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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 01-05-09, 01:05 PM   #1
Ride Among Us
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Are you a "good rider"?

Are you a "good rider"? http://www.cascade.org/Community/for...threadid=11189

In my city there is an elite attitude of bicycle correctness that cracks me up. Personally, I am a fairly responsible rider, but i don't wear a helmet and I don't get crazy with the courtesy crap. One rule that cracks me up: "Do not go to the right of traffic at stop signs & lights." No way in Hell am i going to wait in traffic with the cars when I can simply pass on the right. Thats why I ride a bike, driving in this city is a mess! I guess I'm a bad rider.
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Old 01-05-09, 01:12 PM   #2
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don't they mean pass on the left at intersections so you don't get right-hooked? seems like a good idea to me.
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Old 01-05-09, 01:16 PM   #3
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don't they mean pass on the left at intersections so you don't get right-hooked? seems like a good idea to me.
no, read it toward the bottom (david miller) he says he thinks bicyclists should sit in traffic like a car unless there is a bikelane.
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Old 01-05-09, 01:25 PM   #4
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amigo, they are talking about what to do on group rides (STP?), no? Different rules and etiquette apply than for the solo biker. I don't see much advice that is bogus in that context.
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Old 01-05-09, 01:50 PM   #5
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ok, if that was out of context, then, i'm wrong.. Here is how to ride w/ etitquette (I still don't do most any of it): http://www.cascade.org/Community/for...VAR_MSGDBTABLE=

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Old 01-05-09, 01:51 PM   #6
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I am responsible but far from "good"
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Old 01-05-09, 02:21 PM   #7
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i honestly can't say that i follow every traffic law, but i'm not a jackass about it
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Old 01-05-09, 03:08 PM   #8
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i honestly can't say that i follow every traffic law, but i'm not a jackass about it
Pretty much where I'm at, too.

The OP link was for pacelines/group riding on the long haul, so things are indeed a lot different in that context.

Solo rides for me basically mean "don't get in places I shouldn't be in, don't inconvenience anyone I don't have to, get to where you need to be".

I try my best to follow the law where I can, sometimes it's safer not to (like starting at a light before it turns green, rolling a stop sign to allow the cars to duke it out and me out of their way). Stop signs are my main cause of being a scofflaw, I treat them as yields and still approach with some caution but rarely make a proper stop for any stop sign.

I split lanes all the time in heavy downtown/core traffic, because it makes no sense for me to be sucking exhaust when there's a clear 1metre/3ft gap that I can very safely travel down. I don't think I'm hurting anyone or doing anything remotely dangerous by doing so. I will also ride to the stop-line at lights if I can get through, unless there's a right turner (as indicated) I will happily ride up and get a jump on the light so I'm safely upto my cruise speed before the onslaught of traffic thunders behind me. Speed differential matters where road safety is concerned, IMO.

Most of it is common sense to me, though I've made a few stupid mistakes - some have almost resulted in ugly accidents, I've been lucky enough to handle myself out of them so far.
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Old 01-05-09, 03:17 PM   #9
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i break tons of traffic laws if I know i'm not gonna hurt myself/others.
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Old 01-05-09, 03:26 PM   #10
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I don't ride between traffic in suburban environments anymore. I got T-boned right as I was passing a hidden drive that someone was gunning towards w/ me in the middle of 2 stopped lanes. She didn't have insurance. Couldn't ride for a month and a half (hairline fractured ulna, phalanges). It's better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 01-05-09, 03:28 PM   #11
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I'm a more commonsense rider. The bicycle is far too versatile to be placed in the 'automotive rules' paradigm, and the only reason to do so is to address the limitations of those drivers who aren't very good at adapting to changing conditions/circumstances.
I'll do whatever I can to stay safe, but it doesn't always follow that I'll be riding like a good-little-50s-safety-film-cyclist.
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Old 01-05-09, 03:31 PM   #12
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Hey, do you guys use hand-signals? If so, what are they? I learned the bent-up elbowed left hand = right, left hand out = left. I'm sure there are differences with people who have a different dominant hand, and I'm sure many people have their own signals. Just a question...
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Old 01-05-09, 03:35 PM   #13
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The bent arm signal was most useful when the other arm was inside the car, and not very visible to following traffic. I think it's more confusing to the average motorist now (I think some assume you're giving 'em the bird), so I use whichever arm naturally points in the direction I'm going to turn.
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Old 01-05-09, 03:36 PM   #14
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Hey, do you guys use hand-signals? If so, what are they? I learned the bent-up elbowed left hand = right, left hand out = left. I'm sure there are differences with people who have a different dominant hand, and I'm sure many people have their own signals. Just a question...
That's right, only other one I use is left-hand bent-down elbow to indicate slowing/stopping.
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Old 01-05-09, 03:55 PM   #15
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I use this pretty often:

Left arm out (but not horizontal) pointing down to the lane on my left....to indicate "hey I'm about to get farther out in the lane to pass a slower cyclist/get into the left turn lane/go around an obstruction on the road infront of me, etc.
It's pretty uiniversally recognized by motorists as motorcylce riders use it a lot for the same purpose
works pretty good too
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Old 01-05-09, 04:03 PM   #16
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Interesting...

I ride with one or two people who make really highly gestural confusing hand gestures. It's ridiculously embarassing to me, and I try not to ride with them often.
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Old 01-05-09, 05:26 PM   #17
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Interesting...

I ride with one or two people who make really highly gestural confusing hand gestures. It's ridiculously embarassing to me, and I try not to ride with them often.
As long as you use your full hand for the point, and not just select fingers, that should be all you need.
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Old 01-05-09, 05:41 PM   #18
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I ride to keep myself safe, by those rules, I'm far from good.
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Old 01-05-09, 08:08 PM   #19
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I ride to keep myself safe, by those rules, I'm far from good.
qft! Same here.
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Old 01-05-09, 08:22 PM   #20
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Sometimes you just have to do what the law tells us we shouldn't do in order to avoid getting killed in traffic. I'll gladly pay for a ticket if it means I stay alive one more day to ride.
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Old 01-05-09, 09:00 PM   #21
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I ride to keep myself safe, by those rules, I'm far from good.
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Old 01-05-09, 09:26 PM   #22
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Sometimes you just have to do what the law tells us we shouldn't do in order to avoid getting killed in traffic. I'll gladly pay for a ticket if it means I stay alive one more day to ride.
Never gotten a ticket for breaking some rules on my bike, though I have made good use of some narrow spots that'll admit a bicycle and not a patrol car.

...not that I'd ever advocate anything illegal!
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Old 01-05-09, 09:33 PM   #23
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Are you a "good rider"? http://www.cascade.org/Community/for...threadid=11189

"[/I] No way in Hell am i going to wait in traffic with the cars when I can simply pass on the right. Thats why I ride a bike, driving in this city is a mess! I guess I'm a bad rider.
it's called vehicular cycling. check out the advocacy forum if you want a real nasty fight. And you thought the brake debate was bad?
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Old 01-05-09, 10:02 PM   #24
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I keep it really simple: point where I'm going with the hand that's going in that direction. Left turn, left hand points a finger out to the left. Pulling over, right hand points down at the curb.

If I'm crossing the path of another cyclist going the opposite direction and our paths are converging I'll quickly point at myself and where I'm going. I try to get other people to change their lines because that's too much of an unknown. I know where I can put my bike so I just try to make my intentions clear.

For pedestrians, pretty much the only thing I ever say is some variation of "STOP" or "HEADS UP" ... when in doubt, I veer (as early as possible) behind their path since they're off in their own world anyway and it's a safer line.

Most of the time I stop for red lights ... I've been making a conscious effort to do so because I've seen drivers through that in the general cycling population's face too many times. If I roll up to a stop sign at an empty intersection there's no way I'm stopping though, but I will if there's traffic ... and I normally go through clear yellows (before/after the green).
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Old 01-05-09, 10:43 PM   #25
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Never gotten a ticket for breaking some rules on my bike, though I have made good use of some narrow spots that'll admit a bicycle and not a patrol car.
That's nothing, once I actually outbiked a patrol car. It was night, and I was without lights (good for a hundred or so where I am, I saw the lights flash behind me so I started to sprint. A few really sharp right turns later, and a lot of adrenaline I was home free...

Not that I advocate turning a ticket into resisting arrest, or anything like that. I was young and dumb...
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