Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-18-06, 07:04 PM   #1
bboseley
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
bboseley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Orlando
Bikes: Trek 5500
Posts: 58
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How do I look behind?

I have been road biking for a while now, and the skills are improving nicely. One thing I can’t seem to master is the “Lance Look…”. That is turning to look behind yet keeping the bike in a straight line. I have tried getting the weight off the saddle, various hand positions on the bar, but invariably I veer a little to the left. (Look back to left) Is this just another of those experience things or is there a technique? I like to know what’s going on behind me from time to time. Maybe I’ll put me a big old mirror on the bar. NOT

Little aside – I may need a bell. Today I saw two women, one pushing a baby carriage walking along taking up the width of the trail. I obviously slowed to almost a stop as I approached but they were in their world. Finally I said in a very low voice “which side may I pass on?” Well, it scared the **** out of these women. I apologized, but they were indignant. Walkers are my far the worst hazard on the trail.
bboseley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-06, 07:08 PM   #2
EricDJ
Airborne Titanium
 
EricDJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, California
Bikes: Airborne Ti Upright, Raleigh M-20 beater, Peugeot Folding
Posts: 952
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Might just be a learned thing. I've been doing it since I was a kid. If you can't get it, theres always a mirror as an option. I don't ride trails but a bell or something that makes noise might be a good idea for you.

On street, can you ride without hands? Learning this might help balance and make the over the shoulder easier.
EricDJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-06, 07:33 PM   #3
saintboy8
Plano, TX
 
saintboy8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
One thing that works for me is to put one of my hands on my leg when turning around. I don't seem to move off line much. (Example: to look behind my left shoulder, I remove my left hand from the bar and put my hand on my left thigh which is at the top of the pedal stroke and then I turn around to look) It's not the "Lance Look" you're after but it's a lot safer.
saintboy8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-06, 07:35 PM   #4
Sprocket Man
Prefers Aluminum
 
Sprocket Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Honolulu
Bikes: Wife: Trek 5200, C'dale Rush Feminine, Vitus 979 Me: Felt S25, Cervelo Soloist, C'dale Killer V500, Miyata Pro (fixie)
Posts: 2,671
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's really difficult to turn your head around enough so that you're looking directly at approaching cars. Learn to use your peripheral vision - while off your bike, practice staring straight ahead while focusing your attention to objects off to the side. Then, when you're on the bike, all you'll need to do is look to the side to see cars approaching from the rear.
Sprocket Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-06, 07:43 PM   #5
roughrider504
Senior Member
 
roughrider504's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Orleans
Bikes:
Posts: 1,214
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprocket Man
It's really difficult to turn your head around enough so that you're looking directly at approaching cars. Learn to use your peripheral vision - while off your bike, practice staring straight ahead while focusing your attention to objects off to the side. Then, when you're on the bike, all you'll need to do is look to the side to see cars approaching from the rear.
Good advice. That is what I do.
roughrider504 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-06, 07:43 PM   #6
roadfix
hello
 
roadfix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Bikes:
Posts: 18,588
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Take you left hand off the bars and swing your left arm behind you as you turn your head. This works for the majority of riders.
roadfix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-06, 07:47 PM   #7
UmneyDurak
RacingBear
 
UmneyDurak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NorCal
Bikes:
Posts: 8,576
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Another trick is to put your chin on your shoulder.
UmneyDurak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-06, 08:36 PM   #8
Surferbruce
Senior Member
 
Surferbruce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Los Angeles/Aveyron France
Bikes:
Posts: 5,308
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
+1 on the chin to the shoulder thing., after you get it down, work on looking under your arm, ala horse jockeys.
Surferbruce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-06, 10:44 PM   #9
Mojo Slim
Lincoln, CA
 
Mojo Slim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lincoln, CA
Bikes: 94 Giant ATX 760, 2001 Biachi Eros, 2005 Giant OCR2 Composite +
Posts: 2,229
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You might want to check out the "Time to Get A Mirror?" thread in the Fifty+ forum.
Mojo Slim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-06, 10:59 PM   #10
smellygary
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Seattle, LA, Suzhou
Bikes: Hugh Porter criterium, Davidson Discovery (touring), GT road, Nishiki Yukon MTB (which I hate)
Posts: 205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The ladies with the strollers tick off a lot of people.

Practice riding no hands and the chin on shoulder thing at your local supermarket parking lot when nobody else is around. Also, take track classes if you live near a velodrome.
smellygary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-06, 11:56 PM   #11
Cycli-Bot5000
Junior Member
 
Cycli-Bot5000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't know how well they actually would work but at some point, it might have been on E-Bay, i saw a set of mirrors designed to fit as end caps in road bars. Might be something to look into. Gives you the advantages of mirrors without messing up your aerodynamic profile and you can stear clear of looking doofy with a big ol' mirror on yer handle bars or helmet.
Cycli-Bot5000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-06, 12:43 AM   #12
Mothra
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 373
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Practice turning your NECK to face your head back. Don't turn the shoulders. Another thing to do is to relax your grip on the bars and wiggle all your fingers freely before looking back. This prevents shoulder movements from yanking on the bars and turning you.
Mothra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-06, 01:05 AM   #13
Bizurke
Lost in Los Angeles
 
Bizurke's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 363
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I hold the arm of the opposite side kind of out and down as I look back. If I'm looking back to the left I swing my right arm out and I guess it counters the movement or something. I never realized I did this till a few weeks ago when someone pointed it out to me. I just have to make sure to not appear like I'm signaling with which ever army I'm throwing out.

Over all, I just say practice. It may sound stupid but go ride down a quiet street and practice looking back different ways from different positions until you've found a way that works best for you.
Bizurke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-06, 03:56 AM   #14
MichaelW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Bikes:
Posts: 12,926
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Practice in an empty parking lot, one handed or with a hand on the tops.
I might get a bar-end bell
MichaelW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-06, 04:29 AM   #15
bidaci
Senior Member
 
bidaci's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Suburban Boston
Bikes:
Posts: 472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I need to keep things super stable I grab the rear of the saddle before I turn. As you get more comfortable turning, you won't need to grab the seat as often.
bidaci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-06, 05:07 AM   #16
NoRacer
Isaias
 
NoRacer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Essex, MD
Bikes: Ridley X-Fire (carbon, white)
Posts: 5,179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surferbruce
+1 on the chin to the shoulder thing., after you get it down, work on looking under your arm, ala horse jockeys.
+1 or between your legs if posting in the drops.
NoRacer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-06, 06:02 AM   #17
Little Darwin
The Improbable Bulk
 
Little Darwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Bikes: Many
Posts: 8,401
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
When you do get a bell, be sure to ring it well in advance. Especially if there are no road noises, you can get someone to move long before you get to them.
__________________
Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Little Darwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-06, 06:19 AM   #18
baj32161
Behind EVERYone!!!
 
baj32161's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Burlington ON, Canada
Bikes: '11 Cannondale Synapsese 5 105
Posts: 5,931
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I also move my hands to the center of the bars as oppoed to leaving them on the hoods.

Cheers,

Brian
__________________
“A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence. ”

― Bruce Lee
baj32161 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-06, 10:27 AM   #19
mudskipper99
Senior Member
 
mudskipper99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Bikes: 2001 Schwinn Mesa Gsx
Posts: 105
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have the same problem. Its extremely frustrating. I used to be able to look behind, and ride really fast, but now I can only turn my head slightly if im going under 10mph. At 15mph I cannot turn my head at all, or even turn my eyes to look in my rear view mirror. Sometimes I need to signal with my arm to traffic I want to cross over to the left turn lane, and if I take my hand off the handle, I start loosing control, so I have to stop in traffic, and get off my bike and haul it up on the curb, or wobble into a speeding car. When I go down a hill, I have to ride the brake all the way down. I think I have fluid in my ears from a kazillion alergies messing me up. I miss being able to look behind, and take my hand off the handlebars! I even feel like im being pulled to the left, and I have to push hard on the right handlebar to keep my balance, and I lose the circulation in my hand after 5 miles or so. Is there anyone else out there who developed balance problems, after having great balance, or is it just me?
mudskipper99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-06, 10:46 AM   #20
lrzipris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Philadelphia suburb
Bikes:
Posts: 911
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As someone who both uses a mirror and turns to look, let me suggest that a mirror should be a supplement to actually looking behind you when necessary or appropriate, not a substitute--too many blind spots. You don't want to become the subject of one of those "cyclist hit by car/pedestrian/etc" threads....
lrzipris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-06, 10:52 AM   #21
DataJunkie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 14,280
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I can look behind in almost every riding situation except while climbing a steep hill. Then I have to stop pedaling and look behind. Also, looking behind you while you are accelerating from a dead stop is also not a good idea
I really have nothing to add. The techniques I use are already mentioned.
DataJunkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-06, 11:44 AM   #22
head_wind
Hypoxic Member
 
head_wind's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Colorado Springs
Bikes:
Posts: 545
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
To look over your left shoulder move your right hand close to the stem.

motto: start slow, then ease off
head_wind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-06, 11:58 AM   #23
Flak
Flatland hack
 
Flak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Nowhere near the mountains :/
Bikes:
Posts: 3,228
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Give a good "on your left!" as you approach, than a "thankyou" as you pass.

If they dont move, i keep saying it until they get the idea.
__________________
My shop - www.spinbikeshop.com
My team - www.teampanther.com
Flak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-06, 12:35 PM   #24
ghettocruiser
Former Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: dropmachine.com
Bikes:
Posts: 4,062
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've had the same problem with mulit-use trails, even travelling at jogging speeds.

People must have bad nerves. I scare the crap out of people whether I speak in a soft voice from 3 meters, ring a bell from 10, or blast an air horn from a quarter mile out. (okay, even at that distance that last one was my fault)

Or they get scared if I just glide past silently. I dont know what thought process they are in to assume there are no other human beings anywhere on the public access trail they are walking.


And I have to say it. Once you pass them, give them *the look*.
ghettocruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-06, 01:24 PM   #25
Mothra
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 373
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudskipper99
I have the same problem. Its extremely frustrating. I used to be able to look behind, and ride really fast, but now I can only turn my head slightly if im going under 10mph. At 15mph I cannot turn my head at all, or even turn my eyes to look in my rear view mirror. Sometimes I need to signal with my arm to traffic I want to cross over to the left turn lane, and if I take my hand off the handle, I start loosing control, so I have to stop in traffic, and get off my bike and haul it up on the curb, or wobble into a speeding car. When I go down a hill, I have to ride the brake all the way down. I think I have fluid in my ears from a kazillion alergies messing me up. I miss being able to look behind, and take my hand off the handlebars! I even feel like im being pulled to the left, and I have to push hard on the right handlebar to keep my balance, and I lose the circulation in my hand after 5 miles or so. Is there anyone else out there who developed balance problems, after having great balance, or is it just me?
The loss of circulation and not being able to turn your head without steering is caused by the same problem: a death-grip on the bars. Practice resting your hand on top of the bars with your fingers completely loose. You shoudl be able to wiggle all of them including the thumb. When you're able to do this, you'll be able to turn your head without steering and you'll have much better circulation as well. Remember that a bike rides a perfectly straight line by itself. When coming up to these situations where you need to look behind you, just imagine hopping off your seat backwards without disturbing the bike, you'll see that the bike will continue down your original path with no wobbling, no turning. It's you pulling/pushing on the bars that's causing it to swerve or turn.

One of the things I do a lot is sit up and coast no hands when I see a distant light turn red. Gives me time to rest. I'll also grab a water-bottle and suck on it as I'm coasting. This gives me time to look over my shoulders to see what kind of cars are coming up behind me as we're approaching the intersection. Riding no hands is good practice because it prevents you from messing with the steering, the bike stays aimed straight ahead.

Last edited by Mothra; 07-22-06 at 10:29 PM.
Mothra is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:52 AM.