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And This is How to Fall Off Your Bike

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

And This is How to Fall Off Your Bike

Old 08-22-20, 06:22 PM
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DaveLeeNC
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And This is How to Fall Off Your Bike

It is 4 stop signs between my house and the "open road". On any day there is a 90% chance that I will be the only vehicle at any of these stop signs so a rolling stop through them is my norm. If there is a car it is my STRONG preference for them to go first so I don't have to deal with them and they don't have to deal with me. Interestingly cars in my neighborhood are frustratingly polite and insist that I go first. As nice as it is it is irritating.

I was approaching stop sign #3 (4 way stop) and another car was approaching from the opposite direction. I was maybe 75 feet out so I slowed down dramatically (was already kind of resting after a short, high gear sprint up a riser done for no reason) hoping that said car would clear before I even got there. Said car slowed down dramatically (well crap). I had not even decided yet which way I was going to go (it was either straight or left) so I gave a right turn signal which would make me mostly a non factor here as there are few cars would go in that direction typically. Said car then signaled right so I gave a great big "please go signal" with my arm/hand. Said car refused. So now I was going as slow as I can go without falling over, so I made a (wrong) split decision and went right. Unfortunately with all the hand signals I forgot that I was in a 50/13 gear and had to kind of stand to get going. While I keep my pedal clips a tad loose I have NEVER had my foot come out on the road - UNTIL TODAY. And that is how to fall off your bike. I should have stopped, gotten off, and stood there waiting for oh so polite said car to make her left turn.

dave

Last edited by DaveLeeNC; 08-22-20 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 08-22-20, 06:44 PM
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DougRNS
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
It is 4 stop signs between my house and the "open road". On any day there is a 90% chance that I will be the only vehicle at any of these stop signs so a rolling stop through them is my norm. If there is a car it is my STRONG preference for them to go first so I don't have to deal with them and they don't have to deal with me. Interestingly cars in my neighborhood are frustratingly polite and insist that I go first. As nice as it is it is irritating.

I was approaching stop sign #3 (4 way stop) and another car was approaching from the opposite direction. I was maybe 75 feet out so I slowed down dramatically (was already kind of resting after a short, high gear sprint up a riser done for no reason) hoping that said car would clear before I even got there. Said car slowed down dramatically (well crap). I had not even decided yet which way I was going to go (it was either straight or left) so I gave a right turn signal which would make me mostly a non factor here as there as few cars would go in that direction typically. Said car then signaled right so I gave a great big "please go signal" with my arm/hand. Said car refused. So now I was going as slow as I can go without falling over, so I made a (wrong) split decision and went right. Unfortunately with all the hand signals I forgot that I was in a 50/13 gear and had to kind of stand to get going. While I keep my pedal clips a tad loose I have NEVER had my foot come out on the road - UNTIL TODAY. And that is how to fall off your bike. I should have stopped, gotten off, and stood there waiting for oh so polite said car to make her left turn.

dave
That type of driver infuriates me. They're everywhere down here in Georgia. This was discussed in another thread and someone called them niceholes. Perfect description. They aren't doing you a favor -just making it worse. Sorry about your encounter.
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Old 08-22-20, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by DougRNS View Post
That type of driver infuriates me. They're everywhere down here in Georgia. This was discussed in another thread and someone called them niceholes. Perfect description. They aren't doing you a favor -just making it worse. Sorry about your encounter.
I love it when a car defers their right of way in situations where doing so will mean that they'll have to pass you in 15 seconds. Gee, thanks for that.
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Old 08-22-20, 07:03 PM
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Happened in Boulder a lot. Thanks, but I'd rather you be in front of me pulling away than behind me and passing. Yep.
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Old 08-22-20, 10:03 PM
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Niceholes will BUST UP YOUR FLOW!!!!!
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Old 08-23-20, 12:32 AM
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Yeah, that's why I've modified my riding style for urban and suburban areas. I don't slow-roll through intersections anymore. I stop, track stand and go if the intersection is clear, or I clearly have right of way.

However if there's the slightest doubt about the driver's intention -- they could intersect with me if we both rolled through the stop sign -- I stop, set a foot down and wave them through. Once I've unclipped and set a foot down I will not budge until the other car(s) go.

And if it's rush hour and there are multiple cars arriving at a heavily contested four-way stop, I will hang back at least 10 feet from the intersection and let them all go through. If anyone tries to wave me ahead, I will not budge. I'll smile and wave them ahead.

I've had too many interactions when the driver behind the nicehole was not so nice and blasted around the stopped vehicle and nearly clobbered me or another cyclist.

There are plenty of rural routes I can ride virtually uninterrupted by traffic, stop signs or traffic lights. I use those for workouts. I don't roll dice with drivers in suburban and urban areas.
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Old 08-23-20, 04:21 AM
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It can be frustrating but I would rather deal with people trying to be nice than people being dicks.
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Old 08-23-20, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I've had too many interactions when the driver behind the nicehole was not so nice and blasted around the stopped vehicle and nearly clobbered me or another cyclist.
Yup, see this all too often. Two years ago, I saw a "thoughtful" driver leaving a gap for a car, coming from the other direction, to make a left-hand turn in front of him. Unfortunately, the nice driver occupied only one of three lanes going his direction and the left-turning vehicle was t-boned by a car coming down the free-flowing right turn lane. One of the cars, I don't recall which, ended up on it's roof. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
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Old 08-23-20, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
It can be frustrating but I would rather deal with people trying to be nice than people being dicks.
I get where you're coming from, but the "nice" gestures can often cause very real safely issues.
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Old 08-23-20, 06:02 AM
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I can’t stand it when a car refuses to pass me. There will be plenty of room but they still won’t pass me unless I stop.
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Old 08-23-20, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I love it when a car defers their right of way in situations where doing so will mean that they'll have to pass you in 15 seconds. Gee, thanks for that.
On Thursday I slowed down and waved on two Amish teens who were waiting to pull their horse a carriage out of a driveway. Saved them the trouble of having to pass me on the steep hills ahead.
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Old 08-23-20, 07:38 AM
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There is one situation that I run into often that is much 'worse' than this. One of the golf courses that I play regularly crosses a relatively busy 2 lane road. The club and the state have argued for years about some kind of stop light/crossing light or a tunnel. I guess that is not going to happen. If you are walking (or riding) from the first green to the second tee, you have to cross this road. There is no 'yield to pedestrians' in place here, just some kind of caution sign. About half the time a driver from one direction will stop for you. Of course drivers from the other direction typically don't stop. So the golfer kind of feels compelled to not hold up the nicehole and rushes to cross. It really is a dangerous situation.

dave
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Old 08-23-20, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
However if there's the slightest doubt about the driver's intention -- they could intersect with me if we both rolled through the stop sign -- I stop, set a foot down and wave them through. Once I've unclipped and set a foot down I will not budge until the other car(s) go.
Yeah, this is the strategy I have adopted. Too many times I have sat there waiting to the other guy, and had us both say "Forget it,' and take off together ... or, as @WhyFi notes, have to dodge them 15 seconds later as they have to pass me ....

Still, no way I can get angry at these people. It is a matter of unfamiliarity and communication. They want to do the right thing but have no clue since they are not cyclists. It is up to me to communicate to them what they should do---and I have found that seeing me sitting with a foot down or (if it gets extreme) standing on both feet straddling the top tube, makes it emphatically claer that i refuse to proceed.
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Old 08-23-20, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by bampilot06 View Post
I can’t stand it when a car refuses to pass me. There will be plenty of room but they still won’t pass me unless I stop.
I alternate between taking the lane and slowing down, and pulling hard right and windmilling my left arm. I have yet to have a driver not figure it out eventually.

Another peeve is the smail-passers. I like narrow, twisty roads where cars often cannot pass (or I will not let them.) Whenever I can, I find a spot to pull right and let cars pass ... and a lot of times drivers sit for ten seconds not noticing, then creep by three mph faster than i am riding. On many occasions, the slight widening of the road which let me pull right safely ends before the car passes, in which case I have to stop, or pull in front of the car. Be Decisive, people. if you are going to drive past me, just do it.

Again though ... I understand that these people are Trying to accommodate me and offer me safety. I much prefer a low-speed encounter than the people who pass six inches away at 60 mph heading into oncoming traffic and cut in front of me almost close enough to hit me, or the people who blow past me at speed to beat me to a stop sign.

Another one I have seen a few times lately is people who pass me on the left when I am in the middle of the lane and signalling left--usually trying to squeeze past before the oncoming car get there. yeah, risk at least three lives to save 13 seconds---genius.

Also though, I understand the frustration of a driver who has been following a cyclist for half a minute or more while the cyclist sits in the middle of the lane. I always try to communicate with drivers ---I often signal "slow" when I see a car coming way ahead, and slow for no reason, just so they can see that I am trying to warn them not to pass, and I try to pull aside as soon as it is safe and give them the vigorous windmill, meaning, "pass, please." I don't get a lot evinced anger so I figure it world pretty well.

I mean, yeah, I have every right to be there, and the law says the cars just have to wait ... but I am a human among humans, and I know how they feel, so I figure it is a fair trade---I won't try to hinder their passage if they wont try to hospitalize me.
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Old 08-23-20, 11:44 AM
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Yeah, 'niceholes' drive me nuts. I don't want them to be NICE. I want them to be PREDICTABLE. That's why, as others have said, I slow down long before the stop so I CLEARLY arrive after them. But then they wait, and maybe wave their hand at me, which I can't see because they're IN A CAR. I've taken to making an unmistakable gesture, where I point straight at them and wave them through.

But then you encounter the ones who still balk.
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