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Reevaluating my cycling regimen.

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Reevaluating my cycling regimen.

Old 07-16-20, 09:53 PM
  #1  
Sento
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Reevaluating my cycling regimen.

Iíve been cycling actively for only 3 years by myself for physical fitness. My routine is to do a 10 mile course at 95 % effort. (I generally average 16 - 18 mph, depending on the wind). The problem is that Iíve had three crashes caused by a pick-up truck, Delivery Van and car. All three crashes were on minor side roads. I banged up my knees in the first one as I went over the bike onto the hood of a pick-up truck. I didnít get hurt in the last two. Question: Should I give up my ďtime trialĒ training strategy and maybe slow down and go longer ? Would like to hear what you more experienced riders do to minimize accidents. (I would say only the first accident was partially my fault as I was going against
traffic and the driver pulled out of a boat yard driveway without looking right when I broadsided him). I live is a busy suburban community.
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Old 07-17-20, 02:11 AM
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I do hill climbs, 5% to 13% grades to get the extra effort in, 2 miles of climbing over a 11 mile loop and repeat as many times as I can. Not sure Long Island as the right terrain.
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Old 07-17-20, 02:32 AM
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Try doing a 10 mile course at 93% effort instead of 95%. That's what I do (12 mile course).
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Old 07-17-20, 04:58 AM
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Possibly the going really hard is causing you to not pay attention to your surroundings, thus the collisions.

You likely already know not to ride on the wrong side of the road. Dangerous, illegal are words that come to mind. You don't detail what caused #2 & #3 , but sometimes there are locations where trying to go fast is not your best tactic as your reaction time is lessened. As well, maybe get a set of blinking lights, red for rear, white for the front and use them. The blinking white I find the best at helping to prevent cars turning across your path as well as entering the lane from strip malls and parking lots. It seems to make drivers pause a bit and that's sometimes all you need.
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Old 07-17-20, 06:09 AM
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I'm also sustaining >20 mph in a crowded city with chaotic traffic.

I alternate a lot between short, high powered bursts of pedaling and coasting - while assuming a "hard braking stance". High powered pedaling bursts whenever it's absolutely safe, clear and/or predictable traffic ahead, no parked vehicles on the side, no people near the road, etc. And then coast with hard braking stance when traffic is starting to become unpredictable or approaching an intersection (even if you are the right of way), people near the side of the road, etc.

Coasting in hard braking stance allows you to brake hard anytime safely but only applies to fair weather conditions (NOT when road surface is slippery).

I also use electronic horn to warn other riders when passing them, and also to warn pedestrians, steady front light and flashing rear light in the daytime. Even motorcycles do the same thing in my place.

If you're going fast in busy roads, make sure to have mastered "hard braking", you'll need it!

https://bike.bikegremlin.com/813/bicycle-braking-technique/


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Last edited by cubewheels; 07-17-20 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 07-17-20, 06:47 AM
  #6  
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It isn't safe to race on busy streets whether you're in a car, on a bike or even on foot.

In many physical fitness disciplines there are conscious efforts to employ movements that don't harm the body in either the short or long term, and to avoid those that do.

Find a safer route for your time trials, even if it means repeating a shorter route to make the desired distance.
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Old 07-20-20, 12:54 PM
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I wouldn't recommend riding so hard on urban streets or anywhere with busy intersections and parked cars. When I want to ride faster I try to go out of the city.

If you can, you should try to find a hilly area so you can get the same level of exercise at a slower speed, or go early in the morning when there's less traffic, or both.
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Old 07-20-20, 01:06 PM
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I don't think that performing structured workouts or time trialing on most roads a reasonable thing. I'd think even I would be distracted by the workout plan too much to even rationally consider traffic that might make me miss my goals.

There might be places that have a road and little traffic that it can be done. But certainly I'd think a city street wouldn't be one of those places. What type roads were you on?
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Old 07-21-20, 03:57 AM
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I would say that first accident is 100% your fault.

Agree with everyone saying your speed needs to match the situation. Have to be on constant lookout for things that can kill you. When approaching crowded areas that means slowing down, observing everything, and pre-planning "outs", where you can bail if that car pulls out or this kid/dog dodges left. Make a game of it, waiting until something happens to make a decision is often too late. Do mental reps, as football players call it, so you are always prepared.

Another option I love is ride early in the morning. Be up on the bike before the sun. You can fly when no one else is up. Have a good head light and watch for critters.
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Old 07-21-20, 05:07 AM
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If you've had three crashes with motor vehicles in three years time, your traffic riding skills may need updating. Start there, before the next crash which could serious or fatal. Or, as my old sainted grandmother used to say, "In a world that can't decide between Coke or Pepsi; what are the chances they're all working cooperatively against you?".
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Old 07-25-20, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I don't think that performing structured workouts or time trialing on most roads a reasonable thing. I'd think even I would be distracted by the workout plan too much to even rationally consider traffic that might make me miss my goals.

There might be places that have a road and little traffic that it can be done. But certainly I'd think a city street wouldn't be one of those places. What type roads were you on?
There's also compromises available to the OP if only athlete level fitness is his goal and and still spend 95% effort. One obvious solution is increase aerodynamic drag. This will allow you to reach 95% effort at significantly lower speeds. Install full fenders, even mudflaps. Wear very loose (and loose fit) quick dry apparel that balloons in the wind like an oversized quick dry jacket with hood. Same thing with pants. Loose shorts might be safer as loose pants can get caught in the drivetrain!

If doesn't mind different handling bike, get MTB with wide knobby tires, change handlebar to drop bar if preferred. That would increase rolling friction, aerodynamic drag, and weight.

Another thing to consider is braking performance. If you want to ride fast in busy city roads, you need a very good ability to stop. And stop in the shortest distance possible without flying over the bar. Apart from pro braking techniques, the bike can also be setup to become more resistant to "endovers". In a nutshell, these changes must move the CoG to the back and down. Saddle moved back, very short stem, setting the bars to the lowest position. It would also be an advantage to get a bike with low bottom bracket with respect to the ground to further lower the CoG. The most dreaded change is reducing the height of the saddle below "textbook baselines" but this is only workable if you have good ankle flexibility. Having short cranks would also help tolerance of lower saddle height
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Old 07-25-20, 10:09 AM
  #12  
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I'm in rural NE PA (the Poconos) and even here with hardly any traffic there are some roads that are too dangerous to ride at any speed and some that are too dangerous to ride fast. Some roads are ok to ride early in the morning but once the sun gets high...no.

A lot of great suggestions here in this thread but I would add get a smart trainer and train where there is no possibility of getting hit by a car. Even if you use your smart trainer 25% of the time you are on your bike it reduces the chances of a crash by a percentage.
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Old 07-25-20, 10:57 AM
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My Company's Main Office is out on Long Island. Seems like that is just a whole lot of busy people in cars that won't notice you when they run over you.
First and foremost I would say Visibility. Along with my dyno headlight, I have very bright two row rear light that can blink and also have a solid band of light. Second I usually wear a reflective construction vest. How often do you really miss a construction worker? And if I do get hit, they can find my body faster.
Second, Learn to drive your bike and anticipate that cars may not see you. Don't go against the rules of the road. You are not special. Be aware of the sound and feel of your surroundings and cars around you. And always think of ways to avoid collisions where ever you ride.
Third, if the circuit you are riding is too busy, see if you can find something a little less busy. I know, Long Island, but there are many different roads there and maybe some are used less than others. And as others have pointed out, times of day can have different traffic patterns. Learn them for your area. Have many different routes for the different times that you ride.
Mix and match your training also. Road training is different from indoor training. I hate the old wind and stationary trainers myself, I have always ridden on rollers and think riders should learn to ride them. They do one thing that no other trainer does... they force you to maintain your line, which comes in real handy in pack riding, event riding and traffic riding on small roads. They are not conducive to off the saddle training however.
Stay safe and keep the rubber side down.
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Old 07-25-20, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by canopus View Post
My Company's Main Office is out on Long Island. Seems like that is just a whole lot of busy people in cars that won't notice you when they run over you.
First and foremost I would say Visibility. Along with my dyno headlight, I have very bright two row rear light that can blink and also have a solid band of light. Second I usually wear a reflective construction vest. How often do you really miss a construction worker? And if I do get hit, they can find my body faster.
Second, Learn to drive your bike and anticipate that cars may not see you. Don't go against the rules of the road. You are not special. Be aware of the sound and feel of your surroundings and cars around you. And always think of ways to avoid collisions where ever you ride.
Third, if the circuit you are riding is too busy, see if you can find something a little less busy. I know, Long Island, but there are many different roads there and maybe some are used less than others. And as others have pointed out, times of day can have different traffic patterns. Learn them for your area. Have many different routes for the different times that you ride.
Mix and match your training also. Road training is different from indoor training. I hate the old wind and stationary trainers myself, I have always ridden on rollers and think riders should learn to ride them. They do one thing that no other trainer does... they force you to maintain your line, which comes in real handy in pack riding, event riding and traffic riding on small roads. They are not conducive to off the saddle training however.
Stay safe and keep the rubber side down.
I agree, visibility and timing is very important. In my city, the safest time to ride a bike is 12pm, high noon sun. At the cost of riding in ~110 F heat. And I chose to ride in ~110 F heat. We have very long rush hours in the morning and afternoon, extreme traffic conditions and lots of foaming mad drivers. Early AM is also not good, lots of drivers driving like Grand Theft Auto and with our city's horrible street layout, it's even more dangerous. Just learn to love the high sun and 110 F.

High noon sun, I still use steady front light and flashing rear light. Most professional motorcycle couriers where I live also turn on their front lights and rear lights in daytime, even in high noon sun.

Finally, bright clothing. Black or any dark color seems to be fad these days, cars, motorcycles, even cyclists! Let's say most objects on the road are dark colored. And if you're wearing black apparel on your black bike, you're probably asking to get hit. You're effectively camouflaged! Don't know why some cyclists think that trying hard to look cool is better than safety.

While my bike is dark colored, I wear all white color, plus daytime lights (do what pro couriers do).
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Old 07-25-20, 07:29 PM
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I can't remember the last time I put a 95% effort into a single Strava segment, much less a whole ride.
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Old 07-30-20, 09:53 AM
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I would say quit pushing so hard. Get out of the drops, dont have ear plugs if you do, get a review mirror, and listen better for traffic.
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