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get-there-itis

Old 06-12-08, 02:50 PM
  #1  
trafficcasauras
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get-there-itis

i just started-out riding to work last month. i've been pretty heads-up about things, but since the summer heat wave, i keep making deadly mistakes. i don't take my time. today, i took a turn in too-much in the front of an oncoming truck coming at me about about 25-30 MPH. then a week ago, i didn't wait to see the SUV that was behind the minivan - the SUV turning in front of me - on a 100 degree day in the middle of the afternoon.

i have to ride to work in the afternoon a lot.

i feel like i need to confess my sins before i end-up in the Sky. do you have any mental reminders to slow-down and stay aware in the heat? how do you do it?
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Old 06-12-08, 02:57 PM
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heh, well I don't know about the heat, but I did my stupid thing last night on a short ride to starbucks, a lady pulled out in front of me and instead of slow down I just kinda started going around her, lost my balance between the car and the sidewalk and fell down.

I felt really stupid, but I figured it was a good wake up call (seeing as I only got a sore bum from the incident). Whenever I drive I always do the whole cliche "drive defensively" thing and I guess I figured that since I was on a bike people would make way for me. Time to start paying attention and realizing that i am going to need to "ride defensively".

Thats all i can suggest, just make way for the cars and not expect it the other way around.
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Old 06-12-08, 02:58 PM
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If there are small deviations you can make to you commute that takes you off the thoroughfares I assume you are traveling now it makes a difference. Take it easy on a parallel side street for five minutes collect you wits. I am the same way as you and I am becoming less so. The best way to explain it is that when you are commuting you need to hold something back mentally. You can't think of it as a time trial or you won't be able to read traffic. Also think of reading and being safe in traffic as part of the skill sit you are developing beyond just the strength of you legs. I hope that helps.
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Old 06-12-08, 02:58 PM
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On second thought you could always play the license plate memorization game.
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Old 06-12-08, 03:52 PM
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trafficasaurus, I think that happens to all of us. I don't know if this is the best method, but when I find I'm inattentive, I change my route. It forces me to concentrate and get my mind back on what I'm doing.
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Old 06-12-08, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
trafficasaurus, I think that happens to all of us. I don't know if this is the best method, but when I find I'm inattentive, I change my route. It forces me to concentrate and get my mind back on what I'm doing.
thank you that makes a lot of sense. I will try that.

I just dont know why I didn't think of that. its so simple, in an unfamiliar environment your senses will be much more active than on a familiar route. thank you.
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Old 06-13-08, 06:59 AM
  #7  
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I live close to work I have have two usual routes. I guess changing them up actually helps me stay a little more attentive. But then riding in the city pretty much requires constant vigilance...
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Old 06-13-08, 10:08 AM
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I get a little "MUP DUMB" on my commute. I have ridden it so many times that I really don't pay attention sometimes.

Try to look for the DIFFERENT things on your trip. Try to find cool stuff in the road you can pickup and post on the "coolest thing you've found commuting" thread.

Make Friday "casual day." I ride in my Hawiian shirt. (performance cycling garment?) I stop and enjoy a cup of coffee and a donut overlooking the lake. Stuff like that.

Take a different bike for a change.
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Old 06-13-08, 10:24 AM
  #9  
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I find that I can not get out of "make the best time that I can" mode and get into "ride slow enough to not sweat up a storm" mode

I am always riding as fast as possible in the morning. I think it is because the wind always seems to be at my back, whereas in the after, it is always a headwind and just winds me something fierce, so I tend to ride slower on the way home.
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Old 06-13-08, 10:29 AM
  #10  
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Lifes not a race,change gears.
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Old 06-13-08, 10:34 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by trafficcasauras View Post
i just started-out riding to work last month. i've been pretty heads-up about things, but since the summer heat wave, i keep making deadly mistakes. i don't take my time. today, i took a turn in too-much in the front of an oncoming truck coming at me about about 25-30 MPH. then a week ago, i didn't wait to see the SUV that was behind the minivan - the SUV turning in front of me - on a 100 degree day in the middle of the afternoon.

i have to ride to work in the afternoon a lot.

i feel like i need to confess my sins before i end-up in the Sky. do you have any mental reminders to slow-down and stay aware in the heat? how do you do it?

Yeah, this, but then again, I'm Catholic. I would suggest setting aside a good amount of prep/pre-ride time so that you don't feel harried. To keep cool, I wear synthetics, have a Fredly yellow vest. Just take it easy and stay frosty.
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Old 06-13-08, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by EatMyA** View Post
thank you that makes a lot of sense. I will try that.

I just dont know why I didn't think of that. its so simple, in an unfamiliar environment your senses will be much more active than on a familiar route. thank you.
That Mifune in Throne of Blood in your avatar?
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Old 06-13-08, 11:07 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by trafficcasauras View Post
i just started-out riding to work last month. i've been pretty heads-up about things, but since the summer heat wave, i keep making deadly mistakes. i don't take my time. today, i took a turn in too-much in the front of an oncoming truck coming at me about about 25-30 MPH. then a week ago, i didn't wait to see the SUV that was behind the minivan - the SUV turning in front of me - on a 100 degree day in the middle of the afternoon.

i have to ride to work in the afternoon a lot.

i feel like i need to confess my sins before i end-up in the Sky. do you have any mental reminders to slow-down and stay aware in the heat? how do you do it?
Simple...all you gotta remember is that if you screw up, you die. Period.

I ride without a helmet...but obviously I can't recommend that to others because the safety nannies would scream bloody murder. Point is, I have no illusions of protection should I go down...and it has served me well for 35 years of commuting in traffic.

There is simply no excuse for not paying attention and being impatient. You can drive and do that.
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Old 06-13-08, 11:38 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by trafficcasauras View Post
i just started-out riding to work last month. i've been pretty heads-up about things, but since the summer heat wave, i keep making deadly mistakes. i don't take my time. today, i took a turn in too-much in the front of an oncoming truck coming at me about about 25-30 MPH. then a week ago, i didn't wait to see the SUV that was behind the minivan - the SUV turning in front of me - on a 100 degree day in the middle of the afternoon.
Drink more. In hot weather, I often carry one frozen water bottle and one with limeade, gatorade or some other electrolyte heavy drink. I do this even on short trips. It's really amazing to me how badly my judgment suffers when I'm dehydrated or even a bit overheated. Carting around 1-2L of liquid that I might not need is a cheap way to be safer.

Also, make sure you eat. In hot weather, it's common for people to skip meals. This is Not A Good Idea. Eat something cold if hot is nauseating, but do eat. If you don't have food, your body will burn muscle to keep going. Counterproductive, and your brain will not function as well as you like. (chilled veggie sticks can be great in hot weather... same with cold green salads)

The other big thing I do is stop at stop signs and lights. Yes, it slows you down. That's the point. A stop light is a great chance to grab a sip of water. At a stop sign, it's easy for a careless driver to miss you and t-bone you. So take a moment and stop. It also gives you a built in monitor for heat stress... we get more irritable if we're edging into heat stress so if the idea of stopping at a stop sign is more than you can stand, it might be a good idea to pull over for a moment to cool off.

i feel like i need to confess my sins before i end-up in the Sky. do you have any mental reminders to slow-down and stay aware in the heat? how do you do it?
I also change up routes fairly often. I have preferred routes to almost everywhere, with less traffic and good space for bikes. But on a good day, I'll often take busier routes. On a day with a lot of errands, I'll pile 'em all together and end up with a long ride that's very different from my normal ones.
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Old 06-13-08, 12:02 PM
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On hot days I think about how bad it would suck to fall down and not be able to get up off the blistering asphalt. It's worked so far.
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Old 06-13-08, 12:22 PM
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I've been taking it easy the last few days in preparation for a big ride tomorrow. I actually find I am less attentive when taking it easy. "La-la-la...I'm taking it easy" and tend to zone out. It is when I'm going harder I feel more tuned-in to the traffic. YMMV.

Either way, pay attention, would ya.
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Old 06-13-08, 01:00 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Torrilin View Post
Drink more. In hot weather, I often carry one frozen water bottle and one with limeade, gatorade or some other electrolyte heavy drink. I do this even on short trips. It's really amazing to me how badly my judgment suffers when I'm dehydrated or even a bit overheated. Carting around 1-2L of liquid that I might not need is a cheap way to be safer.

Also, make sure you eat. In hot weather, it's common for people to skip meals. This is Not A Good Idea. Eat something cold if hot is nauseating, but do eat. If you don't have food, your body will burn muscle to keep going. Counterproductive, and your brain will not function as well as you like. (chilled veggie sticks can be great in hot weather... same with cold green salads)

The other big thing I do is stop at stop signs and lights. Yes, it slows you down. That's the point. A stop light is a great chance to grab a sip of water. At a stop sign, it's easy for a careless driver to miss you and t-bone you. So take a moment and stop. It also gives you a built in monitor for heat stress... we get more irritable if we're edging into heat stress so if the idea of stopping at a stop sign is more than you can stand, it might be a good idea to pull over for a moment to cool off.

I also change up routes fairly often. I have preferred routes to almost everywhere, with less traffic and good space for bikes. But on a good day, I'll often take busier routes. On a day with a lot of errands, I'll pile 'em all together and end up with a long ride that's very different from my normal ones.
+1,000

I also find that my bike-handling skills degrade rapidly and severely if I'm dehydrated, under-fueled or overheated. I go through 48 ounces of diluted Gatorade-and-water on my 1 hour ride home. I ride in while it's still cool, and I still go through 24 ounces of water.
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Old 06-13-08, 01:05 PM
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go zen.

i discovered that i carry a lot of tension from my commute in my shoulders and upper back so i try to remember to relax them as much as possible while riding. it's an uphill battle but i'm making headway. go zen, is my inner mantra/mental reminder. the irony is i can go almost as fast feeling relaxed as i can with all the tension and get-there-itis.
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Old 06-13-08, 08:24 PM
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Second what a lot of people said -- don't get dehydrated on your ride. I carry a full water bottle, even though my ride is only 5.75 miles. Although I don't go with electrrolytes yet, there are some days I wish I had them. If I'm wiped when I get home, I haven't rode well.
Secondly, always remember a road is where you have more powerful vehicles with you. I grew up with defensive driving -- It's called Southern California, where cars and bikes alike have to watch out for possible crashes. This is also where I realized a helmet is a good idea. I got cut off by a driver turning left and not looking for me. Helmets do help the concussion rate if you do get hit, but only you can cut down the rate of accidents (getting hit.)
Always watch the traffic around you, and their actions. Always expect the worse (when it doesn't happen you feel better.) Be defensive about your position, if you want to turn right, be on the right side, if you want left, be on the left side of the lane, if two lanes are available, keep in the right and let the cars go in the left (they will not bug you as much.) Respect the laws, as long as it is safe, but be ready to break them for safety since this is the most important law.
I have always found bicycling to work a great waker-up, as well as stress reliever. Exercise is always great, as long as you make it safe.
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