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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 02-04-08, 01:14 PM   #1
DogBoy
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snow/slush/sleet...witness to an accident

So I was out getting groceries this weekend on my bike. Conditions were pretty bad. I was approching an intersection at about 13-15 mph, same speed as a car to my right (right turn lane). The light is about to change, so I plan to keep going through, but notice a car coming from the left that has wheels locked up, and isn't slowing down so I slam on the brakes. The car next to me does too. I stopped pretty quickly (thank you studs! I could hear them scraping on the pavement/ice when I pulled a bit too hard on the brakes). The car next to me locks up, and starts its slide. The two sliding cars decided to marry up, and the car next to me hits the rear fender of the slide-through-the intersection car.

No one injured, police come (officer witnessed the accident) and she looks at me and asks...isn't it a bit dangerous to be riding your bike out here? I said...well...I'm not the one that couldn't stop. She nods and says...yes...I thought you were a goner when I saw what was happening...nice job stopping. Keep your eyes open though...if you do get hit, it won't be pretty. Then she let me go since she didn't need a witness statement.

I thought it was a bit of vindication for all those who say...riding in the winter is so dangerous isn't it? Of course, now I suppose I'll get...but what do you do if they slide into you?

Just thought I'd share.
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Old 02-04-08, 02:03 PM   #2
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The reason its dangerous has nothing to do with you stopping... its getting kissed by a 3000+ vehicle. Think about what would of happened if one of those cars pinned you into the next car. Personally, I wouldn't ride in those conditions on the road. Bike paths, yes, trails, yes, roads... hell no!
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Old 02-04-08, 02:38 PM   #3
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One day i had a little pickup pass me on a remote county road that was covered in ice. When i got about a mile further i found him stuck in the ditch having slid while trying to make the corner. It was at that moment that i realized a bicycle with good studded tires can be more stable on ice than an automobile.
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Old 02-04-08, 10:13 PM   #4
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.isn't it a bit dangerous to be riding your bike out here? I said...well...I'm not the one that couldn't stop.
Nice understatement.
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Old 02-04-08, 10:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jmcgonig View Post
The reason its dangerous has nothing to do with you stopping... its getting kissed by a 3000+ vehicle. Think about what would of happened if one of those cars pinned you into the next car. Personally, I wouldn't ride in those conditions on the road. Bike paths, yes, trails, yes, roads... hell no!
I think very carefully about which roads I'm going to ride in such conditions, and how. Also if. I have taken to the grass at times when the surface is giving problems to the cars. I know how much grip I have, I also know how much ( or how little ) ability to avoid that leaves me. I also have a fair idea of how stupid the drivers are and how little they realize the limitations of their grip.
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Old 02-05-08, 07:49 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Portis View Post
One day i had a little pickup pass me on a remote county road that was covered in ice. When i got about a mile further i found him stuck in the ditch having slid while trying to make the corner. It was at that moment that i realized a bicycle with good studded tires can be more stable on ice than an automobile.
It's being between the ditch and the sliding truck where studs won't help much....
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Old 02-09-08, 04:52 AM   #7
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If that is your attitude during winter/snow then you shouldn't ever be riding on the road.

Cars drive a lot slower in the snow. They are paying MORE attention than normal. There are also less cars because they don't want to be driving in those conditions. It is also nicer for you if you do have to bail because there is a two/three foot high snowbank next to you.

I would prefer a low speed slide than a 50mph crash.

The other day all the drivers were all worried about the drive, I saw numerous cars wheel spinning trying to get through intersections. My ride was great - about half an inch of snow which had been packed down by traffic - so no slush and no ruts. Also I've been riding throughout the winter for 7 or 8 years and have never once even come close to an accident.

I think a lot of the scare of riding in winter is from car-drivers who have the wheel spinning/fishtailing at intersections. That is the one area I pay more attention to and let the cars go through first.
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Old 02-09-08, 10:27 AM   #8
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If that is your attitude during winter/snow then you shouldn't ever be riding on the road.

Cars drive a lot slower in the snow. They are paying MORE attention than normal. There are also less cars because they don't want to be driving in those conditions. It is also nicer for you if you do have to bail because there is a two/three foot high snowbank next to you.

I would prefer a low speed slide than a 50mph crash.

The other day all the drivers were all worried about the drive, I saw numerous cars wheel spinning trying to get through intersections. My ride was great - about half an inch of snow which had been packed down by traffic - so no slush and no ruts. Also I've been riding throughout the winter for 7 or 8 years and have never once even come close to an accident.

I think a lot of the scare of riding in winter is from car-drivers who have the wheel spinning/fishtailing at intersections. That is the one area I pay more attention to and let the cars go through first.
Attitude? That's ironic....

My statement is geared toward that very subject. Studs give us some advantages in adverse conditions over motor vehicles. It definetly DOESN'T help the motorist in any way. Extra caution is necessary in wintery weather. Statiscally, there are much more vehicle accidents in the snowy/icy weather.

IMO, "Share the Road" statement is directed to both idiot motorists AND idiot cyclists. I feel the ratio is pretty close to the same (although, there are more motorists than cyclists on the roads, which is why I prefer off-road, mountain biking).

Studs are amazing and may prevent you from sliding under a moving vehicle.....it just won't prevent a moving vehicle from riding over you. This is more directed to those with an immortality complex who think they're the only ones on the road.

I used Portis' previous post as a good example of why we must remain cautious while sharing the road.

That's my "attitude".....
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