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Assertiveness Training?

Old 11-29-22, 05:23 PM
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TLit
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Assertiveness Training?

Should bicyclists be always on the lookout for potential problem situations, hug the side of the road, signal when turning or should we exercise out rights and privileges as equal citizens sharing the roads? What type of advice would you give inherently passive bicyclists trying to avoid any upset by car drivers?
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Old 11-29-22, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by TLit View Post
Should bicyclists be always on the lookout for potential problem situations
Yes.

Originally Posted by TLit View Post
hug the side of the road
No.

Originally Posted by TLit View Post
signal when turning or exercise our rights
Both.


Originally Posted by TLit View Post
What type of advice would you give inherently passive bicyclists trying to avoid any upset by car drivers?
My advice would be to stop taking responsibility for other people's emotions.

And this thread should have been posted in Advocacy and Safety.

Last edited by Rolla; 11-29-22 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 11-29-22, 05:38 PM
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You should always be alert and scanning for potential incidents or problems. They may not be "your fault" but if you can take early evasive action to avoid them altogether, that's a win.


Originally Posted by TLit View Post
hug the side of the road
Not that, that's for sure!
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Old 11-29-22, 05:43 PM
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Why does this have to be an either/or thing. We need to be cautious while asserting our right to be on the road and at the same time obey all traffic laws. If we want to be treated like vehicles, we must act like vehicles which means being bound by the same laws that motorists are bound by.

And remember, bike vs. car, bike loses. It doesn't matter whether you were dead right or dead wrong, you're still DEAD.
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Old 11-29-22, 05:44 PM
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Claim your lane as you approach 4 way stops and traffic lights. It may block the motorist behind you but that is the point. It increases safety because you make your intentions clear. A motorist may act inconvenienced but they rarely go into harassment mode because they respect that what you have just done is legal and the right thing to do. This does require assertiveness. I tell my weekend warrior riding buddies when I do this that I am practicing my commuter skills and that as a road cyclist I am allowed to do these things.

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Old 11-29-22, 06:15 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I never had the course though I remember the philosophy professor, King ****man, mentioning it in a course on philosophy in 1982 I believe. Assertiveness training or advice would have done me a lot of good and dealing with those who treated me like a doormat. I assume it isn't covered well in Ringer's "Winning Through Intimidation".
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Old 11-29-22, 06:23 PM
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Any road user and really anyone should always be spatially aware. Especially road users because they need to be able to react as quickly as possible to something that might come up. It is not meaning you should ride or drive in fear but you should just be aware of your surroundings so you don't get yourself or anyone else hurt.

Take your lane if legally allowed to do so never try and hug the far ends of the road it is not safe for you. Don't worry about cars behind you, your safety is more important than their own self interest. I can understand maybe moving over for an active ambulance or firetruck which could be saving lives but that is about it and it would only be to let them pass because they so far as I have seen aren't usually using their lights and sirens for anything other than emergencies.

You should always try and signal when turning or if on a group ride if there is something in the road or something to look out for. Every road user should always signal if they are turning and should always use lights at night.

Never ever worry about the emotions of some dip in a motor vehicle, if they are emotionally hurt it is their own fault. If they are angry or whatever emotion they have it is not your fault it is on them unless you have actively done something to them like say throw a bottle at their windshield for gits and shiggles but that is not a realistic thing. You riding normally and them getting mad is their own fault and you shouldn't worry about their idiocy because they feel entitled to a road that we pay taxes equally for but they cause 99.99% of the damage too (with +/- 1% margin of error).
Motorists don't have an inherent right to the road nor are they ordained that road by anyone it is a shared space and if they didn't learn how to share well you aren't their parents and they should know better.

Be confident in your riding, don't be passive be active. You paid for those roads the same as everyone else and you should be able to use them without fear (or at least without any crippling fear).
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Old 11-29-22, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
We need to be cautious while asserting our right to be on the road and at the same time obey all traffic laws. If we want to be treated like vehicles, we must act like vehicles which means being bound by the same laws that motorists are bound by.

And remember, bike vs. car, bike loses. It doesn't matter whether you were dead right or dead wrong, you're still DEAD.
How would a cyclists maintain the posted MPH if we must all obey the traffic laws?
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Old 11-29-22, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
How would a cyclists maintain the posted MPH if we must all obey the traffic laws?
Those posted MPH are limits which means go no faster than that. The only place there are minimum speeds posted are on Interstates where bicycles aren't allowed anyway.
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Old 11-29-22, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
How would a cyclists maintain the posted MPH if we must all obey the traffic laws?
Be like this guy, he looks like a pretty average ordinary guy just a miniscule bit of leg work and you will be there in no time:

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Old 11-29-22, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Be like this guy, he looks like a pretty average ordinary guy just a miniscule bit of leg work and you will be there in no time:

Those quads don't look very aero.
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Old 11-29-22, 06:53 PM
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Situational awareness, I would say, is king, and following Masi61's advice to make your intentions clear.
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Old 11-29-22, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
Those quads don't look very aero.
They beat the air into submission and put it into a chokehold till it taps out. They also can power a 700w toaster and make perfect toast (I don't like it too browned).
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Old 11-29-22, 07:27 PM
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“inherently passive“ ? That doesn’t describe me at all. I ride without any passivity at all. I have a right to the road. I take what’s mine and also allow others to have theirs. We usually get along.
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Old 11-29-22, 07:39 PM
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Old 11-30-22, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
Why does this have to be an either/or thing. We need to be cautious while asserting our right to be on the road ….
My context is commuting.

A good example of this is avoiding packs of motor vehicles. When I’m in the lane stopped at a traffic light, I do have the legal right to proceed with my space in line. I find it much safer, if a platoon of motorists will have to pass me, to simply pull off at the intersection and follow when they clear. That puts me into a gap in the traffic.

I don’t legally have to do this but the slight delay is worth it to me for the benefit of avoiding a dangerous pack.

You must be assertive, but that doesn’t mean you have to always assert all your rights. Assertiveness is best applied judiciously.
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Old 11-30-22, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by TLit View Post
Should bicyclists be always on the lookout for potential problem situations, hug the side of the road, signal when turning or should we exercise out rights and privileges as equal citizens sharing the roads? What type of advice would you give inherently passive bicyclists trying to avoid any upset by car drivers?
I ride like I operate a motor vehicle which means I always signal. I drive the speed limit, assume the worse, and let anyone driving distracted or speeding to quickly pass by getting out of their way. I don't honk the horn or give the Hollywood Howdy.

IMHO, rights and privilege focusing is a sure prescription for road rage. If we all simply watched out for each other, most problems would never materialize.
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Old 11-30-22, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
Those posted MPH are limits which means go no faster than that. The only place there are minimum speeds posted are on Interstates where bicycles aren't allowed anyway.
FYI...Many, many miles of Interstate Highway in the west and Midwest are bike-legal. For example, every inch of Interstate in Montana is open to bikes. Sometimes, the Interstate is the only way to get between point A and B. That's particularly true in the I-90 corridor west of Missoula, where I-90 replaced U.S. 10. In some areas, terrain made it impossible or impracticable to construct I-90 and keep the former U.S. 10 as a frontage road. Interstates can also be safer than some alternatives. I have ridden on Interstate Highways in MT, ID, ND, WY, SD and OR.
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Old 11-30-22, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by flangehead View Post
My context is commuting.
You must be assertive, but that doesn’t mean you have to always assert all your rights. Assertiveness is best applied judiciously.
Agreed.
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Old 11-30-22, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
FYI...Many, many miles of Interstate Highway in the west and Midwest are bike-legal. For example, every inch of Interstate in Montana is open to bikes. Sometimes, the Interstate is the only way to get between point A and B. That's particularly true in the I-90 corridor west of Missoula, where I-90 replaced U.S. 10. In some areas, terrain made it impossible or impracticable to construct I-90 and keep the former U.S. 10 as a frontage road. Interstates can also be safer than some alternatives. I have ridden on Interstate Highways in MT, ID, ND, WY, SD and OR.
Interesting. I guess some Interstates out there are possibly less traveled and actually safer than some tertiary roads in NJ. I sure hope they have a good shoulder. Though at some of the speeds they travel out there, a semi with a full load could conceivably suck in a cyclist with deep aero wheels.
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Old 11-30-22, 08:18 AM
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When I was using my Univega with panniers for all transportation to speak of, I would go on say, RT 7's highway as there was not a good alternative north of Danbury, CT. We have a lot of similar situations where certain sections edge out bike riders. But I did have cops bug me twice in CT and MA going north to south. "Are you crazy?" No! Actually just trying to get from A to B the most direct way.

An aside; back in the 80s I was working on an organic farm in Maine. John Hayman was also a local worker who was a peace activist and road a bike only! He literally refused to get into a car! He considered it a point of honor almost like a Thoreau ("the swiftest traveler travels afoot".) He'd go from farm to farm, they called him "bicycle John", and he asked the proceeds of his work be donated to the local food shelfs. Some would write him off as a nut but one thing he wasn't was selfish. Last I saw him was in Brattleboro, VT in 1990, he was doing fundraising for Oxfam riding his bike to South America.


The other day I was hugging the side of the road in an intersection and hit a small log or something and fortunately jumped over it.
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Old 11-30-22, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
Interesting. I guess some Interstates out there are possibly less traveled and actually safer than some tertiary roads in NJ. I sure hope they have a good shoulder. Though at some of the speeds they travel out there, a semi with a full load could conceivably suck in a cyclist with deep aero wheels.
The shoulders are wide enough to accommodate semis. In MT at least, where I have done most of my Interstate riding, truckers have been very courteous, almost always moving over to the left lane to pass me. I ride as far right as possible anyway. And only in OR and ND was I not riding a fully-loaded bike. The 8 miles we did in ND on I-94 was virtually empty early in the morning. Maybe got passed by 3 or 4 vehicles.

Took this photo just before I got on I-90 for about 4 miles to Spearfish, SD. Thursday during mid-afternoon. There was a local road off to the left that I could have ridden into town. It had no shoulder and several businesses located on it, including at least one auto-related business. One thing you have to be very mindful of is crossing off ramps. I had one I had to cross on this segment. I came to a full stop, looked back for traffic and waited for a large gap. That's how I learned that the use of turn signals appears to be considered optional by SD drivers. The alternative is to simply exit and then get back on using the on ramp on the other side of the cross road.


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Old 11-30-22, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
The shoulders are wide enough to accommodate semis. In MT at least, where I have done most of my Interstate riding, truckers have been very courteous, almost always moving over to the left lane to pass me. I ride as far right as possible anyway. And only in OR and ND was I not riding a fully-loaded bike. The 8 miles we did in ND on I-94 was virtually empty early in the morning. Maybe got passed by 3 or 4 vehicles.

Took this photo just before I got on I-90 for about 4 miles to Spearfish, SD. Thursday during mid-afternoon. There was a local road off to the left that I could have ridden into town. It had no shoulder and several businesses located on it, including at least one auto-related business. One thing you have to be very mindful of is crossing off ramps. I had one I had to cross on this segment. I came to a full stop, looked back for traffic and waited for a large gap. That's how I learned that the use of turn signals appears to be considered optional by SD drivers. The alternative is to simply exit and then get back on using the on ramp on the other side of the cross road.


The one thing that would concern me here is that although there is very little traffic, most motorists aren't expecting to see any cyclists.

Aren't there a few Interstates out there that are only one lane is each direction?
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Old 11-30-22, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
The one thing that would concern me here is that although there is very little traffic, most motorists aren't expecting to see any cyclists.

Aren't there a few Interstates out there that are only one lane is each direction?
Don't know of any two-lane interstates.

I don't know about SD, but in MT it's probably more expected than other places. I have seen others riding on I-90. And at least there is more of a chance for separation. There also tend to be better sightlines. The last time I rode U.S. 93 from Eureeka to Whitefish I had doubts I would survive during certain stretches. 70+ mph and little or no shoulder in places. I got passed so closely by a big Canadian motorhome that I swear the mirror went over my head.

One thing I really noticed is that many motorists have a piss poor sense of closing speed. Often, I would get passed needlessly (e.g., no oncoming traffic) close while the vehicle was still angling out to give me more room.
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Old 11-30-22, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
How would a cyclists maintain the posted MPH if we must all obey the traffic laws?
Not sure about where you live, but where I am, those posted speed limit signs have the word "Maximum" on them.

Too many drivers interpret "Maximum" as the minimum speed on that road. Not only that they give themselves an excuse that the police offers a wiggle room of going over by 10 to 15 and state that drivers doing the legal limit can be ticketed for interfering with traffic. I wonder how that excuse holds up in court.
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