Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Need Safety Input from "Real" Cyclists

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.
View Poll Results: I feel most vulnerable and at risk on my bike when:
Cars/trucks are overtaking me from behind - (right hook included here)
48.39%
Crossing busy intersections on a green light.
20.16%
Crossing busy intersections without regard for the color of the light.
6.45%
When I have the right of way at a 2-way stop sign.
14.52%
Other common traffic scenarios (please explain)
29.03%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 124. You may not vote on this poll

Need Safety Input from "Real" Cyclists

Old 01-03-13, 07:16 PM
  #1  
JoeyBike
20+mph Commuter
Thread Starter
 
JoeyBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA USA
Posts: 6,969

Bikes: Surly LHT, a folding bike, and a beater.

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1136 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 41 Posts
Need Safety Input from "Real" Cyclists

I have been noticing over at the Advocacy and Safety forum that there is a huge divide regarding when cyclists feel safe or unsafe on roads with cars. I am here asking you "Real" cyclists how you feel when cycling under certain conditions. By Real I mean people who use their bikes daily (or very often) for utilitarian purposes like getting to work, running errands, getting groceries, etc. I am NOT interested in input from people who use a bicycle strictly as a toy or a workout tool. Those "Other" cyclists can drive to a starting point to pick and choose when and where they ride.

I want input only from cyclists who have someplace to go and a time frame in which to get there - preferably going to and from work regularly.

You can select more than one situation but please don't select more than three. Stick to the most nerve-racking situation(s)! The less you select, the better the poll data will be.

Thank You!

Last edited by JoeyBike; 01-03-13 at 07:26 PM.
JoeyBike is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 07:21 PM
  #2  
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Posts: 28,425

Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked 471 Times in 303 Posts
Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
I have been noticing over at the Advocacy and Safety forum that there is a huge divide regarding when cyclists feel safe or unsafe on roads with cars. I am here asking you "Real" cyclists how you feel when cycling under certain conditions. By Real I mean people who use their bikes daily (or very often) for utilitarian purposes like getting to work, running errands, getting groceries, etc. I am NOT interested in input from people who use a bicycle strictly as a toy or a workout tool. Those "Other" cyclists can drive to a starting point to pick and choose when and where they ride.

I want input only from cyclists who have someplace to go and a time frame in which to get there - preferably going to and from work regularly.
What is your question?
I-Like-To-Bike is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 07:25 PM
  #3  
tergal
Senior Member
 
tergal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Logan, QLD ,Australia
Posts: 784

Bikes: Trek 4300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
"I have been noticing over at the Advocacy and Safety forum that there is a huge divide regarding when cyclists feel safe or unsafe on roads with cars. I am here asking you "Real" cyclists how you feel when cycling under certain conditions."

Can you narrow the question down , i am more scared of pedesntians than i am of cars.


Also.... Dividing groups in to real and not real .... will not end well
tergal is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 07:25 PM
  #4  
no1mad 
Thunder Whisperer
 
no1mad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NE OK
Posts: 8,852

Bikes: '06 Kona Smoke

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 274 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 1 Post
Route selection is a pretty important variable for me. If I'm running low on time, I'll mix it up on the most direct route, then bail once I get to the first major intersection. Otherwise, I'll pick a parallel route through the side streets- if going into town proper. I avoid high density, high speed traffic as much as possible.
no1mad is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 07:27 PM
  #5  
-=(8)=-
♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯
 
-=(8)=-'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: 40205 'ViLLeBiLLie
Posts: 7,902

Bikes: Sngl Spd's, 70's- 80's vintage, D-tube Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The problem wit the A&S snake handlers are that they feel their version of riding in Davis CA is better than yours in NYC. There are no magic formulas or rules that are all-inclusive regardless of what they might think. Take the lane on Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach . . . Go ahead, I dare you. I believe the people you are addressing almost have a 6th sense and know when a road will work for them or not. Although Im almost car free, I'll always pick the easier, more laid back route home even if it adds a mile or two. Not because Im scared, just because the faster pace road is not one I want to deal with if I dont have to. If I had to pick one that is the most unsettling, I would say back roads with lots of blind corners and no shoulders.
-=(8)=- is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 07:31 PM
  #6  
1nterceptor
LET'S ROLL
 
1nterceptor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NEW YORK, NY - USA
Posts: 4,782

Bikes: 2014 BMC Gran Fondo, 2013 Brompton S6L-X

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 306 Post(s)
Liked 40 Times in 30 Posts
I prefer not to mix it up with cars and peds on my commute,
but in New York City; with its limited bike paths that's just
not possible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFf8l6kZtlU
1nterceptor is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 07:32 PM
  #7  
JoeyBike
20+mph Commuter
Thread Starter
 
JoeyBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA USA
Posts: 6,969

Bikes: Surly LHT, a folding bike, and a beater.

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1136 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 41 Posts
Originally Posted by tergal View Post
Also.... Dividing groups in to real and not real .... will not end well
This is why I am here asking commuters and not in the Road Bike Forum.
JoeyBike is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 07:37 PM
  #8  
WorldPax
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 341
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think anyone who says they feel safe around traffic is deluding themselves. Anytime you mix cars and bikes there's the potential for bad things to happen and the guy/gal on the bike is going to lose. Safety and risk is something you manage through skill, awareness and planing. I never feel safe in traffic, fear keeps you alive. I guess that's what getting rear ended at speed does for you. Lesson learned.
WorldPax is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 07:47 PM
  #9  
JoeyBike
20+mph Commuter
Thread Starter
 
JoeyBike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA USA
Posts: 6,969

Bikes: Surly LHT, a folding bike, and a beater.

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1136 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 41 Posts
Originally Posted by WorldPax View Post
...getting rear ended at speed...
That sucks. So being overtaken (Selection 1) would be high on your list I assume. Also tergal above mentioned pedestrians. I considered adding peds as a selection but I wanted to narrow down the mix to just motor vehicles.
JoeyBike is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 08:01 PM
  #10  
tergal
Senior Member
 
tergal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Logan, QLD ,Australia
Posts: 784

Bikes: Trek 4300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Peds scare me, Cars around here seem to follow the rules and are normally predictable ...peds not so much
tergal is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 08:08 PM
  #11  
downwinded
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: WKY
Posts: 730

Bikes: 2014 Trek Crossrip LTD, 2013 Raleigh Misceo

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
1nterceptor, all I can say is WOW! I know a lot of you folks have a commute similar to that, but all I can think is WOW. At the same time, it would be really bad trying to get around by car. So, learning how to ride in that kind of traffic would be most beneficial. My hat is off to all who have similar commutes.
downwinded is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 08:17 PM
  #12  
spare_wheel
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NA
Posts: 4,267

Bikes: NA

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I think anyone who says they feel safe around traffic is deluding themselves. Anytime you mix cars and bikes there's the potential for bad things to happen and the guy/gal on the bike is going to lose.
I feel far safer cycling in PDX then I do driving. In fact, I worry a lot more about my better half's car commute. I've also found that most of those who emphasize the perceived risk of cycling (often the car/truck wins physics canard) are sanguine about their motoring. Given the 33-40K per year killed by motor vehicles in the USA this strikes me as irrational.


To address the OP:

*Being cut off by an impatient driver. I guess this fits under over-taken.
*Having a driver pull out in front of me (e.g. from a driveway or stop) because they misjudge my speed.
spare_wheel is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 08:23 PM
  #13  
DrakeSuperbus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 120
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I am mostly only bothered when I find myself in a situation with a lot of "fast" cars (40+) and no safe shoulder. Urban driving doesn't bother me because the cars are generally slower, and country riding doesn't bother me because the cars are generally fewer.

Suburban riding (at least around the commercial areas where everyone is flying down the road and swerving into shopping centers) is the worst.
DrakeSuperbus is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 08:33 PM
  #14  
AlmostTrick
Tortoise Wins by a Hare!
 
AlmostTrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Looney Tunes, IL
Posts: 7,282

Bikes: Wabi Special FG, Raleigh Roper, Nashbar AL-1, Miyata One Hundred, '70 Schwinn Lemonator and More!!

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1485 Post(s)
Liked 823 Times in 438 Posts
Other. High speed arterials (50+ mph actual) with no (or very narrow) shoulder and heavy traffic. This feels the most unsafe for me. Seems other cyclists agree 'cause I almost never see any riding on these types of roads. I have to do a couple miles of this if I want to ride to work though.

Peds? What are those? No peds on my suburban commutes.


Originally Posted by -=(8)=- View Post
If I had to pick one that is the most unsettling, I would say back roads with lots of blind corners and no shoulders.
I do this on part of my work commute. It's not bad because usually the traffic is much lighter, and speeds lower than the main streets I avoid. Drivers can see me before I enter a curve, and can tell I'm in the center of the lane. Well timed "hold back" hand signals and/or look backs prevent most from trying to pass me while entering a blind curve.
AlmostTrick is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 08:34 PM
  #15  
wolfchild
Senior Member
 
wolfchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 6,552

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2032 Post(s)
Liked 804 Times in 419 Posts
For me personally, riding through intersections at green light is most dangerous, that's why I prefer to run through reds if an oppurtinity to so is there. Another danger is getting rear ended, when taking a lane on some of the busy major roads.... Around here nobody ever takes a lane, instead you ride as far right as possible and deal with close passes. If you do take a lane in my city, your remains will be splatered all over the road and you won't be typing on bikeforums about your VC cycling exploits. A couple of cyclists around my area have also died from right hooks,
wolfchild is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 08:40 PM
  #16  
AlmostTrick
Tortoise Wins by a Hare!
 
AlmostTrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Looney Tunes, IL
Posts: 7,282

Bikes: Wabi Special FG, Raleigh Roper, Nashbar AL-1, Miyata One Hundred, '70 Schwinn Lemonator and More!!

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1485 Post(s)
Liked 823 Times in 438 Posts
Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
For me personally, riding through intersections at green light is most dangerous, that's why I prefer to run through reds if an oppurtinity to so is there. Another danger is getting rear ended, when taking a lane on some of the busy major roads.... Around here nobody ever takes a lane, instead you ride as far right as possible and deal with close passes. If you do take a lane in my city, your remains will be splatered all over the road and you won't be typing on bikeforums about your VC cycling exploits. A couple of cyclists around my area have also died from right hooks,
So when drivers in your area can plainly see a cyclist in their path they just drive over them? I don't believe that for a minute.
AlmostTrick is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 09:42 PM
  #17  
wolfchild
Senior Member
 
wolfchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 6,552

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2032 Post(s)
Liked 804 Times in 419 Posts
Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
So when drivers in your area can plainly see a cyclist in their path they just drive over them? I don't believe that for a minute.
I live in the suburbs, too many cars moving too fast...no time for drivers to see a bicycle riding in the middle of the road. If you don't believe me then you're more then welcome to come here and try it. I guarantee that you not gona see bicycles riding in the middle of the road around here.
wolfchild is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 09:52 PM
  #18  
rebel1916
Senior Member
 
rebel1916's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,100
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 53 Post(s)
Liked 52 Times in 30 Posts
Who are you to say who is real?
rebel1916 is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 10:06 PM
  #19  
Rick@OCRR
www.ocrebels.com
 
Rick@OCRR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 6,186

Bikes: Several bikes, Road, Mountain, Commute, etc.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 83 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 1 Post
On my commute here in Los Angeles county, peds are by far the most dangerous. I've had two very serious crashes due to taking avoiding action to keep from hitting peds.

Rick / OCRR
Rick@OCRR is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 10:11 PM
  #20  
Mark Stone
Tractorlegs
 
Mark Stone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3,057

Bikes: New Balance 880v7 Kicks

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I voted other, because I can't think of any traffic situation that bothers me more than other situations. I might be fooling myself but I feel pretty comfortable in all the described scenarios. It might be because I've done this for so long . . .
__________________
********************************
Car Light since Nineteen Something
Mark Stone is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 10:15 PM
  #21  
mtbikerinpa
Shimano Certified
 
mtbikerinpa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: PA
Posts: 1,845

Bikes: 92 Giant Sedona ATX Custom

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Peds and cats are the most random creatures on the road. Cats don't have as good of lawyers...

Usually a siren/horn works well enough on the peds around here, cars for the most part are deaf or the typical northeastern indifferent. Generally however they will not intently hit a well lit rider who is using the lane. Edgers on the other hand get picked off more frequently, though admittedly neither has presented fairly high numbers. Right hooks are very common, especially around the schools in the morning(go fig).
mtbikerinpa is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 10:21 PM
  #22  
DJ Shaun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
Posts: 292

Bikes: Diamondback Copperhead (hardtail, winter bike), 2014 Giant Rapid 2, 2015 Kona Big Rove ST

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
For me personally, riding through intersections at green light is most dangerous, that's why I prefer to run through reds if an oppurtinity to so is there. Another danger is getting rear ended, when taking a lane on some of the busy major roads.... Around here nobody ever takes a lane, instead you ride as far right as possible and deal with close passes. If you do take a lane in my city, your remains will be splatered all over the road and you won't be typing on bikeforums about your VC cycling exploits. A couple of cyclists around my area have also died from right hooks,
It's harder to get right hooked by taking the lane at an intersection. Most of the close calls with right-hooks I've seen are with cyclists that filter ahead along the curb in the driver's blind spot. Drivers don't expect bikes on their right when there's only a foot or two between them and the curb.

As for running reds in traffic... that's just impatience. Safety my rear.
DJ Shaun is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 10:29 PM
  #23  
Mr. Hairy Legs
Super-spreader
 
Mr. Hairy Legs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: where black is the color, where none is the number
Posts: 887

Bikes: shiny red tricycle

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1166 Post(s)
Liked 101 Times in 97 Posts
Going through an intersection with a green light feels most dangerous to me, especially since many left-turners have the habit of starting to "go" when there is only a cyclist proceeding through, and I can't tell if they have seen me yet.
Mr. Hairy Legs is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 10:42 PM
  #24  
DJ Shaun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
Posts: 292

Bikes: Diamondback Copperhead (hardtail, winter bike), 2014 Giant Rapid 2, 2015 Kona Big Rove ST

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I hate getting 'buzzed' when being overtaken.

I also hate it when drivers misjudge my speed and think they have time to turn or change lanes in front of me. I'm huh, well, not skinny. But I can move pretty fast on my hybrid. I've often surprised drivers by how fast I can catch up to them.
DJ Shaun is offline  
Old 01-03-13, 11:02 PM
  #25  
wolfchild
Senior Member
 
wolfchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 6,552

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2032 Post(s)
Liked 804 Times in 419 Posts
Originally Posted by DJ Shaun View Post
It's harder to get right hooked by taking the lane at an intersection. Most of the close calls with right-hooks I've seen are with cyclists that filter ahead along the curb in the driver's blind spot. Drivers don't expect bikes on their right when there's only a foot or two between them and the curb.

As for running reds in traffic... that's just impatience. Safety my rear.
I agree about taking lane at some intersections to avoid getting right hooked, I do that sometimes and I've never been right hooked yet. Avoiding right hooks is more about awareness and reading traffic then lane position. But I would never just ride along in the middle of a lane on a high speed road..nobody who is in their right mind will ever do that around here.
As for red lights, it may sometimes be safer to run a red then stop and wait for it to change.
wolfchild is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.