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What Bicycling Rules do you follow that Experience has taught you?

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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

What Bicycling Rules do you follow that Experience has taught you?

Old 02-24-21, 02:07 PM
  #51  
Clyde1820
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What Bicycling Rules do you follow that Experience has taught you?
1. Always assume other drivers and riders don't see me, and ride accordingly.

2. Always expect the unexpected (see #1).

3. Always ride with the hands on the bars, since one never knows whether something in the road will "toss" the bike and rider.

4. Always ride with front and rear reflectors and lighting (along with bright/DayGlo/reflective colors on outer clothing), being as visible as possible.

5. Always bring some cash along, since it might be necessary if bike or rider gets disabled.


Aside from that, I simply drive and ride relatively cautiously, very defensively. I try to not assume anything, other than assuming the others around me don't yet see me there.

Last edited by Clyde1820; 02-24-21 at 02:55 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-24-21, 02:40 PM
  #52  
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Assume everyone is out to get you and ride accordingly. Never do anything based on what you expect someone to do.

Being in the right after getting hit does no good.

Obstruct traffic as little as possible.
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Old 02-24-21, 03:52 PM
  #53  
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Unclip when approaching intersections you might have to stop at.

edit:
If they are clipless pedals, then why do we say unclip? Is that sort of like we say rewind to move back a few frames of video when nothing about a video is wound anymore?

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Old 02-24-21, 04:04 PM
  #54  
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I didn't realize this was the 50+ group so apologies.

When riding with others (even just one other) and you are leading the ride, ALWAYS stay out front.
I have a few examples so I'll share one. After almost 2-years of trying to convince a co-worker (pre-COVID days) to join me in bike commuting to the office, he finally bought a bike and agreed to try it. I met him at the agreed upon join up point and off we went. We happily rode the 12km into the office, me leading the way as it was my regular route. But in the last km my partner started to pull up on my left side just as we entered an intersection and I turned left. He rode into my rear triangle/wheel and he went down, ending up with some good road rash and a bleeding elbow. I was fine.
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Old 02-24-21, 04:12 PM
  #55  
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Ride a pace to the slowest member of the ride, as they improve they will enjoy it more. Tarmac hurts, stop lying down on it. You're not World Tour anymore, stop thinking your body can ride like that.
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Old 02-24-21, 04:31 PM
  #56  
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1. Elevation climbing is more important to endurance rides than riding a lot of miles on level ground.
2. You can never have enough info on what is behind you. I ride with a Garmin Varia that has radar that alerts my Garmin. I also have a drop bar mirror and a helmet blinky light.
3. When you're on a group ride, and you start wondering if you're going to get dropped, grab the wheel of the tallest cyclist and draft as much as you can...
4. Not all 4-way intersections have a 4-way stop! I wish I would have thought about this 3 1/2 years ago when I got t-boned by a car.
5. Don't Scream "ON YOUR LEFT" when passing someone unless you are sure you are going to pass that person...Nothing more embarrassing than yelling "On Your Left" and you've only passed that person for a few seconds and they pass you...
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Old 02-24-21, 05:40 PM
  #57  
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Never jump on a bike without a saddle.
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Old 02-24-21, 08:54 PM
  #58  
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After a period of days with a big drop in temperature, and subsequent thaw, watch you route carefully.
Cracks between different sidewalk blocks or transitions from road to bridge or changes from path to road etc. will shift or change position , sometimes by several inches. Not a big deal if you're on a big mountain bike, but you might be in for a shock on 25mm tires.
Happened twice today. A bit scary on a 18 pound SS bike.
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Old 02-24-21, 10:19 PM
  #59  
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I try never to put myself where "it" is going to happen for cars. I will do anything to be somewhere else when drivers will be forced to think about something more than how to get around me. For instance if I see lanes are going to merge ahead, I will run a light to get through that spot before all the cars lined up behind me at the light get there. Etc.
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Old 02-24-21, 11:02 PM
  #60  
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Smile and wave, boys.....
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Old 02-24-21, 11:35 PM
  #61  
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When wet/raining avoid steel grates and plates as well as painted lines.
Modulate your speed on wet descents and assume braking will take longer unless you have discs.

Never leave for a ride hungry or thirsty.
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Old 02-24-21, 11:50 PM
  #62  
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Never go cheap on whisky, women, or toilet paper.

Never, ever put one of those ultra dorky mirrors on your bar ends or helmet, or glasses. Nothing says, “I’m inexperienced, shaky, prone to make poor and irrational choices, and probably crash for no apparent reason,” like a couple of mirrors plastered all over a bicycle.

Always crank out maximum watts.

Only you can prevent forest fires.

No smoking.

If it’s yellow let it mellow.
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Old 02-25-21, 12:20 AM
  #63  
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Get rid of the eights for good.
Glue or solder the crosses!
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Old 02-25-21, 12:22 AM
  #64  
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Like riding a motorcycle, take it easy on the front brake while turning.
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Old 02-25-21, 02:56 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by AdkMtnMonster View Post

Never, ever put one of those ultra dorky mirrors on your bar ends or helmet, or glasses. Nothing says, ďIím inexperienced, shaky, prone to make poor and irrational choices, and probably crash for no apparent reason,Ē like a couple of mirrors plastered all over a bicycle.

.
I respect your feelings about mirrors. But how do you judge the traffic behind you ? Some of the best riding is to the left of the bike lane, where you dont have to focus on debris, branches or what have you. Before I do that, I look carefully to see what's on the road in back of me.
In fact I was thinking of buying a backup camera and putting the monitor on my handlebar and the camera on the back of my helmet and turning it on when I am in a tight spot.

Last edited by 5 mph; 02-25-21 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 02-25-21, 09:17 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by 5 mph View Post
I respect your feelings about mirrors. But how do you judge the traffic behind you ? Some of the best riding is to the left of the bike lane, where you dont have to focus on debris, branches or what have you. Before I do that, I look carefully to see what's on the road in back of me.
In fact I was thinking of buying a backup camera and putting the monitor on my handlebar and the camera on the back of my helmet and turning it on when I am in a tight spot.

My will to live is as strong as anyoneís. I use my eyes and ears to determine if itís safe to turn. I donít live in an area with bike lanes. I ride where the traffic is intermittent and moving @ 55mph or better, on two-lane winding roads. Be predictable, follow the rules of the road. When itís time to turn onto a different road I rotate my head and actually look to see if there are any cars, log trucks, motorcycles or giant RVs closing on me. It works.

If I was riding on city streets I would keep my head on a swivel and my ears in operation to stay alive. I would not be scanning a set of eleven mini mirrors bolted all over my bike. I would turn my head and look. Why? Because a direct view of traffic works.

I have a Garmin Varia that tells me about approaching vehicles behind me, but I donít rely on it as my indicator of whether or not itís safe to turn. Itís a situational awareness aid for the times when Iím cruising and vehicles pass me, so that I know theyíre coming. (I have it set to chirp.) I am an interactive bike rider- my head turns, my hands & arms signal turns and stops when someone is behind me, and I am more than just a passenger on my own bike. Iím pretty fortunate to live in an area where there are miles and miles of great paved road riding, and tons of dirt road/gravel riding. Not many people. Tourists, though, lots of those all summer long. I just donít find mirrors all that helpful. Look at the real traffic, not a reflection of it. Be certain. Be safe.
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Old 02-25-21, 09:47 AM
  #67  
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I can't swivel my head fast enough to keep up with Chicago downtown traffic. Sound means nothing when it's everywhere all the time. I wish I had six more eyes. But a mirror works, in the meantime.
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Old 02-25-21, 11:45 AM
  #68  
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Hold your line and look like you know what you're doing. I also always use front and rear lights during the day. Also, I like to acknowledge drivers with a wave or nod when appropriate. I'm getting too old to throw the finger around.
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Old 02-25-21, 12:25 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
I can't swivel my head fast enough to keep up with Chicago downtown traffic. Sound means nothing when it's everywhere all the time. I wish I had six more eyes. But a mirror works, in the meantime.
Not only does a mirror work, but if safety is the goal it works much better.

A proper mirror allows for effortless and ongoing real time monitoring of situations behind as they develop... something that a head turn or two never could. This is especially the case for helmet / eyeglass / visor mounted units which can cover it all with only a slight turn of your head. I'll do quiet neighborhood and bike path rides without 'em but much prefer not to forgo such a handy tool while on busy and/or high speed roads.
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Old 02-25-21, 12:31 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by bOsscO View Post
I didn't realize this was the 50+ group so apologies.

When riding with others (even just one other) and you are leading the ride, ALWAYS stay out front.
I have a few examples so I'll share one. After almost 2-years of trying to convince a co-worker (pre-COVID days) to join me in bike commuting to the office, he finally bought a bike and agreed to try it. I met him at the agreed upon join up point and off we went. We happily rode the 12km into the office, me leading the way as it was my regular route. But in the last km my partner started to pull up on my left side just as we entered an intersection and I turned left. He rode into my rear triangle/wheel and he went down, ending up with some good road rash and a bleeding elbow. I was fine.
Rather than "Always stay out front," which is an impossible rule to implement, the rule should be "Never overlap the wheel in front of you."
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Old 02-25-21, 12:43 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by y0x8 View Post
Get rid of the eights for good.
Glue or solder the crosses!
The late Jobst Brandt (Porsche engineer, author of The Bicycle Wheel) tested tied and soldered wheels and demonstrated conclusively that tying and soldering contributes nothing of use to bicycle wheels.

It is possible that the practice of tying and soldering wheels dates back to Racing Ordinary/penny farthing bike days, when mild steel spokes were used to build 52"-inch-diameter wheels (and when the practice of overlapping spokes was introduced, not to increase wheel strength, which it doesn't, but to keep broken spokes from flapping outward and contacting the fork or the rider's legs).
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Old 02-25-21, 01:27 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
The late Jobst Brandt (Porsche engineer, author of The Bicycle Wheel) tested tied and soldered wheels and demonstrated conclusively that tying and soldering contributes nothing of use to bicycle wheels.

It is possible that the practice of tying and soldering wheels dates back to Racing Ordinary/penny farthing bike days, when mild steel spokes were used to build 52"-inch-diameter wheels (and when the practice of overlapping spokes was introduced, not to increase wheel strength, which it doesn't, but to keep broken spokes from flapping outward and contacting the fork or the rider's legs).
Where are the experiments with strong radial impacts on the wheel (imitation of hitting a rock or a bump)?
It was necessary not in the static, as Mr. Jobst Brandt did, but in the dynamics to beat a heavy weight on the taped and not taped wheel.
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Old 02-25-21, 01:53 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
The late Jobst Brandt (Porsche engineer, author of The Bicycle Wheel) tested tied and soldered wheels and demonstrated conclusively that tying and soldering contributes nothing of use to bicycle wheels.

It is possible that the practice of tying and soldering wheels dates back to Racing Ordinary/penny farthing bike days, when mild steel spokes were used to build 52"-inch-diameter wheels (and when the practice of overlapping spokes was introduced, not to increase wheel strength, which it doesn't, but to keep broken spokes from flapping outward and contacting the fork or the rider's legs).
I heard of this practice decades ago. Didn't think anyone still did it.
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Old 02-25-21, 02:15 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
The late Jobst Brandt (Porsche engineer, author of The Bicycle Wheel) tested tied and soldered wheels and demonstrated conclusively that tying and soldering contributes nothing of use to bicycle wheels.

It is possible that the practice of tying and soldering wheels dates back to Racing Ordinary/penny farthing bike days, when mild steel spokes were used to build 52"-inch-diameter wheels (and when the practice of overlapping spokes was introduced, not to increase wheel strength, which it doesn't, but to keep broken spokes from flapping outward and contacting the fork or the rider's legs).
It is done on track wheels (before they all went carbon) and the reason is if you broke a spoke the tying and soldering would keep the tension on the wheel and keep it true, letting you finish the race.
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Old 02-25-21, 02:48 PM
  #75  
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Focus on where you want to go, not on obstacles, debris, potholes, etc., that you want to miss.
You tend to steer towards where you are focused (at least I do). Before I learned this lesson I rode over a lot of things I wanted to miss.
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