Join Date: Jun 2004
Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
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This is all so true - You see familiar faces, they see you. I find I even talk to vehicle drivers, mostly mail delivery, bus drivers. Because of this visibility it is also important to be a good part of the community, for example to give full right of way to pedistrians, stop for everyone when they are crossing at a x-walk, etc.
But the attitude of being more part of the place can also be increased when driving a car. I always drive with my windows down, even in mid-day summer. I also obey all speed limits all the time and drive very gently in residential areas. These two things combined really help you see more things and be more part of the environment, not as much as a bike, but better than being in an icy high speed box.
(I am not car free, but do cycle 90% of the places I go)