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  1. #1
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    The science of bike lane advocacy.

    Is there any science, or even pseudo science, supporting the advocacy of bike lanes?

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Is there any science, or even pseudo science, supporting the advocacy of bike lanes?
    The same science that puts lanes on the rest of the road. They work.

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    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    studies have shown they create an impenetrable magic shield between me and the cars.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    The same science that puts lanes on the rest of the road. They work.
    At intersections?

    They don't put slow truck lanes for through truck traffic to the right of straight-or-right not-truck traffic lanes. Why? And why don't those reasons apply to bike lanes that direct through bike traffic to travel to the right of right-turning motor traffic in adjacent straight-or-right lanes?

    And before you mention CA laws, note that we don't have such convoluted special case non-intuitive rules for truck lanes because we don't have through truck lanes to the right of adjacent straight-or-right lanes.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    At intersections?

    They don't put slow truck lanes for through truck traffic to the right of straight-or-right not-truck traffic lanes. Why? And why don't those reasons apply to bike lanes that direct through bike traffic to travel to the right of right-turning motor traffic in adjacent straight-or-right lanes?

    And before you mention CA laws, note that we don't have such convoluted special case non-intuitive rules for truck lanes because we don't have through truck lanes to the right of adjacent straight-or-right lanes.
    They don't put slow truck lanes on any surface street that I am aware of.

    Tell you what, when they stop marking surface streets with 55MPH freeway speeds, then I will join your campaign to erase bike lanes.

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    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    The same science used to advocate against bike lanes.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    They don't put slow truck lanes on any surface street that I am aware of.
    Exactly my point: They don't put slow trucks on surface streets for very good reason. The reason is INTERSECTIONS.

    Tell you what, when they stop marking surface streets with 55MPH freeway speeds, then I will join your campaign to erase bike lanes.
    So on 55+ mph roads with long intersectionless sections, including freeway shoulders designated as bike laens, I don't have nearly as much of a problem with bike lanes. Note that bicyclists are usually required to exit at all offramps to avoid path intersections.

    So why not join a campaign to erase bike lanes on streets with intersections closer than, say, 500 feet?

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    King of the Ramsey Hills specq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Exactly my point: They don't put slow trucks on surface streets for very good reason. The reason is INTERSECTIONS.
    Actually I think the reason just as likely to be HARPSICHORDS, or perhaps KUMQUATS.

    Yes, INTERSECTIONS exist, but they are hardly the reason they don't put slow truck lanes on surface streets. Where grades are too steep they often simply ban trucks altogether. Elsewhere the traffic volume isn't high enough or the speed differential great enough to require them.

    Not to mention the street may not be wide enough to accommodate them.
    Last edited by specq; 05-14-07 at 11:49 AM.

  9. #9
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Is there any science, or even pseudo science, supporting the advocacy of bike lanes?
    I dunno, is there a requirement for "scientific" support of such advocacy?

    Besides it all depends how you and your fellow VC collegues choose to define "science". Usually in Forester/VC Brand Science any cherry picked factoid or fabrication that supports a predetermined conclusion is considered the "best available scientific evidence." Hardly the science of Einstein/Newton/Darwin.

  10. #10
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Exactly my point: They don't put slow trucks on surface streets for very good reason. The reason is INTERSECTIONS.


    So on 55+ mph roads with long intersectionless sections, including freeway shoulders designated as bike laens, I don't have nearly as much of a problem with bike lanes. Note that bicyclists are usually required to exit at all offramps to avoid path intersections.

    So why not join a campaign to erase bike lanes on streets with intersections closer than, say, 500 feet?
    Because they still make streets with lots of intersections AND outragous high speeds... until motorists and road engineers stop treating streets as race tracks, I won't stop asking for slow zones.

    There is no more science behind the "safety" of "85 percentile" raising the speed limits in an area than there is behind bike lanes. Show me a street that is safer because of raised speed limits and I'll show you how bike lanes make cycling safer...

  11. #11
    Senior Member John C. Ratliff's Avatar
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    I cannot say for sure that this is science for bicycle lanes, but in Singapore there are no bike lanes. This study is being used by some to promote the concept of bike lanes as a possible way of dealing with the injury situation that this study discusses:

    1: Singapore Med J. 2006 May;47(5):367-72. Links
    Comment in:
    Singapore Med J. 2006 May;47(5):357-8.
    Helmet use and bicycle-related trauma in patients presenting to an acute hospital in Singapore.

    Heng KW,
    Lee AH,
    Zhu S,
    Tham KY,
    Seow E.
    Emergency Department, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore. kenneth_heng@ttsh.com.sg
    INTRODUCTION: To describe the relationship between bicycle helmet use and injury pattern sustained by patients presenting to an emergency department (ED) in Singapore for bicycle-related trauma.

    METHODS: Data was collected from all individuals treated for bicycle-related trauma between September 1, 2004 and May 31, 2005 using a closed-ended questionnaire.

    RESULTS: 160 bicyclists with mean age of 34.4 years (range 10 to 89 years) were surveyed. Among them, 80 percent were male and 30.6 percent were non-residents. Helmets were worn by 10.6 percent of the patients. Alcohol was clinically detected in 11.3 percent of bicyclists. There was no difference in bicycle helmet use between Singaporeans and non-residents (p-value is 0.275). However, compared to younger bicyclists, bicyclists aged 30 years or older (p-value is less than 0.05), and compared to recreational or sport bicyclists, those who commute by bicycle, tended not to wear helmets (p-value is less than 0.01). Compared to Singaporeans (p-value is less than 0.05), non-residents and bicyclists aged 30 years or older (p-value is 0.011) believed that helmets did not protect against head injury. Comparing the helmeted group with the non-helmeted group, injury patterns by body region were: head injury 5.9 percent versus 40.0 percent (p-value is less than 0.01); facial injury 5.9 percent versus 37.1 percent (p-value is less than 0.05). Not wearing a helmet, being hit by a motor vehicle and age were significantly associated with higher injury severity scores, after adjusting for several potential confounding factors.

    CONCLUSION: Bicycle helmet use was low in our sample of injured patients. When worn, protection against injury was demonstrated. A campaign to promote use of bicycle helmets should be targeted at non-residents and older bicyclists. Authorities should consider compulsory helmet laws for bicyclists and expanding anti-drunk driving campaigns to target alcohol-intoxicated bicyclists. (emphasis added, jcr)
    PMID: 16645684 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=16645684
    If any of you want to read the full text of this article, it is available free from the Singapore Medical Journal at:

    http://www.sma.org.sg/smj/smjpast.html

    If you go to the above site, you will see that there are two articles. One is a shorter commentary, which calls for looking at possible interventions, including the possibility of establishing bike lanes.

    Here's a part of that commentary:

    Singapore Med J 2006; 47(5) : 357
    Editorial
    Bicycle protection laws in Singapore:are more compelling data still needed?

    Ooi S B S, Iau P T C

    ...With such compelling local data, can we still afford to give people the option of wearing bicycle helmets during bicycling? Should we not legislate that wearing of helmets be compulsory for all bicyclists? In the same article, Heng et al showed that 69% of patients were hit on the road while cycling while 42% were knocked down by a motor vehicle. This suggests that we should perhaps build separate bicycle lanes in high-use areas. Even if we think that this measure may not be feasible in land-scarce Singapore, we could perhaps have limited bicycle laws on weekends and public holidays where recreational bicycling would be expected to increase.

    We should encourage bicycling as a healthy alternative of commuting rather than making it a life-threatening experience! (Emphasis added, jcr)
    John
    Last edited by John C. Ratliff; 05-14-07 at 12:58 PM.
    John Ratliff

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
    I cannot say for sure that this is science for bicycle lanes, but in Singapore there are no bike lanes. This study is being used by some to promote the concept of bike lanes as a possible way of dealing with the injury situation that this study discusses:



    If any of you want to read the full text of this article, it is available free from the Singapore Medical Journal at:

    http://www.sma.org.sg/smj/smjpast.html

    If you go to the above site, you will see that there are two articles. One is a shorter commentary, which calls for looking at possible interventions, including the possibility of establishing bike lanes.

    Here's a part of that commentary:



    John
    It is well known that physicians and other medical practitioners know nothing about cycling in traffic except the current superstition. I deal professionally with this situation frequently. The article is irrelevant to the question of what to do to make cycling safer in Singapore.

  13. #13
    Senior Member John C. Ratliff's Avatar
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    John, it's relevant, if only because some physicians in a prestigious medical journal stated it. That makes it a topic for someone to see, and act upon. The physicians could easily say that they do know something about it, as they did a study which shows that people are getting hurt and killed. I think it is here that your professional expertise would be relavent to the situation, and you could state to the Singapore authorities that bike lanes won't make for safer conditions for bicyclists. They may then come back and ask about what would make for safer conditions? That would be your opportunity to earn some consulting fees.

    The interesting think to me is that they don't have bike lanes, and are now looking to make some (at least, the physicians are proposing it as one part of a solution). Shouldn't it be safer for these cyclists without the infrastructure for bicycles? That's what I keep hearing here, that cars and bicycles should be using the same lanes, without extras like bike lanes. Anyway, food for thought; why is it that a country without bike lanes feels a need in a professional journal to propose them?

    John
    John Ratliff

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    why is it that a country without bike lanes feels a need in a professional journal to propose them?
    Cyclist inferiority thinking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
    J
    snip
    That's what I keep hearing here, that cars and bicycles should be using the same lanes, without extras like bike lanes. Anyway, food for thought; why is it that a country without bike lanes (Singapore) feels a need in a professional journal to propose them?

    John
    A professional medical journal is not a professional traffic-engineering journal. This is just another example of people in one profession making recommendations about an entirely different field, and merely repeating the worldwide superstition (as it has now become) about bike lanes.

  16. #16
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dumbass
    Cyclist inferiority thinking.
    dumbass not thinking

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
    I cannot say for sure that this is science for bicycle lanes, but in Singapore there are no bike lanes. This study is being used by some to promote the concept of bike lanes as a possible way of dealing with the injury situation that this study discusses:



    If any of you want to read the full text of this article, it is available free from the Singapore Medical Journal at:

    http://www.sma.org.sg/smj/smjpast.html

    If you go to the above site, you will see that there are two articles. One is a shorter commentary, which calls for looking at possible interventions, including the possibility of establishing bike lanes.

    Here's a part of that commentary:



    John
    Here's another part of the commentary:

    Quote Originally Posted by smj
    Even if we think that this measure [adding bike lanes to highly used areas] may not be feasible in land-scarce Singapore, we could perhaps have limited bicycle laws on weekends and public holidays where recreational bicycling would be expected to increase.
    It's not extremely clear what they mean by this but I interpret it to mean that they are considering limiting cycling in certain areas during holidays to reduce cyclists injuries.

    John, do you seriously respect the opinion of these people?

  18. #18
    Senior Member John C. Ratliff's Avatar
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    Really, it does not matter what I respect. This is happening, and I simply wanted you to be aware of it. Singapore has some very different laws, and I do not necessarily want those laws here (something about caning and spitting). But at the same time, this thread was about the science of bike lane advocacy. If this is published and available, it is better for you to know about it than not to know about it. Saying it is "irrelevant" does not make it go away, and people in Singapore may have to live with decisions made, and not necessarily in a democratic manner, concerning bicycling in that country.

    Now for the other question; since Singapore has no bicycle infrastructure, why are they having problems with bicycle injuries. It seems that alcohol is a major problem, and on the helmet thread we are discussing whether cyclists riding after drinking should also be factored into the equations. It was suggested there that alcohol is a problem for cycling in Canada and probably also in the USA, so perhaps this could explain some of the accident statistics we see.

    John
    Last edited by John C. Ratliff; 05-14-07 at 04:34 PM.
    John Ratliff

  19. #19
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
    Really, it does not matter what I respect. This is happening, and I simply wanted you to be aware of it. Singapore has some very different laws, and I do not necessarily want those laws here (something about caning and spitting). But at the same time, this thread was about the science of bike lane advocacy. If this is published and available, it is better for you to know about it than not to know about it. Saying it is "irrelevant" does not make it go away, and people in Singapore may have to live with decisions made, and not necessarily in a democratic manner, concerning bicycling in that country.

    Now for the other question; since Singapore has no bicycle infrastructure, why are they having problems with bicycle injuries. It seems that alcohol is a major problem, and on the helmet thread we are discussing whether cyclists riding after drinking should also be factored into the equations. It was suggested there that alcohol is a problem for cycling in Canada and probably also in the USA, so perhaps this could explain some of the accident statistics we see.

    John
    Actually John, you have a valid point... why is vehicular cycling not "flourishing" in that country? Why should bike lanes even be considered? Singapore is a country of high control and disipline, it would seem that their drivers could be mandated to properly follow the rules of the road which should be an inducement to cyclists to ride perfectly vehicularly without even facing "motorist superiority" issues.

    Vehicular cycling should work perfectly in such an environment... and yet there is a suggestion for bike lanes... why would such a foolish notion even arise?

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Actually John, you have a valid point... why is vehicular cycling not "flourishing" in that country? Why should bike lanes even be considered? Singapore is a country of high control and disipline, it would seem that their drivers could be mandated to properly follow the rules of the road which should be an inducement to cyclists to ride perfectly vehicularly without even facing "motorist superiority" issues.

    Vehicular cycling should work perfectly in such an environment... and yet there is a suggestion for bike lanes... why would such a foolish notion even arise?
    Same reason it arises here.

    Nobody, not even me, has ever claimed that bike lanes are the sole cause of anti-vehicular cycling/thinking. I have argued that they are likely to be a contributory factor. That does not mean that anti-vehicular cycling could not arise in a society without bike lanes.

    Perhaps the "big" cars evoke some primordial fear of larger predators that served humans well in the jungles, but misguides us as cyclists in motor traffic.

  21. #21
    Cheesmonger Extraordinair natelutkjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Perhaps the "big" cars evoke some primordial fear of larger predators that served humans well in the jungles, but misguides us as cyclists in motor traffic.
    you have got to be joking - science or not HH, not both - wait I'll answer that one - emotional arguments, MUCH beter then science...

  22. #22
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Or perhaps countries that have large amounts of bicycle and motor vehicle traffic (unlike the US) have decided that some segregation is the only way to achieve order. Do any of you really think if our roads were flooded with both bicycles and vehicles that everyone would live in complete harmony with everyone following the the same rules on the same roadways with no changes to provide better order among the different classes of vehicles? Hell, motorists can't even live in harmony among themselves, throw in equal amounts of bicycles, no matter how vc, and you got chaos. Your vc utopia is a pipe dream...if you were forward thinking you'd spend more time looking for acceptable ways to provide orderly flow of all classes of traffic, instead of clinging to a utopian dream that hasn't, and will not, ever come true.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  23. #23
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Or perhaps countries that have large amounts of bicycle and motor vehicle traffic (unlike the US) have decided that some segregation is the only way to achieve order. Do any of you really think if our roads were flooded with both bicycles and vehicles that everyone would live in complete harmony with everyone following the the same rules on the same roadways with no changes to provide better order among the different classes of vehicles? Hell, motorists can't even live in harmony among themselves, throw in equal amounts of bicycles, no matter how vc, and you got chaos. Your vc utopia is a pipe dream...if you were forward thinking you'd spend more time looking for acceptable ways to provide orderly flow of all classes of traffic, instead of clinging to a utopian dream that hasn't, and will not, ever come true.
    I'm picturing India right now. Streets flooded with every kind of vehicle. No segregation at all. No order at all.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    ^^^
    Actually, VC is concieved as a way for cyclists to cope in an environment dominated by cars. If you have lots of bike and car traffic mixed vehicularly, you get... wait for it... India (or any other poor country where bicycling is a norm and a significant fraction or even a majority of traffic). VC doesn't really work for anyone as the percentage of bicycles approaches 50% of vehicles. This is why the VC'ists have to argue that these percentages will never occur, and why some, such as John Forester, allow the cart to drive the horse and actually work to prevent measures which will result in these types of percentages.

    I see VC'ism, and especially anti-facility-ism as an offshoot of the "manifest destiny" type thinking; that what is occuring with sprawl and autocentricism is what should be just because it now is. It is one thing to practice and teach vehicular cycling as a way of getting by in the world as it is, but the arm which opposes everything that Mr. Forester terms (or is "tars" a better term?) "anti-car" is misguided. Bicycling is the most energy and resource efficient way for humans to amplify and extend the traveling range of their bodies. To not expect people who could benefit from this form of transportation to want to take advantage; to actually work against measures which will allow people to benefit from this form of transportation; is extremely misguided.
    Last edited by Brian Ratliff; 05-14-07 at 08:00 PM.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    sbhikes beat me to it. Yes, India or Cambodia and the traffic chaos of mixing many different types of vehicles with vastly differing speed limits basically lowers the efficiency (and safety) of the road for all. In my 2 weeks in Cambodia, my car (I wasn't driving) was involved in an accident with a motorcycle, my relative-in-law was involved in an accident with a motorcycle, and we drove past another, probably fatal accident (there was a quite large crowd gathered around it). When was the last time you had this kind of string of accidents in a two week period (and we weren't driving everyday, far from it) anywhere in the US? The accident that we were in, and the one my relative-in-law was in, were both accidents that, if in the US and we drove away as we did (that's how common accidents are on those roads), we would have been arrested and serve jail time for hit and run.

    The vehicles in Cambodia were 1) trucks and busses, 2) sedan/SUV type automobiles, 3) small motorcycles /scooters, 4) bicycles (not the racing kind), and 5) travelers on foot. All the cars there, with very, very few exceptions had dents from numerous fenderbenders, and might made right on the roads. Horns were very common, and most cars past a certain age actually had worn out their horn. Even in NYC, does this happen? That cars wear out their horn?

    Oh yea, no facilities, and all cyclists were traveling with the flow of traffic in a vehicular style as there were no alternatives. Bicycles were anywhere from ~20-70% of traffic, depending on the location.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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