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Bicycle Etiquette

Old 06-04-08, 01:15 PM
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poopisnotfood
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Bicycle Etiquette

I am just getting back into biking like so many others and I just wanted to get the lay of the land. My commute is not real long, and I am using my bike to get back and forth from all of our different offices that are about 2.5 miles apart, so I am riding all day long. I see no reason to waste agency gas going that far. Today was my first real day doing so, and I am afraid that I am not being considerate. I had a couple of people yell at me, and of course the usual racing to pull out in front of me(I know that is part of the game). I had a lady at work ride her scooter next to me to see if I was going horribly slow and we were going about 25MPH, which I don't think is real bad(well not for the first day anyway). I was riding as far over to the right as I felt safe, and it is a 4 lane road, yet I still had people yelling and honking. Should I be doing something different, or did I just run into a couple of jerks today? Any other tips on being a considerate biker?
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Old 06-04-08, 01:37 PM
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stay outta A&S, and yes, you did run into a couple of jerks.

25mph, that's a pretty good clip. don't worry about yellers and honkers, they think you only belong on the sidewalk.

These are what _I_ adhere to when on my bike and I only do these when the coast is clear. Find what works for you.

if you find yourself leap frogging with cars, don't filter to the front. much safer to just let the cars in front be on their way unless you can consistently stay out in front. Try not to run reds or blast through stop signs without looking both ways first.
red light = stop. nothing is more annoying than seeing a red light runner on a 4-way intersection. (exception for long side of "T" intersection with a LOOONG light cycle and no cars coming)
stop sign = look both ways, rolling stop if no traffic. "Right of way" rule if another vehicle gets to the stop sign at the same time.
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Old 06-04-08, 01:42 PM
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It's pretty clear that it's not you who's being inconsiderate - unless you are holding up more than a few cars, and even then only if they can't get over to the left lane. I always hate to see cyclists feel guilty about using the road they are certainly allowed to use - it only demonstrates the severity of the degree transportation revolves around cars and nothing else. The streets are just as much ours. Don't give them up and accept that everything revolves around cars - because it shouldn't be that way. This idea that cars have carte blanche on the roads is nothing short of insane.

25 MPH is plenty fast. Quite a bit faster than I ride, in fact.
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Old 06-04-08, 01:49 PM
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i don't ride on roads over 35 mph, no matter how many lanes.
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Old 06-04-08, 01:50 PM
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We did come to several lights, and I am not at a point where I feel comfortable going to the front of the line. There were certainly cars behind me at the lights, but they simply showed up after me, I kept my place in line and really booked it to get through the light, in fact I was on the car in front's bumper the
entire time and moved over as quickly as I could to let other people by. Any advice is certainly appreciated, I try my best to be educated before I tackle things like this, but I wanted to get a jump start on commuting. It is not going to get any cooler the quicker I get into bike shape the better.
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Old 06-04-08, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by trafficcasauras View Post
i don't ride on roads over 35 mph, no matter how many lanes.
I think that is a pretty good thought, but where I work I have no choice. It is a 45MPH road. There are no other options, not even any side roads I could take.
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Old 06-04-08, 01:51 PM
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I get verbally assaulted every day on the way in, and honked on the way out.

Is it my route?

Yes.

Main artery, small town, I get no respect ... I tell ya!
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Old 06-04-08, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by AEO View Post
stay outta A&S,
To show my complete ignorance, what is "A&S"?
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Old 06-04-08, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by poopisnotfood View Post
To show my complete ignorance, what is "A&S"?
+1
Thanks poop. It didn't work for this one, but I have found Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Glossary a lifesaver around here!
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Old 06-04-08, 01:58 PM
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Advocacy and Safety forum a few blocks up. You'll get all the info you need here. A&S is uhh... well, just stay out if you value your mental sanity.
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Old 06-04-08, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by AEO View Post
Advocacy and Safety forum a few blocks up. You'll get all the info you need here. A&S is uhh... well, just stay out if you value your mental sanity.
Nah, just bring your popcorn and watch the show.
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Old 06-04-08, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by poopisnotfood View Post
I think that is a pretty good thought, but where I work I have no choice. It is a 45MPH road. There are no other options, not even any side roads I could take.
Its not really a good thought if you ever want to ride your bike beyond your own city limits. Its helpful on high speed roads to have a mirror to know when you need to bail further over to the edge, or (more useful) to weave towards traffic to wake up the guy behind you. (of course you need to be able to judge how soon the guy behind you will actually come up to you, and time this warble accordingly so there is no danger)

The least pleasant high speed roads to ride on IMO are two-lane, too narrow to share the lane, and with high enough traffic volumes cars are reluctant (or can't) move across the yellow lane in order to pass.

Multi-lane roads with relatively low volume, no big deal, they can change lanes. High volume tend to have at least some usable shoulder. Two lane roads with low volume are quiet and peaceful. Easy to hear people coming and easy for them to move way over to pass.
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Old 06-04-08, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by trafficcasauras View Post
i don't ride on roads over 35 mph, no matter how many lanes.
If I did that, i'd have to sell my bike, and have whoever bought it pick it up in a pickup. If I want to stick to roads that aren't posted 55 mph, I can only go maybe three or four blocks in selected directions.
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Old 06-04-08, 06:43 PM
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You can find stuff like this all over the net, but here's a biking safety manual from Pennsylvania (obviously state rules don't always apply, but the basics are in here - warning, it's a pdf):
http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/docs/pamanual.pdf

Also, there's always "the Bible" (I call it that mostly because of how long it is):
http://www.amazon.com/Effective-Cycl.../dp/0262560704

Another good site:
http://bicyclesafe.com/
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Old 06-04-08, 06:51 PM
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Good info, thanks.
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Old 06-04-08, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jefferee View Post
Nah, just bring your popcorn and watch the show.
Or start a flamewar and see how many pages of comments you can set off. Reposting is against troll rules though.
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Old 06-04-08, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by trafficcasauras View Post
i don't ride on roads over 35 mph, no matter how many lanes.
You would not go far in southern California... the first road I come to just blocks out of my neighborhood is 35MPH, then they go to 45 and finally 50MPH. I could not ride 1 mile in any direction without riding on a 35MPH road and at least crossing a 45MPH road. My commute is mostly 45 and 50MPH roads.

Nice thinking about the 35MPH roads, but not practical in parts of the country.
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Old 06-04-08, 07:36 PM
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To OP, I have only had a couple of yelled at incidents that actually were really negative the most recent a guy yelled "get the - out of the road" as he passed. I tried to remain calm and see the situation for what it is. Someone with a weak mind likely insecure attempting to take out their frustrations on someone they perceive cannot retaliate. What this person did not realize was the traffic was slow enough for me to get his plate (if I wanted) or even speed up to catch him at the next light (again, if I wanted).

This is really strange to say but I feel like even if I had reached into his car and and beat him bloody or something like that, in the end I just still would have felt bad for him that his life is so crappy he has to yell expletives at a cyclist holding him up for a moment on a sunny day, and I'm not being elitist or snooty at all I really do feel bad for him that his quality of life is that low.
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Old 06-04-08, 07:52 PM
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I don't waste my energy feeling "bad" or "sorry" for other people. If someone behaves like that I shrug it off and go about my life. Causes too much negativity otherwise, and I have bigger issues to focus on. Just my take.
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