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No Car to Protect me...

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

No Car to Protect me...

Old 09-01-05, 06:51 PM
  #1  
VeganRider
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Just got back from a ride about an hour ago. Was starting to have faith in the drivers around here; wrong on my part. Was going through a four lane intersection, there were two cars in front of me then me and no one behind me. I see a white van getting ready to turn left, I'm cookin at the same speed as the cars and I see him starting to move towad me. I'm thinking, well he's just getting ready for the turn, then it's like, no way, he is turning right for me! I'm almost right there and the side of the van is in front me as I'm skidding sideways toward him, he locks 'em up finally and I couldn't help screaming at him "you f@cking a$$ hole"; there were people standing on the sidewalk looking at me like I was some kind of wacko, maybe it was a look of shock or mybe for swearing at him or maybe for being on a bike, or for almost becomming a hood ornament? Sometimes I feel like giving up! I've got a method I try to follow that I didn't pay attention to tonight, maybe because I was almost home from a long ride. That method is: if a car seems to be waiting for me he may not really be waiting for me, but may be waiting on the car behind me or the one I'm behind, and if I'm last in line I better watch out because I'm the only reason for him to wait and that might not be enough of a reason for the driver. Well, there was no one behind me in that intersection. I feel like I let myself down for not being better prepared, things seem to really stacked up against us out there. Just gald I made it through that one. I just wanted to complain, now I feel better. thanks...........

Last edited by VeganRider; 09-01-05 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 09-01-05, 06:59 PM
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I think the problem is most drivers don't expect cyclists to be moving at the same speed as the cars ahead of them, so they see a bike and figure they have room to turn. There's a hill around here I'd just love to fly down but as there is an intersection at the bottom of it, going too fast would sadly just invite someone to smuck me while turning left.
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Old 09-01-05, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by crazybikerchick
I think the problem is most drivers don't expect cyclists to be moving at the same speed as the cars ahead of them, so they see a bike and figure they have room to turn. There's a hill around here I'd just love to fly down but as there is an intersection at the bottom of it, going too fast would sadly just invite someone to smuck me while turning left.
Oh yeah I agree with you for sure, but I was maybe 3 car lengths behind the car in front of me. I don't think the van driver's mind registered the image the eye gave him of a bicycle as something his brain was suppose to respond to. So often I go out of my area on rides and think to myself what kind of problems am I going to have getting through my area to home, there is just something about the people around here. I live between a very rough part of town and a "normal" suburb and the people just seem wacked out. I'm not the only one to notice this; I keep saying I'm going to move but haven't yet. I refuse to put my bike in the car and not ride her to the place I want to do my ridding.

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Old 09-01-05, 07:28 PM
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"Ithink the problem is most drivers don't expect cyclists to be moving at the same speed as the cars ahead of them"
To true, I have a spot on my daily commute where the freeway off ramp merges into a 4 lane highway, problem is they go thru the bike lane to do it & the bike is expected to cross the merge lane to enter the "new" bke lane on the far right. It is on a slight down hill & if traffic to my left is sparse, I usually approach between 25-30 mph. I frequently see the driver up close & personal when they do a double take as I pace along next to them. Just have to be prepared to hit the brakes & never cross infront even if they slow down to let me.
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Old 09-01-05, 07:28 PM
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To be honest its bout time they made things about cycling recommended reading in the license quizzes... How else are we going to make people aware.. we dont have enough money for TV or the radio...
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Old 09-01-05, 09:49 PM
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I'm guessing that the causes of this sort of problem are:

1) Some drivers' eyes and brains are geared primarily toward car-size objects in the stream of traffic. They have a hard time "seeing" motorcycles, let alone someone on a bicycle. You simply don't rate a blip on their dim radar screen.

2) Some drivers can see you just fine, but don't think they actually need to yield to you. They may be ignorant of the law, or just figure that they're bigger than you.

3) Other drivers never rode a bike any faster than 10-12 mph and are surprised that you can travel as quickly as you actually do.



The things that I try to do to avoid these situations as much as possible:

1) I assume that the car/truck isn't seeing me or, if they do, they're not going to wait for me, move over or yield.

2) I try as much as is practical to be seen. Bright colors, headlight (at least an LED flashing type) and flashing red LED on the back of my helmet. On early morning fall/winter/spring rides before going to work, I put on the reflective vest with 16 flashing LEDs on it. Not very stylish, but it helps keep me out of the ER.


3) I try to do as much of my riding as possible with at least one other person.
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Old 09-02-05, 12:04 AM
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Speaking of cars to protect you, I like to find a 'buddy' car when approaching an intersection. I hover a few feet behind and to the right of my selected 'buddy'. They act as a big mobile metal shield, and left turning dimwits can't nail you through them. Best to be sure that your shield is committed to going through the intersection, of course.
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