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  1. #1
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    how do you not get hit by highway cars?

    u know when you are touring you have to travel city to city by bike, the best way would be by highway, now if you get hit by a car at highway speed you are dead. how do tourers stay alive? do they use the back trails and suffer, the back roads are pretty rough and bumpy and will slow you down. another solution would be an ebike. but you need to recharge, so a gas bike would be better. or a car, it is safer, you won't get hit and instant deathed.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    No need to be afraid of highways.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgPlc...eature=related

    Last edited by 10 Wheels; 08-21-11 at 06:48 AM.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  3. #3
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  4. #4
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Less traffic in the rain,



    Last edited by 10 Wheels; 08-21-11 at 06:22 AM.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  5. #5
    Senior Member clasher's Avatar
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    Oh man, paved shoulders... that has to be nice I don't see a lot of paved shoulders in my part of Ontario but thankfully most of the side roads here are quite rideable. I have a rear-view mirror that gives me additional peace-of-mind on the busier roads... high vis clothes might help too. It's a bit unnerving at first on the big roads but found I got used to it pretty quick.

  6. #6
    HomeBrew Master! Gus Riley's Avatar
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    +1 on a mirror. I try to stay off the heavily traveled roads as much as possible, however, sometimes they cannot be avoided. I try to watch what is coming up behind me and what is coming toward me from the front...timing all the approaching vehicles is important. Sometimes I give them a break and stop on the shoulder and let them pass. This is especially true for two opposing Semi trucks that by my estimate are going to meet with me at the same time. Other times I take my lane (watching rear traffic closely in my mirror) until the front approaching traffic is clear. By taking my lane, I mean I move to the left just enough to encourage rear traffic to take notice and hopefully begin timing their safe passing path/timing around me. However, there are some idiot drivers out there, so...be prepared to get back to the right quickly. Some drivers forget they even have a brake, and are incapable of slowing for cyclists, those are the ones I watch out for.

    Staying off of the busy roads is definitely the preferred method.
    Last edited by Gus Riley; 08-21-11 at 10:05 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Well, at least in my area (it might be nation-wide?), it's illegal for a bicycle to ride on the interstate. Therefore most tourers really aren't going to run into a situation where cars are whizzing by at 65+mph. This holds true for most of the East coast. Out west, some states allow use or limited use of the interstate.

    I like to stick to smaller roads and routes. One of the biggest factors that I consider when on a road is "is this the safest route." I've made stops (generally at bike stores when I see them), and ask them if there are better routes to my destination than the one that I have planned. I have yet to be led wrong by asking.

    As far as not getting hit, it's the same train of though as to why people changing a flat on the shoulder don't get hit.
    Last edited by Belovarac; 08-21-11 at 10:05 AM. Reason: spelling nazi

  8. #8
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    If you're worried about it, you need to ride a bike more, a lot more. Get out and ride. Put a white blinky on your handlebars, and a really bright red blinky somewhere in the back. A Planet Bike Superflash Turbo is a good taillight. Run those lamps all the time, including daylight. Keep the batteries fresh so they're bright. Even without lights, getting hit is really rare.

    The most important thing is to ride a straight line, be predictable, and keep your eyes open. When a car passes you in a city or while it's moving a bit slowly, examine it for a right blinker. Watch out for stopped cars with a driver. They could open the door at any moment, so stay a door's width away from them. Examine every parked car for a driver. You'll get a sense of what cars are up to by riding a lot.

    I have no evidence that low traffic backroads are any safer. They are often windier, hillier, without shoulders, and with poor passing opportunities. However, they are so much less annoying that I also like them better. I really, really dislike cars and trucks whizzing by me constantly. Drives me nuts.
    Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 08-21-11 at 10:36 AM.

  9. #9
    HomeBrew Master! Gus Riley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belovarac View Post
    Well, at least in my area (it might be nation-wide?), it's illegal for a bicycle to ride on the interstate. Therefore most tourers really aren't going to run into a situation where cars are whizzing by at 65+mph. This holds true for most of the East coast. Out west, some states allow use or limited use of the interstate.

    I like to stick to smaller roads and routes. One of the biggest factors that I consider when on a road is "is this the safest route." I've made stops (generally at bike stores when I see them), and ask them if there are better routes to my destination than the one that I have planned. I have yet to be led wrong by asking.

    As far as not getting hit, it's the same train of though as to why people changing a flat on the shoulder don't get hit.
    Oh, I wasn't referring to riding on Interstates. Except for out west I wouldn't get on them either...they are way too noisy! Here in the rural areas of the mid-west most of our roads are designated as "Highways", and most of them are two lane roads...some are very busy with speeds up in the higher sixties (legal or not).
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  10. #10
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I ride Interstate 5 quite a bit. It's only illegal in the big cities in WA and OR. The nearest legal stretch begins about 6 miles north of me but I typically don't join it 'til about 10 miles north of here.

    Compared to rolling the 2-lane blacktop alternatives it cuts my trip to Tumwater from 110+ miles down to 100 even. A lot of the twisty areas in the trees are kinda sketchy on those smaller highways too.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    You can't totally avoid getting smashed while riding. The more you ride, the higher the odds you'll be hit one day. That's life.

    To increase you chance of delaying the nearly inevitable, ride predictably, ie, obey traffic laws. Be highly visable. Don't piss off motorist by hogging the road and causing traffic to back up. Use common sense when 'taking the lane.' Be especially alert at city street intersections. Try to make eye contact with stopped motorists perpendicular to your path. Use all your senses to maintain situational awaremess.

    99.999% of drivers have no interest in hitting you. Way too messy and usually involves lawyers.
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  12. #12
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    I think the key to riding on highways is to remember that the motorists don't want to hit you any more than you want to get hit. Ride a straight line, be predictable, make sure you are visible, ride smart. It won't completely prevent an accident, but the odds are definitely in your favor.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nancy sv View Post
    I think the key to riding on highways is to remember that the motorists don't want to hit you any more than you want to get hit. Ride a straight line, be predictable, make sure you are visible, ride smart. It won't completely prevent an accident, but the odds are definitely in your favor.
    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by hule View Post
    or a car, it is safer, you won't get hit and instant deathed.
    People die in car crashes, you know. Just ride smart, pick good routes and follow rules of the road.
    Last edited by lucille; 08-21-11 at 10:52 AM.

  14. #14
    Fraser Valley Dave
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    As a former commercial truck driver and touring cyclist, as well as putting well over 1,200,000 miles on my private vehicles, being very visible is your best asset when riding on busy roads. Wearing bright clothing or a vest, especially fluorescent light green or orange, and using lights such as those mentioned by "Carbonfiberboy" go a long way toward allowing vehicle drivers to see you even in heavy rain or foggy conditions. Far too often, when driving in poor visibility conditions such as heavy rain and spray from the other vehicles on the road, have I noticed cyclists only just before, or as I was passing them, because they weren't wearing bright clothing or using good lights. Once, while touring through the Fraser Canyon, I stopped for lunch at a cafe and had 2 truck drivers come up to me and thank me for wearing my high visibility vest because it was the only thing they saw of me as they approached in such conditions. Using a mirror to monitor traffic is wise as well, as "Gus Riley" suggests, moving well off to the side, or stopping, to allow 2 large vehicles such as semis, to pass.

  15. #15
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Last stats I saw approximately 740 people on bicycles were killed, most were in suburban environments....40,000+ people in cars were killed. I will take my chances on my bike.

    Things I do to avoid getting smushed:

    • Ride predictably
    • Wear clothing that doesn't blend in with the surroundings
    • Use rear view mirror
    • Use lights in low visibility conditions
    • Ride defensively


    Been riding for over 40 years on the roads and so far haven't been smushed.

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  16. #16
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    It's amazing that I allow myself to ride on any streets at all since every day at the office I encounter individuals who won't wear their eyeglasses while driving and so often their visual acuity will be a lousy 20/50, 20/80 or worse. (In layman's terms, that means that they have to be as close as 20 feet to see something that someone with normally good vision can see at 80 feet) Because of this, like said above, I believe strongly in wearing very high visibiltiy shirts and jackets. I know some think it's not cool but I would rather be square and remain alive then die wearing a cool designer (but not as visible) jersey. The fellow riding in the rain above with the hat on, probably couldn't be wearing any more bland colored clothing and blends right in on a quick glance. Blinking lights help as well and though I enjoy it, try not to ride at night, dusk or low light times of the day.

  17. #17
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hule View Post
    u know when you are touring you have to travel city to city by bike, the best way would be by highway, now if you get hit by a car at highway speed you are dead. how do tourers stay alive? do they use the back trails and suffer, the back roads are pretty rough and bumpy and will slow you down. another solution would be an ebike. but you need to recharge, so a gas bike would be better. or a car, it is safer, you won't get hit and instant deathed.
    Be predictable, be visible. If a driver can see you they'll avoid you if at all possible. If the road has a speed limit of 65 and you're riding near the edge of the road wearing clothing that blends in (I have seen people cycling in the forest wearing camouflaged jacket/trousers and a dark green woolly hat) the chances of not being seen until it's too late to avoid you increases markedly.

    Last time I went on a long ride it started raining, and so the four of us stopped to put on our waterproof tops. Mine was bright yellow, another was bright orange, another was bright red, another was bright blue. You'd have to be literally blind not to see four cyclists in such vivid coloured tops, especially when the backdrop was trees.

  18. #18
    Peddler Seamless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    You can't totally avoid getting smashed while riding. The more you ride, the higher the odds you'll be hit one day. That's life.
    Well, the longer you live, the greater likelihood you'll die someday?

    Most mistakes tend to be made by novices, not the experienced, so the odds of rider-caused injuries are the greatest the less lifetime distance or shorter time one has ridden.

    The next largest category of rider-caused injuries would be from experienced riders who don't maintain good practices and careful control (e.g., proper fitting helmet, sufficient sleep, equipment well-maintained, situational awareness, worst-case planning, predictable moves and signals, defensive lane control, and the like as others have already said).

    Still, we can only do so much. No matter how visible one is, whether by highly visible blinking taillights, an array of sparklers, or even roman candles, a truck or car driver who falls asleep at the wheel or is drunk won't have time to notice and avoid.
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  19. #19
    Macro Geek
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    Do this experiment:

    Go riding with two friends, one wearing a fluorescent vest, and the other without.

    Follow behind them by a few hundred metres for a few hours, and decide which one's sartorial style you want to emulate!

    A bright vest makes your existence known earlier to drivers. I want drivers to notice me 10 seconds in advance rather than 0.1 seconds too late!

  20. #20
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acantor View Post
    Do this experiment:

    Go riding with two friends, one wearing a fluorescent vest, and the other without.

    Follow behind them by a few hundred metres for a few hours, and decide which one's sartorial style you want to emulate!

    A bright vest makes your existence known earlier to drivers. I want drivers to notice me 10 seconds in advance rather than 0.1 seconds too late!
    And if the driver has their head down texting you could be sporting a small nuclear explosion complete with mushroom cloud and they would never see you. I have made more than one strategic bail out due to an inattentive motorist. The last one I bailed into the ditch, just in time to watch the car roll across the shoulder into the trees in front of me. If I had not bailed I probably would have gotten clipped (best case) or be run over (worst case). The bimbo driving had been texting and finally admitted it to the police.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  21. #21
    Macro Geek
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    Sorry to hear about your bad experience, Aaron. I have never been forced to bail, but I have pulled over a few times, just to make certain.

    Making oneself more visible is not a substitute for ignoring one's surroundings. Safely sharing the road with motorized vehicles means using many strategies: wearing day-glow colours, staying vigilant, riding predictably, and so on. When I hear a vehicle from behind, the first thing I do is check my mirror.

    My experience has been that drivers start moving over earlier since I began donning a bright vest. Who knows? Maybe the bright vest is more likely to catch the eye of a distracted driver than a black T-shirt.

  22. #22
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    I don't understand why you guys are even replying to the OP, as it makes no sense.
    ...

  23. #23
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    He isn't experienced, why is that a problem?

    I think bright colours are grasping at straws. In 35 years at the wheel I have never come even close to hitting a cyclist, except at night when they were in the way, and completely invisible until the last minute. I never fail to see cyclists in time, normally at the limit of visibility. Rain, fog, and darkness all requite bold colours and/or lights, but in daylight, do whatever makes you feel good but I don't see the point.

    I don't worry about being hit, but texting and all that distracted driver stuff has made me concerned when I never was before.

    Experience of the cyclist is key. An agresssive attitude that says you know where you are going and are in control. Driver experience is also a good thing. I remember once cycling during a transit strike. I asumed I would be home free as a regular cycle commuter. It was mayhem, the roads were filled with bikes and cars that had no commuting experience. I eventually got into a car it was so bad. Makes one aware that the drivers are really our partners even if at times they may seem like the opposite. Flip side of that is when driving in rural areas where people are super polite and move over a full lane. Makes me concerned their brains would explode if the had to thread between me and oncoming traffic.

  24. #24
    djb
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    I don't understand why you guys are even replying to the OP, as it makes no sense.
    chuckle

    I love the transition from ebike, to motorsickle, on the way to a car. Now theres an idea, screw this, lets all just use our cars, hence no deathed.

  25. #25
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hule View Post
    u know when you are touring you have to travel city to city by bike, the best way would be by highway, now if you get hit by a car at highway speed you are dead. how do tourers stay alive? do they use the back trails and suffer, the back roads are pretty rough and bumpy and will slow you down. another solution would be an ebike. but you need to recharge, so a gas bike would be better. or a car, it is safer, you won't get hit and instant deathed.
    Guessing this may be a troll post???

    But if not, here's a question for the OP. How do YOU ride from city to city on your evening or weekend rides?

    A tour is just a whole series of those evening or weekend rides.

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