Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    345
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    how do I get better at looking behind me?

    I try looking behind me by turning my torso some then turning my head but I dont have good control of my bike when I do that. I can see fully behind me. Be cool if I could do that and have good control of my bike. Are you able to turn your torso more if you stretch? How good of control do you have of your bike when your look behind with your torso turned?

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Boston, MA
    My Bikes
    Trek FX 7.2 (2011), Raleigh Grand Prix
    Posts
    14
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, in general turning your torso means your shoulders naturally turn, which basically steers you in the direction of your turning torso. My best intuition says that controlling your bike when stretched to look back leaves minimal control as well as not having the vision to maintain a straight course. If you're talking about stretching to improve torso flexibility that is plausible, but again, the shoulders turning (given that you have both hands clamped on the handlebar) makes it difficult to ride straight. I've found that you don't really need to have complete 180 vision behind you to check for cars as you should have audio cues, and a turn of your head should provide enough peripheral vision. Otherwise, you might already be aware (or not) of mirrors you can buy that clamp on your handlebar or glasses.

    Simple answer is that your bio-mechanics don't allow for good control with your torso turned to the best of my knowledge.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Hollister, CA
    My Bikes
    Volagi, daVinci Joint Venture
    Posts
    3,944
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Use a mirror. If you're riding on country roads with cars going 60+ mph your peripheral vision just isn't reliable enough. Shoulders are often narrow and don't allow much margin for error to begin with. Some braver souls will simply "take the road" and take their chances.
    Rick T
    --------
    Volagi - Triple"ized" and Tubeless
    daVinci Joint Venture

  4. #4
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    My Bikes
    RANS V3, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
    Posts
    11,668
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    How about using a MIRROR?

    (as above)
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  5. #5
    Senior Member justadude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Miami, FL
    My Bikes
    excellent road bike
    Posts
    298
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The mirror is a good idea, and I'd recommend using one, but they're not always 100% reliable. My mirrors often get out of adjustment, or sometimes they catch a glare.

    You can do exercises to strengthen your neck muscles, torso, and whatever else; for improved control, quickness, and flexibility. Most people can improve their control, quickness and flexibility for any movement with the right training and practice.

    When I'm riding a bike and need to look back to check for a car before turning left or whatever, I'll usually extend my bands and torso forward and lower on the bars, almost horizontal to the frame, before taking a quick look over either shoulder. I've found that helps me to look over my shoulder quicker and with the least torso rotation. With an almost horizontal upper torso and neck position, I'll rotate my neck about 90 degrees toward the shoulder and then do a chin tuck toward the shoulder (2 quick movements) to see behind the shoulder. Then I sweep my chin back forward in one movement. I'm cautious about not looking back too long. Since my hands position are extended in the bars, they're close to the brake levers if I need to brake on return to looking forward. So, I make 3 or 4 quick movements, and minimize rotation of my torso.

  6. #6
    Senior Member pablosnazzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    fruita, co
    My Bikes
    rocky mountain SLAYER!!!! trek, voodoo, surly, spot, bianchi, ibis
    Posts
    1,703
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    practice. lots of practice. turn a little bit, and back, then a bit farther and back, until you can see behind you. also try dropping the opposite elbow (if you look left, drop right elbow) a few inches to sort of counter the head turn. eventually you will be able to look behind you (As you should before changing lanes or turning) and keep your bike straight.

    you aren't looking back for a full minute, it's a quick glance. if you are looking back for more than five seconds it's too long. spend a few days and you'll get it.
    Last edited by pablosnazzy; 04-18-11 at 09:58 PM.

  7. #7
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky
    My Bikes
    Bacchetta Agio, 80s Raleigh Record single-speed, Surly Big Dummy
    Posts
    2,439
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a mirror on my helmet, but I occasionally (less than 5% of my mileage) ride without the helmet, therefore, no mirror.

    I have shoulder arthritis and a constant stiff neck. I have no issues looking behind me on an upright bike. It's harder on my recumbent (those seats aren't meant for turning around in).

    You could try stretching. I do that just to help with my neck/shoulder issues. Practicing holding a line while looking back too. Sometimes it's just a matter of practice.

    The best option is still the mirror.
    Car-Free IT Geek
    My blog: fatguy.org

    Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, 1980s Raleigh Record single-speed conversion, Bacchetta Agio

  8. #8
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Gig Harbor, WA
    My Bikes
    Surly Long Haul Trucker, Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo, Dahon Mu P 24 , Bacchetta Strada, Rodriguez Tandem
    Posts
    2,122
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Practice, practice , then try a mirror.

  9. #9
    Senior Member commo_soulja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    C-Ville
    My Bikes
    are fun to ride
    Posts
    1,144
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Here's how I do it (assuming you're riding to the right of the lane - no crazy "ride/drive on the wrong side of the road, aka Britain/England):

    -position right hand hold on an inboard position of the handlebar. Road bike: on top between stem and hoods, mtb/flat bars: covering brake mounts. This ensures minimal steering inputs keeping you tracking on your intended route.
    -using left arm as a sight line, point towards the rear where you want to look

    This works great for me when I want to be absolutely sure I know what's going on behind me at speed. The quick turn your head method is ok for slower speeds.

    IMHO, mirrors whether bike or helmet mounted would just get broken by me, I'm pretty rough on stuff. That and I associate helmet mirrors with "Freds". lol!
    Mythical Creatures Touched Me in my Bathing Suit Area.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Temecula, CA
    My Bikes
    Habanero 2009
    Posts
    94
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just do what this guy does at 1:30:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxcY2hvBQZs

    And, as others have written, practice, practice, practice.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    483
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Try looking under your arm to see if you like it better. I mean, raise your arm, tuck your head and take a look back.

  12. #12
    Double Rainbow.... NCMTBIKER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Lowgap,NC
    My Bikes
    2012 Trek/Gary Fisher Wahoo 29r Hardtail
    Posts
    1,597
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    practice grasshopper....

  13. #13
    z90
    z90 is offline
    Senior Member z90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    The Path to Fredvana
    My Bikes
    Long Haul Trucker 2010 , Felt Z90 2008, Rans Rocket 2001, Specialized Hardrock 1989
    Posts
    910
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I tuck my chin to my left shoulder. I'm most likely to wobble when I'm done looking, and bringing my head back. Bending my right elbow seems to counteract this. I've clearly given this way too much thought.

  14. #14
    tsl
    tsl is offline
    Plays in traffic tsl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    My Bikes
    1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
    Posts
    6,470
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's a matter of remembering that your natural tendency is to steer in the direction you're looking. If you're looking over your left shoulder, your natural tendency is to steer to the left.

    Keep this in mind and work on maintaining a straight course, (possibly even intentionally steering slightly to the right to compensate) as you practice, practice, practice. You're working against millions of years of evolution, so it takes time and work.

    One thing that helps me is that I let go of the bar with my left hand as I shoulder-check. It gives me more freedom of movement and helps keep the right hand pointed correctly.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    No Va but ride also in So Md
    My Bikes
    Cervelo SLC-SL, Guru Photon, Waterford, Specialized CX
    Posts
    8,668
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A friend does it really well but I never think of trying what he does. He keeps is right hand on the bar to steer, sits straight up, puts his left hand on his tight or hip, and then turns his head and entire torso around to the rear.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  16. #16
    Ride More seedsbelize's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Tixkokob, Yucatán, México
    My Bikes
    '84 Schwinn Letour Luxe, '84 Schwinn traveler, '87 Schwinn Prelude, 91 Giant Yukon, 92 Schwinn Paramount PDG 5 unicrown
    Posts
    1,888
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Practice. I'm living proof that it can be done. I really don't like mirrors, though I do think about them from time to time.

    Life is is too short to care what others think of your bike.

  17. #17
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
    My Bikes
    1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS
    Posts
    13,994
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    +N on mirror.

    Oddly, since getting my mirror, I've gotten a lot better at the torso turn when looking back and not veering all over the place. Maybe it's because I have a better idea of what I'm looking at.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Northeast Wisconsin
    Posts
    28
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It helps to move the right hand closer to the stem and let go with your left hand to look over your left shoulder. Practice this a few times, it just keeps your right arm closer to the center of the steer tube, helping to swerve less.

  19. #19
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
    My Bikes
    1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS
    Posts
    13,994
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    My Bikes
    Trek SU100, Surly Cross Check
    Posts
    392
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by knikolaus View Post
    It helps to move the right hand closer to the stem and let go with your left hand to look over your left shoulder. Practice this a few times, it just keeps your right arm closer to the center of the steer tube, helping to swerve less.
    This + practice. Moving your hand closer to the stem reduces the torque you can apply to the handlebars.

  21. #21
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    My Bikes
    RANS V3, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
    Posts
    11,668
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Get a mirror and become one with the mirror.
    I've aimed for that oneness because my recumbents don't lend themselves to looking over the shoulder to get a rear view.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,054
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Female Joggers
    and practice
    but mainly the first one

  23. #23
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    7,466
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Mirrors are good because you can check out the famale joggers surreptitiously, which is good when you're old and creepy looking like me. The downside to mirrors is you won't see vampires that happen to be approaching from behind.

  24. #24
    ½ Throttle dspaff088's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Ellicott City Md
    My Bikes
    2006 Tirreno Razza 3.0, 2007 Schwinn DH 2.0
    Posts
    378
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    Mirrors are good because you can check out the famale joggers surreptitiously, which is good when you're old and creepy looking like me. The downside to mirrors is you won't see vampires that happen to be approaching from behind.
    Literally just chuckled in class, thanks alot ass now the professor is eyeing me
    You must forget about the love for yourself. You must be a masochist. I want more pain, more pain. Go, Go, Go, Go. When you like suffering – when you like all the pain in your legs and your body – it means you are good.

    twitter @spaffodc

  25. #25
    Senior Member roadiespinner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Reno Nv
    My Bikes
    Della Santa, Bike Friday Air Glide, 1974 Schwinn Paramount, Cannondale t2000 Touring, Cannondale r500 Road Silk, LeMond Buenos Aires, Trek 7000 mtn bike, Sears and Roebuck[ made by Puch. I have had up to 36 bikes at one time. I am a sick person.
    Posts
    145
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Take-a-Look glasses mounted mirror. It could save your life.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •