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nd2010 08-14-13 01:09 PM

Has cycling changed your driving habits?
I noticed that I tend to coast to a stop for a long distance if the light is red, rather than stay on the gas only to hit the brake 500 feet later, and no one else seems to do that. I sometimes stop past the stop line at a red light or stop sign if I'm first, since I'm used to stopping ahead of the traffic (my passengers think I might run the stop sign or light). I try not to accelerate on an uphill because I know that will use more energy than maintaining my speed or decelerating. I constantly put the AC on and off on hot days, putting the AC on when slowing down and putting it off when accelerating. On a road with a lot of traffic lights, I might prefer to cruise at 15-25 mph and get all the green lights than go 30 mph, stop, go 30, etc. One bad thing is that I might not stop in a crosswalk for a pedestrian on the opposite side, or I might creep up slowly to a crosswalk while a pedestrian is crossing it, rather than coming to a complete stop. On a bike, I would just go around the pedestrian in the crosswalk. And I treat bikes like royalty, giving them 5 feet or more, expecting them to run stop signs and red lights on the bottom of a hill. Sometimes I would follow a bike at 15 mph for over a mile on a narrow road where there's no space to pass safely because I know the cars behind me would pass unsafely if I passed the bike.

rumrunn6 08-14-13 01:27 PM

I am more courteous to cyclists.

but i remeber also that after spending so much time on a bike, my reflexes and inclinations were still in tune with cycling. hard to describe exactly but I think you have begun to do so with this thread.

Jseis 08-14-13 01:30 PM

Motorcycling changed my driving habits over 40 years ago. That and a quick reaction time saved my life several times, kept me out of trouble.

Chaco 08-14-13 02:42 PM

I give cyclists a much wider berth when passing.
I'm in not as much of a rush.
If a cyclist has taken the lane in front of me, and I can't pass safely, I'm content to follow as long as necessary.
When making a right turn, I pay a LOT more attention to what may be behind me in the bike lane.
On the negative side, as a cyclist I tend to blow some stop signs, especially on "T's" where there's not a cross street on my side. Sometimes I almost go through those because I forget that I'm not on my bike.

Looigi 08-14-13 03:10 PM

Not really. But I've been riding bikes and motorcycles for as long or longer than I've been driving cars or trucks. Let's just say I don't dawdle and don't let situational ambiguity cause me to be overly cautious.

daihard 08-14-13 06:43 PM

I only recently started riding a bike, but I already find myself paying more attention to cyclists while driving, especially when I make a right turn. Like someone else said, I can now happily follow a bicycle in the same lane if I can't safely overtake him/her. My definition of "safely" has changed, too. When I do pass them, I give a lot more room between them and me.

The same thing happened when I started commuting by bus 5 years ago. Buses used to be nothing but road obstacles to me before. I am a lot more patient with them now.

koolerb 08-14-13 07:00 PM

Like some of the other posters said, more aware of bikes on the road and I take it a little slower, especially on roads with no shoulder.

Steve B. 08-15-13 11:28 AM


If I happen to drive a road that I cycle on a lot, I tend to not even come close to stopping at the stop signs. My wife then yells a bit.

PlanoFuji 08-15-13 11:40 AM

Yes, I don't need to drive anywhere near as much as I used to...

Jiggle 08-15-13 12:25 PM

Yes, after years of going as fast as I wanted and never being impeded, driving a car is an exercise in patience. If there's not a granny in front of you, there's a nanny behind you giving a stern warning to drive as slowly as everyone else.

cvskates 08-15-13 12:47 PM


Originally Posted by PlanoFuji (Post 15964019)
Yes, I don't need to drive anywhere near as much as I used to...


I also find I'm more aggravated by traffic in my truck now that I bike. Red lights are something to loath in a vehicle, where on my bike it's a chance for a drink and little break.

RPK79 08-15-13 12:56 PM


Originally Posted by cvskates (Post 15964284)

I also find I'm more aggravated by traffic in my truck now that I bike. Red lights are something to loath in a vehicle, where on my bike it's a chance for a drink and little break.

I dislike red lights more on my bike.

cvskates 08-15-13 03:36 PM


Originally Posted by RPK79 (Post 15964330)
I dislike red lights more on my bike.

I don't mind 'em. I get to pass all the people who had to squeeze past me just before the last stop sign / red light to race to the next red light :)

PartsMan 08-15-13 03:58 PM

My commute includes a left turn on to a busy highway.
On the bike I roll the stop sign and turn on to the shoulder barely noticing traffic.
I have to remind myself not to do that in the pickup.

buffalowings 08-15-13 05:11 PM

I carve like a beast, and bunny hop every speedhump.

wolfchild 08-15-13 05:19 PM

Cycling has killed my desire to drive and own a vehicle, so I became car-free. I rent or borrow a car 2-3 times per year when I need to make a long trip out of town, it feels a little strange getting inside a car and driving.

mrodgers 08-15-13 06:25 PM

I've always driven in town like the OP laid out. I'm a country boy, I may barrel down the 2 lane at 70 mph out in the middle of nowhere, but when the rare event happens that I'm in town where heaven forbid there are stoplights, I have people behind me almost running me down because they expect to race to the next stoplight where I am just cruising at the speedlimit to catch the next one as it turns green.

I am very rarely in town. I drive a turbo and I use it, often. Anywhere I go from my house, I stop half mile from my house, then won't have to stop for another 30 minutes. I have a lot of long steep hills and can't keep my foot out of the boost when going up them. My car EPA is 28 highway and I average consistantly 30 mpg.

My wife is the same way. Just bought a V6 Rav4, specs are 0-60 in 6.1 seconds. Yup, she does it too and my wife drives that way. She's more of a lead foot than I am. Spec for her 269 hp V6 is 26 mpg highway and she consistantly averages 25-26. Just filled her up tonight and I calculated, 26.0 mpg exactly on the last tank of gas.

I don't see many cyclists, or should read any, but I do see an occasional one throughout the year. I rode a motorcycle for a few years though, that really boosts your awareness. We don't have to worry about the 2 wheeled varieties out on the road, we have to worry about 4 legged varieties running out onto the road from the woods. A good sized deer can stop a 60 mph car pretty darn good, I know that for certain. Never even had time to begin to lift off and go for the brake. Hit him dead square at 60 mph in my Toyota truck and it practically stopped me dead.

Don in Austin 08-16-13 07:20 PM

I check to my right and behind me to my right at every intersection. Not all cyclists are wise about avoiding right hooks from unwise filtering. If I am going to turn right where there is a bike lane I start checking the bike lane long before my right turn. I am much less prone to be in a hurry and I give bikes LOTS of room when passing. I treat the a**hats and the considerate safe cyclists about the same. I don't want either on my grill or under my wheels. I developed the habit while cycling never to go through a fresh green unless checking for red-light runners and that has carried over to my driving.

wahoonc 08-17-13 05:39 AM

I give people directions to places... and you can't get there that way by car. :P

I have to drive for a living, some 50,000+ a year is average. When I get where I am going I park the car. Many times I will walk to places if feasible, I also carry a folding bike with me much of the time. I am on the constant look out for cyclists. I have seen several long haul cyclists and have offered them cold bottles of water or Gatorade that I keep in a cooler in the car. I usually encounter these cyclists on the back roads out in the middle of nowhere. I will quite often get off the interstates and run the back roads, wishing I was on a bike instead of in a car.

Aaron :)

Notgrownup 08-17-13 06:16 AM

I use to Cycle everywhere as a kid up to 26 years old so i have always been courteous to cyclist but what changed my driving habits the most was motorcycling. This opened up my eyes. Cagers )car drivers) that have never been cyclists or motorcyclists have little respect in general or maybe it's little knowledge of the way we think on our cycles...

nd2010 08-17-13 10:45 PM

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that I always pay attention if I'm turning right and a bike is in the shoulder. I'd wait a few seconds for them to pass so I don't right hook them. When parallel parking, I check for bikes before opening the door.

I also know a lot of the back roads, which usually are the shortest distance to my destination. So if the highway is backed up, I'd know how to bypass it. Conversely, some roads have a lot of traffic, and it takes longer to drive than to bike on them. It's fun to pass miles of slow traffic on a bike (even when going uphill), but not so fun to be stuck in that traffic in a car.

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