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new to me discovery: look behind over the right shoulder, not the left

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new to me discovery: look behind over the right shoulder, not the left

Old 08-03-10, 11:46 AM
  #1  
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new to me discovery: look behind over the right shoulder, not the left

this may be old hat to many, but I just discovered last weekend that if I need to look behind me (no I don't have a mirror), I get much a better view by looking over my right shoulder, rather than looking over my left shoulder.

Maybe is i just the way my body flexes (or not)

What are your observations?
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Old 08-03-10, 12:09 PM
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I have trouble looking back in either direction. I have a constant stiff neck related to shoulder arthritis.

I use a mirror.
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Old 08-03-10, 12:34 PM
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All things being equal, I don't see how the "view" should be any different in scope. Traffic activity is almost always to your left, however, and I don't see any advantage to putting the back of your head towards it by looking over the right shoulder. It seems like a much better habit to look left, that way, even if you're looking back, if something is happening on the road ahead, you have a chance to be alerted to it through peripheral vision and during the transition from straight ahead viewing to rearward and back. It's fractions of a second, but still...
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Old 08-03-10, 12:38 PM
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The biggest advantage I can see to looking over the right shoulder is control. When I look over my left shoulder, I have a tendency to drift left. This could put me out in traffic! If I look over my right shoulder, I suppose I would drift right. While that could put me into a ditch, that could be better than under a car

That being said, I look over my left for the reasons Chad cited.

I'm also planning to put a mirror on my bike one of these days
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Old 08-03-10, 12:40 PM
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I use a mirror to see behind, and look over my left shoulder to check the blind spot.

By looking over your right shoulder you won't see anything in your left blind spot.

IME other bicyclists are easy to miss when they're overtaking you when just checking your mirror (yeah, yeah I know all you guys NEVER get passed by other bikes

When looking over left shoulder I put a bit of pressure on right handlebar which keeps me in a straight line. Don't know if this is the "conventional method" but it works for me
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Old 08-03-10, 12:59 PM
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Traffic is to my left.. i don't see how looking to the right would be beneficial.
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Old 08-03-10, 01:01 PM
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I'll try it on my way home and see what I think. However, by sitting in a chair I get two different views of whats behind me.
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Old 08-03-10, 01:05 PM
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I have a mirror on the left, but if I don't, i really need to look to the right to see properly.
But that's because I'm legally blind in my left eye.
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Old 08-03-10, 01:17 PM
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huh, I'll have to try that and see how well it works

I just bought a new car, and it has WAY better mirrors than my old car. Which is good because it's not as easy to see out the back as on my old car, but I've been a little bit impressed that it's really possible to change lanes with a glance over my shoulder to the left (for a car in the blind spot) and using the mirrors.

I almost want to find a spare one at a junk yard and mount it on my bike, lol...part of the reason I don't use a mirror right now is that I couldn't be confident I'm seeing everything on the road with a tiny bicycle mirror.
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Old 08-03-10, 02:03 PM
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I can't think of any other spot on my commute where I have to look right.
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Old 08-03-10, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
this may be old hat to many, but I just discovered last weekend that if I need to look behind me (no I don't have a mirror), I get much a better view by looking over my right shoulder, rather than looking over my left shoulder.

Maybe is i just the way my body flexes (or not)

What are your observations?
I'm with you. I have no idea why, but I really prefer to look over my right shoulder, even if traffic is on the left.... which it usually is.
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Old 08-03-10, 03:52 PM
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Your right eye is probably your dominant eye, so it's naturally easier to look over your right shoulder and use your right eye.

http://www.wikihow.com/Determine-Your-Dominant-Eye

If it isn't your dominant eye, then who knows the answers to such mysteries of life?
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Old 08-03-10, 04:44 PM
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I used to drift out a bit when looking left but I've gotten better with practice. I find that it works better to look down and back rather than trying to twist my neck upward.

Last edited by bengreen79; 08-03-10 at 05:46 PM. Reason: IPod typo
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Old 08-03-10, 05:06 PM
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Sorry, but nope it does not work for me. I read this post earlier and just gave it a "what the heck" shot at it. I see nothing of the traffic on my left, just parked cars. After several attempts at it, the only conclusion is that it does nothing more than making me feel like I am a rubber necker.

To those that does favor looking right....does it causes any problems such as car see you looking to your right and yet you cross left?

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Old 08-03-10, 06:17 PM
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I've been playing with this at my desk and looking at the cubes on the other side of the wall....and I think it comes down to flexibility.....it seems that I can twist and look back more turning my head right than I can when I turn to my head to the the left. So I guess it is time for left head turning yoga and stretches, but for know I will look over my right shoulder....and maybe get a mirror

such are the little mysteries of life
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Old 08-03-10, 06:42 PM
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I probably could look over my right shoulder, but after 35 years of practice looking over my left shoulder, I think I'll stick to that.
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Old 08-03-10, 07:44 PM
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For me it depends on the curve in the road and it's radius.

If the turn is to the right, I'll look over my right as it is easier and I'll get a much better view of traffic coming up behind me.

I prefer left though and is much easier for me, made easier by having the right pedal at the 6 o'clock (and the opposite if going the other way).
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Old 08-03-10, 08:41 PM
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I drift a lot to the left when I start looking back for longer periods of time. I'll give the right look a shot, at the very least I'll taco my wheel on a curb rather than taco'ing my chest under a car.

What a horrible picture *shudders*
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Old 08-04-10, 08:42 AM
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I'm a left-shoulder guy also, but I use a visor mounted mirror to keep an eye on things behind me. Of course, I always check over my shoulder for vampires before changing lanes.
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Old 08-04-10, 08:51 AM
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Tried this last night, and I'll stick to looking over my left shoulder.
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Old 08-04-10, 09:13 AM
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To avoid drifting in the direction I am looking back I move my opposite hand over towards or on the stem and take the other hand off the bars.
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Old 08-04-10, 09:23 AM
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With a bent bike linear mach III, mirror in required. I use helment/eyeglass mount
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Old 08-04-10, 11:28 AM
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If you're looking over your shoulder, it's best to do it one-handed.
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Old 08-04-10, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by snowman40 View Post
For me it depends on the curve in the road and it's radius.

If the turn is to the right, I'll look over my right as it is easier and I'll get a much better view of traffic coming up behind me.

I prefer left though and is much easier for me, made easier by having the right pedal at the 6 o'clock (and the opposite if going the other way).
What snowman said, but without the pedal position part.
 
Old 08-04-10, 03:21 PM
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If you are not using a mirror you need to take care when checking over the shoulder. I found, maybe it's just me, that you tend to drift slightly in the the direction of the shoulder that you are looking over. So if you look over the left you could drift a bit more into the traffic lane. Use care or better yet get a mirror.
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