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How safe are you?

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How safe are you?

Old 02-10-20, 12:05 PM
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Floss Regularly
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How safe are you?

Just curious as to how 'seen' you are on a recumbent. Cars are higher than they ever were, and SUVs are the mum's favourite at the school gates, so I'm wondering if there is a genuine risk of not being seen. And, more importantly, do you avoid specific roads altogether at certain times of day?
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Old 02-10-20, 01:18 PM
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I'm confident of being seen if the seer is actually looking, more of a problem are those behind the wheel with their head up their phone and those following so closely the vehicle in front of them they've no time to see and to react to what the vehicle in front has just passed by before mowing it down.

I do tend to avoid narrow one-lane roads in preference for multi-lane roads or roads with a wider single lane,but not because of visibility.
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Old 02-10-20, 02:43 PM
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A recumbent bike or trike is odd enough looking that you are MORE likely to be seen than on a regular bike. There are a few instances where extra caution is needed. Parking lots are a bad place to ride because drivers often don't look in all directions before backing out of a space. It is a bit stupid to pull up alongside the first car in a line waiting for a traffic light to turn green if the car is already at the stop line. They may turn right without looking at anything but traffic coming at them from the opposite direction. We regularly have pedestrians run over under similar circumstance when they start to cross with the crosswalk light in their favor as soon as the light turns green. Bikes are no different. The other place is the local elementary school which is 3 minutes away by bike. It seems as though the IQ of the parents chauffeuring their kids to and from school drops by at least 50 points as soon as they get in view of the school grounds. They double park, pull from the curb without looking and sometimes do U-turns without warning. It's by far the worst place I traverse. There are plenty of wide roads with no parking along them where I live so road width is rarely a problem. Some roads have too much traffic to ride comfortably though.
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Old 02-10-20, 05:03 PM
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Why do you ask?
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Old 02-11-20, 01:27 PM
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Seems to me that there is a risk of not being seen by motor vehicles when riding any kind of bicycle or tricycle. Good reason for using eye-catching lights when riding.
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Old 02-11-20, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Seems to me that there is a risk of not being seen by motor vehicles when riding any kind of bicycle or tricycle. Good reason for using eye-catching lights when riding.
As much as good lights, good, bright (and not camouflaging) clothing. (Or seat back on a wider recumbent seat.)

Not a recumbent rider, but these are my observations as both a driver and longtime rider. (On the camouflage note - red is in many circumstances and to many eyes - NOT bright! Patterns, even of very bright colors can disappear in mottled light such as under trees in bright sunlight.) I find drivers see solid yellow, orange and fluorescent green jerseys best in daytime, yellow, white and fluorescent green jerseys at night. (I don't wear fluorescent green. I hate it. But I have lots in yellow and 4 of those wonderful Mavic orange jerseys with lots of silver reflecting fabric.)

There are lighting situations where I do not notice even very bright lights as a driver but do see bright jerseys. Or I notice the jersey before I notice the lights. Fabric also has the advantage that it works just as well on low battery levels and for space cases. I have been known to forget to put a headlight on my bike leaving in late afternoon but I haven't (yet) forgotten my jersey.

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Old 02-12-20, 10:30 AM
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Most drivers swerve for pot holes, squirrels, and the like, so it's not an issue of seeing a recumbent rider. It's a question of whether they are paying attention. One can only hope to attract enough attention to be seen, recognised, and avoided. Some have opined that the unusual appearance of a recumbent bike or trike is an advantage in attracting attention. Perhaps this is real, perhaps it's wishful thinking. The bottom line is that anything you ride on the roads needs to be equipped with some combination of lights, clothing, flags, etc.
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Old 02-14-20, 07:32 PM
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I am fortunate, I have wide gravel roads in the mountains and lots of two track trails, I no longer ride with automobiles.
Got tired of watching texting drivers on the edge of control.
I am but a bag of fluids and some bones, no match for Multi thousand pound steel machines
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Old 02-14-20, 07:45 PM
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My non scientific impression is I get a wider berth when on the 'bent than when on the upright. My subjective interpretation is they don't know what I am on the bent, so they steer clear.

OTOH, virtually everything on BF is non scientific and subjective.
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Old 02-14-20, 10:16 PM
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when I road my bent I ned er had any cars that are on my right side pull out in front of me. it happed a lot on the road bike. people always seemed to see me.
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Old 02-23-20, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Floss Regularly View Post
Just curious as to how 'seen' you are on a recumbent. Cars are higher than they ever were, and SUVs are the mum's favorite at the school gates, so I'm wondering if there is a genuine risk of not being seen. And, more importantly, do you avoid specific roads altogether at certain times of day?
Shouldn't be a problem. My 'bent (EZ-1) is actually a little taller than my standard bikes due to the high seatback. You can always just put a flag or two on the back. There are also flashing red lights, reflectors, etc.... Personally, I've never had any issues, yet.
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Old 02-26-20, 03:43 PM
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I am done riding in traffic,
Got tired of watching all the idiots texting,
Got tired of breathing the poison gases while I was gulping air,
Am so very lucky to live in the mountains with clean air.
Have two national forests close to me, any many miles of two track backwood roads.

The few times I am off gravel and dirt and find myself on asphalt I can hear the occasional auto coming.
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Old 03-02-20, 07:29 AM
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I've seen a lot of videos where the cyclist has a flag. I'm convinced that flags are more of a 'feel good' solution and that they're not very visible to a motorist behind the cyclist. Some of the new LED tail lights are VERY visible, even from relatively large distances.
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