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Safety advice for new riders?

Old 02-23-22, 08:25 AM
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Drewhigh
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Safety advice for new riders?

What safety advice do you have for a learner?
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Old 02-23-22, 10:31 AM
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sarhog
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Originally Posted by Drewhigh View Post
What safety advice do you have for a learner?
I would advise the learner to ask very broad safety questions in an anonymous environment.
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Old 02-23-22, 11:10 AM
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You will never attain such proficiency as to make crashes a thing of the past; your next crash is always just around the corner.
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Old 02-23-22, 11:21 AM
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Helmet, lights, be only where they expect you to be, follow the rules of the road just like a car, assume you are invisible.
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Old 02-23-22, 11:56 AM
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Cycle like you're a good driver.
Be predictable, confident and hold your line. Indecision confuses drivers.
Make drivers want to avoid you. Mount a cycling flag horizontally so they want to avoid scraping their paint job.
Get a front and rear facing camera.

The most dangerous road is one with a car on it.
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Old 02-23-22, 01:20 PM
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Stay away from motorcyclists, they are crazy!
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Old 02-23-22, 01:25 PM
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Find the local bike paths and/or least trafficked roads.
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Old 02-23-22, 03:11 PM
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Broad topic. Worth doing some reading on your own. Click Me

Generally....
Be Visible. Wear bright colors. Lights front & rear. Be aware of being hidden by other vehicles.
Be Predictable. Learn to keep a steady line. Signal your intentions.
Be Vigilant. Watch for potential threats and strive to address them. Don't get doored. Don't wear headphones that interfere with your ability to hear everything around you. Ride like you're invisible.

Last edited by gpburdell; 02-24-22 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 02-23-22, 04:27 PM
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Look and listen to everything going on around you. Be in the real world and not daydreaming as you ride.

Don't assume that others know what they are doing.
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Old 02-23-22, 05:03 PM
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Drewhigh If there is a local cycling community, seek them out. Perhaps a local bike shop or bike co-op will know. Some will be eager to share their strategies and some may appear rude (just like in online forums).

I agree with gpburdell except I say ride like they CAN see you and they want to KILL you.

Also get a good mirror. I prefer a glasses mounted -take-a-look mirror.

I bike commuted 16 years before discovering bikeforums around 2008. This site was invaluable in helping me develop better, safer cycling skills.

In fact, I suggest you check out the commuting forum here.

Also you can add "bikeforums.net" to your google search, like "bikeforums.net safety" and see what you get.

Ignore the haters and ask the questions you have, there's no shame in being inexperienced.

Good luck, ride safe and have fun!
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Old 02-24-22, 09:38 AM
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My best advice is that you will probably learn more from riding around with an experienced rider for an hour or two than you would from any number of hours of reading. Safe cycling is an art, not a science.

But, yes, keep asking questions here or wherever. I'm sorry someone got snarky with you, you didn't deserve that.
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Old 02-24-22, 02:35 PM
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assume you are invisible.
The assumption of invisibility has to be understood in context - in particular, it must never prompt trying to "hide".

It's unfortunately necessary when riding on many roads that don't have a generous shoulder, to take a position far enough into the traffic lane that you have to rely on drivers seeing you, and passing you carefully. Otherwise, if you try to hide at the edge, many will be tempted to try to squeeze past you without allowing enough space, even when they do see you.

Where "invisibility" actually applies is largely with turning and crossing traffic - a bike is nowhere near as obvious as a car approaching. And drivers always underestimate or overestimate the speed of a cyclist, they never get it right. So you'll have all of people who cut in front of you without seeing you, people who thought they had time to when they didn't, and even people who had ample time to safely do something in front of you who end up waiting an absurd amount of time, on occasion prompting those behind them to behave more rashly. And pedestrians wanting to do something like force a crossing against a light are just as bad about seeing cyclists as drivers are.

Finally there are situations where the unaware cyclist can put themselves in an invisible situations - for example, be extremely wary of passing slowing or stopped vehicles on their right (or whatever the non-traffic side is); if you have to do it, do it very slowly watching for sudden developments like turns, opening doors, or people approaching from the roadside. Unfortunately this includes situations where badly designed cycling routes put through cyclists on the wrong side of turning drivers, and doubly so where even more stupidly designed routes have cyclists going the direction opposite that of the road traffic that everyone (drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists) are looking for.

Last edited by UniChris; 02-24-22 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 02-26-22, 07:08 AM
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1. Ride defensively- mirror, follow rules of road for bikes
2. Be seen- lights, clothing
3. Be safe- helmet, gloves, maintained bike
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Old 02-26-22, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Drewhigh View Post
What safety advice do you have for a learner?
Welcome to the forum. This particular sub-forum can be a bit edgy, but don't let that discourage you. This is a short, simple and on-point read.

https://bicyclesafe.com/
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Old 02-27-22, 10:58 AM
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Avoid high traffic roads, busy intersections, etc. until your basic riding skills are solid. Bike paths, side roads until you are expert at cornering, braking, standing up to peddle, dismounting, starting from stop etc.

Practice "ditching" so when a threat arises, your instinct is to immediately get out of the way. City vs country riding have different perils, but every year I find a few situations that require quick decision/response. On rural roads, that often means braking while leaving pavement for soft shoulder, knowing it will be a challenge to stay upright, which you must to avoid falling into path of motor vehicle. Beats being clipped by a distracted driver and a ton or more of speeding steel. Ditching requires getting your feet out to sides to prevent falling as you decellerate.

Learn to anticipate dangerous situations and slow down. Realize that you have to sometimes avoid critters or children or potholes or sewer grates by swerving at speed, so practice that. On rural roads, consider ditching when you hear a big diesel coming up behind you, particularly if approaching a hilltop or oncoming traffic.

Install functional mirrors and use them to be aware of motor vehicles behind you at all times. Practice getting in and out of clip in pedals if you have them. Consider MTB shoes and pedals with toe clips, riding with straps loose so you can pull your left foot out instantly in emergency situations.

Be cautious until you are confident, and never let confidence morph into cockiness. Keep both hands on bars in most situations. If you have drop bars, get your hands to the drops, poised on brake levers whenever you sense danger, and for all high speed riding. Practice getting your weight low and back for hard braking, as in butt behind and below seat.
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Old 02-27-22, 11:06 AM
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Watch for cars. Drivers won't watch for you.
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Old 02-27-22, 11:17 AM
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Eye Contact and Turn Signals don't mean Much.
Watch the Front Wheels for Real Safety.
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Old 02-27-22, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
...assume you are invisible.
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Look and listen to everything going on around you...
Constantly pick out the next place you are going to fall and how you are going to do it. This becomes a natural thing for geezers. Also allot of new riders are ridding unproven or unfamiliar bicycles. Get to know your bike well and test it.

Develop a "Pre-Flight Check List" and stick to it. New riders and old have often been saved by this timely effort...
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Old 03-02-22, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Eye Contact and Turn Signals don't mean Much.
Watch the Front Wheels for Real Safety.
I highly disagree with this. making eye contact with drivers is huge. So many times drivers ďseeĒ us but donít really see us. Making eye contact forces them to recognize we are people just like them and to deal with us accordingly.

admittedly, itís not fool proof but making eye contact dramatically improves your chances.
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Old 03-02-22, 07:26 PM
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Ride with traffic not against it. I see this so much. New riders were worse then cars during covid.
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Old 03-02-22, 07:52 PM
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FYI

https://www.bikeforums.net/members/drewhigh-550651.html

https://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=13677318
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Old 03-03-22, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
I highly disagree with this. making eye contact with drivers is huge. So many times drivers ďseeĒ us but donít really see us. Making eye contact forces them to recognize we are people just like them and to deal with us accordingly.

admittedly, itís not fool proof but making eye contact dramatically improves your chances.

I don't get this at all. The only situation where I'm likely to make eye contact is at an intersection, and I think it's a lot more important to keep my eyes moving to make sure I'm watching all directions at the intersection. I think you're recommending target fixation.
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Old 03-03-22, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
I highly disagree with this. making eye contact with drivers is huge. So many times drivers “see” us but don’t really see us. Making eye contact forces them to recognize we are people just like them and to deal with us accordingly.

admittedly, it’s not fool proof but making eye contact dramatically improves your chances.
I don't get this at all. The only situation where I'm likely to make eye contact is at an intersection, and I think it's a lot more important to keep my eyes moving to make sure I'm watching all directions at the intersection. I think you're recommending target fixation.
???

"Making eye contact" != "keeping eye contact".

Your interpretation ("target fixation", "not keep [one's] eyes moving", and "making eye contact outside of intersections") of what merlinextraligh said is almost certainly wrong. That is, it seems very likely that he's talking about using it in the same sort of situations (intersections) that you use it.

You really only "make eye contact" with people that are ahead (more or less) of you who might cross your path (more or less). That is, it's something mostly done at intersections (and not much in other situations).

Anyway. I suspect that what people mean by "making eye contact" is attempting to verify that the other person actually notices them.

Last edited by njkayaker; 03-03-22 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 03-03-22, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Eye Contact and Turn Signals don't mean Much.
Watch the Front Wheels for Real Safety.
Do you really think he was suggesting not to look at what the car (or front wheels) are doing?

No one is suggesting considering eye contact and turn signals is enough.

Last edited by njkayaker; 03-03-22 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 03-03-22, 01:40 PM
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Some of you old riders need help.
Riding in my neighborhood man pushing a stroller at an intersection LOOKED Directly at Me then Pushed The Stroller into my Path.
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