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Toms unoffical Rules of Bicycle Commuting

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Toms unoffical Rules of Bicycle Commuting

Old 06-08-15, 08:55 AM
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Tractortom
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Toms unoffical Rules of Bicycle Commuting

I've been commuting on my bike for more than three years now, not every day, but about 100 trips a year, and have learned some things and want to share. I call them "Toms Rules of Bicycle Commuting"

1. If you stop halfway thru a right or left hook that nearly killed me, and we are BOTH sitting in the intersection, don't motion for me to move on. You are NOT to be trusted and I'm not moving until you clear the intersection and I can see your taillights going away. (Happened this morning on the way in.)

So, what OTHER rules do you have that keep you alive during the commute???

Tractor Tom in Okeechobee, FL
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Old 06-08-15, 09:12 AM
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1). Don't die.

2). Avoid being a dick when possible (easier said than done for me, particularly when I feel I've been wronged). This is an umbrella point that covers courtesies of sharing the road and to pedestrians / other cyclists.
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Old 06-08-15, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Hugh Morris View Post
1). Don't die.

2). Avoid being a dick when possible (easier said than done for me, particularly when I feel I've been wronged). This is an umbrella point that covers courtesies of sharing the road and to pedestrians / other cyclists.
3. It doesn't matter if you were in the wrong or in the right vs a car... you are maybe 200 pounds including bike and the car is two tons plus.

Same reason a skiff should never argue right of way with a tanker in a shipping lane.
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Old 06-08-15, 09:21 AM
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1. Always make eye contact with a car that is preparing to pull out from a side road, not with the driver, but with the front wheels. Watch them instead of the driver.
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Old 06-08-15, 09:24 AM
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Turn Signals and Eye Contact are two things to Never TRUST.
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Old 06-08-15, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Turn Signals and Eye Contact are two things to Never TRUST.
True, but at least the driver might feel at least slightly guilty if you looked him or her in the eye first.

The other thing to never trust is stoplights, or even worse, crosswalk countdowns.

No matter what the light or the countdown says, a car going through that intersection and into you is going to hurt just as bad.
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Old 06-08-15, 09:32 AM
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Dead right is still dead.
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Old 06-08-15, 10:01 AM
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My first rule - adjust behavior to the environment. Not all rules apply in all areas.

The biggest one that not everyone has thought about are uhaul trucks and any truck with odd widths, or side carry panels.

I remember my time driving a uhaul - I had very poor awareness of the truck's size and blind spots. I also was so focused on keeping in lane that I probably was effectively a distracted driver. I assume anyone driving a uhaul was as intimidated and incompetent as I was. I stay away and pass CAREFULLY.

Trucks with weird shapes, or odd side additions, are dangerous because it's hard for the driver to have a sense of the added width.

Another less known danger - car washes. Often soapy, wet spots where you don't expect them. I assume all pavement in front of a car wash is the equal of wet leaves.
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Old 06-08-15, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Tractortom View Post
I've been commuting on my bike for more than three years now, not every day, but about 100 trips a year, and have learned some things and want to share. I call them "Toms Rules of Bicycle Commuting..."

So, what OTHER rules do you have that keep you alive during the commute???
See the Rules of the Commutinati, and as a nice companion compendium for winter riding see ” Winter commuting - Create List of potential hazards”
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Old 06-08-15, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2 View Post
1. Always make eye contact with a car that is preparing to pull out from a side road, not with the driver, but with the front wheels. Watch them instead of the driver.
As I started reading this, I thought - I can't disagree more - till I reached the part where you mentioned not with the driver, but the front wheels. Spot on - eye contact doesn't mean much and is open to interpretation.
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Old 06-08-15, 10:19 AM
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Cars, peds, other bikes and animals and unpredictable and are out to get you.
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Old 06-08-15, 11:31 AM
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Keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down
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Old 06-08-15, 11:38 AM
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Don't forget to pack your underwear.

Brought everything I needed today to change at the office. Almost.

Just hanging out.
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Old 06-08-15, 11:38 AM
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If another cyclist is stopped at a traffic light, stop behind him/her. If they turn out to be slow, there will be plenty of opportunity to pass them later.

If another cyclist is riding in an erratic way, stay away. Far, far away.
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Old 06-08-15, 11:40 AM
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If you fail to recharge the battery in your headlight, you'll definitely have to stay at work past sundown.
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Old 06-08-15, 11:51 AM
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always pack a few tools
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Old 06-08-15, 12:13 PM
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Pay attention. Your life depends on it.
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Old 06-08-15, 01:24 PM
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Predict others.

Be predictable.
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Old 06-08-15, 01:25 PM
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Remember to enjoy your ride. That's (mostly) why you're cycling, isn't it?
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Old 06-08-15, 05:16 PM
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"When in doubt...DON'T!"
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Old 06-08-15, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by TickDoc View Post
Don't forget to pack your underwear.
What do you pack your underwear with?
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Old 06-08-15, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
What do you pack your underwear with?
Frank and beans
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Old 06-08-15, 05:36 PM
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Use the front and rear blinking lights at all times of the day, wear bright/reflective vest or clothes, and always use a rear view mirror when commuting. Do not "take the lane" and ride in the middle of the lane. Stay to the side and give the cars room and they will respect you. Ignorant cyclist ride in the center of the lane at all times and makes drivers angry. Only take the lane when there is a situation where it seems unsafe for the person behind you to pass.
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Old 06-08-15, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
Use the front and rear blinking lights at all times of the day, wear bright/reflective vest or clothes, and always use a rear view mirror when commuting. Do not "take the lane" and ride in the middle of the lane. Stay to the side and give the cars room and they will respect you. Ignorant cyclist ride in the center of the lane at all times and makes drivers angry. Only take the lane when there is a situation where it seems unsafe for the person behind you to pass.
You know, I don't use the blinking function at all, and base that on the concept that blinking lights can sort of hypnotize drivers and actually make them drive towards and at you.

My understanding is that blinking taillights are actually illegal on bicycles in Germany, which is why if you buy a nice German made light like a Busch and Muller, they are solid light mode only.
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Old 06-08-15, 06:17 PM
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The most important rule to follow is to : " break all the rules which were made by other people "...IOW do whatever it takes to get from point A to point B as safely, as fast, as efficient and as trouble-free as possible without hurting somebody else in the process.
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