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Cycling Makes better drivers?

Old 09-19-06, 01:46 PM
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Adiankur
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Cycling Makes better drivers?

I have noticed, that since I have begun cycling, I have become a much better driver. Things I used to do, without a thought, I will stop myself and realize, that if there was a cyclist nearby, I could run them over or cause them to crash. I have also noticed the share the road signs we have all around here now that I have been cycling.

Has anyone else noticed this change in their driving habits before and after cycling? I wonder if more people spent time on a bicycle, if they would be more aware of the dangers drivers pose to cyclists.
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Old 09-19-06, 03:32 PM
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The difference in my driving habits was not particualrly noticable. However, the thoughts regrding cyclists did indeed come into play. In general also, I know I notice cyclists more readily now.
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Old 09-19-06, 03:51 PM
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Absolutely. I now know how to read a car's "body language" and I'm aware of the intersections where people are likely to run reds, etc.
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Old 09-19-06, 05:06 PM
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Probably worse for me since I hardly ever drive a car. I also keep wanting to pull stuff I can get away with on a bicycle. So no, cycling makes me a worse drive because it makes me even more impatient when and if I have to drive.
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Old 09-19-06, 06:09 PM
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I find I'm more patient, as I can plan my time at a cycling speed.
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Old 09-19-06, 06:15 PM
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Yup, I keep more of an eye out for cyclists and make sure to give them more than enough room. I have a better knack for timing lights and a better feel for traffic habits as well. The funniest thing I have noticed is that at stops sometimes I end up slowing down wayyy before I get to the light just like I would if I were riding.
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Old 09-19-06, 09:34 PM
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Do you swerve around pot holes too?
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Old 09-20-06, 05:48 AM
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I look for bike riders when I drive. If they are in a bad section of road (like going over a bridge with no shoulder) I'll even try to shield them from the other cars for awhile.
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Old 09-20-06, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Nachoman
Do you swerve around pot holes too?
Yes (when safe of course), but I've been doing that way before I started cycling.
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Old 09-20-06, 10:29 AM
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Yeah but the pedestrians get mad when I'm driving the wrong way down the sidewalk.

I've always said people should have to do a full 12 months on two wheels (motorized or otherwise) before they can get a car-driver's license. The comment about reading "body language" from a car is so true. That saved me more than once riding a motorcycle around the mean streets of D.C. years ago.
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Old 09-20-06, 11:22 AM
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I drive a lot slower since I started cycling. I used to be pretty cavalier about speed limits.
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Old 09-20-06, 12:04 PM
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I hardly ever drive but yeah, I certainly watch out for cyclists and make sure to always give them ample room. It helps that I am an incredibly patient driver (an opposite of what I am on a bike, oddly enough ). Traffic jams make me sad but I never objected to individual slow-moving vehicles, be it cyclists, tractors, horses or whatnot (occasionally on one-lane roads, on which I go at or under the speed limit, of course, I get passed by impatient drivers who then slow way down thinking they are "punishing" me - and I can't help but chuckle). I don't care if I am "stuck" behind an old lady on a three-speed returning from the grocery at 8 mph. In fact, I end up checking out her bike and those pre-WWII grocery panniers.

But, as I said, I hardly ever drive. So actually the opposite is also true: driving a car once in a while makes me a better cyclist. It's good to see the road from the motorists' perspective from time to time.
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Old 09-20-06, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by vtjim
Yeah but the pedestrians get mad when I'm driving the wrong way down the sidewalk.
hahaha me too man...

I would say that cycling 99% of the time makes the odd trip in the car a little more iffy. Yesterday I practically blew a stopsign in my car that I would have gone right through on the bike.

Although being able to appreciate a cyclist's point of view from the road definitely leads me to give them more room which is a good thing, whether they notice it or not.
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Old 09-20-06, 02:33 PM
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I haven't found myself trying to pull any cycling maneuvers in my car. Strangely enough, I found myself driving a bit more aggressively after I played grand theft auto for the first time. Was kind of scary, the thought process I had going on after that. Once I caught on to what was happening, I managed to get control of myself.
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Old 09-20-06, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Adiankur
I haven't found myself trying to pull any cycling maneuvers in my car. Strangely enough, I found myself driving a bit more aggressively after I played grand theft auto for the first time. Was kind of scary, the thought process I had going on after that. Once I caught on to what was happening, I managed to get control of myself.
This is one thing that scares me about cars: it is so sheltered from the environment, so artificial, that it feels like a videogame to me! All those endless miles of accurately marked up road do not help. Sometimes my subconsciuos forgets I'm out in the real world and starts thinking "video game". There isn't even so much I can do about it but keep reminding myself that I am in control of several tons of fast-moving steel that will do great harm to living things if it comes in contact with them...

Anyway, I am still a very cautious driver at all times (I play the video game very carefully ), but I don't like losing the awareness of being in the "real world". And how different it is on a bike! I feel every breeze, every bump, every up- and downhill, every rain drop; I see, hear and smell every car around me... 100% aware of the environment.
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