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TOPIC:   Riding the open road 


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GIANT-STEPS
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3/10/11 5:54 P

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I think John Forrester's book "Effective Cycling" is the best info about how to ride in traffic and how to survive traffic.



KA_JUN
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3/10/11 4:59 P

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I agree with a lot of what's been previously posted, make sure you can hold your line while looking over your shoulder, ride confidently and using the rules of the road, take special care at intersections (right hook, left hook, dooring, etc.), I'm a proponent of running good lights, even in the daytime. emoticon

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DDOORN
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3/10/11 10:33 A

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It helps to scope out a road ahead of time via car to see how "bike-able" it may or may not be. Checking out shoulder width, amount of debris (no flat tires, thank you!) amount of traffic, how to manage intersections, etc.

Don

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PEDAL-PUSHER
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3/10/11 9:59 A

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I used to shudder when I saw bikes on the big highways, until I got misplaced and was forced to travel one. Most of them here in my section of PA have wide shoulders (horse and buggy traffic) and I found it is not bad at all. I am not talking major freeways, just heavily traveled routes. Some motorists are considerate, some are not, and I have encountered both.

I have a mirror on my road bike, but not on the trail bike, and find I miss it even when on the trail. I think that will be a purchase for this year.

Linda ~ Pennsylvania

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CHICKYSOUP
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3/9/11 12:19 P

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Cyclists must follow the same rules of the road as drivers so in that regard, it is pretty simple to know all the rules of the road. A road safety course is useful. Some specifics to cyclists: cyclists are entitled to the 1/3 of the lane - really necessary when cycling along parked cars. If you are cycling at the speed of traffic you can merge further into the lane. Try to be as predicable as possible like another poster mentioned. IE, if you are cycling along a row of parked cars, maintian a straight line and don't dip into empty spaces. Your visibility will be better (also useful to have a flourescent jacket).

Also, be sure that you can look over your shoulder and maintain a straight line, just like we had to practice in driver's ed!

Lastly, there may be more debris in the road than on trails. Be sure to have a flat tire repair kit with you and know how to use it!


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SARACYCLE
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3/4/11 2:57 P

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If I can get a friend to ride with me, that is really wonderful, when on the road. We call "car up", "car back" and it is so helpful. My riding is twice as much fun (which I'm basically all about that) when I have a buddy. We follow the cycle rules in our driver's handbook. And yes, do not trust the 'car' drivers (or cell-phone operators)!

Sarah


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REMCMFA
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3/4/11 8:38 A

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I humbly share the road when I drive. It sure makes a difference if you are a biker or runner. There were a lot of good posts, but my personal opinion of anyone driving a car when I bike or run (in the road) is 'trust no one'. As for mirrors, well, I don't have one. I also know that go-carts don't have mirrors either! I know cuz I tried looking in my rearview mirror to pass my 14 yr. old when go carting! Freaky. ...how much we rely on mirrors, eh?



DDOORN
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3/4/11 5:04 A

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Nothing works as well as the "rules of the road." My goals is to always be as PREDICTABLE as possible to motorists around me. I try to make my intentions as obvious as possible.

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

rules4humans.com


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KESTREL500
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3/3/11 11:16 P

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I have used all types of mirrors. Lately I don't use one. I am not against them. Just be careful you don't trust the mirror too much or spen so much time looking in it you are not looking where you are going. Also when first using one make sure you can look in it without swerving (sp?).

Great idea about taking a course. The League of American Cyclists offers a cycling 101 class that includes both classroom and on bike instruction. Highly recommended.

My mantra: Exercise frequently! Eat reasonably!


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GREYANGEL
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3/3/11 10:07 P

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Thanks for the info. Still a little nervous about riding on the road. I think for the most part here is central rural Iowa, people are pretty tolerant. I think I'm more worried about the big farm machinery (like I said, rural Iowa) more than anything. Can't wait til I'm cruising along and have to pass a combine going 5 mph. LOL.

Life isnít about waiting for the storm to passÖ.
itís about learning to dance in the rain.



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KERSTIN814
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3/3/11 9:37 P

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One of the most valuable things I have done is to take a bicycle rules of the road class. Lots of good info, including how to get through intersections, how to turn left in heavy traffic. Basically you follow the same rules as you would when you drive. If you are going to turn left, "take your lane" and stay in the left turn lane. If you are going straight, but there is a right turn lane, stay in the going straight lane, not the right turn lane, if cars are stopped at a stop light, don't ride up next to them, stay in whatever position you approached the light. Always signal your intentions, foot down to stop. Stay off the white road lines when it is wet, approach rail road tracks at 45 degrees. Maybe we should start a cycling rules of the road thread to help people who are just starting out.

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SARACYCLE
SARACYCLE's Photo Posts: 303
3/3/11 9:34 P

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I ride with a small mirror (non-obtrusive) on my handlebar. I've had no problems with motorists, to speak of. I yell at dogs and scare them ( I use to ride from them, but decided I'd scare them instead). I can not stand logging trucks, but give them plenty of room. My mirror has been helpful; but I'm not dependent on it. Most of all my road riding here, is on back country roads in Alabama. People are for the most part friendly, will stop to help, if you've stopped.

Sarah


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DDOORN
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3/3/11 9:18 P

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I've meant to get mirrors, never have...just jack my vigilance up proportionate to the speed and number of vehicles around as well as the condition of the road and amount of space on the shoulder / cycling lane. Intersections? If I'm feeling at all shaky about crossing, I get off and walk. I've gotten better at intersections over time, re: holding my own and claiming my space on the road. Once an motorcyclist pulled up next to me and good-naturedly said: Wanna race? I smiled and said..."eh...how about next year?" :-)

In general, and this is a HUGE generalization, I find the northern states have roads that are more bike-friendly with drivers that are more "tolerant" of cyclists.

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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BEVPRESLEY
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3/3/11 5:54 P

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Yup, Alabama is not really bike friendly over all. DH and I tend to ride the same route a lot and people have become accustomed to us and are patient. When we ride different areas, that is not the case. I don't have a mirror right now, but usually ride in a group and we watch out for each other. When we are on the tandem, DH does use a helmet mounted one since it is more difficult to maneuver it. If I start riding my single more, I'll get one also.

beverly

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DAVISJH
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3/3/11 5:10 P

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It all depends on where you are riding. I found the 4-wheel commuters in DC shared the road well (although I commuted on a rails-to-trails path for large %age of my commute). Here in Alabama is a different story - many drivers seem reluctant to share the road & I've been yelled at & told to get off the road. You have to be careful and constantly alert. I make it a point to ride the roads in a group.

Your area may be very different and bike-friendly -- I hope it is!!

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KERSTIN814
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3/3/11 5:02 P

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When I was doing a lot of biking, I couldn't walk down the sidewalk without a rear view mirror. Mine was helmet mounted. Be aware that the really cool dudes think that is dorky. I find them invaluable. I don't like riding on busy roads at all. I would only go on organized, supported invitationals, usually held Sundays on rural roads. Not to say there aren't some young, male rural people who shall remain nameless here, who might give you a hard time, but generally, the less traffic, the fewer problems.

Rescue people rock!
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Living well is the best revenge. George Herbert, 1593-1633

Perfect is the enemy of good. Voltaire, 1694-1778

Keep your eyes on the prize. Alice Wine, 1956


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SWIMRROO
SWIMRROO's Photo Posts: 22
3/3/11 5:00 P

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i recently purchased a bike mounted one. i don't like it. the mirror itself is crappy, and my legs get in the way of what it's trying to view. i will soon try the helmet mounted one as i am CONSTANTLY looking over my shoulder and losing my balance. call me paranoid =)


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GREYANGEL
GREYANGEL's Photo Posts: 26
3/3/11 4:48 P

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So far my training has been a 12 mile bicycle trail (last fall) and indoor trainer (this winter)
this spring/summer I will be venturing out on the open road. Just curious how the big 4-wheel commuters react to the smaller 2 wheel commuters. Do most of them share the road or should I be constantly worried about getting mowed over? Also how many of you use rearview mirrors either bike or helmet mounted?

Life isnít about waiting for the storm to passÖ.
itís about learning to dance in the rain.



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