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Cyclist driving habits

Old 11-03-19, 09:47 PM
  #1  
bcpriess
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Cyclist driving habits

Just curious how other cyclists drive in residential areas, stroads, and highways. I give myself plenty of time to get to my destination, so I tend not to be in any kind of rush.

Residential/city : pretty much always less than 25mph, or slower if the limit is lower. Arounde 15mph if there are lots of pedestrians or curb cuts.

Stroads:. Usually lots of curb cuts, so I tend to stay below 35 even with higher speed limits so I have plenty of opportunity to brake when a texting dip**** pulls out without looking .

Highways:. Interstate I go as fast as I can and maintain good distances between me and other cars, but not faster than the majority of semis seem to be moving. Otherwise highly variable based on sightlines on 2lane etc rds.

And I avoid phone use except for maps.
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Old 11-03-19, 09:59 PM
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maintain posted speed limits, heed on-the-spot fed/state informational signage, practicing being assertive, & try to be prepared for route changes to my best abilities. Going slower than to what is posted when the environment greenlights a normal driving behavior serves no benefit to other drivers.
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Old 11-04-19, 06:32 AM
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Not sure what being a cyclist has to do with driving behavior, except maybe being a bit more respectful of cyclists’ space on the road, since I see car-bike interactions from both sides. I’ll still give cyclists a good blast of the horn if they’re acting like *******s.
good driving is good driving, regardless of your other hobbies
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Old 11-04-19, 06:40 AM
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My wife and I communicate within a car just as we would when riding together. "Rider up." "Debris right." "That driver has shaky line. Caution passing."

We do it unconsciously while otherwise conversing normally. Being a rider myself has conditioned me to be more aware and alert to riders when driving. I expect that it limits the riskiness of my driving. Could very well be so.
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Old 11-04-19, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
I’ll still give cyclists a good blast of the horn if they’re acting like *******s.
Nice.
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Old 11-04-19, 07:48 AM
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Cyclist driving habits
Originally Posted by bcpriess View Post
Just curious how other cyclists drive in residential areas, stroads, and highways. I give myself plenty of time to get to my destination, so I tend not to be in any kind of rush.

Residential/city : pretty much always less than 25mph, or slower if the limit is lower. Arounde 15mph if there are lots of pedestrians or curb cuts.

Stroads:. Usually lots of curb cuts, so I tend to stay below 35 even with higher speed limits so I have plenty of opportunity to brake when a texting dip**** pulls out without looking .

Highways:. Interstate I go as fast as I can and maintain good distances between me and other cars, but not faster than the majority of semis seem to be moving. Otherwise highly variable based on sightlines on 2lane etc rds.

And I avoid phone use except for maps.
Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
Not sure what being a cyclist has to do with driving behavior, except maybe being a bit more respectful of cyclists’ space on the road, since I see car-bike interactions from both sides. I’ll still give cyclists a good blast of the horn if they’re acting like *******s.

good driving is good driving, regardless of your other hobbies
I posted to this thread"When YOU are the Motorist":
Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
I am a very cautious motorist and I take driving safety very seriously. But, like everyone who has driven as long as I have, I've had some "close calls" where I thought I could have been better in retrospect…

I also had an incident once where I didn't see a road cyclist because he was obscured by my pillar. It made me realize what a small profile cyclists present, and now I always double check that pillar.

Have you had any incidents that you're not quite proud of?
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post

As a cyclist, I always look particularly hard for cyclists, making me a more cautious driver than usual, especially in Boston. I agree that viewing rearward on the right side is one of the most hazard-fraught manuevers.

My worst transgression(s) have been since a bike lane was positioned in front of our condo, outside the parking lane. At the beginninng I was lax to look for oncoming cyclists, but no incidents…
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Old 11-04-19, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by bcpriess View Post
Just curious how other cyclists drive in residential areas, stroads, and highways. I give myself plenty of time to get to my destination, so I tend not to be in any kind of rush.
I cant imagine anyone coming on here and declaring they dont GAF and drive recklessly. It isnt socially acceptable, so I would guess only those looking for attention or socios would do such a thing.

I drive better than I used to when I was younger...or I have just learned to do a better job of avoiding accidents and speed traps.
Tough to tell- self evaluation when it comes to driving is comically inaccurate.

I look at my phone to open Amazon Music or pick a podcast- to me its the same as selecting a CD/tape/8track.
I also look at my phone when using Google Maps. Thats usually at a stoplight though- planning ahead cuz Im such a good boyscout.


All seriousness, if my driving habits have changed over the last 15 years, I would associate it to having kids vs cycling.
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Old 11-04-19, 07:52 AM
  #8  
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Only difference is that when I'm driving, I have to stop for stop signs.
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Old 11-04-19, 08:14 AM
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I'm sure behavior is all over the map. Just because you ride a bike doesn't mean you are not human, and human behavior varies. I have seen plenty of people with bike racks on their cars drive negligently. Nearly got hit by one such person when she pulled out of a parking space without looking.
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Old 11-04-19, 08:26 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I'm sure behavior is all over the map. Just because you ride a bike doesn't mean you are not human, and human behavior varies.

I have seen plenty of people with bike racks on their cars drive negligently. Nearly got hit by one such person when she pulled out of a parking space without looking.
Posted to this thread, Are most avid/experienced cyclists knowledgeable of laws, safety practices?”
Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
With the proviso that frequently people describe themselves as an avid and experienced cyclist in casual conversation, but really aren't.
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Old 11-04-19, 09:51 AM
  #11  
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depends on the timing of events. am I early, on time or late?

I'm very careful around cyclists, pedestrians and motorcycles. Other cars not as much

but age is a factor too
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Old 11-04-19, 10:18 AM
  #12  
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I've almost always driven like I'm hauling nitroglycerin in the trunk. From the time I was a teenager my family told me I drove like a chauffeur who didn't want to disturb the boss's backseat nap. I've driven fast when appropriate -- empty stretch of Midwestern highways -- but rarely recklessly, and always mentally castigated myself when I did take stupid chances.

In decades of driving I've had only one unforced accident, sliding across the curb on a cloverleaf exit in misty wet conditions. Wrecked the undercarriage. Never came close to repeating that again. I've been struck several times by reckless drivers -- while I was driving, riding motorcycles and bicycles -- but I can honestly say I didn't contribute at all to those collisions. Some folks just should never be behind the wheel. Bring on the AI robot cars, can't be any worse than most human drivers.

You'd think the same mindset would influence our driving and cycling, but, nah. I'm pretty careful riding my bike around traffic, but at any opportunity I'm going as fast as my toothpick legs will churn butter. On group rides when everyone else is coasting I'm pedaling. Alas, I'm not strong or fast enough for the A-group, so I'm all show and not much go.

On some group rides I see terrible bike handling by otherwise perfectly nice folks. I kinda wonder how they drive. But if my habits are any indication, there's not necessarily any connection between our bike riding and motor vehicle handling skills.

In my area most drivers are at least tolerant of cyclists and many are deferential. But there are a lot of cyclists in this area, so visibility and frequency helps.

Alas, it takes only one negligent, reckless or outright hostile jerk to spoil a day or a lifetime. I've been hit twice in less than 20 years, both times by negligent drivers in avoidable situations. Completely life changing experience. I haven't had a day without pain in almost 20 years. From 2001 when I was hit the first time breaking my neck and back in six places, until 2014, I walked with a cane. But I was determined to ride again and resumed cycling in 2015. Then I was struck again last year, breaking my shoulder and re-aggravating the old neck injury. I'm back on the bike, but a lot more short-tempered than I used to be with jerks piloting two-ton death cocoons. Some rides I'm getting a full body workout, between pedaling and gesticulating like a grumpy old Italian man accusing his buddies of cheating at bocce ball. Nah, I'm not flipping ya off. That's just my "cigar."
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Old 11-04-19, 10:34 AM
  #13  
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I think as a generalality cyclists tend to be more situationally aware in relation to how much they cycle. Cycling has a habit of being on the losing side of a vehicle/cycle interaction. So there is good incentive to form good habits and those habits tend to be carried from one mode of transportation to another.

Professional commercial drivers with a class A CDL tend to be the best drivers. Most everyone else is amateur by definition. A fact most amateur drivers would be keen to understand.

IMO the people that claim to be "good" drivers are blusfully unaware of all the mistakes the make. It's shameful really.

By way of coincidence: These "good" drivers are usually the ones that claim there's never anyone using the cycle lanes.
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Old 11-04-19, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
Nice.
Last time I had to do this, I was driving through a busy intersection in Boston, with the green light, and a dude on a bike came sailing in from the right, on a downhill at decent speed and on a trajectory that would have put him under my front wheels, so yeah, I laid on the horn and woke him up from his carefree reverie, because up to that moment he appeared not to have considered that he was sailing into a busy intersection against a red light. He hit the brakes hard and stopped - I drove on. He passed me a few hundred yards down the road, cursing and flipping me off etc I gave him a nice wave and went about my day. Nice? He didn't think so, but he was a bloody fool - but he lived to flaunt traffic regulations another day and I didn't have to hit the brakes and risk the car behind me running up my ass. Good day all round, IMO

Last edited by Litespud; 11-04-19 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 11-04-19, 11:08 AM
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main thing cyclist know how to do is drive effectively and considerately around other cyclists. Most regular people (not cyclists) have no clue how to drive around cyclists, it is not taught so how would they know?
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Old 11-04-19, 11:17 AM
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I struggle to be an 'assertive' driver - if I get to a 4-way stop first, I go first. If someone else gets there first and tries to let me go I shake my head and point as firmly and politely as possible to indicate that it is their turn.

There is a situation that sometimes occurs around here - I call it the Canadian Traffic Jam - where everyone is stopped at an intersection and yelling, 'NO YOU GO!'
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Old 11-04-19, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
I struggle to be an 'assertive' driver - if I get to a 4-way stop first, I go first. If someone else gets there first and tries to let me go I shake my head and point as firmly and politely as possible to indicate that it is their turn.

There is a situation that sometimes occurs around here - I call it the Canadian Traffic Jam - where everyone is stopped at an intersection and yelling, 'NO YOU GO!'
I've been teaching my daughters to drive over the last year or so, and I try to impress on them that they need to be sufficiently assertive on the road to ensure that the road users around them understand fully what they're doing and what they intend to do (without being so bullish that they're being dicks, of course). Being a good driver is about being aware and predictable - know what's going on around you, so you can react if necessary, and clearly telegraph your intentions, so other drivers know what you're doing and can react as necessary. The worst thing you can do is send mixed signals to other drivers - like slowing down as you come to an intersection, thereby giving other drivers the impression that you're letting them in, when that's not your intention. By all means, let them in, but signal clearly and unambiguously that that's what you're doing - otherwise maintain speed, watch them and be ready to tap the horn to snap them back if they start to roll.
People who are too nice on the road, letting people in (or using, for example, the "Pittsburgh Left") generally gum up the works, because other drivers don't know what they're doing or about to do. There's a name for such misguidedly well-meaning disruptors - Niceholes.
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Old 11-04-19, 12:14 PM
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I am occasionally one of the faster drivers around, but I am very deferential to cyclists and children. Or really, to any pedestrians or slower vehicles. But children are particularly unpredictable, so I do really slow down if I see them playing in the area.
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Old 11-04-19, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
I think as a generalality cyclists tend to be more situationally aware in relation to how much they cycle. Cycling has a habit of being on the losing side of a vehicle/cycle interaction. So there is good incentive to form good habits and those habits tend to be carried from one mode of transportation to another.
Agree. Anyone who's spent appreciable time riding in traffic learns pretty quickly to anticipate problems, read cars' "body language," look for escape routes, etc.
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Old 11-04-19, 08:54 PM
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While cycling the road, I never listen to music/podcasts. Just can't do that while there are cars around me.
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Old 11-04-19, 09:23 PM
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I have had friends tell me that because I cycle they now drive different.


If just knowing someone that rides a bicycle can change habits, how could it not also change us, the cyclist?
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Old 11-05-19, 12:01 AM
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Consistently drive over the speed limit sticking to the unofficial “9 your fine, 10 your mine” rule a CHP instructor taught us in traffic school. As a cyclist who is driving, my awareness around cyclists is heightened and I give them plenty of room. I never talk, txt, or look at phone screens while my wheels are moving because that’s just stupid. Studies show it is as bad or worse than driving drunk.
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Old 11-05-19, 12:11 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
I think as a generalality cyclists tend to be more situationally aware in relation to how much they cycle…
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Agree. Anyone who's spent appreciable time riding in traffic learns pretty quickly to anticipate problems, read cars' "body language," look for escape routes, etc….
I once whimsically described my "moves" in traffic:
Originally Posted by C.Jester View Post
...I’ve always felt safer riding in heavy traffic in town than out on the back roads. At least if I get hit in town, there are witnesses and someone to call 911.
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
The weird thing is that traffic in NYC is aggressive, but I find it easier to survive than other places.

I'm not sure I'm ready to say NYC drivers are better than in other places, because it may simply be that I understand the dance and know how to do it
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
As a social ballroom dancer with years of lessons, as well as urban commuter, may I say, "Well said."

There was thread once about rural vs urban cycling, and a concensus was that urban cycling was safer, because of the congestion and slower speeds. Even with heavy traffic, I know the patterns of traffic, the "dance steps," and can anticipate the car's movements.

Earlier on this thread, I wrote: An important aphorism I learned on BF is, "To know where a car is going, watch the front wheels, not the body or hood," though we don't watch our feet when we dance.:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
When we go ballroom dancing on a crowded floor, my wife will sometimes say "Watch behind you."

I once put on my eyeglass-mounted Take-a-Look mirror, but she was not amused.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 11-05-19 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 11-05-19, 12:33 AM
  #24  
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I try not to run over cyclists!!!!

When I'm a passenger, I call out pedestrians, hikers, and cyclists when I see them.
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Old 11-05-19, 05:34 AM
  #25  
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I stop or slowdown at amber lights. I stop and wait for pedestrians to step off the sidewalk. I change lanes when I pass bicycles. I look at my blindspot before I crack open my door. I'm on the lookout for other bad drivers.

When I'm faced with a dilemna that either makes me a road rager or a nicehole, I'll choose to be a nicehole.

Last edited by Daniel4; 11-05-19 at 05:37 AM.
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