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How Dangerous Is It

Old 08-06-15, 11:30 AM
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tg16
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How Dangerous Is It

A cyclist was struck and killed here in Baton Rouge when he turned in front of a car in front of the main library. Just a few minutes ago I read this article on the news.

Man on bike hit while returning from vigil for dead cyclist - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

It is discouraging and makes me wonder what my taxes go to? We have some bike lanes but they are rarely honored by people in cars and used quite a bit for parking. Calls to the police seem to do little.

I understand that our infrastructure has not kept up with growth since the influx of people after the hurricanes but what price life?

I rarely ride in town except in my neighborhood and do my longer rides in places like Bayou Paul and the St. Tammany Trace.

Sorry, just venting to a sympathetic audience.
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Old 08-06-15, 12:17 PM
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The injury incident reads as though the motorist was entirely at fault, running the stop sign either intentionally or inattentively. It would be instructive to see his cell phone log.

At least the speed limit got reduced -- this probably helped the chap in question. For me, traffic calming and vehicle speed reduction is far more important than bicycle-specific infrastructure.

The bottom line is that society lacks the political will to hold motorists accountable for their actions. Distracted and careless drivers are a bigger problem than the drunks, because they outnumber them.
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Old 08-06-15, 12:44 PM
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You can get hit just as easily on a quiet rural road as you can in the city----ask me how I know.

Ride defensively. Anticipate that the person behind the wheel doesn't see you. That's your best defense.
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Old 08-06-15, 12:51 PM
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From the article...

Mese was riding on Capital Heights Avenue around 10 p.m. Tuesday when he said a person in a car going north on Blanchard Street went through the intersection without stopping for the stop sign.

"It didn't matter that I was wearing a reflective jacket or that there were lights on my bike," Mese said.

Sounds like the car ran a 4 way stop.

Headlights and tail lights don't work sideways and reflectors on you or the bike are only going to work once the cars lights are shining on them. And by then it's too late in a cross traffic situation.

If you're riding at night, you should assume nobody can see you at a cross street.

IMO, new riders should avoid riding at night until they are extremely competent in the daylight.
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Old 08-06-15, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by andr0id View Post
Headlights and tail lights don't work sideways
Yes they do, if they are bright enough. Not those little 2 watt things. My 1600 lumen Magicshine is sufficiently bright that cars flash their brights at me if I don't have it angled down. And when angled down, it illuminates a big patch of road in front of me. On a dark country road, the illuminated trees are casting stark shadows. Cars can see me from the side, I assure you.

I'm sorry about the accident in the news report and I don't blame the cyclist at all, but if you want to ride on the road at night, get REAL lights. I see too many people with rinkydink lights, including barely perceptible "blinkies" in the back. THOSE can't be seen by a motorist .

Many LBS don't sell lights good enough for real night time riding. But there is plenty available if you look for it.
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Old 08-06-15, 01:32 PM
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Running a stop sign is bad....

But I agree with others, also consider defensive riding. Be aware of your surroundings. Don't pull out until you're sure the car you're pulling in front of is going to stop. Although I certainly have had a few close calls.

However, my belief is that it is healthier for me to be on the bike than behind the wheel.
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Old 08-06-15, 01:47 PM
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In a way, infrastructure such as bike lanes make things worse for cyclists. If there are bike lanes, motorists tend to believe that THEY, personally, funded that lane specifically to get cyclists OFF THE ROADS.

Infrastructure will help newbies feel more comfortable by designating where they should be and giving them the illusion that cars will never go there; but nothing will really change until motorists' attitudes change.
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Old 08-06-15, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mprelaw View Post
You can get hit just as easily on a quiet rural road as you can in the city----ask me how I know.

Ride defensively. Anticipate that the person behind the wheel doesn't see you. That's your best defense.
You're absolutely right. I learned as a runner to think that every car approaching an intersection was going to run it and if they weren't going to run it, they would pull far enough forward to hit me. The driver made eye contact, was almost stopped and still lightly bumped me. It still knocked me off my feet. Before I could get up, the car maneuvered around me, jumped a curb and took off.

Personally, I would not have gone through an intersection at night if a car was coming. It would have had to stop and the driver look at me.
@MinnMan is right about the lights. I have found this site useful : https://www.bikelightdatabase.com/
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Old 08-06-15, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mprelaw View Post

Ride defensively. Anticipate that the person behind the wheel doesn't see you. That's your best defense.
This ^^^

I ride 5,000+ per year and I haven't collided with a motor vehicle (knocking on wood, HARD). I spend a few years driving for UPS, they have the best drivers training! I trust no one on the road (in my car or on my bike). It has worked well for me.

On the other hand, I get upset when I hear about somebody get hurt or killed while biking. I bike past a ghost bike (Marcus Nalls) a few times a month, the ghost bike is a block from where my daughter works. It is a reminder how fragile life is.
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Old 08-06-15, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
I spend a few years driving for UPS, they have the best drivers training!
I don't suppose you could put a good word in for us and ask them to stop parking in the bike lane. lol
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Old 08-06-15, 05:05 PM
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If cars park in bike lane, leave a note (or deflate their tires?).
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Old 08-06-15, 05:26 PM
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These are UPS trucks. I've spoken to the heat about it, and they seemed non-plussed about doing anything about it. Pictures of the offending drivers and their trucks sent to UPS also had no effect.

What irks me is that they double park in the bike lane when there is plenty of free space other places (albeit also illegal) that would at least not endanger others to the same extent. To me, it just doesn't make logical sense.

It's one of my many personality flaws ... I've been told by many that I'm too logical and am foolish to expect other to be the same.
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Old 08-06-15, 07:59 PM
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I'm 2 months in to my return to cycling and I've already put my foot on the hood of two cars that pulled thru stops signs. It made my conversion to clipped pedals a difficult decision. I don't know what the answer is but I hope my shoe left big scratches on the hood of the guy in the big black Mercedes who was looking at something in his passenger seat while rolling thru the stop sign. I thought I was a goner.
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Old 08-06-15, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
bike past a ghost bike (Marcus Nalls) a few times a month, the ghost bike is a block from where my daughter works. It is a reminder how fragile life is.
I ride past one particular ghost bike on nearly every other ride. I used to walk past a second ghost bike on my lunch hour at a busy intersection, but authorities removed it a few years ago. They are very thoughtful monuments and they unquestionably have given me many occasions to reflect on the danger of our sport and the things I can do to minimize the danger.
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Old 08-07-15, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
I don't suppose you could put a good word in for us and ask them to stop parking in the bike lane. lol
HA! Not much chance that'll change. At the very least, they are equal opportunity offenders, I see them double park and block auto traffic all the time.
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Old 08-07-15, 09:45 AM
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Although the OP is writing about bikes, in fact, no matter what you are operating it is tough to be paranoid and defensive enough.

Motor vehicles failing to stop, weaving in and out in traffic, increasing speed to block you when you activate turn signals....

Bikes riding in and out of traffic with no regard for law or safety, their's or anyone else's.

Fortunately, most people are courteous and do the best they can. Otherwise it would be Mad Max every day.
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Old 08-07-15, 01:35 PM
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Death Stalks us all,

There are many more sports/activities that are far far more dangerous than Cycling.

I recently gave up my 2008 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200R 'R' for Roadster, not because I feared death riding it but because I was getting more out of Mountain biking and I needed money for a better mountain bike

If I plow Into a tree head first and die so be it, beats televison and recliner chairs that are a sure ticket to assisted living and then a nursing home..

Automobiles are often piloted by stupid people, makes me glad I mostly ride In the woods..

Bike lane,,,pfft, 5,000 pound cars doing 60 and passing me, missing my soft body by three feet or less while the driver is texting ??
Really ?
I am not that brave, I'll ride my bent In the mups thank you ......
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Old 08-07-15, 02:46 PM
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Every once in a while you’ll hear of another motorist demanding licensing for bicycles. This thread and others confirm my ongoing assertion that a motorist needs to have 8 hours of on-road bicycle experience as a requirement before being granted a drivers license.

Sure a lot of people will get upset but they got upset in the 1970s when wearing seatbelts were made mandatory and they got upset when non-smoking bylaws started in restaurants and then spread to the workplace.
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