of the people on the road were on bikes (in Italy, I think it was more in the realm of 20-30%). But those that were out there were passed by autos and motorcycles at distances and speeds I couldn't believe. And by all appearances, totally oblivious to it.

No helmet? No rear view mirror? No room?

No worries!

I tell you, those Parisians have nerves of steel and comme ci comme ca attitude down pat.
You should see the samlor (tuk tuk) drivers in Bangkok

According to former U.S. Postal cycling team member Tyler Hamilton, Lance Armstrong chased down an abusive French motorist down on his bike and somehow got him out of his car for a little assault and battery.

I'd be wary of training on the same roads after that.
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Old 04-17-13, 08:58 AM   #57
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What time of night? The hours when people drink and drive are not good and I avoid those. However, I feel pretty safe riding very brightly lit at 6:00 AM on a weekday morning.
Just read an article in our local newspaper that listed DUI arrests within a 15 block radius of my home. 12 DUI's within that radius, five between 5:30 - 7:00 AM. Two of those I rode by on my way to work. Time of day is not an insulator against drunk drivers. A drunk is a drunk. Doesn't matter what time of day. Driver's do not take their responsibilities very seriously. The other day while riding across a bridge, I was passed by a guy watching TV on his cell phone. Been hit by a lady that ran a stop sign while texting. I just assume that the person behind the wheel doesn't care about anything outside the footprint of their car. It turns the meekest smallest people into super humans with super strength and super attitudes. No defense against stupid accept riding smart, wearing bright lights, reflective clothes... Ninja is not for me.

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Old 04-17-13, 09:16 AM   #58
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Just read an article in our local newspaper that listed DUI arrests within a 15 block radius of my home. 12 DUI's within that radius, five between 5:30 - 7:00 AM. Two of those I rode by on my way to work. Time of day is not an insulator against drunk drivers. A drunk is a drunk. Doesn't matter what time of day. Driver's do not take their responsibilities very seriously. The other day while riding across a bridge, I was passed by a guy watching TV on his cell phone. Been hit by a lady that ran a stop sign while texting. I just assume that the person behind the wheel doesn't care about anything outside the footprint of their car. It turns the meekest smallest people into super humans with super strength and super attitudes. No defense against stupid accept riding smart, wearing bright lights, reflective clothes... Ninja is not for me.
I read of an accident on a local freeway a month or so ago. It was at about 10PM, so not particularly late. Someone in an Audi lost control and struck a car parked on the shoulder, spun out onto the freeway, and involved 3 other cards, making 5 cars total.

Of that pseudo-random sampling of five cars ... three ... count 'em ... three ... were being driven by a DUI motorist.
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Old 04-17-13, 04:54 PM   #59
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Buster has it figured out, three are always going to be people in cars that hate bikes and pose a danger to us. Either you are understanding about what it is to ride the roads or you shouldnt be on the roads. To complain everytime you hit a chuck hole or somebody purposely used their cars to muscle you is silly. Happens almost every ride. If you cant take the heat, get a mountain bike and when you hit a tree,,you can complain about who planted the tree.
Machismo attitude will not alleviate accidents.

Possibly you have not experienced the feel of a windshield like so many bug's splats?

That experience will change your attitude and will become a lot more defensive in your riding and attitude toward inconsiderate drivers.

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Old 04-17-13, 05:06 PM   #60
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Interesting.

The fam and I were in Paris last week. Now I say that not exclusively to brag, but to say that once again, I got an up front and personal look at the cycling mores of yet another country. And I can say this. What you or I would refer to as "way to close" is the norm over there.

To be honest, there were fewer cyclists than I thought I'd see ... only about 5% of the people on the road were on bikes (in Italy, I think it was more in the realm of 20-30%). But those that were out there were passed by autos and motorcycles at distances and speeds I couldn't believe. And by all appearances, totally oblivious to it.

No helmet? No rear view mirror? No room?

No worries!

I tell you, those Parisians have nerves of steel and comme ci comme ca attitude down pat.

Actually the law to pass a cyclist in France is one meter and it is observed most of the time except in big cities.

For the last few years one cannot enter any of the "centuries" or sanctioned rides without a helmet including PBP.

Riding in Paris is relatively safe even through the largest roundabouts, besides many kilometers of bicycle lanes are common.

Velib is a great help and a success to the cause of cycling.
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Old 04-17-13, 06:26 PM   #61
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Yesterday I rode on this road, which I usually avoid.



I went that way because northerly afternoon winds of 22 MPH were predicted. So I could ride north with less wind, then blow back home easily.

Much of it is "pretty OK" but there are sections with very little shoulder. 95% of motorists pull way out, and I always give them a "thanks" wave. Yesterday, on the 67 mile ride, there were four trucks that didn't move an inch.

The wind strategy worked well, but I think I'm through with that route.
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Old 04-17-13, 06:31 PM   #62
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Ride with a helmet mirror. Get in the habit of scanning it, which will become automatic, and pay attention to sounds, which will tell you of an approaching car.
I thought of this post yesterday, and did this, especially on this bridge:



When I saw a big truck approaching, and noted that he wasn't moving over at all, I stopped.

However, I realized this isn't really a good strategy. When you slow down and stop, you are less stable and more likely to move side to side, plus it would be a bad time to join Club Tombay!
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Old 04-17-13, 07:50 PM   #63
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Last Labor Day, a guy in a pick-up truck concentrated so hard on buzzing me at about 50 mph that he failed to notice the oncoming cop car. YESSS! Dust and gravel are flying as the cop does a 180, lights on and in pursuit (like right out of a movie). He's got the guy pulled over and is at his window as I approach. I wanted to say "payback's a biotch" but I just bit my tongue and nodded to the officer.
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Old 04-18-13, 01:12 PM   #64
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I live in a town with 6 or 8 "active adult", meaning age 55+, communities. As such I carefully ride only on roads with a very wide shoulder. Previously I had kind of been buzzed a couple of times, but it was not an angry, intentional thing, but rather age related inattention/poor control. So since I got back to riding after my spine surgery, I either ride MUP's or the aforementioned wide shouldered, and back country, roads.

Best regards

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Old 04-18-13, 06:53 PM   #65
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My winter riding is pretty much limited to a local trail and state park. When the sun comes up earlier than 5:30 I start hittin the highways. If I can get off the road by 10:00, I'll get a solid 4 hours and 50-75 miles in before the risk rises with traffic. I'm a firm believer in lowering risk and as a recreational rider, I've ability to minimize. In 40 years I've had close calls and been run off the road twice, harassed verbally twice, had water thrown at the rider behind me and had a handgun fired over my head from a dump truck passenger from 8 feet away while I was grinding up a hill.
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Old 04-18-13, 09:56 PM   #66
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Sometimes there is justice.

My wife and I were riding through Chicago, when a guy pulled a U-turn almost hitting us. What he failed to see was the police officer parked in the driveway that he used to make the turn on the narrow street. The office looked at us shrugged his shoulder and smiled as he turned on his lights and took off after the guy. He had him stopped a block down the street.
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Old 04-20-13, 05:58 AM   #67
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From a book I have,

I think this applies to bicycling just fine:

Mack Truck drivers "Bull" through traffic while the bicycle rider "sneaks". The trucker demands the right of way, but bicycle rider concedes it quickly. The truck driver assumes everyone sees him, the bicycle rider assumes she's Invisible.
To be a safe and successful inner city motorcyclist you must combine these elements, both these contrasting approaches must be practiced at all times.
We've all been told to "Ride defensively" but If you do only that you will get pushed around, ignored and possibly run over. The aggressive rider is in equal danger for different reasons, he doesn't realize that car drivers constantly make mistakes.
You must find a balance, Occupy your space like the truck driver, but concede like the bicyclist.
THE TRUCK:
Making yourself visible as a truck is a fantastic objective, involving mirrors, lane position, vehicle type, driver type, blind spots, road conditions, following distances, clothing, head light, mental outlook and even the time of day.
BE CONSPICUOUS while believing nobody sees you-ever. You must learn to make yourself seen.
THE BYCYCLE:
You can pretend your a truck but your really a bicyclist. Act like the truck but never insist on your right of way, Always give way when your challenged, ALWAYS.
When someone cuts you off don't get pissed and take action against them, be calm and move on. Use your skill and move away, other people will not see a near miss, only a pissed off motorcyclist. Better yet let them see a skilled, calm, cool, expert Biker. You want respect on the Mean streets, Earn it.
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Old 04-20-13, 06:06 AM   #68
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And one more from me

Are you a survivor ? The seconds after a close encounter are killers:

A scenario :
Your Booking down the road and deeply focused on the ride, all aspects of it, Your chit is tight an your on top of things.
Something happens out In front of you, a car's sudden no signal lane change, a brain fart by another driver of a car, truck, or bike, whatever. You react correctly, you had your front brake coverd with two fingers right? You were ready with a "way out", a speed adjustment, what ever, Hazard avoided, everything is cool,,,
NOW at this instant you are in danger. Maybe your pissed or your shoulders are tense, or you want flip somebody off. DON'T Do It.
You need to make an Immediate "Threat Scan".
You Must check your six and more.

Combat soldiers are taught this, As soon as a threat is Eliminated they Must make an quick precise scan of the area, all directions.
They are taught to swing their head from side to side, to "Take It all in"
Don't forget to check your Six, That's look behind you.
While you were focused on the problem everything changed all around you.
People who are involved in a deadly encounter, Police, civilians who ever get "Tunnel vision".
It has been proven that your field of View, your Peripheral vision can be reduced to as little at 1 or 2 degrees.
That's like looking through a 2 inch pipe, you see nothing to the sides.

Your brain has temporarily been denied road input, You MUST update all visual information ASAP.
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Old 04-20-13, 10:00 AM   #69
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For night riding, I cut several SOLAS reflective strips, and placed them on the front/rear sections of my pedals, front and rearward facing sections of my crank arms, backs of my shoes, and use reflective ankle bands.
Movement is one key factor in getting a night driving motorist's attention, especially when I was able to view a cyclist as a passenger in a motor vehicle on a narrow high speed roadway at night. With the cyclist using only lights and stationary reflectors, and I was not really able to discern the cyclist from a roadside marking until the vehicle that I was riding in was within a hundred feet or so of the cyclist. .
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