Bike Forums

Bike Forums (
-   Vehicular Cycling (VC) (
-   -   majority of riding is in violation of VC principles- what to do? (

Bekologist 01-04-08 08:52 AM


Originally Posted by helmet head
blah blah blah Robert margins

come on, head. you of all people should understand bicyclists get overlooked even in the middle of the road. obsessing about Robert doesn't flatter you....


Originally Posted by Robert hurst
It's true, I figure about once per eight hours of riding I come across someone who fails to register my existence even though I am right in front of their face and riding in the middle of the street


Originally Posted by bekologist
on the ride home, I had a couple of kids pull right out in front of me from a stop sign and screech to a halt in the middle of the street when they realized we were on a collision course.

I saw it happening 100 feet back and was bleeding speed and moving to avoid before the kid even noticed me - you'll like that bit, roody, the defensive bicycling- and I had already been in the left middle of the lane running a scathingly bright LED on flash (daytime visible blinkies, roody)

Bekologist 01-04-08 09:06 AM

Hey, Helmet Head! YOU of all posters should agree with my premise. you're the biggest critic of riding to the side of traffic when there's a chance of a ROW violation...

riding to the side -what you call the 'margin' as faster traffic passes when there's even the smallest possibility a vehicle could overlook you and pull to the side of the road IS unvehicular and in violation of VC principles.

come on head. you can't have it both ways.

rando 01-04-08 10:08 AM


Originally Posted by TheWheelman (Post 5906691)
You got one part right - I'm _not_ able to abide by the forum guidelines when responding to _you_. Therefore, I just waded through the control panel in search of the "permanantly remove self from site" button, but I failed to find it. You no doubt have access to it, so please use it on me immediately.

Have a nice life.

Another senseless forumcide. Oh, the humanity.

RobertHurst 01-05-08 03:49 AM


Originally Posted by invisiblehand (Post 5910394)
I think that most traffic problems can be mitigated by the cyclist. If you think that the right-hook is a "low-hanging fruit" -- I concur by the way -- what do you think is a "high-hanging fruit"?

Among the toughest problems for cyclists are those that are the hardest to anticipate, the most surprising. For instance, an oncoming driver cutting a u-turn across a double yellow mid-block right into you. A drunk veering across four lanes and coming at you head on. Things we tend not to think about or worry about while out riding, we probably won't be ready for them when they occur.

Among high-hanging fruit I would count any incidents where a driver does something blatantly illegal, while moving at a relatively high rate of speed, that puts his/her vehicle on a collision course with a rider. These situations are more difficult to anticipate than the right hook, are more likely to cause serious injury if they go unanticipated, and are harder to mitigate even if they are anticipated. For instance, a driver failing to notice a red light and blasting right through it at about 40 mph just as a cyclist is entering the intersection with a green light. I avoided one of these by the skin of my teeth a few weeks ago, at the same intersection where a colleague of mine had his leg broken by a light-runner many years ago. I see people blatantly rolling through red lights at cruising speed through apparent obliviousness several times per week. This is a bigger problem in downtown areas where diminished sight lines limit the ability of even the most hyper-aware cyclists to keep tabs on potential light-runners coming down the block at 50 feet-per-second; and the cyclist is ideally rolling at same speed as surrounding traffic which means they're not always going to be able to eliminate the potential for a light-runner collision through speed adjustments, because the minimum speed is dictated. The high hanging fruit here is not just avoiding a light-runner heading right for you, but avoiding any traffic that may be following close through the green light while you perhaps are forced to grab a handful o' brakes and swerve wildly. When levels of complexity are added, the fruit hangs higher on the tree.

An errant left-turner might be traveling just as fast as a light-runner and be just as difficult to avoid. Anything moving at 50-feet-per-second and headed right for you might be difficult to avoid, regardless of lane position, regardless even of awareness in some cases, and would be considered high hanging fruit in my view.

Somewhat less dangerous and more easy to avoid (but still higher fruit than the right hook in my opinion) are the errant restarts. Drivers failing to notice cyclists while restarting from stop signs, popping out of parking lots, driveways, etc. These problems tend to be easier to mitigate through awareness, position and riding adjustments, and any collisions are usually less violent and damaging due to necessarily lower speed of the wayward vehicles.

Even the problem of aggressive and hostile drivers, which has not been a major problem for me over my cycling life, I would count as slightly higher hanging fruit than the right hook.

I would say that problems presented by road surface in general are more significant than the right hook. In fact, I think I would have to conclude that, for messengers, riding on icy surfaces in traffic is probably the highest hanging fruit of all. Riding on ice is the surest path to injury available to a bicyclist, and that's to say nothing of riding on ice around a bunch of oblivious and impatient drivers to whom the road surface poses nothing like the same threat.


Originally Posted by invisiblehand (Post 5910394)
Why is this particularly troublesome in England? Is this just an empirical observation? That is, statistically speaking, there are more hook-accidents per mile/trip/rider than the US and we don't know why?

It seems to be more statistically prevalent in England but this may also be a statistical illusion. I'm going to dig into this question a little bit and get back to you.


RobertHurst 01-05-08 04:13 AM


Originally Posted by Roody (Post 5917291)
One of my phobias with trucks is that, after overtaking a cyclist, they can start their right merge safely, giving the cyclist a couple feet of clearance. But if they're going fast enough, their turbulence might literally suck the cyclist under their rear wheels. Is this possible? Or am I worrying needlessly?

I think there is a limit to how much worrying can improve one's lot, but then I'm not one of these people who says you shouldn't worry about things when it comes to riding in traffic. It doesn't seem to me that there is a real shortage of things to worry about. In one sense, one who worries about more things is aware of more things and is therefore safer. And being safer is nothing to sneeze at when the alternative involves traumatic, debilitating injury. So while I imagine there is a point when the worrying becomes excessive, I don't think you are there yet.

In my opinion, wind effect from passing trucks is a legitimate thing to consider if not worry about. I don't know about the suction scenario, but having felt some pretty horrendous wind blasts I believe it is quite possible, especially if one has a light grip on the bars and isn't really on task, to lose momentary control of the bike due to the windblast of a passing truck just enough to swerve under its wheels. Something to consider.

A while back in Portland a female courier was run over and tragically killed by a truck that was going the same direction she was. I don't believe anybody ever figured out exactly what happened that caused that horrible incident.

Long ago I heard about a courier who had been killed in NYC when the strap on his bag supposedly got caught on a passing truck and pulled him under. To this day I think about that -- I worry about that -- and I try to make sure I don't have anything snaggable sticking out. There is a messenger in town who often has the strap of his bag adjusted so there is an exaggerated loop sticking out, and I always cringe when I see that. I doubt he will get pulled under a truck, but he could certainly get yanked violently off his bike, and probably will at some point.


TheWheelman 01-04-09 01:57 PM


Originally Posted by Brian (Post 5907797)
He hasn't been banned.

A moot point.


Brian 01-04-09 03:41 PM

See ya next year?

TheWheelman 11-11-11 10:13 PM


Bekologist 11-12-11 03:56 PM

my, dredging up the stinky mud.....Two years of a thread left to fester hasn't changed the paradox inherent in acting like a vehicle amidst faster vehicles....

once again, yesterday and last night, riding along, cars passing on my left in immediate proximity of parking spaces and driveways to commercial establishments.......

goodness, the quandary. :roflmao: VC plays fast and loose with 'rules of the road'.

TheWheelman 11-12-11 08:58 PM

There's nothing "paradox" nor "quandary" about it. Thank you for making it amply clear that I haven't been missing anything.

bandit1990 10-01-12 01:44 PM

Who, in their right mind, decided to bump this dead issue up to Oct 2012? Ooops...forgive me.

UberGeek 05-28-13 06:15 PM

So, was this argument ever settled?

Bekologist 06-01-13 04:21 AM


Originally Posted by UberGeek (Post 15678006)
So, was this argument ever settled?

it's not so much that. There isn't any problem sharing roads side by side at different speeds so long as everyone maintains a proper lookout and drives with a duty of care to other road users. Riders being defauly positioned to the right of a faster traffic potentially turning into a driveway or parking isn't enough reason to rip out bikelanes on roads with parking.

However, once i gave a good read of John Forester's woefully mistitled (sic) "effective" cycling, i realized the effective cyclist rides at the edge of narrow roads.

pg 294, 6th edition, the cyclists lane rule puts cyclists outside of the traffic stream, or riding at the edge of narrow roads.

With that in mind, i think it doesn't matter to the (sic) effective cycling program if cyclists riding just inside the lane is in violation of the rules of the road.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:03 PM.