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Old 10-24-11, 01:40 PM   #1
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Are you a stealth cyclist?

The other night I was rather ambitious. I rode through my neighborhood 3 times in a row, executing the same flight plan. Lights on back, lights in front. No problems really except for the two way street that has sharrows on it and a double yellow line. Toward the end of my last lap I noted a car behind me approaching and a blind corner coming up, so I claimed the lane. Foolishly in retrospect, knowing that most cars are visible when coming around a corner with their headlights anyway, the car would have passed without meeting oncoming traffic. All would have been well.

Well, I stood fast in the lane and this big "modern" pickup just barely grazes me when passing and turns in right quick to the lane almost taking me in the process. So I rode after it with the intent to tell the driver my piece of mind. At the stop sign, I caught up just barely and I yelled, "Ride better next time, Jerk!" Ha, ride better! As if he was a fellow cyclist. I am grateful to be alive and will probably choose either another route to take or hug the right portion of the roadway from now on.

I'm beginning to acquire the stealth philosophical approach to cycling. Avoiding big car thoroughfares, claiming the lane is not necessarily safe (even in daylight!). Sure, I'll probably still claim the lane going down a steep hill and when in a turn lane, otherwise let the youngsters do it, they still have 8 of their nine lives left!

I will still avoid the door zone!

Cycling, even here in wonderful Portland Oregon can be dangerous. Not all roads are bike friendly! I think finally I've learned to place caution before bravado!

Last edited by Cyclomania; 10-24-11 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 10-24-11, 02:21 PM   #2
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If he went around you and immediately cut back in, then you know he saw you. There's nothing wrong with claiming your space, but if a 4000 lb truck decides he wants it despite you, then it might be a good idea to give ground.
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Old 10-24-11, 03:35 PM   #3
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I wouldn't say I'm stealth exactly, but I have found that most of the best routes around here run through neighborhoods and not on busy thoroughfares. Plus I have the bonus of learning the wormholes of the city- the parks I can cut through, pedestrian tunnels under train tracks, unmarked trails connecting streets, etc., that you can follow on a bicycle but not in a car. One of my routes crosses a track that has a lot of train traffic, and sometimes the train will just stop on the track. I can jog a couple blocks east, ride to the end of the street, up a driveway, turn down the paved path and voila! a tunnel under the tracks takes me through to the other side! Couldn't do that if I was driving.
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.

Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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