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Ever contemplate your mortality on the road?

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Ever contemplate your mortality on the road?

Old 05-25-15, 08:15 PM
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skinny matt
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Ever contemplate your mortality on the road?

Moved a couple months ago. Haven't figured out a great route. I ride in a suburban area where cycling for transportation is real unusual. Find myself on some fairly faster paced narrow roads with drivers who seem unprepared how to safely negotiate sharing the road with a cyclist. My old commutes were more predictable and I was still careful but I generally felt pretty safe. Now I can't help but wonder If I'm going to eat it on a regular basis. Not complaining, I'm sure other commuters contend with worse. I'm developing new strategies and I'll probably tinker with my route some more. One thing I've figured out is if you want to discourage people from passing too close or when it's unsafe -without putting yourself in the line of fire, is to give the bike some movement without straying from your line. Like get out of the saddle and pump and rock the handle bars or act a little wobbly and unsure of yourself. In my experience people don't want to squish you, but they will risk squishing you if they feel more than 80% confident in their chances. So what say ye, how often do you find yourself wondering if today is the day?
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Old 05-25-15, 08:54 PM
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i'm far more afraid of walking or driving than cycling.
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Old 05-25-15, 09:16 PM
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Occasionally. But it passes.
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Old 05-25-15, 09:26 PM
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"rock the handlebars or act a little wobbly"
Doesn't that define to take the bike a bit out of straightness; out of perfection from driving in a straight line?
As "rock the handlebars" does. Shaking the steering does.

Motor vehicle drivers, depending on (people who live in) the state that you drive in that method: those m-v drivers of the metro attitude are most likely to think of you being a druggie. One who be high. As why you can't drive in a straight line.
Even the p-d will stop you/harass you. Go as far as a blood test. The only was out of this be if you were disabled.
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Old 05-25-15, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by skinny matt View Post
So what say ye, how often do you find yourself wondering if today is the day?
Back when I first started cycle commuting, I used to worry about it when I was awake in bed... I could easily imagine getting run over all different ways, by cars I couldn't even see. But once I actually was on the road, I always felt comfortable because I only had to manage a few cars at a time... so it felt quite safe.

I too ride in a suburban area where bicycles are fairly rare. Sometimes you just have to take the lane for your safety. I do this quite often, and only move right when it is safe to do so. A mirror helps manage this much easier. I also communicate with drivers with various hand signals.

No one wants to hit you, don't allow them to pass when there's not enough room to safely do so.

Drivers will get to know you, and you'll get more comfortable with some time on your route.
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Old 05-25-15, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by molten View Post
"rock the handlebars or act a little wobbly"
Doesn't that define to take the bike a bit out of straightness; out of perfection from driving in a straight line?
As "rock the handlebars" does. Shaking the steering does.
It's a valid technique that is even promoted by Grant Petersen of Rivendell Bikes, in his book "Just Ride".

It's not something you do non stop, like a drunk would. Just for a few seconds at precise moments to force a motorist to pay attention to the cyclist they don't want to hit. Not so much "wobble" but more of a moving around a bit in the lane.
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Old 05-25-15, 09:45 PM
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I guess I have better roads. Seldom have any close calls and never think about crashing.
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Old 05-25-15, 10:48 PM
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about every time i ride. sometimes even when i'm not riding...
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Old 05-25-15, 11:08 PM
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I have often wondered what the statistics were as to driving vs riding a bike. Which is safer?
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Old 05-26-15, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by skinny matt View Post
… I ride in a suburban area where cycling for transportation is real unusual. Find myself on some fairly faster paced narrow roads with drivers who seem unprepared how to safely negotiate sharing the road with a cyclist. My old commutes were more predictable and I was still careful but I generally felt pretty safe. Now I can't help but wonder If I'm going to eat it on a regular basis. Not complaining, I'm sure other commuters contend with worse…

One thing I've figured out is if you want to discourage people from passing too close or when it's unsafe -without putting yourself in the line of fire, is to give the bike some movement without straying from your line. Like get out of the saddle and pump and rock the handle bars or act a little wobbly and unsure of yourself. In my experience people don't want to squish you, but they will risk squishing you if they feel more than 80% confident in their chances.

So what say ye, how often do you find yourself wondering if today is the day?
From what I have read, and my own experience, one is advised to ride in a straight predictable line of travel. Even though I have been hit from behind, with four weeks in a hospital and three months rehabilitation contemplating my mortality, I still find the most reassurance by wearing a rearview mirror (I wear two, right and left).
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Old 05-26-15, 07:18 AM
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Starting out as a roadie, and still doing lots of riding on my road bike...nah. I was used to being on the roads long before I started commuting. There are some roads I am a little more perked up on while on them, but it is my belief that my chances of being seriously hurt are about the same if I were in a car
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Old 05-26-15, 07:57 AM
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The wobble method works from what I've read here, I haven't tried it.

In my particular situation, what has worked is using a daylight visible taillight - IMO only the DesignShine DS500 and some of the Dinotte models qualify - but both are in the $200 range for a taillight.

The other thing is to take the lane when necessary. I actually ride pretty far right most of the time, but there are times when I am mid-lane. It's highly situationally dependent though and I am not going to try to tell someone else when or how to do that.
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Old 05-26-15, 08:06 AM
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I don't contemplate my mortality, but have contemplated my morality.
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Old 05-26-15, 08:27 AM
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i think its healthy to consider it. I was hit several times while commuting in africa. its always on my mind, but it keeps me riding safely. stay safe, its not that bad. the average motorist does not wnt to take the time out of his/her day to hit a cyclist, it really does take a long time to sort out and is a real bummer.
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Old 05-26-15, 08:43 AM
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Yes--when I'm riding, I often wonder if this headwind or that hill will be the death of me.
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Old 05-26-15, 08:48 AM
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I think about it from time to time, but I honestly feel more at risk while driving. You are traveling at much higher speeds in a car, with the possibility of head-on collisions, and the roads that I drive on are much more heavily trafficked.
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Old 05-26-15, 08:49 AM
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After a second friend was killed. Both were experienced and safe cyclists. The first I kind of wrote off as a bit of an anomaly. The second happened on a route that I and many others ride frequently. He was hit from behind.
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Old 05-26-15, 09:01 AM
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I like a mirror and bright front and rear lights, day and night. Twice, using my mirror, I could see cars not paying attention and got out of their way.
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Old 05-26-15, 09:36 AM
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If I didn't contemplate my mortality, I don't think I would have preserved my life this far.
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Old 05-26-15, 10:38 AM
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Whose woods these are, I think I know
His house is in the village, though
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow
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Old 05-26-15, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikerdave222 View Post
I have often wondered what the statistics were as to driving vs riding a bike. Which is safer?
Everything you do is eventually 100% fatal
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Old 05-26-15, 11:42 AM
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Yep, but I added enough bright stuff to make me more visible.
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Old 05-26-15, 11:48 AM
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After doing some self-study on Stoicism, I've tried to make it a habit to contemplate my mortality every day.
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Old 05-26-15, 01:19 PM
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Yes. Back in the Navy, I would also lean over the side of the life lines on the smoke deck well after we switched to red lights and stared out into the black, cold sea, wondering what it would be like to fall overboard and be forgotten. Fun times.
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Old 05-26-15, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
After doing some self-study on Stoicism, I've tried to make it a habit to contemplate my mortality every day.
Early or late stoicism?
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