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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 05-05-05, 10:10 AM   #1
filtersweep
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The "trouble" with riding fixed and cars

Anyone else notice how cars on side streets will often freak out when you approach an intersection when you have a red light or a stop sign- that they think you won't stop because you don't (can't) coast to the intersection? This generally happens in lower traffic areas- away from rush hour (when they'd sooner run me over than slow for a bike).

I'm beginning to believe it annoys some drivers- and I really don't need to be waved through an interesection when I don't have the right of way.
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Old 05-05-05, 10:22 AM   #2
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though it is a bit condescending to be waved through the intersection (no, i'm fine, thanks, i know how to ride on the streets), there are a lot of people who ride completely insane. in fact, many folks who ride predictably also ride erratically/dangerously/wickedfun sometimes.... so i guess that whatever communication between folks on the road is a good thing.

but yeah, i think people are generally a bit confused if the realize that somebody is pedaling and slowing down at the same time.
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Old 05-05-05, 10:23 AM   #3
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yeah ... i've thought of that too. i tell myself that i am clearly slowing down and that it should be obvious that i am prepared to stop but drivers aren't all masters of deduction - and i guess i'd rather them be overly cautious. What I try to do is make eye contact with drivers and nod/wave them through the intersection if they look confused (if they have the right of way of course.)
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Old 05-05-05, 12:29 PM   #4
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I don't think it's specific to fixed gears, though the constant pedalling and lack of brakes probably does make some motorists more cautious. Anyway, I've had that experience on geared bikes too. Some drivers are just nice, others just want to make sure there's no possible way they're going to run you over.
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Old 05-05-05, 12:33 PM   #5
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And, yet others, take it as an opportunity to gain that extra 5 seconds on their commute/coffee pickup/manicure trip.
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Old 05-05-05, 12:38 PM   #6
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Naw it aint cause your fixed, it's because a huge percentage of cyclists ignore stop signs, lights etc Way more cyclists run them than stop or even slow down, wayyyyy more.
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Old 05-05-05, 12:50 PM   #7
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i don't think driver notice if your fixed or brakeless, they just see bike and assume that your gonna run the light. I don't really care when they wave me through or why, it just means that i don't have to stop and that's fine by me. I'm guilty of running lights and stop signs but i generally slow down enough so i don't have to emergency stop if theres a car coming. It gets annoying having to stop at every red you hit or stop sign. I don't know how i did it when i used to drive. I remember it drove me nuts when you hit red lights constantly or in a neighborhood where theres stop signs on every corner.
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Old 05-05-05, 12:55 PM   #8
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When I'm driving I don't anticipate cyclists' next move judging from their pedalling actions.
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Old 05-05-05, 01:01 PM   #9
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Oh man, the idiotic situations I've seen when dealing with cars/bikes attempting to cross paths (as I'm sure we all have). I dont think most drivers consciously notice we're riding a fixed, and have to keep on pedaling while we're slowing, tho subconsciously this may factor in to their sometimes absurd behaviours. I agree with glowingrod that more likely cars react the way they do because most cyclists don't obey the 3 second stop (myself included).
I try to time it, I dont want to make a car freak out or throw the rhythm off, but it is a lot more effort for me to backpedal, slow down, trackstand till my turn, then start pushing up. And I'm a lot more vulnerable to get hit as I'm starting up, getting thru the intersection, specially if i have to reclip, than if i just fly thru the intersection in a fraction of a second, in between the cars all doing there stop&go thing. So if the traffic is messy, I'll slow down and take my turn. But the frustration about that is half the time i follow the rules (which isnt all that often) I wind up getting waved thru out of turn, making me wish I had just blown thru the in the first place.
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Old 05-05-05, 01:07 PM   #10
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it happens to me all of the time...and it is because of the fixed-gear.

this is where the one-handed trackstand really comes into its own. one hand for the bars, another to wave the idiot cager through the intersection.

most of the time though, i just thread my way through even if they've slowed down -- while making eye contact with them to that they see me shake my head and look disgusted.
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Old 05-05-05, 01:26 PM   #11
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what i really hate is when approaching a stop sign where the car has the right of way and was already stopped....and no matter how much you wave the car to go ahead, so you don't have to do a full stop, since there are no more cars around. they sit there and wait and make you come to a full stop...then they wave you through...it just makes it seem as if they are baiting you to get you into the intersection....whatever...

then i have to come to a full stop, and being i give every car the right of way and will not just pull into an intersection...then we just sit there looking at one another...at which time i usually pull my bike onto the curb and act like i am adjusting something until they pull off...

while some think i am overly paranoid...in 35yrs of riding bikes...i've haven't been hit by a car either...so maybe it pays to be a bit paranoid...
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Old 05-05-05, 01:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karmical
what i really hate is when approaching a stop sign where the car has the right of way and was already stopped....and no matter how much you wave the car to go ahead, so you don't have to do a full stop, since there are no more cars around. they sit there and wait and make you come to a full stop...then they wave you through...it just makes it seem as if they are baiting you to get you into the intersection....whatever...

then i have to come to a full stop, and being i give every car the right of way and will not just pull into an intersection...then we just sit there looking at one another...at which time i usually pull my bike onto the curb and act like i am adjusting something until they pull off...

while some think i am overly paranoid...in 35yrs of riding bikes...i've haven't been hit by a car either...so maybe it pays to be a bit paranoid...
Go behind them!
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Old 05-05-05, 01:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glowingrod
Naw it aint cause your fixed, it's because a huge percentage of cyclists ignore stop signs, lights etc Way more cyclists run them than stop or even slow down, wayyyyy more.
Right, lots of cyclists ignore these things completely, so car drivers become either cautious or enraged at the rest of them...

I have noticed that trackstanding does confuse the heck out of cars at a few local stop signs
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Old 05-05-05, 01:33 PM   #14
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Yeah, so anyway. This is kind of related I guess. I was riding up to a fourway stop the other day turning left. I am pedaling very very slowly up to the front of the line as cars go through the intersection, I have taken my place, I have not just gone around. When I get to the front I stop and track stand for about 4 second or so as my turn to go comes up. At this point I turn, and the guy facing me yells out his window:

"Hey jacka@@ you have to stop too"

Now there is clearly something to this. Obviously this man was under the impression I had not stopped because my feet had not left the pedals.
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Old 05-05-05, 01:35 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by delay
Yeah, so anyway. This is kind of related I guess. I was riding up to a fourway stop the other day turning left. I am pedaling very very slowly up to the front of the line as cars go through the intersection, I have taken my place, I have not just gone around. When I get to the front I stop and track stand for about 4 second or so as my turn to go comes up. At this point I turn, and the guy facing me yells out his window:

"Hey jacka@@ you have to stop too"

Now there is clearly something to this. Obviously this man was under the impression I had not stopped because my feet had not left the pedals.
Wow, that's pretty stupid of him. Even if I had never seen a trackstand, I think I would recognize it as a "stop" after seeing it for a full 4 seconds!
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Old 05-05-05, 01:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxfyre

I have noticed that trackstanding does confuse the heck out of cars at a few local stop signs
i have as well, it gets their attention off of driving for a split second....that is why i just in urban situations simply put my foot down at times...

i think it also puts out that elitist show off attitude which may piss drivers off subconsciously..though i have nothing other than my opinion to back this up...


Quote:
Originally Posted by bhaugh1
Go behind them!
i've done that...when i'm running late to work..
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Old 05-05-05, 01:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxfyre
Wow, that's pretty stupid of him. Even if I had never seen a trackstand, I think I would recognize it as a "stop" after seeing it for a full 4 seconds!
i had to educate a local law enforcement officer about just this sort of thing. luckily, i carry a little card with the relevant statutes in my wallet.

and i told him this:

trackstand = car stopped at stop sign with foot on the brake.
foot down = car stopped with engine off and key out of ignition.

i'm not quite sure that he understood, but i think i confused him enough to get out of a ticket.
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Old 05-05-05, 01:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svwagner
i had to educate a local law enforcement officer about just this sort of thing. luckily, i carry a little card with the relevant statutes in my wallet.

and i told him this:

trackstand = car stopped at stop sign with foot on the brake.
foot down = car stopped with engine off and key out of ignition.

i'm not quite sure that he understood, but i think i confused him enough to get out of a ticket.
As far as I know, most state laws consider a "full stop" to be a total lack of wheel rotation, even for a brief second. A trackstand should easily satisfy this requirement!
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Old 05-05-05, 01:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svwagner
i had to educate a local law enforcement officer about just this sort of thing. luckily, i carry a little card with the relevant statutes in my wallet.

and i told him this:

trackstand = car stopped at stop sign with foot on the brake.
foot down = car stopped with engine off and key out of ignition.

i'm not quite sure that he understood, but i think i confused him enough to get out of a ticket.

in thinking about it, a full stop on a motorcycle is completed only if you come to a full stop and put at least one foot down....

i'm not sure about bicycles however.....good point, i'll research it for myself..
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Old 05-05-05, 03:39 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by karmical
in thinking about it, a full stop on a motorcycle is completed only if you come to a full stop and put at least one foot down....

i'm not sure about bicycles however.....good point, i'll research it for myself..

Huh, maybe I was wrong...go figure. The guy was still a worthless piece regardless.
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Old 05-05-05, 03:43 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by filtersweep
Anyone else notice how cars on side streets will often freak out when you approach an intersection when you have a red light or a stop sign-

Yeah! I like it though. They are so confused, that they have to pay more attention to what they are doing for a change. It does make me laugh to see the blank expressions on their faces.
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Old 05-05-05, 08:19 PM   #22
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Wow, you guys actually follow traffic regulations. I guess watching that one drag race video and emulating the moves everyday isn't the best idea. I just think that stopping at every required place is a hassle and a half, so I just say eff it.
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Old 05-05-05, 08:37 PM   #23
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Wow, you guys actually follow traffic regulations. I guess watching that one drag race video and emulating the moves everyday isn't the best idea. I just think that stopping at every required place is a hassle and a half, so I just say eff it.
Well, I stop when cars are around. I roll the other stops. I like to be law-abiding when someone might be forming an impression of cyclists based on it
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Old 05-05-05, 09:19 PM   #24
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Lately its not so much the cars I'm watching out for, its the pedestrians.
They always seem to think they can cross before I reach them. Then again maybe I'm guilty of the same thing on another scale.
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Old 05-05-05, 10:17 PM   #25
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When it appears that a car is going to meet up with me at an intersection I will put my foot down. Figuratively and literally. I'm making a statement. I'm saying: " NO! YOU go. Jackass."

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