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


Go Back   > >

Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-25-06, 04:06 PM   #1
gwd
Biker
Thread Starter
 
gwd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: DC
Bikes: one Recumbent and one Utility Bike
Posts: 1,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Getting a boost from motor vehicles

Yesterday I saw a cyclist downtown hold onto a cab as he pedaled along, it looked like he was getting a pull. I've seen cyclists in foeign countries grab onto passing trucks. Are there any tricks to making this a safe practice? When a truck passes me going up hill at just slightly more than my speed I'm tempted to grab hold but I seem to remember "officer friendly" from my 3rd grade bike safety class give a stern warning against this particular move. Is it for adults only?
gwd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-06, 04:18 PM   #2
Wil Davis
Curmudgeon
 
Wil Davis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Nausea, New Hamster
Bikes: (see http://wildavis.smugmug.com/Bikes) Bianchi Veloce (2005), Nishiki Cascade (1992), Schwinn Super Sport (1983)
Posts: 1,572
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's an incredibly stupid and dangerous thing to do, as anyone who has ever fallen under the wheels of a truck will tell you. The only way to make it really safe is not to do it. When you see it being done in other countries, what you're actually seeing is Darwin at work…

- Wil
Wil Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-06, 04:22 PM   #3
* jack *
|+|+|+|+|+|+|
 
* jack *'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Durham, NC
Bikes: more, please.
Posts: 1,514
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
skitching is fun. practice with friends. perform at your own risk.

- seriously, It's stupid and I don't condone it
__________________
* jack * is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-06, 11:16 PM   #4
asterisk
Senior Member
 
asterisk's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 339
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wil Davis
It's an incredibly stupid and dangerous thing to do, as anyone who has ever fallen under the wheels of a truck will tell you. The only way to make it really safe is not to do it. When you see it being done in other countries, what you're actually seeing is Darwin at work…

- Wil
Don't listen to this guy. Urban cycling is an art. If you can manage to ride through the street at rush hour without a problem, you can skitch out of an intersection for 5 seconds or so.

Dudes who use their actual name for this forum handle don't seem to have too much fun. =P Of course its f-ing dangerous, don't be an idiot and you won't get killed. If you ever feel like something isn't right, let go and turn away... pretty simple; if you don't know how to understand when something doesn't feel right then you shouldn't be riding a bike in traffic anyway. Sometimes its important to feel like a badass.
asterisk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-06, 12:13 PM   #5
cerewa
put our Heads Together
 
cerewa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: southeast pennsylvania
Bikes: a mountain bike with a cargo box on the back and aero bars on the front. an old well-worn dahon folding bike
Posts: 3,155
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Are there any tricks to making this a safe practice?
I'm with those who say the answer to this question is is "don't do it".

I've run plenty of stop signs and red lights, (and not at particularly slow speeds sometimes) and I like to get around quickly, but holding on to a truck strikes me as carrying a somewhat excessive risk of death.
cerewa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-06, 12:18 PM   #6
TRaffic Jammer
Dances With Cars
 
TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Bikes: TBL Onyx Pro(ss converted), Pake SS (starting to look kinda pimped)
Posts: 10,527
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd rather draft it so close I could touch it. I've leaned against buses and cars as they sandwich me but I've only grabbed on twice. Once being turned on as I'm going down hill....hands of roof, screaming. Other time being squeezed by school bus into parked cars, i grabbed the window frame of bus so I could lean in nice and close 'til he saw me and moved the f%^k over. I've never done it on purpose though, skitchin', despite all the dangerous stupid things I've done in my life.
TRaffic Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-06, 01:08 PM   #7
Artkansas 
Pedaled too far.
 
Artkansas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: La Petite Roche
Bikes:
Posts: 12,858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwd
I seem to remember "officer friendly" from my 3rd grade bike safety class give a stern warning against this particular move. Is it for adults only?
Officer Friendly was right on this one. The highest award you can get in this sport is the Darwin Award.
Artkansas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-06, 03:20 PM   #8
gwd
Biker
Thread Starter
 
gwd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: DC
Bikes: one Recumbent and one Utility Bike
Posts: 1,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So, it has a name "to skitch". I googled it and it looks like a skater word. I don't get how you'd end up under the motor vehicle's wheels. Maybe it increases your likelihood of crashing and ending up under a following vehicle's wheels?

The guy downtown seemed to be going about the same speed as the cab and just leaned down on it. In India the bikers would grab on to trucks and really get going. They wouldn't go far but would get a big boost as the truck accelerated.
gwd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-06, 03:27 PM   #9
TRaffic Jammer
Dances With Cars
 
TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Bikes: TBL Onyx Pro(ss converted), Pake SS (starting to look kinda pimped)
Posts: 10,527
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Can pull you right over if you aren't going just right. We used to skitch on the back of school busses waaaaaaay back and slide around on our boots....lol Til you hit a piece of non-snowy roadway.
TRaffic Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-06, 02:52 PM   #10
matt_savvy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: philly
Bikes: 84 level, 650c harry havnoonian track
Posts: 217
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think skitching is pretty stupid, but it DOES make you look like a badass, and I've resisted the urge to grab onto a bus once or twice.

doing it to a biker bud is actually great for laughs, as long as you're close enough buds that you can both crash to the ground and laugh about it.
matt_savvy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-06, 05:11 PM   #11
iBarna
Senior Member
 
iBarna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Francisco, CA
Bikes: A great one!
Posts: 107
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwd
Are there any tricks to making this a safe practice?
I don't think so, cars and bikes just don't mix well. Stay away from cars as much as you can is my motto.
iBarna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-06, 07:57 PM   #12
chicbicyclist
Senior Member
 
chicbicyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Diego
Bikes: Batavus Old Dutch
Posts: 605
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's also illegal in some states and cities. If you really want that "boost" then maybe you should look into putting some sort of motorized help on your bike.
chicbicyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-06, 09:51 PM   #13
thelung
...
 
thelung's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: hell
Bikes: some piece of s h i t
Posts: 750
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Dont try to grab a car going faster than you, grab it while going the same speed and wait for it to accelerate or pull you at that speed. You have to pull away from the vehicle fairly hard because your bike will want to pull towards it. I have only done it a few times and yeah it is sketchy but not impossible. I would try it with a friends car first if you are going to do it at all.
thelung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-06, 10:41 PM   #14
Sir Lunch-a-lot
Senior Member
 
Sir Lunch-a-lot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Saskatchewan
Bikes: Customized Sekine
Posts: 377
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The way I see it, if you do that, you're putting your life into the drivers hands (more so than normal). If he decides to suddenly stop, you keep going forward, all kinds of things can happen. Not only is there the "Physics" aspect to look at, but also the "Road Rage" aspect. I know that if a cyclist were to hold onto a car while I was piloting it, I would be pretty ticked off. Fortunately, I'm not the type who will get out and decide to bash someone's brains out for being dumb. Unfortunately, not everyone on this old world is as nice as I am. Some might just try and "teach you a lesson" by either accelerating hard, braking hard, or doing something else to try and get you into a wreck. Others might stop the car, get out, and give you a good beating (or shooting). People can be unpredictable. Don't risk it. Listen to officer friendly, because an annoyed driver won't always be friendly.

Edit: BTW, I applaud you for remembering the advice you recieved so long ago. Too many people would just block it out all together and not give such "juvenile" advice any thought.
Sir Lunch-a-lot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-06, 01:08 AM   #15
jwbnyc
Señor Wences
 
jwbnyc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 1,035
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It can be useful, when a vehicle starts to drift into your space, to use their momentum to help keep them from cutting you off, or running you over. Of course, it's already a survival situation at that point. Still, it's a handy skill to have when they are already on top of you and you need to steer out of the danger zone. It's not a good thing to do just for a joy ride IMO, though.
jwbnyc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-06, 09:41 AM   #16
TRaffic Jammer
Dances With Cars
 
TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Bikes: TBL Onyx Pro(ss converted), Pake SS (starting to look kinda pimped)
Posts: 10,527
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Now drafting on the other hand is just plain fun!!!!
TRaffic Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-06, 03:56 PM   #17
ppc
Senile Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 506
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, I've seen riders getting pulled by cabs in NYC, but it'd never happen here in Europe as our cars aren't tall enough for that. Not to mention taxi drivers here are notoriously irate and combative: they'd stop at the first opportunity and beat the living daylight out of the cyclist for sure.

I do however get help from busses. Depending on the make/model of the bus, some offer purchase for a hand at the back without any sharp edge, and those that do (the newer Renaults are great for that) are fairly safe to get pulled with. Older busses, like the old Van Hools have bits you can grab, but they tend to be sharp or narrow, and generally just a great opportunity to get your fingers ripped off if anything happens before you can release.

Many newer busses have no protruding bit or recesses at all though, and I suspect it's on purpose, either to prevent cyclists from freeriding, or to improve styling or aerodynamics. Either way, there is a great, safe way to get pulled by these busses: a used magnetic CB antenna base with a wooden handle screwed onto it : when a bus is about to depart, pull the thing from the front bag and stick it on the bus' rear panel at an angle, so the thing doesn't go "klang" and alert the driver, and let yourself get pulled. To release twist it sideway to shear off the magnet. The magnet has just enough oomph to pull you along, but will come off if some hard force yanks it, so there's no risk of getting stuck.
ppc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-06, 04:06 PM   #18
Cadd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 1,452
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I personally don't do it.....not worth it if I wreck. If I were driving and if someone does it to me, I'll just hit the brakes while WOT (this keeps the speed consistent). Then I'll just release the brakes and continue the WOT and see if his arms will come out of his socket.
Cadd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-06, 07:23 PM   #19
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Bikes:
Posts: 23,389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadd
I personally don't do it.....not worth it if I wreck. If I were driving and if someone does it to me, I'll just hit the brakes while WOT (this keeps the speed consistent). Then I'll just release the brakes and continue the WOT and see if his arms will come out of his socket.
What's WOT?
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-06, 07:25 PM   #20
b'sbikes
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
sounds crazy.....
b'sbikes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-06, 08:08 PM   #21
Cadd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 1,452
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
What's WOT?
Wide Open Throttle aka flooring it aka pedal to the metal
Cadd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-06, 08:10 PM   #22
attercoppe
Senior Member
 
attercoppe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Redding CA
Bikes:
Posts: 246
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ppc
Either way, there is a great, safe way to get pulled by these busses: a used magnetic CB antenna base with a wooden handle screwed onto it : when a bus is about to depart, pull the thing from the front bag and stick it on the bus' rear panel at an angle, so the thing doesn't go "klang" and alert the driver, and let yourself get pulled. To release twist it sideway to shear off the magnet. The magnet has just enough oomph to pull you along, but will come off if some hard force yanks it, so there's no risk of getting stuck.
This is very similar to what Kouriers do in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. Except they're on skateboards, and riding on the freeway.
attercoppe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-06, 07:59 AM   #23
TRaffic Jammer
Dances With Cars
 
TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Bikes: TBL Onyx Pro(ss converted), Pake SS (starting to look kinda pimped)
Posts: 10,527
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
with those telescopic smart wheels and magnetic grabbers..... awesome book.
TRaffic Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-06, 09:29 AM   #24
misteralz
Fat Bird Enthusiast
 
misteralz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Scotland, which is not, and never has been in England...
Bikes: '01 Zaskar with a mish-mash o' bits
Posts: 142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If I caught someone doing this to me, I'd open the door wide and slam on the brakes, guaranteed they'd never do it again. Because they'd likely be crippled.
misteralz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-06, 10:15 AM   #25
EuroJosh
 
EuroJosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Bikes: Rossin Track Bike,Canondale Track, RB-1, Ridley Crossbow, Felt Breed, Felt Sector 24
Posts: 663
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Then the world would be a safer place, with you rotting in jail.
EuroJosh 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 12:19 PM.