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11 bicyclists crash into car

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11 bicyclists crash into car

Old 10-07-07, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Allister
Well, that's a relief.

Here I was, all set to take up Serge's 'default centreish' position on all roads so that no-one ever inadvertantly drifts into me, when it turns out that all along these things only happen under a very particular set of conditions. Conditions, it turns out, I never actually experience in my day to day riding. Good thing I didn't try any of that garbage on the urban arterials I do frequent.
To lessen one's risk to inadvertent drift should be an almost negligible reason to adopt Franklin's (not mine) default centerish position. The main reason to do it - to be better prepared to notice and have more room to avoid potential conflicts in front of you, and to be more likely to be noticed sooner by drivers ahead in potential conflict paths - is much more important, by far. But other reasons having to do with getting the attention of driver's behind you so that they have an opportunity to slow down or change lanes earlier, are also a good reasons to default to a centerish position, and it too is more important than reducing one's risk to inadvertent drift.

The only reason I even mention reducing risk to inadvertent drift is to address the feelings of those who think they are at greatest risk to not being seen by someone directly behind them, who will simply run them over. So they feel safer off to the side in the margin. My point is that to the extent that any real danger exists from behind (which is tiny no matter how you slice it), it's probably higher for cyclists riding in the margin due to inadvertent drift than it is for cyclists who default to a more conspicuous centerish position. But even if those risks are a wash, again, it's the other advantages of the more conspicuous centerish position that make it preferable to defaulting to a margin position.

Last edited by Helmet Head; 10-07-07 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 10-07-07, 10:39 PM
  #252  
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why is this thread about inadverdant drift again, head? talk about derailment. you should be reported for steering yet another thread onto your pet topic which has NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS COLLISION.

In fact, I am going to report you right now.
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Old 10-07-07, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Allister
It's just such an oddball thing to be paranoid about that accepting the consideralby higher, I would've thought, risks involved in peloton riding struck me as somewhat odd.
I don't know of a single fatality ever caused by peloton riding. Are any of the 800ish U.S. cyclist deaths per year caused by peloton riding? Yes, there is a risk to crash, but most bike-bike crashes are not fatal, especially when they involve cyclists riding in the same direction, which of course is the case in peloton crashes.
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Old 10-07-07, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
why is this thread about inadverdant drift again, head? talk about derailment. you should be reported for steering yet another thread onto your pet topic which has NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS COLLISION.

In fact, I am going to report you right now.
Learn to read, Beck. The posts explain the relationship.

And not every post has to directly address the topic raised in the OP, especially by the time we're on p. 12.
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Old 10-07-07, 10:51 PM
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does this collision have anything to do with your pet theory of 'inadverdant drift?'

A simple 'yes' or 'no' please.
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Old 10-07-07, 11:08 PM
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No.
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Old 10-07-07, 11:14 PM
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if you realize this collision has NOTHING TO DO with your pet 'inadverdant drift' theory, stop derailing the thread.

Please. for the good of the forum, stop turning threads into your personal soapbox.

this was a collision caused by a motorist pulling out of a driveway into the path of a pack of bicyclists.

Last edited by Bekologist; 10-07-07 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 10-08-07, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
To lessen one's risk to inadvertent drift should be an almost negligible reason to adopt Franklin's (not mine) default centerish position.
I agree, except about the 'almost' bit.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
The main reason to do it - to be better prepared to notice and have more room to avoid potential conflicts in front of you, and to be more likely to be noticed sooner by drivers ahead in potential conflict paths - is much more important, by far. But other reasons having to do with getting the attention of driver's behind you so that they have an opportunity to slow down or change lanes earlier, are also a good reasons to default to a centerish position, and it too is more important than reducing one's risk to inadvertent drift.
And all of those reasons are negated every time you move over to let motorists pass.

I don't know about you, but even if I wanted to ride 'default centreish' as you describe, the conditions I most frequently ride in wouldn't allow it. There simply aren't enough large gaps in the traffic for me to ever be able to ride in the centre for more than a few seconds. I suspect I'm not alone amongst BFers in this. So if your lane position philosophy is only useful under limited conditions, touting it as some sort of universal recipe for safe riding is naive at best.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
The only reason I even mention reducing risk to inadvertent drift is to address the feelings of those who think they are at greatest risk to not being seen by someone directly behind them, who will simply run them over. So they feel safer off to the side in the margin. My point is that to the extent that any real danger exists from behind (which is tiny no matter how you slice it), it's probably higher for cyclists riding in the margin due to inadvertent drift than it is for cyclists who default to a more conspicuous centerish position.
At last you recognise what a minimal risk is involved. Hardly seems worth all those volumes you've written about it, does it?

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
But even if those risks are a wash, again, it's the other advantages of the more conspicuous centerish position that make it preferable to defaulting to a margin position.
It's not an either/or situation, Serge. My objections to your 'default centreish' position doesn't mean that I or anyone else habitually rides in the 'margins'. It is possible to be conspicuous without taking a whole lane.
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Old 10-08-07, 12:50 AM
  #259  
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
I don't know of a single fatality ever caused by peloton riding. Are any of the 800ish U.S. cyclist deaths per year caused by peloton riding? Yes, there is a risk to crash, but most bike-bike crashes are not fatal, especially when they involve cyclists riding in the same direction, which of course is the case in peloton crashes.
Did I mention anything about fatalities? You obviously have as much trouble arguing in a straight line as you do riding in one.

Any kind of crash that dumps you off your bike is gonna hurt more or less and/or trash expensive equipment. I don't know about you, but I want to avoid that whether it's likely to kill me or not. Seems to me that pelotons crash reasonably regularly, whereas inadvertant drift, by your own admission, is exceedingly rare. In those terms, I consider riding in a peloton far riskier than riding solo in a bikelane.

Even then, I reckon with enough practice, it can be done relatively safely, and I certainly wouldn't discourage anyone from doing it.
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Old 10-08-07, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Allister
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
The main reason to do it - to be better prepared to notice and have more room to avoid potential conflicts in front of you, and to be more likely to be noticed sooner by drivers ahead in potential conflict paths - is much more important, by far. But other reasons having to do with getting the attention of driver's behind you so that they have an opportunity to slow down or change lanes earlier, are also a good reasons to default to a centerish position, and it too is more important than reducing one's risk to inadvertent drift.
And all of those reasons are negated every time you move over to let motorists pass.
That would be true if one's risk with respect to potential conflicts ahead of them were the same whether they were in the midst of being passed by faster same direction traffic (fsdt) or not. But that's not the case, since the fsdt, when present, prevents the potential conflicts from actually being conflicts. For example, just to deal with the most common type of car/bike crash, the left cross, the cyclist who is alone on the road is prone to that; the cyclist off to the side of a stream of fsdt is not. The fsdt acts as interference for the cross traffic. But as soon as there is a gap approaching from behind (and a mirror is great for seeing this coming), it's helpful to prepare to move left to the more conspicuous position outside of the margin again.

Originally Posted by Allister
I don't know about you, but even if I wanted to ride 'default centreish' as you describe, the conditions I most frequently ride in wouldn't allow it. There simply aren't enough large gaps in the traffic for me to ever be able to ride in the centre for more than a few seconds. I suspect I'm not alone amongst BFers in this. So if your lane position philosophy is only useful under limited conditions, touting it as some sort of universal recipe for safe riding is naive at best.
Well, it's applicable all over San Diego and any other place I've ever ridden, including at commute times, and, apparently, it's quite practical all over England, given Franklin's book. Hurst writes about using the "default centerish position" in certain urban situations as well. Of course there are long streams of traffic from time to time without any gaps, but in my experience these are relatively rare. I think most cyclists tend to not pay that much attention to the actual presence of fsdt, and assume it's present much more often than it actually is.

Originally Posted by Allister
At last you recognise what a minimal risk is involved. Hardly seems worth all those volumes you've written about it, does it?
At last? You've got to be kidding. I've acknowledged it repeatedly since I've been writing about it here. Again, the reason I write about it has nothing to do with the actual risk from it (which is relatively minimal), but to address the irrational concerns of those who are overly concerned about hazards from behind overall, and who, as a result, are drawn to road margins like moths to light, because they think they are safer there from what they perceive as their greatest hazard: being hit from behind.


Originally Posted by Allister
It's not an either/or situation, Serge. My objections to your 'default centreish' position doesn't mean that I or anyone else habitually rides in the 'margins'. It is possible to be conspicuous without taking a whole lane.
It is an either/or situation in a lane which is wide enough to be safely shared side-by-side by bike and car, which is the only context in which I talk about this (including the stripe-demarcated shoulder or bike lane when applicable). Either you're riding in a margin position such that overtaking vehicles can safely pass you without encroaching into the adjacent lane, or you're far enough left that that's not possible, and overtaking traffic must encroach into the adjacent lane, if not change lanes entirely, in order to pass. It's one or the other, and I contend it's important for the cyclist to know which situation he's in, and to use his position to clearly communicate which it is to overtaking traffic. In particular, you don't want to be in a wishy-washy position in which motorists approaching from behind can't easily tell whether they can pass you without encroaching on the adjacent lane or not.
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Old 10-08-07, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Allister
Did I mention anything about fatalities? You obviously have as much trouble arguing in a straight line as you do riding in one.

Any kind of crash that dumps you off your bike is gonna hurt more or less and/or trash expensive equipment. I don't know about you, but I want to avoid that whether it's likely to kill me or not. Seems to me that pelotons crash reasonably regularly, whereas inadvertant drift, by your own admission, is exceedingly rare. In those terms, I consider riding in a peloton far riskier than riding solo in a bikelane.

Even then, I reckon with enough practice, it can be done relatively safely, and I certainly wouldn't discourage anyone from doing it.
Alister, you're questioning my position, are you not? I stated:

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Because inadvertent drift almost always kills, and peloton crashes rarely do, I'd say the risk of death or very serious injury while riding in road margins, shoulders and bike lanes in light traffic is higher than drafting in pelotons.
If you want to change the topic and talk about risk of any kind of crash, then, yeah, of course, riding in pelotons has a high risk associated with it. But, again (how many times do I have to say this?), bike/bike crashes tend not to be that serious, especially as compared to bike/car crashes, and especially when both bikes are moving in the same direction. You may not want to assume that risk, and that's a personal decision. Many cyclists feel the benefits of peloton riding make it worthwhile to assume those risks; those too are personal decisions. Much of it is based on how one personally evaluated the benefits and perceives the magnitude of the potential risks. Also, most people only do peloton riding on routes with relatively light traffic.

I don't know what the risk differences are with respect to getting into a bike/car crash if you're solo or in a peloton, but considering the higher visibility factor of pelotons, I suspect that works in the favor of peloton riding.

Again, the real risk of solo riding in margins (including bike lanes) comes not from inadvertent drift, which accounts for a small but not insignificant percentage of the risk, but from crossing hazards ahead. It is the cyclists who favor margin riding whenever possible who are the ones who seem most prone to close calls and collisions caused by the "I didn't see you" excuse.
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Old 10-08-07, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
Serge, you were addressing a specific incident and speculating on the specific reasons for the crash in that specific incident.


"If this street really has a bike lane, then it's likely the cyclists were drawn to ride in it or near it - too far to the right - especially given their speed and the absence of other fast traffic. The driver may have looked left and really didn't see them due to the obstructing parked cars if the cyclists were riding too far to their right, which almost all cyclists do."


You do this quite frequently because you see every accident here as an "AHA!!!" moment were you can hop up onto the pulpit and point your fingers at those cyclists who allegedly weren't riding the way that you preach folks should (even if they were riding properly, facts be damned).

It's pathetic.
My words are chosen carefully, Pete. I'll highlight the significant ones for you.

"IF this street really has a bike lane, then it's likely the cyclists were drawn to ride in it or near it - too far to the right - especially given their speed and the absence of other fast traffic. The driver may have looked left and really didn't see them due to the obstructing parked cars if the cyclists were riding too far to their right, which almost all cyclists do."

Yes, I was speculating on the specific reasons that MAY have contributed to the crash. So what? Whether the factors I'm speculating about actually apply in this particular don't matter, because the point I'm making is to address similar situations in general, not necessarily this specific situation. Why is this so hard to understand?

What actually happened here we won't know, and it doesn't matter. We're not insurance investigators, nor are we trying to assign legal responsibility. Our focus on this forum is cycling advocacy and safety. The only way this incident is relevant to this forum is if we can glean something from our discussions about it that are relevant to cycling safety. That's what I try to do, starting with talking about what is LIKELY to have happened here, and talking about ways that the crash may have been avoided ASSUMING that is what happened. But the point is so that we can incorporate whatever we learn into best practices in our own riding.
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Old 10-08-07, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
Just because you choose to ignore the evidence that is front of you does not mean that other folks don't know a great deal more about the accident than you apparently do.

But the facts have never stopped you from assigning blame and e-speculating in a weak effort to bolster your pet theories.

p.s. Just because something seems "likely" when seen through your warped world view does not mean that it seems likely to normal folks that do not share your views.
Well, then, they can talk about what seems likely from their views.
I'm talking about what seems likely from my view, of course.

If a drunk driver causes a crash, it's a useful reminder to not drink and drive, even if it turns out a heart attack totally unrelated to his drinking caused the crash. That's what I mean when I say what actually happened does not matter, especially considering we have no way to find out for sure what happened anyway.

Edit: similarly, an incident involving cyclists crashing in a blind spot area is a good opportunity to talk about the benefit of riding further left to increase sight line length, even if it turns out they were all riding all the way left. The fundamental points stand regardless of what actually happened: drinking and driving don't mix; riding in margins shortens sight lines and diminishes safety buffers.

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Old 10-08-07, 06:07 PM
  #264  
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
That would be true if one's risk with respect to potential conflicts ahead of them were the same whether they were in the midst of being passed by faster same direction traffic (fsdt) or not. But that's not the case, since the fsdt, when present, prevents the potential conflicts from actually being conflicts. For example, just to deal with the most common type of car/bike crash, the left cross, the cyclist who is alone on the road is prone to that; the cyclist off to the side of a stream of fsdt is not. The fsdt acts as interference for the cross traffic. But as soon as there is a gap approaching from behind (and a mirror is great for seeing this coming), it's helpful to prepare to move left to the more conspicuous position outside of the margin again.
You still haven't sufficiently define where these 'margins' begin. On the stripe? Within 6" of the gutter?

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Well, it's applicable all over San Diego and any other place I've ever ridden, including at commute times, and, apparently, it's quite practical all over England, given Franklin's book. Hurst writes about using the "default centerish position" in certain urban situations as well. Of course there are long streams of traffic from time to time without any gaps, but in my experience these are relatively rare.
Well I guess that's where our experiences differ. Long streams of traffic without any gaps pretty much makes up my entire commute. Both ways. Every day. I found the same thing when I commuted in London too.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
I think most cyclists tend to not pay that much attention to the actual presence of fsdt, and assume it's present much more often than it actually is.
Why don't you stop trying to tell me what 'most cyclists' are thinking. Unless you want to come across as arrogant.

I'm only interested in discussing what I do, as a counterpoint to what you do. Let the other cyclists find their own way, if they so choose.

If you think you're on some sort of crusade here to educate 'most cyclists' in the error of their ways, I think you'll find that the 'most cyclists' that you describe probably aren't registered on BF, and I doubt whether they exist at all. If you want to describe what you think is a safe way to handle a situation, do so, but please leave everyone else out of it.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
At last? You've got to be kidding. I've acknowledged it repeatedly since I've been writing about it here. Again, the reason I write about it has nothing to do with the actual risk from it (which is relatively minimal), but to address the irrational concerns of those who are overly concerned about hazards from behind overall, and who, as a result, are drawn to road margins like moths to light, because they think they are safer there from what they perceive as their greatest hazard: being hit from behind.
Are you not doing exactly the same thing? Scurrying to the centre because you think you are safer there?

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
It is an either/or situation in a lane which is wide enough to be safely shared side-by-side by bike and car, which is the only context in which I talk about this (including the stripe-demarcated shoulder or bike lane when applicable). Either you're riding in a margin position such that overtaking vehicles can safely pass you without encroaching into the adjacent lane, or you're far enough left that that's not possible, and overtaking traffic must encroach into the adjacent lane, if not change lanes entirely, in order to pass.
Although I would argue that there is a median position between lane-claiming and kerb-hugging, let's dicuss it under the terms of the result from your Random Contraint Generator. But let's not also talk about what 'most cyclists' do or don't do.

It's the frequent switching between the two positions that I have a problem with. Everything I've learned about traffic riding leads me to the firm belief that the safest way to ride is to hold a stable, predictable line. All that shoulder checking and negotiating for every merge (and I hope you're just as cautious when you merge back into the 'margins') takes attention away from where you're going. You may think it's easy and takes almost no effort, but for me, the effort isn't worth it for the any marginal improvement in safety, if there is any at all.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
It's one or the other, and I contend it's important for the cyclist to know which situation he's in, and to use his position to clearly communicate which it is to overtaking traffic.
You communicate that clearly by holding your friggen line. Surely a peloton rider understands the importance of that.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
In particular, you don't want to be in a wishy-washy position in which motorists approaching from behind can't easily tell whether they can pass you without encroaching on the adjacent lane or not.
Now I'm confused. I thought you reckoned that sort of thing is exactly what you want, as it grabs the driver's attention. You want drivers a little uncertain. Makes 'em cautious, no?

Last edited by Allister; 10-08-07 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 10-08-07, 06:31 PM
  #265  
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
If you want to change the topic and talk about risk of any kind of crash, then, yeah, of course, riding in pelotons has a high risk associated with it. But, again (how many times do I have to say this?), bike/bike crashes tend not to be that serious, especially as compared to bike/car crashes, and especially when both bikes are moving in the same direction.
I've been in a few bike/car crashes. They're not so bad. Certainly no worse that getting caught up in a tangle of handlebars and chainrings.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
You may not want to assume that risk, and that's a personal decision. Many cyclists feel the benefits of peloton riding make it worthwhile to assume those risks; those too are personal decisions. Much of it is based on how one personally evaluated the benefits and perceives the magnitude of the potential risks.
Exactly right. So why do you not allow for the possibility that riding in the 'margin' is a risk worth taking? (I'm humouring you here - I don't believe there is any additional risk in the way I ride. Less, actually)

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
I don't know what the risk differences are with respect to getting into a bike/car crash if you're solo or in a peloton, but considering the higher visibility factor of pelotons, I suspect that works in the favor of peloton riding.
I thought solo bike crashes were the most common type. That's certainly my experience. Thing is, when one in a peloton goes down, he takes some of his mates with him.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Again, the real risk of solo riding in margins (including bike lanes) comes not from inadvertent drift, which accounts for a small but not insignificant percentage of the risk, but from crossing hazards ahead. It is the cyclists who favor margin riding whenever possible who are the ones who seem most prone to close calls and collisions caused by the "I didn't see you" excuse.
I'm not talking about 'cyclists who favor margin riding whenever possible'. Never did. That's your strawman. Your fear of margin riding is apparent, but it's made you assume all sorts of irrational things about it.
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Old 10-08-07, 06:39 PM
  #266  
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Originally Posted by Allister
You still haven't sufficiently define where these 'margins' begin. On the stripe? Within 6" of the gutter?
When there is a stripe and the cyclist is riding to the right of the stripe - the stripe defines the edge of the margin. This is the case when there is a stripe-demarcated bike lane or shoulder.

On wide lanes the definition is not precise, but can be very generally approximated as the space the cyclist is occupying in the lane, which generally is the space to his right, plus the same amount of space to his left.

Originally Posted by Allister
Well I guess that's where our experiences differ. Long streams of traffic without any gaps pretty much makes up my entire commute. Both ways. Every day. I found the same thing when I commuted in Londin too.
I suggest you take a look at these roads on Google Earth, Google Maps, or any similar kind of imaging, and I suggest you will be hard pressed to find situations on surface streets with no significant gaps, despite the randomness at which these images are taken (if it were true that there are hardly ever no gaps, then it would be unlikely to snap a random image at a rare moment with no gaps). You should be able to easily refute this by showing me images of your regular routes all jammed up. I would be interesting in seeing if that's the case, but I really doubt you'll be able to do it.

Originally Posted by Allister
Why don't you stop trying to tell me what 'most cyclists' are thinking. Unless you want to come across as arrogant.
I'm not telling you what most cyclists are thinking. I'm telling you what I think they're thinking, based on "reverse engineering" from their behavior, based on the assumption that their behavior largely reflects what they are thinking.

Originally Posted by Allister
I'm only interested in discussing what I do, as a counterpoint to what you do. Let the other cyclists find their own way, if they so choose.

If you think you're on some sort of crusade here to educate 'most cyclists' in the error of their ways, I think you'll find that the 'most cyclists' that you describe probably aren't registered on BF, and I doubt whether they exist at all. If you want to describe what you think is a safe way to handle a situation, do so, but please leave everyone else out of it.
Well, maybe you're different, but you certainly haven't written anything that indicates you're more aware of how common significant gaps in fsdt tend to be than is the average cyclist. This isn't meant as an insult, it's just normal to not pay much attention to something that is largely irrelevant to how you ride. If you position yourself more or less the same regardless of the presence or absence of fsdt, then the presence of fsdt is largely irrelevant to you. Why would notice how often fsdt is actually present or absent?

Originally Posted by Allister
Are you not doing exactly the same thing? Scurrying to the centre because you think you are safer there?
Yes, but I'm actually safer there. That's the difference.

Originally Posted by Allister
Although I would argue that there is a median position between lane-claiming and kerb-hugging, let's dicuss it under the terms of the result from your Random Contraint Generator.
And such a position is inherently ambiguous... can overtaking motorists share the lane with you, or do they need to at least encroach in the adjecant lane to pass? What do you want them to do? Do you care if they try to squeeze in next to you or not? Why leave them puzzled and frustrated?

Originally Posted by Allister
It's the frequent switching between the two positions that I have a problem with.
Yes, well, if it were frequent I'd have a problem with it too. Where did you get the idea that it was frequent?

Originally Posted by Allister
Everything I've learned about traffic riding leads me to the firm belief that the safest way to ride is to hold a stable, predictable line. All that shoulder checking and negotiating for every merge (and I hope you're just as cautious when you merge back into the 'margins') takes attention away from where you're going. You may think it's easy and takes almost no effort, but for me, the effort isn't worth it for the any marginal improvement in safety, if there is any at all.
Most of the time this technique requires less frequent checking back and less frequent moving back and forth, unless you maintain the same lateral position even as you approach and cross junctions. If you don't adjust laterally for junctions (and back again after each or most junction), then there is no way this approach will seem advantageous to you.


Originally Posted by Allister
You communicate that clearly by holding your friggen line. Surely a peloton rider understands the importance of that.
But where is that line? And what does your lateral line choice tell overtaking drivers about whether you want them to pass by squeezing into the lane with you, or encroaching at least partially into the adjacent lane, and how soon prior to reaching you are they clear on which it is?

Originally Posted by Allister
Now I'm confused. I thought you reckoned that sort of thing is exactly what you want, as it grabs the driver's attention. You want drivers a little uncertain. Makes 'em cautious, no?
Once they've noticed me, I don't want them unsure about what line they need to take to pass me safely. In particular, I don't want them to think they can squeeze in next to me and figure out later that they can't.
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Old 10-08-07, 07:59 PM
  #267  
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
When there is a stripe and the cyclist is riding to the right of the stripe - the stripe defines the edge of the margin. This is the case when there is a stripe-demarcated bike lane or shoulder.
We've seen pictures here of very wide shoulders. The fact that you consider riding close to the line as being no different from riding close to the road edge reveals your prejudices.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
On wide lanes the definition is not precise, but can be very generally approximated as the space the cyclist is occupying in the lane, which generally is the space to his right, plus the same amount of space to his left.
Which, considering that I ride just outside the lane of travel, however wide the shoulder is, means that that 'margin' is overlapping the lane by a fair degree.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
I suggest you take a look at these roads on Google Earth, Google Maps, or any similar kind of imaging, and I suggest you will be hard pressed to find situations on surface streets with no significant gaps, despite the randomness at which these images are taken (if it were true that there are hardly ever no gaps, then it would be unlikely to snap a random image at a rare moment with no gaps).
LOL. Google Earth? What are you smoking? I'm talking about my experience, remember. I don't need google earth to show me roads I see in the flesh every day.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
You should be able to easily refute this by showing me images of your regular routes all jammed up. I would be interesting in seeing if that's the case, but I really doubt you'll be able to do it.
I've linked my commute videos here before. Didn't you watch them? I thought you of all people would value a more visual representation of what I'm talking about.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
I'm not telling you what most cyclists are thinking. I'm telling you what I think they're thinking, based on "reverse engineering" from their behavior, based on the assumption that their behavior largely reflects what they are thinking.
Which amounts to the same thing. It's still arrogant.



Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Well, maybe you're different, but you certainly haven't written anything that indicates you're more aware of how common significant gaps in fsdt tend to be than is the average cyclist.
That's because I have no idea whatsoever how aware the 'average cyclist' (that mythical beast) is or isn't. Neither do you.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
This isn't meant as an insult, it's just normal to not pay much attention to something that is largely irrelevant to how you ride.
Do you think passing traffic is irrelevant? Why do you assume anyone else does?

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
If you position yourself more or less the same regardless of the presence or absence of fsdt, then the presence of fsdt is largely irrelevant to you. Why would notice how often fsdt is actually present or absent?
Again, you're projecting your own lack of skill or awareness onto others. Where did I say I do any such thing?

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Yes, but I'm actually safer there. That's the difference.
No, you only think it's safer. Weren't you the one that said just because something's never happened, doesn't mean it's not risky?

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
And such a position is inherently ambiguous... can overtaking motorists share the lane with you, or do they need to at least encroach in the adjecant lane to pass? What do you want them to do? Do you care if they try to squeeze in next to you or not? Why leave them puzzled and frustrated?
No I don't. There is nothing ambiguous about my position. If there's room to pass I leave room to pass, but I don't hug the kerb, which does carry all the risks you are so terrified of, but I don't have to focus so much attention on following traffic either, meaning I can watch for traffic in front of me. If the lane narrows, I make my merge into the lane as early as possible, and then I hold that line until the lane widens again. It's really quite safe. No puzzlement nor confusion. The occasional impatient prick, sure, but no confusion.

The thing is, I'm really quite comfortable with passing and being passed closely by motor traffic. It's part of riding anywhere in reasonably heavy traffic on narrow lanes, might as well get used to it.


Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Yes, well, if it were frequent I'd have a problem with it too. Where did you get the idea that it was frequent?
Just guessing. Why don't you tell me how frequently you have to merge out of the lane.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Most of the time this technique requires less frequent checking back and less frequent moving back and forth, unless you maintain the same lateral position even as you approach and cross junctions. If you don't adjust laterally for junctions (and back again after each or most junction), then there is no way this approach will seem advantageous to you.
Not normally, no, becasue I'm already riding far enough from the edge to be readily seen.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
But where is that line? And what does your lateral line choice tell overtaking drivers about whether you want them to pass by squeezing into the lane with you, or encroaching at least partially into the adjacent lane, and how soon prior to reaching you are they clear on which it is?
As soon as they see me, because I hold my line.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Once they've noticed me, I don't want them unsure about what line they need to take to pass me safely. In particular, I don't want them to think they can squeeze in next to me and figure out later that they can't.
In a lane that's wide enough to safely share, there's no need to squeeze, because they have ample room to pass. I for one don't feel the need to decide this for every single driver that passes me. I just leave enough room, and let them figure it out for themselves. They're surprisingly good at it really.
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Old 10-08-07, 11:26 PM
  #268  
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Originally Posted by Allister
We've seen pictures here of very wide shoulders. The fact that you consider riding close to the line as being no different from riding close to the road edge reveals your prejudices.
Where on Earth did you get the idea that I consider "riding close to the line as being no different from riding close to the road edge"? And what do you consider these alleged prejudices to be, and why do you think I have them?


Originally Posted by Allister
Which, considering that I ride just outside the lane of travel, however wide the shoulder is, means that that 'margin' is overlapping the lane by a fair degree.
Keeping in mind one of these wide lanes - please consider the location of the tire tracks, and the space required for cars to travel along those tracks. Now, about a meter to the right of those cars - that's the margin. Does that help?


Originally Posted by Allister
LOL. Google Earth? What are you smoking? I'm talking about my experience, remember. I don't need google earth to show me roads I see in the flesh every day.
You're talking about your perception of where you ride. I'm asking you to verify that perception against random satellite images of those locations.

Originally Posted by Allister
I've linked my commute videos here before. Didn't you watch them? I thought you of all people would value a more visual representation of what I'm talking about.
I'm sorry I don't recall those. Can you link those again, please?


Originally Posted by Allister
Which amounts to the same thing. It's still arrogant.
Is that bad?


Originally Posted by Allister
That's because I have no idea whatsoever how aware the 'average cyclist' (that mythical beast) is or isn't. Neither do you.
Speak for yourself, please.


Originally Posted by Allister
Do you think passing traffic is irrelevant? Why do you assume anyone else does?
No, passing traffic is not irrelevant to my style of riding, because the absence or presence of passing traffic is a major factor in determining where I ride.
I assume passing traffic is much less relevant to most others for whom the absence or presence of passing traffic is NOT a major factor in determining where they ride.

Originally Posted by Allister
Again, you're projecting your own lack of skill or awareness onto others. Where did I say I do any such thing?
Are you saying you do position yourself differently depending on the presence or absence of fsdt?

Originally Posted by Allister
No, you only think it's safer. Weren't you the one that said just because something's never happened, doesn't mean it's not risky?
I may have said: just because something's never happened to you (meaning "you" in the general sense), doesn't mean it's not risky. My belief that riding in margins is more risky than riding further left is only partially based on my own experience. Crash statistics indicate the majority of hazards are in front of you, and it's only logical that being more conspicuously positioned such that sight lines and buffer spaces are maximized helps with that, not to mention that it reduces the already very low from-behind risk as well - by being more conspicuously positioned where you are more likely to be noticed sooner. In addition to these rationalist basis, I do have empirical evidence based on personal experience. Riding in this manner has greatly reduced the incidence of close calls and unpleasant encounters with motorists, as opposed to maintaining a steady position further to the right.

Originally Posted by Allister
No I don't [care if they squeeze into the lane with me]. There is nothing ambiguous about my position. If there's room to pass I leave room to pass, but I don't hug the kerb, which does carry all the risks you are so terrified of, but I don't have to focus so much attention on following traffic either, meaning I can watch for traffic in front of me. If the lane narrows, I make my merge into the lane as early as possible, and then I hold that line until the lane widens again. It's really quite safe. No puzzlement nor confusion. The occasional impatient prick, sure, but no confusion.
It might be arrogant for me to say this, and I certainly can't deny the possibility that I'm totally wrong about this, but I honestly think you're consciously unaware of how confusing your positioning is to overtaking traffic. I'm just some guy on the internet, and if this riles you, that says more about you and how you feel about your riding subconsciously than it does about me. The angrier this makes you, the more right I probably am.

Originally Posted by Allister
The thing is, I'm really quite comfortable with passing and being passed closely by motor traffic. It's part of riding anywhere in reasonably heavy traffic on narrow lanes, might as well get used to it.
Thanks, but no thanks. I spent almost 30 years being fine and comfortable with it and being used to it. Now that I've learned how to ride in a manner that practically eliminates it, there's no comparison, no going back. And that's only one of the benefits.


Originally Posted by Allister
Just guessing. Why don't you tell me how frequently you have to merge out of the lane.
Not very.

Originally Posted by Allister
Not normally, no, because I'm already riding far enough from the edge to be readily seen.
Again, I might be totally wrong about this, but I honestly think you're wrong about that.

Originally Posted by Allister
As soon as they see me, because I hold my line.
Seeing is not the same as taking notice.

Originally Posted by Allister
In a lane that's wide enough to safely share, there's no need to squeeze, because they have ample room to pass. I for one don't feel the need to decide this for every single driver that passes me. I just leave enough room, and let them figure it out for themselves. They're surprisingly good at it really.
So you think.
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Old 10-09-07, 12:09 AM
  #269  
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Where on Earth did you get the idea that I consider "riding close to the line as being no different from riding close to the road edge"? And what do you consider these alleged prejudices to be, and why do you think I have them?
Because so far, you seem unable to accept that you are adequately visible from that position, especially compared to hugging the kerb.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
You're talking about your perception of where you ride. I'm asking you to verify that perception against random satellite images of those locations.
For what it's worth, I have looked at the google map of where i ride, and the traffic is nowhere near the level I experience during rush hour. It looks more like early on a weekend sort or density. I hardly think of it as a reliable indicator of rush hour traffic densities.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
I'm sorry I don't recall those. Can you link those again, please?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoPaTLOxTdw part 1 of 6. Can you find the rest on your own, or do you need help with that too?

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Is that bad?
LOL.

Wait. Are you serious?

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Speak for yourself, please.
Using my own argument against me. How very clever of you.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
No, passing traffic is not irrelevant to my style of riding, because the absence or presence of passing traffic is a major factor in determining where I ride.
I assume passing traffic is much less relevant to most others for whom the absence or presence of passing traffic is NOT a major factor in determining where they ride.
Again with the assumption. I'm right here, if you're unclear on a point, just ask rather than assume.

Of course it's not irrelevant. I just don't let it dictate where I ride.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Are you saying you do position yourself differently depending on the presence or absence of fsdt?
No, what I meant was, that I am well aware of the presence or absense of other traffic. Just because I'm holding my line, doesn't mean I'm not aware of what's going on.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
I may have said: just because something's never happened to you (meaning "you" in the general sense), doesn't mean it's not risky. My belief that riding in margins is more risky than riding further left is only partially based on my own experience. Crash statistics indicate the majority of hazards are in front of you, and it's only logical that being more conspicuously positioned such that sight lines and buffer spaces are maximized helps with that, not to mention that it reduces the already very low from-behind risk as well - by being more conspicuously positioned where you are more likely to be noticed sooner. In addition to these rationalist basis, I do have empirical evidence based on personal experience. Riding in this manner has greatly reduced the incidence of close calls and unpleasant encounters with motorists, as opposed to maintaining a steady position further to the right.
Maybe you were riding too far to the right. I get virtually no close calls or unpleasant encounters either. Funny that.

No I don't [care if they squeeze into the lane with me]
Now you're putting words in my mouth? That should read "No I don't [leave them puzzled and confused]"

Is English not your first language?

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
It might be arrogant for me to say this, and I certainly can't deny the possibility that I'm totally wrong about this, but I honestly think you're consciously unaware of how confusing your positioning is to overtaking traffic.
It is arrogant, and you are wrong.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
I'm just some guy on the internet, and if this riles you, that says more about you and how you feel about your riding subconsciously than it does about me. The angrier this makes you, the more right I probably am.
LOL. What makes you think I'm angry?

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Again, I might be totally wrong about this, but I honestly think you're wrong about that.
You are. Do you seriously think I'm incapable or recognising whether crossing traffic has seen me or not. Give me some credit, dude.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Seeing is not the same as taking notice.
It's a start.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
So you think.
So I know. Even you said passing traffic was a very minor danger. Unlike you, I give people enough credit to be able to see objects just outside the path of their vehicle as readily as those right in it.
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Old 10-09-07, 02:02 AM
  #270  
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Alister, I've watched Part 1, once. My initial comments:
  • There are some HUGE gaps in same direction traffic! The next time I watch it I'll note how long the time gaps are, but I know there would have been plenty of time for me to spend much more time out further from the curb. Is this rush hour? During much of that entire clip, any shot from a satellite would show the roads to be near empty.
  • You clearly do not adjust laterally for junctions. Do you at least glance back to make sure you're not going to be hooked? I'll have to double-check, but I thought there was at least one instance in which oncoming traffic was present and simultaneously approaching the same junction - I would definitely have been further from the curb in that case to make myself more conspicuous, in case they decided to turn across my path without signaling.
  • The position at which you ride in almost all of the time - a "safe" distance from the curb - is what John Franklin refers to as the "secondary position". You spend much more time in the secondary position than I would on those roads.
  • For the vast majority of motorists who pass you, you have no idea whether they've noticed your presence. There is no way you could know. And at many times the gaps were long enough for a driver to decide the road is clear in front of him and decide to attend to a distraction, and then drift towards the curb into the unnoticed cyclist while attending to the distraction... Not very likely, but still...
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Old 10-09-07, 09:29 AM
  #271  
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Glad I'm moving to Los Angeles...
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Old 10-09-07, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
And at many times the gaps were long enough for a driver to decide the road is clear in front of him and decide to attend to a distraction, and then drift towards the curb into the unnoticed cyclist while attending to the distraction... Not very likely, but still...
Again, lets compare the number of times I've seen a car drift off the road in the last five years... once I think... with the number of cars I have seen plow into the back of the large vehicle in front of them... dozens.

Fortunately, we've already *learned* that this common accident type among other road users does not affect the vehicular cyclist.

This is because a bike that is a foot to the right is completely invisible, whereas a bike that is a foot to the left is more obvious than a car, a bus, a parade, or the space shuttle.
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Old 10-09-07, 12:27 PM
  #273  
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Originally Posted by ghettocruiser
Again, lets compare the number of times I've seen a car drift off the road in the last five years... once I think... with the number of cars I have seen plow into the back of the large vehicle in front of them... dozens.
Are you talking about completely drifting off the road or just drifting into the shoulder far enough to hit a cyclist if one was riding on the shoulder? If the former, I'd have to agree with you that it's rare. If the latter, then I really disagree. On a wide road, it's extremely common for me to see someone drift into the shoulder a bit here and there. Just look at the debris line where the clean pavement ends. With a wide shoulder, it's almost always a couple feet to the right of the fog line along the entire length of the road.
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Old 10-09-07, 12:53 PM
  #274  
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Originally Posted by ghettocruiser
Again, lets compare the number of times I've seen a car drift off the road in the last five years... once I think... with the number of cars I have seen plow into the back of the large vehicle in front of them... dozens.

Fortunately, we've already *learned* that this common accident type among other road users does not affect the vehicular cyclist.

This is because a bike that is a foot to the right is completely invisible, whereas a bike that is a foot to the left is more obvious than a car, a bus, a parade, or the space shuttle.
  • The advantages of riding in the narrow driver's zone of maximum surveillance is John Franklin's concept, not mine, and it has nothing to do with reducing risk to inadvertent drift.
    People tend to fear most being hit from behind whilst cycling the only type of crash best prevented by segregation but this risk is very small, especially for someone who rides conscientiously. Most crashes are as a result of turning or crossing movements, and occur because the cyclist is not seen, or his actions not predicted. All drivers give most attention to those parts of the highway where there is risk to themselves, and see much less easily anything, or anyone, outside of a quite narrow field of vision. A cyclist is safest riding within this zone of maximum surveillance, not outside it. -John Franklin, https://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/digest/vc99.html
    If you have trouble grasping that, perhaps you can take it up with him.
  • There are countless lanes that are too narrow to be shared all over this country and indeed the entire world, yet countless cyclists are riding in them as we speak, and they do every hour of every day, all year round. Beck's recent thread about being left-hooked while taking the leftmost lane on a 4 lane one-way road serves as an illustration of this type of typical urban riding. Yet rear-ending cyclists remains a very rare type of collision. Regardless of what the factors are that result in the relatively high rate of vehicle-vehicle rear-enders, it's quite clear that there is something significantly different at work when it comes to cyclists being in the mix. Perhaps it's because motorists naturally tend to take better notice of cageless human beings ahead in their path than they do of caged vehicles, or that most rear-enders occur in slow stop 'n go traffic in which cyclists tend to filter, but ultimately it does not matter. Regardless the reason, despite the high prevalence of narrow lanes, particularly in urban areas, cyclists getting rear-ended is a very rare type of crash, especially in good lighting conditions. I see no reason to believe that the risk of a cyclist riding centerish in a wide lane would be any higher than is the extremely low risk of doing so in a narrow lane.
  • On the other hand, cyclists riding off to the side and in a position that is out of the way of same direction traffic are routinely overlooked, all too often hit and killed (much more often by crossing traffic in front of them than by same direction traffic). We, like motorcyclists, are much smaller than typical motor vehicles, and that already works against us in terms of being noticed. By riding further right than where others expect to find and look for vehicular traffic makes it that much less likely for us to be noticed. It's not about a foot difference, it's more like 4-5 feet between where most motorcyclists ride and where most bicyclists ride in wide lanes, such as depicted in Allister's recently linked video.
  • Besides, the emphasis on riding centerish in wide lanes is mostly only during periods when same-direction traffic is not present. By the time same direction traffic has arrived the Cyclecraft cyclist is in the secondary position riding along in basically the same lateral position depicted in Allister's video. So even if the risk of being rear-ended in a wide lane is higher for the cyclist who rides centerish in wide lanes than the one who rides in the margin, this higher risk is virtually mitigated by the fact that the cyclist using this technique is normally not riding centerish when faster same direction is present (as always, assuming lane is wide enough to be safely shared, and it is safe and reasonable to be in the margin, in the sharing/secondary position).
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Old 10-09-07, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by joejack951
Are you talking about completely drifting off the road or just drifting into the shoulder far enough to hit a cyclist if one was riding on the shoulder? If the former, I'd have to agree with you that it's rare. If the latter, then I really disagree. On a wide road, it's extremely common for me to see someone drift into the shoulder a bit here and there.
I completely agree. But what is the value of comparing a motorists drifting onto a paved shoulder that is EMPTY versus plowing into the back of a slow-moving car in the lane? One is a collision, one is a non-event.

For the comparison to be valid, you would have to look at rear-end collisions in the lane versus cars drifting over and hitting parked vehicles at the side of the road.

Since the parked cars are out of the zone of maximum surveillance, then they must be practically invisible compared to the cars driving in the lane, and therefore be hit quite often, right?

So are they? How many drift-right-into parked cars accidents have you seen this year? This is a type of accident that I have never seen myself, other than cars that slid into parked cars after being hit in live lanes.

HH, your entire commentary seems to pivot on your belief that:

(a) from behind collisions are extremely rare type of bicycle accident
(b) drift over collisions are more common than hit-from behinds

You have never, as far as I know, given any studies that support these claims, other than a thread that you engineered yourself to prove your own point. I believe neither premise.

If you're on the road, acting like the driver of a vehicle, you are exposing yourself to the same risks as drivers of other vehicles, including the overtaking collision. The evidence that I have seen from studies in my community supports this, and you have provided nothing that suggests otherwise.

As for taking up an argument with John Franklin, I don't recall seeing him post here recently.
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