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Old 07-19-12, 12:25 AM   #1
jsdavis
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Why does cruisers oscillate so much?

I was trying to overtake a cruiser that was coasting. There was about 1.5 meters between the wheels on my bike and the cruiser. When my hip was about even with the rear axle on the cruiser, the lady started pedaling and the cruiser swerved causing the two of us to collide. Up until the the lady started pedaling, the cruiser was going in the straight line. Why does a cruiser deviate so much from a straight line when someone starts pedaling?

I know my bike oscillates sometimes when going up steep hills, but the oscillation is not 1.5m.
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Old 07-19-12, 12:46 AM   #2
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I think it was the lady.
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Old 07-19-12, 01:43 AM   #3
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After a few beers, the oscillation range expands!
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Old 07-19-12, 05:31 AM   #4
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When my hip was about even with the rear axle on the cruiser, the lady started pedaling and the cruiser swerved causing the two of us to collide.
Don't approach so closely. She may have been freaked out or something. You may have scared her. Plus, most casual riders are completely unfamiliar with the concept of holding one's line.
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Old 07-19-12, 07:08 AM   #5
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I never pass close without announcing. And I announce early enough that they can look back at me if they so desire and I can still stop if they deviate. You never know what someone is going to do when spooked.

One thing I notice with cruisers, is usually the seat is so low, they are almost bringing knees to chest when peddling, making it very hard to accelerate. Not sure I could keep it straight if my seat were this low
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Old 07-19-12, 07:17 AM   #6
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Old 07-19-12, 08:40 AM   #7
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Don't approach so closely. She may have been freaked out or something. You may have scared her. Plus, most casual riders are completely unfamiliar with the concept of holding one's line.
There was 1.5m between the wheels. Without crossing the double yellow line, I could not have given her any more space.
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Old 07-19-12, 08:46 AM   #8
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THe cruiser you saw had a loose nut behind the wheel.
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Old 07-19-12, 08:51 AM   #9
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Old 07-19-12, 08:54 AM   #10
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There was 1.5m between the wheels. Without crossing the double yellow line, I could not have given her any more space.
Holding a straight line while pedaling is a learned skill. Think about it. If you walk and move your legs, what do your arms do? They move. Uneducated riders do this unconsciously. Road bikes because of their design, tend to do this less, but bikes like recumbents and cruisers, where you do not tend to ride stiff armed as you do on a road bike, there is more of a tendency for leg motion to extend to the arms. The slightest twitches of your biceps translate into steering motion.
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Old 07-19-12, 09:05 AM   #11
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I never pass close without announcing. And I announce early enough that they can look back at me if they so desire and I can still stop if they deviate. You never know what someone is going to do when spooked.

One thing I notice with cruisers, is usually the seat is so low, they are almost bringing knees to chest when peddling, making it very hard to accelerate. Not sure I could keep it straight if my seat were this low
What do knees and chests have to do with selling?
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Old 07-19-12, 09:35 AM   #12
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There was 1.5m between the wheels. Without crossing the double yellow line, I could not have given her any more space.
Then wait, and cross the double yellow when it's safe. Some riders are more wobbly than others and you need more room to pass.
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Old 07-19-12, 12:56 PM   #13
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THe cruiser you saw had a loose nut behind the wheel.
Closest to the truth. Cruisers are used by occasional riders who have no idea of etiquette or control. Setting a big squishy seat on a big springy seat is a recipe for the wobbles..
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Old 07-19-12, 01:18 PM   #14
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Were there ipods or walkman radios involved? earphone induced oblivious?


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Old 07-19-12, 05:15 PM   #15
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Don't approach so closely. She may have been freaked out or something. You may have scared her. Plus, most casual riders are completely unfamiliar with the concept of holding one's line.
Sounds spot on.
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Old 07-19-12, 06:08 PM   #16
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Old 07-19-12, 07:52 PM   #17
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Then wait, and cross the double yellow when it's safe. Some riders are more wobbly than others and you
need more room to pass.
How much space does I need to overtake someone? 1.5m is a lot of space; it would have been about 1m between the ends of the bars.

Last edited by jsdavis; 07-19-12 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 07-19-12, 07:54 PM   #18
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Were you racing?
I was hurrying home to my tri-tips after 12 hour shift. And it takes me 45 min to cover 8 mi so I'm exactly going very fast either.
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Old 07-19-12, 08:30 PM   #19
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How much space does I need to overtake someone? 1.5m is a lot of space; it would have been about 1m between the ends of the bars.
Depends on the person. In a race with experienced riders, a few inches is fine. On public roads with people who can barely ride a bike, seems 4 feet is not enough !!
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Old 07-19-12, 08:34 PM   #20
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Depends on the person. In a race with experienced riders, a few inches is fine. On public roads with people who can barely ride a bike, seems 4 feet is not enough !!
I have been on some roads where a whole lane wasn't enough...

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Old 07-19-12, 09:57 PM   #21
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Some of the riders I see on my commute on the bike path need the whole path and even thats not enough to hold the line! The fact that the seat is so low and sprung along with the mp3 player tuning out the world means these riders see and hear nothing. Put lack of skill on top of that and its best to find the widest safest place possible to get past. that or sit behind and ring the bell until they see you - no chance of being heard over the earphones.
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Old 07-20-12, 10:25 AM   #22
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What do knees and chests have to do with selling?


A lot if you're selling peanuts at Dodger stadium.
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Old 07-20-12, 10:35 AM   #23
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There was 1.5m between the wheels. Without crossing the double yellow line, I could not have given her any more space.
So what? There was still much less than 1.5 between you and her.

Cruiser riders are often casual/novice/inexperienced riders. Expect them to wobble and be easily startled.

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How much space does I need to overtake someone? 1.5m is a lot of space; it would have been about 1m between the ends of the bars.
Obviously, in this case, you needed more space!

Did you warn her far enough in advance that you were passing?

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Old 07-20-12, 11:00 AM   #24
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I have bad depth perception, I only see out of one eye at a time, I can't use both of them together, never have been able to since I was a baby. So I can't judge distances as well as others. Because of this, I give more room than normal when riding.

You better not ride too close to me at times. Not my fault if you insist on riding on my wheel and you hit me. I do wobble once in a while.

Unless you know the riders you are with, you shouldn't tuck in closely.
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Old 07-20-12, 11:54 AM   #25
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It ain't just the crusiers, I have roadies do it as well. Few months back I had two female riders on my wheel, I went wide, about 6 feet to pass another rider. I go wide so the riders behind me can se what's going on.

I also rang my bell 10 yards back, then 5, then right as we began the pass. This dude looked right at me, seemed ok then swerved into me bumping my elbow. WTF!

Then as we began the pass he blocked our pass by sticking along side my wife. WTF! Then he decided he was fast so he sprinted away. So catching somebody from a mile behind means they are fast I guess cause some dopey riders will feel the need to show they are fast. I say if you were any kind of fast, we would have never caught you at our cruising speed.

So another mile down the road we encounter the faded rider once again. He pulled the same carp so I shouted at him "why don't you just let us pass safely?".

Then he said well if you were fast I wouldn't be around you. WTF! We were holding our pace and not racing the moron. Wasn't our fault he kept fading but his pride made him feel that he needed to stay ahead of 2 women. He eventually faded and fell back....like we knew he would.

I had it the encounter on video an posted it last year. I deleted it at the end of the year but that was one that I should have kept.

I can't agree that is the "crusiers". I've seen some well disciplined crusiers and some crappy roadies as well as crappy cruisers and well disciplined roadies. That goes for young children as well. I've seen some great riders at 4 and 5 years old where I've seen some crappy adults.
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