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Old 09-08-07, 10:52 PM   #26
syn0n
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
If a bicycle gets a flat tire, what are the chances of a serious crash?
I had a blowout on my bike once, and I cruised to a gentle stop. It wasn't that hard. And I doubt most bicycle flats are blowouts like that.
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Old 09-08-07, 11:24 PM   #27
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With all of this talk about tractors, I can't help but think that in SoCal what you are referring to is one of these...


It IS technically a tractor, but you really only see this sort of thing on hobby farms and for non-farming work around here.



THIS is what a tractor looks like around here....

And they rarely move over for other vehicles since they take pretty much the entire road.
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Old 09-09-07, 01:45 AM   #28
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Flats, debris, and the potential of losing control of the bike should be an issue with or without traffic. Who says we are talking about commuters?

Moreover, getting a flat in a pain in the butt. Some people might make some minimal tradeoff in safety to avoid a flat.

I have a hard time imagining how somebody would lose control of a bicycle after flatting due to any sort of debris. Perhaps someone might crash when trying to turn sharply after an undetected slow leak in the front tire has left it too soft to support the turn, but that's about it. Maybe if the rider absolutely shreds his/her tire while riding over a big chunk of broken bottle sticking up on a high speed descent? There are not very many possibilities.

Robert
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Old 09-09-07, 06:07 AM   #29
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This whole thread is idiotic.

First off, as usual Diane sees one snippet and attempts to apply it universally. To answer your question, tractors don't ride in the shoulder out in my "farm country". Most of the "shoulders" are about 6 inches wide. I don't bike in the shoulder either.

I also agree with Bek that the comparison is not very valid. Other than being slow it is hard to justify a comparison between two such different vehicles.

-D
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Old 09-09-07, 06:11 PM   #30
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I have a hard time imagining how somebody would lose control of a bicycle after flatting due to any sort of debris. Perhaps someone might crash when trying to turn sharply after an undetected slow leak in the front tire has left it too soft to support the turn, but that's about it. Maybe if the rider absolutely shreds his/her tire while riding over a big chunk of broken bottle sticking up on a high speed descent? There are not very many possibilities.

Robert
Actually I have witnessed it twice. Once on a descent with a fast leak and the person hit his brakes. A second time in a situation you described ... slow leak and the pressure allowed the tire to buckle.

Of course, debris in general is "bad" for handling.
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Old 09-10-07, 06:19 AM   #31
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This whole thread is idiotic.

Other than being slow it is hard to justify a comparison between two such different vehicles.

-D
The problem is that some believe their vehicle is not "different."
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Old 09-10-07, 06:50 AM   #32
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The problem is that some believe their vehicle is not "different."
And who might those people be?

FWIW, two weeks ago near the southern coastline of North Carolina I saw a few medium sized tractors taking the full right lane on a 4 lane 60mph surface street while avoiding the ~2 foot shoulder completely. They seemed to be doing quite fine.
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Old 09-10-07, 07:47 AM   #33
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North Carolina (I think NCDOT) recently did a substantial study on the safety of tractors on rural roads, which typically have no usable shoulder and 55 mph posted speeds here. Car traffic on these rural roads has been increasing greatly as suburban sprawl has reached far out into unincorporated areas.

According to the study, the majority of collisions between tractors and cars are intersection-related. A common collision type involves a driver attempting to overtake when a tractor driver turns left. The study recommended improving signaling of left turns and improving education of both tractor and car drivers.
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Old 09-10-07, 08:10 AM   #34
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North Carolina (I think NCDOT) recently did a substantial study on the safety of tractors on rural roads, which typically have no usable shoulder and 55 mph posted speeds here. Car traffic on these rural roads has been increasing greatly as suburban sprawl has reached far out into unincorporated areas.

According to the study, the majority of collisions between tractors and cars are intersection-related. A common collision type involves a driver attempting to overtake when a tractor driver turns left. The study recommended improving signaling of left turns and improving education of both tractor and car drivers.
Big surprise.
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Old 09-10-07, 09:28 AM   #35
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here's what you need.
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Old 09-10-07, 03:45 PM   #36
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Whoa now, that's cool.

Wonder if I could use that instead of the Massey Ferguson I've been driving all summer.
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Old 09-11-07, 07:32 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
If a bicycle gets a flat tire, what are the chances of a serious crash?
DISCLAIMER: I'm not pickin' a fight w/you, Pete.

I had a front flat while crossing a freeway overpass, moderate downhill in very heavy rush-hour traffic on a six-lane artery at about 30 mph.

My front brake was useless. As long as I layed off the front brake, I could handle the bike, even with no air in my front tire. But every time I used my front brake, the bike threatened to lose control.

Rear brakes are not the best for stopping in an emergency. Had I had to stop suddenly for some reason, it would not have worked.

Front flats on fast downhills can be a problem.
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Old 09-12-07, 11:48 AM   #38
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Oh ... the tractors that I have seen in Virginia, NY, MD, and Pennsylvania do ride in the middle of the lane. They don't pull over too often; but that is the strategy they seem to implement.
The tractors I've encountered in NC usually take up their lane and then some. They sometimes, but not often, will pull over for traffic, or provide a coast is clear type of signal for the drivers behind them. As a rule, it takes way longer to get around a tractor than a few bikes.
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Old 09-12-07, 09:36 PM   #39
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My other vehicle is a tractor, and my other favorite forum is a tractor forum. When people on the tractor forum talk about driving on the road, it sounds pretty much the same as the cyclists here: motorists are jerks, they pass with no clearance without slowing down, they pass with no visibility, they get irate if they have to wait for a few seconds, they act like you're not there, sometimes they get mad at us just for being on the road, etc.

You could take one of those posts and replace "tractor" with "bike" and slip it into the commuting forum and no one would ever know the difference.

To the question of flat tires: last flat I had (tractor or bike) was when I ran over an old piece of electric fence while I was rotary mowing some brush. The end poked right through the sidewall. Changing a tractor tire is just like changing a bike tire, you pop the tire off, remove the tube, patch or replace it, put the tube back in and pop the tire back on. The only difference is the tire is four feet high, the wheel has several hundred pounds of cast iron on it, the tire irons are two feet long, and the inner tube alone weighs more than a bike.
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Old 09-13-07, 08:00 AM   #40
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I will remember to forward all of my tractor questions to DC ...
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Old 09-14-07, 11:36 PM   #41
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The only difference is the tire is four feet high, the wheel has several hundred pounds of cast iron on it, the tire irons are two feet long, and the inner tube alone weighs more than a bike.
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Old 09-15-07, 08:16 AM   #42
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The only difference is the tire is four feet high, the wheel has several hundred pounds of cast iron on it, the tire irons are two feet long, and the inner tube alone weighs more than a bike.
You shudda sprung for the carbon fiber model.
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Old 09-15-07, 07:31 PM   #43
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You shudda sprung for the carbon fiber model.
The only problem with the carbon fiber wheel weights is that by the time you get 600 pounds on the tractor is too wide to get out of the barn...
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Old 09-19-07, 07:45 PM   #44
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If they can see the lines on the road they can certainly see me. I'm wider and higher than both.
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Old 09-19-07, 07:49 PM   #45
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This is more what they look like in southern california:
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Old 09-19-07, 07:54 PM   #46
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soon to be bumpersticker: "my other bike is a tractor!" or vice versa.
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Old 09-21-07, 07:32 PM   #47
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soon to be bumpersticker: "my other bike is a tractor!" or vice versa.


Thank God we cyclists will not be able to follow that pattern of motorists who select Hugh Jass SUV's as single-occupancy commuting vehicles. (My recumbent comes close, though. )
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Old 11-05-07, 11:46 AM   #48
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I thought you folks would find this interesting. On the tractor board I follow, there's a guy who needs to move his tractor to a spot 20 miles away, and asked about the best way to drive there on the road. The thread now has 14 pages of responses, and the discussion is eerily parallel to what you'd find here.

Here's a link:

http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...iles-road.html
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Old 11-05-07, 12:12 PM   #49
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Very interesting. But at least all the participants of the tractor forum seem to agree that the tractor has certain differences and limitations compared to cars.
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Old 11-05-07, 12:19 PM   #50
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Very interesting. But at least all the participants of the tractor forum seem to agree that the tractor has certain differences and limitations compared to cars.
My bike has NO differences or limitations compared to my car. You must be riding a department store bike.
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