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

too close for comfort

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Old 10-29-07, 08:07 PM
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tejas mtb
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too close for comfort

i was riding my usual local route that i take 3-4 times a week here in north texas this evening. the conditions were great, visibility normal and my riding habit the same as always. i had my bright colored jersey on and along with my blinkie on the rear and headlight up front even though i was riding well before sunset when i was nearly clipped twice from behind. the first was what appeared to an old lady who just didn't see me or just didn't care to leave me some room. the second vehicle was a pick-up truck with what appeared to be teenage boys joy-riding. they came what felt like within inches of hitting me and honked the horn right as they came behind me and screamed a list of obscenities as they passed. this scared the hell out of me and jerked the bike off of the road and had to dismount at 18 mph and by the grace of god myself and the bike landed unscathed and able to return to the road once i retained my nerves and cleaned the mess out of my pants(just kidding). i have been riding for over 4 years now and i have had my close calls, but those were on roads where there were blind corners, hills, and no shoulders, but todays close calls happened on a stretch of road that is flat and straight for at least 2 miles and has about a 6 foot shoulder. i always ride the shoulder seeing how it is a 65 mph road, but this area is well traveled by cyclist and other outdoors men alike so i know these people are use to seeing cyclist. i just don't know what other precautions to take anymore. after reading this forum along with roadbikereview.com and going through all of the related posts of class calls recently (past month) its starting to get to me. i hear of all of these accidents, hit and runs, and punk teens causing mischief and hurting and even killing cyclist in the process and im just about out of patience, nerves, courage and the desire to continue road cycling. i just bought a 5k+ carbon road bike(c'dale supersix) to reward myself and take my riding which i love so much to another level of performance and enjoyment and all i can think of right now is how i don't want to ride anymore, possibly ever!!! i know i should give myself time to get over it and get back out there, but i dont have any better routes to ride with lower speed limits and bike lanes or shoulders nor do i like the idea of becoming one of the statistics listed on a government website. am i wrong to worry to the point of considering quiting this sport/hobby completely???
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Old 10-29-07, 09:20 PM
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Part of me says you're overreacting, then I remember coming within five inches of a cement truck passing me in New York, so I'd say you've got a right to be slightly afraid. Generally, it all depends on where you are. What I found from my cross country ride was that most people out west are very polite and give you ample space to ride. everything east of Pennsylvania will go out of their way to kill you. Just today, I went riding with my friend for a brief 20 mile ride. Almost got blindsided by a car turning right, and was nearly clipped by a passing car.

I'd way find a better location, or just move to Europe.
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Old 10-29-07, 09:25 PM
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You ought to consider using paragraphs. Many (most?) of us won't read the OP. I know I didn't.
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Old 10-29-07, 09:30 PM
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Been having alot of the same experiances lately. Kids thowing stuff at me, being buzzed by vehicles and being yelled at by passing motorist. I am now thinking that people are just becoming more uncivilized and just plain mean.
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Old 10-29-07, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by H1449-6 View Post
You ought to consider using paragraphs. Many (most?) of us won't read the OP. I know I didn't.
+1 to paragraph breaks. that post is damn near unreadable.
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Old 10-29-07, 09:35 PM
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Sorry about the lack of paragraphs and capital letters beginning my sentences. I didn't realize we were in English class but if this seems to be a common complaint on forums then I will do my best to give you guys my A+ writing when posting on here!
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Old 10-29-07, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by tejas mtb View Post
Sorry about the lack of paragraphs and capital letters beginning my sentences. I didn't realize we were in English class but if this seems to be a common complaint on forums then I will do my best to give you guys my A+ writing when posting on here!
yeahthanksthatdbenice

I've been fairly lucky where I live--haven't had to deal too much with close calls. Though there was this time a Mini Cooper passed me from behind just as a semi-truck crossed us--and there was no shoulder.

From then on I've been taking up the lane so cars know it's mine. If I still get some punk trying to get too close at least I got somewhere to go (that's rideable).
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Old 10-29-07, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by H1449-6 View Post
You ought to consider using paragraphs. Many (most?) of us won't read the OP. I know I didn't.
Same here...I could not read it. If you edit your original post and insert some paragraph breaks I will gladly read it.
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Old 10-29-07, 10:42 PM
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i read the whole thing and i sympathize for you, i don't see why teens get such enjoyment about ruining others lives. The grandma could've been an honest mistake, but suspend her license. I wish the government would give more sympathy towards cyclist and try to protect them more.

Sorry for this man, stay safe and keep riding
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Old 10-30-07, 05:48 AM
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You weren't hit and you're considering quitting? Pff! Over-reaction.
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Old 10-30-07, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by tejas mtb View Post
Sorry about the lack of paragraphs and capital letters beginning my sentences. I didn't realize we were in English class but if this seems to be a common complaint on forums then I will do my best to give you guys my A+ writing when posting on here!
Has nothing to do with English class, but simple readability.

Eyes get old. Not fun to read.
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Old 10-30-07, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by H1449-6 View Post
You ought to consider using paragraphs. Many (most?) of us won't read the OP. I know I didn't.
+1 can someone post the Cliffnotes?
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Old 10-30-07, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by roy5000x2 View Post
Part of me says you're overreacting, then I remember coming within five inches of a cement truck passing me in New York, so I'd say you've got a right to be slightly afraid. Generally, it all depends on where you are. What I found from my cross country ride was that most people out west are very polite and give you ample space to ride. everything east of Pennsylvania will go out of their way to kill you. Just today, I went riding with my friend for a brief 20 mile ride. Almost got blindsided by a car turning right, and was nearly clipped by a passing car.

I'd way find a better location, or just move to Europe.
I don't think he is overreacting. Why are you so complacent?
And, yes I'd love to move to Europe. Can you get me a work permit?
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Old 10-30-07, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
+1 can someone post the Cliffnotes?
He was nearly hit by grandma, then punk teens scare the poop out of him. All of this after he just bought a $6k bicycle. Debating whether or not he should quit riding.
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Old 10-30-07, 06:51 AM
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I've been sworn at, had things thrown at me from moving cars, had cars run me off the road, both deliberately and otherwise, landed in gutters, skidded sideways to avoid people turning in front of me, and ridden straight into the side of cars at 20+ mph.

It's a part of the sport (sadly), and a risk you take every time you get on the bike. What you have to consider is whether cycling means enough to you that you're willing to risk being seriously injured (perhaps even killed) whilst partaking in it.

Once you've crashed a few times and not died, you just come to accept it and move on. Last crash I had, someone failed to give way to me, and I T-boned his car, slid onto his bonnet, up his windshield, across the roof, and fell to the ground. I just sat there on the curb, looking at my mangled bike, completely nonplussed by the whole affair. Three weeks later, I'm all healed, and you'd better believe that as soon as my bike is repaired, I'll be back out there on the road. It's what I love doing, and if that means the occasional painful crash, then so be it.
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Old 10-30-07, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by tejas mtb View Post
i was riding my usual local route that i take 3-4 times a week here in north texas this evening. the conditions were great, visibility normal and my riding habit the same as always. i had my bright colored jersey on and along with my blinkie on the rear and headlight up front even though i was riding well before sunset when i was nearly clipped twice from behind. the first was what appeared to an old lady who just didn't see me or just didn't care to leave me some room. the second vehicle was a pick-up truck with what appeared to be teenage boys joy-riding. they came what felt like within inches of hitting me and honked the horn right as they came behind me and screamed a list of obscenities as they passed. this scared the hell out of me and jerked the bike off of the road and had to dismount at 18 mph and by the grace of god myself and the bike landed unscathed and able to return to the road once i retained my nerves and cleaned the mess out of my pants(just kidding). i have been riding for over 4 years now and i have had my close calls, but those were on roads where there were blind corners, hills, and no shoulders, but todays close calls happened on a stretch of road that is flat and straight for at least 2 miles and has about a 6 foot shoulder. i always ride the shoulder seeing how it is a 65 mph road, but this area is well traveled by cyclist and other outdoors men alike so i know these people are use to seeing cyclist. i just don't know what other precautions to take anymore. after reading this forum along with roadbikereview.com and going through all of the related posts of class calls recently (past month) its starting to get to me. i hear of all of these accidents, hit and runs, and punk teens causing mischief and hurting and even killing cyclist in the process and im just about out of patience, nerves, courage and the desire to continue road cycling. i just bought a 5k+ carbon road bike(c'dale supersix) to reward myself and take my riding which i love so much to another level of performance and enjoyment and all i can think of right now is how i don't want to ride anymore, possibly ever!!! i know i should give myself time to get over it and get back out there, but i dont have any better routes to ride with lower speed limits and bike lanes or shoulders nor do i like the idea of becoming one of the statistics listed on a government website. am i wrong to worry to the point of considering quiting this sport/hobby completely???
why do you hate paragraphs?
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Old 10-30-07, 06:57 AM
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Were your riding into the sun? Riding into the sun in high speed traffic is a very dangerous situation where bright clothes and blinkies will do you no good. That might at least explain the close call with the old lady.
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Old 10-30-07, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by kevcp View Post
He was nearly hit by grandma, then punk teens scare the poop out of him. All of this after he just bought a $6k bicycle. Debating whether or not he should quit riding.
Sweet, thanks!

Quit riding because of the granny and teens, or because he spent $6k on a bicycle?

Originally Posted by mihlbach View Post
Were your riding into the sun? Riding into the sun in high speed traffic is a very dangerous situation where bright clothes and blinkies will do you no good. That might at least explain the close call with the old lady.
+1 I will instantly change my current route if I find myself staring into the sun's glare and I'm on a busy road.
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Old 10-30-07, 07:10 AM
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Sometimes drivers just don't care. Then you have the ones who want to get a rise out of you which you certainly gave them. Those kids in the trucks were probably laughing for miles and seeking out some other poor bicycle rider to torture.

Oh and it was " just bought a 5k+ carbon road bike(c'dale supersix)" everyone.. Holy crap it was hard to find in that blob though.

The usual response is to get a mirror. I personally have 3. One take a look on my glasses and a bar end mirror on each drop. It is less useful then people let on on many of the high speed roads I find myself riding on down here in Texas. With one you may not have been so suprised by that truck and done a little more prepared stop or swearve.
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Old 10-30-07, 07:15 AM
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I know it's scary.....I've been freaked out before as well. But I won't let it frustrate me to the point of giving up.

Try not to let them take away from you what you find otherwise a pleasant thing for you. You'd be giving them too much power.
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Old 10-30-07, 07:28 AM
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$80 dollars will get you a Oregen Scientific "Action Cam" that is a self contained unit, waterproof down to 3 meters. Add a 2G SD card for a full hour at 640x480/30 FPS or 1.7 hours at 640x480/15 FPS. With a 2G SD card and set at the lowest resolution--12 hours of video.

Mount the thing pointing back and hope to catch a license plate. File a compliant with the police after you get the plate number off of the video.

Anyway, I haven't had to use mine for reporting JAMs during my bike commutes to and from work, but I did get some video of the century I did last Sunday with the DC RAND folks. Here's a portion of the video:

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Old 10-30-07, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by tejas mtb View Post
i always ride the shoulder seeing how it is a 65 mph road.
I would find a different road. I don't care how big the shoulder is, a 65 MPH road is way to dangerous to ride on. I know that sounds like crappy advice, but if you value your life you would minimize the amount of time you spend on a road like that. Many of the accidents with cyclists occur on high speed roads with a shoulder. A quick search of these forums would find a couple. Margins of error for drivers and cyclists alike are much smaller at those closing speeds.
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Old 10-30-07, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by kevcp View Post
He was nearly hit by grandma, then punk teens scare the poop out of him. All of this after he just bought a $6k bicycle. Debating whether or not he should quit riding.
Finally. Yes you should quit riding. I will help offload your bicycle.

Cycling is a dangerous sport. I personally have lost a friend who had a head-on collision with a lady driving an SUV into the sun. He left two small kids and a wife behind.

Life is terminal.

If you can't handle it then do us all a favor and get off the road.
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Old 10-30-07, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by scotch View Post
+1 to paragraph breaks. that post is damn near unreadable.
Thanks No Child Left Behind
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Old 10-30-07, 08:32 AM
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Hard to tell if this is over reaction on your part, or not. What is a frighteningly close call to some, is ordinary course of business to others.

I've known folks that spook fairly easily, and run off the road when they just needed to hold a decent line.

On the other hand, you might have needed to bail or you would have been hit. Impossible to tell if you weren't there.

If your not comfortable riding on that road, whatever the case may be, I'd change my route if I wasn't comfortable.
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