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BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,843
12/14/11 8:30 P

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Go Don. Thanks

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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,374
12/14/11 9:00 A

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Here's a great article on cycling to work:

www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/13/bi
ke
-to-work-infographic-benefits-healthR>_n_1145815.html


Bike To Work Infographic: Environmental And Health Benefits

Great graphics (informative) and a video on how to bike in a busy city!

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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12/12/11 10:59 A

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Passing within the lane can be done safely with nice wide lanes; in my experience wider lanes are better for all road users and far superior to narrow lanes plus bike paths. When riding on in light traffic in normal width lanes I usually ride where the right tire of motor vehicles track. This is also better for avoiding flats since autos push debris out of their path. I move over to the right to make it easier for motorists to pass as they approach. In really heavy urban traffic sometimes I'll even ride in the left wheel track like motorcycles do. This prevents motorists from trying to squeeze through and forces them to wait until they can have the whole lane to safely pass. This is assuming that traffic is slow enough that you can travel at close to motorist speed. I'm a big believer in eye contact. I've never seen a motorist run my down or cut me off after making eye contact. If a motorist is going to blow through a stop sign or red light when you are approaching they will avoid eye contact as if to communicate that they don't see you even if they did.
While traffic is nerve racking and scary I've been hit by cars 3 times and the worst injury I suffered was a broken wrist.


BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,843
12/11/11 5:15 P

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Look into taking and "Effective Cycling Class". Keep updated on the laws. In my state they are always changing, even Law Enforcement is not always aware. Get a printed business card and carry them with you.

They just changed the law about stopping at a stoplight. If you stop, look both ways, no traffic, you can go through a Red light. There are others and you need to keep up.

TAKE YOUR LANE! If you are passive and don't exercise your rights the motorists will take them from you. I hold my lane and if a driver give me an issue I get the LIC number and call them in. A cell phone is good, you can take a pic or video. I have done little videos when drivers text breaking the law. Mindless driving seems to be an issue, be notices and make eye contact, shake your head, let the drivers know you are watching.

Wear bright colors. It is the cyclists responsibility to know the rules and follow them. "Effective Cycling" will teach you how to handle traffic, where to be, how to make eye contact with the drives.

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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,374
12/11/11 4:27 P

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Much depends on the attitude one brings when you hit the road. I am guilty at times...usually when I've been away from road cycling for a while, of being easily cowed and intimidated when dealing with cars, intersections and the like. That, I believe, is an invitation to trouble.

There is a careful balance one can acquire between fearfulness and foolish oblivion...call it assertive confidence? Once you "get it," cars pick up on your vibe and are WAY more apt to respect your space on the road.

That's not to guarantee that one is going to be invincible against some yahoo that blows right by you on the road, but I think your odds are much better to avoid troubles when you combine this 1) attitude of assertive confidence (which comes pretty quickly with experience), 2) respect for the rules of the road and 3) a watchful wariness and your safety as a cyclist is greatly enhanced.

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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12/11/11 12:06 P

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Don, thanks for this article. It is a touchy situation and no matter what you do there will always be incidents. But this offers some excellent suggestions.

BILL60's Photo BILL60 Posts: 224,361
12/11/11 9:17 A

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Great article Don. At times, we cyclists paint the picture way too threatening. While there are jerk motorists out there, I have found that the majority are super and courteous folks that work with you. I live in the country and have my share of jerks, but also great folks that extend courtesies beyond what is customary. Will you have mishaps? You bet your "Bippy". We need to get beyond that one, second, or even third incident. Hang tough!!

"Excellence is but for the few."


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BILL60's Photo BILL60 Posts: 224,361
12/11/11 9:16 A

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Great article Don. At times, we cyclists paint the picture way too threatening. While there are jerk motorists out there, I have found that the majority are super and courteous folks that work with you. I live in the country and have my share of jerks, but also great folks that extend courtesies beyond what is customary. Will you have mishaps? You bet your "Bippy". We need to get beyond that one, second, or even third incident. Hang tough!!

"Excellence is but for the few."


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LMB-ESQ's Photo LMB-ESQ Posts: 10,840
12/11/11 8:57 A

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This is a frustrating issue, and the primary reason why I haven't been riding as much as I'd like to. My schedule changed so that the only time I have to ride now is either during rush hour or after dark and I'm not about to do either. I got hit by a car about 10 years ago and I'm not willing to risk it again. Even though I was not seriously injured, it was the single most frightening experience of my life. I kept one of the bent and ruined wheels off of my bike as a reminder. And I still can't ride past the corner where I was hit without a twinge of fear.

The author talks about "claiming your lane space" and how "motorists are legally required to give you safe space," but this doesn't make one whit of difference if (1) the motorists don't know the law, (2) even if they do know the law, they don't care, and (3) there are no cops around to enforce the law. This has been my experience riding on my town's streets, and I live in a small town, not anything like New York City.

So what do I do? I can't be a one-woman crusader. And as much as I enjoy riding, it just isn't worth the risk to me. The bike trails around me aren't much better. They are crowded with walkers and cyclists who have no clue what the rules are. That's not a ride, that's an exercise in frustration. So instead I choose to run on jogging trails where there are no bikes, or swim in a nice safe pool.

Some day, when I don't have the equivalent of two full time jobs hanging over me, I might have time to join a bike club and travel with others to places that are safer for biking. But biking in traffic? No thanks....

***** Laurie in Northeast Ohio *****

Fortunate are you if you love a dog, for that dog will surely love you.

Fly Free my friend.... for only in true freedom can we find our true selves

Treat stressful situations like a dog... If you can't eat it or play with it, just pee on it and walk away!

Neat Link: The Rules for Being Human rules4humans.com/


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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,374
12/10/11 11:12 P

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Dealing with Traffic on the Road (from RoadBikeRider.com)

www.roadbikerider.com/newsletters/is
su
e-no-498-big-3-interbike#newsletter-R>no-problem


I thought these tips summed up a lot of the things I've learned along the way while cycling along out on the road. I'm hoping sharing these may help those who feel intimidated by the idea of cycling out on the open road!

Don

=====================

Bikes must mix with motorized vehicles. And the reality is that traffic of all kinds is increasing. Not long ago, a Belgian cycling official expressed concern about whether road racing would survive the next 10 years in his country because of the increase in cars on what used to be lightly traveled farm roads. If this is a concern in cycling-mad Belgium, what chance do the rest of us have? We’ll offer tips for dealing with traffic on the road in a two-part No Problem. Look for Part 2 next week.

It’s possible to ride safely even in the presence of cars, SUVs and pickups. Check out the cyclists in midtown Manhattan. They ride in perhaps the most traffic-dense environment this side of Bangkok but still manage to survive. The trick is knowing how to ride in such a way that you co-exist with traffic.

This is a complicated subject, and the literature contains a wide range of opinions. Some riders never venture into heavy traffic, choosing either to ride on bike paths or hang up their wheels. Others get downright surly about their rights to the road, which can lead to driver confrontations, accidents and injury. No cyclist is a match for a 4,000-pound box of metal. Here, I’ll take a middle course.

A Few Traffic Tips

Assert your rights. But do it with caution. As a cyclist, you have the same rights as a motorized road user, but you also have the same responsibilities. You must stop for red lights and signal for turns. Motorists are legally required to give you safe space. (And at least 19 states have now enacted a 3-foot passing law more clearing defining that space.) As the slogan goes, “Same roads, same rules, same rights.”

Claim your lawful space. The law requires a cyclist to ride as far to the right on the roadway as practicable. “Practicable” means as far right as is safe, not as far right as is possible. There’s a big difference. You’re allowed to move to the left to avoid road hazards.

On roads with a wide shoulder, ride about 2 feet to the right of the white line. This is assuming the shoulder isn’t strewn with broken glass or other dangerous junk. Look ahead to see if the shoulder narrows unexpectedly for bridge abutments or is blocked by parked cars. If so, ride as far to the left as you need to for safety. Do not dart in and out among intermittently parked cars. Hold a steady line to their left until you pass the last car, then move back to the shoulder. This prevents popping out in front of a driver who doesn’t expect it.
If the road doesn’t have a shoulder, ride in the traffic lane about a foot from the right edge. Give yourself some room to maneuver. If you’re fully at the edge, you’ll have no space to make a correction to avoid obstacles or debris, and drivers will think they have room to pass without moving into the other lane. But if you take your legal space, you’ll have the room you need, and drivers will have to slow and move left to pass. In other words, they'll have to share the road with you.

Beware of doors opening. All is good so far. You’re claiming your legal space but not unnecessarily inhibiting traffic. You should, however, ride a bit farther to the left when passing parallel-parked cars. Drivers tend to swing open their doors after checking for traffic, not cyclists. If you hit a door, it might as well be a brick wall. Give yourself an extra 2 feet of space, and watch through windows to see if the driver is in the car. If you see someone in a left-side seat, anticipate the worst and slide farther to your left. A downward-extended left arm with palm facing rearward will alert drivers that something’s up. Similarly, keep your eyes peeled for pedestrians poised between parked cars. They’re looking for traffic, not bikes, and might step into your path.

Beware of right-turning motorists. Perhaps the most important reason to claim your lane space is to diminish the risk that overtaking drivers will make a right turn across your path. If you are hugging the curb or parked cars, you lose presence -- the only advantage you have in this situation. If you don’t make drivers deal with you, they are likely to act as if you aren’t there. They’ll pass closely and turn right so abruptly that you have to brake hard. If the car isn’t quite past you when it begins to turn, the best tactic is to turn with it. That’s a dicey maneuver, especially if the driver cuts close to the curb. Riding out in the lane forces overtaking motorists to slow and wait until you are through the intersection before they turn.
To make this situation worse, some states interpret the law in such a way that the cyclist is at fault when hit by a right-turning driver. The cyclist can be charged with “passing on the right.” A famous and contentious case of this nature took place in Colorado a few years ago after a fatal car/bike accident. It’s unfair -- the law requires cyclists to ride as far to the right as practicable but doesn’t protect us when we do. So take your fair share of the lane and make drivers wait until they can turn right without putting you at risk.

Bikes must mix with motorized vehicles. And the reality is that traffic of all kinds is increasing. We started this 2-part column last week with some tips for dealing with traffic on the road. We’ll finish it off today with a few additional traffic tips.

It’s possible to ride safely even in the presence of cars, SUVs and pickups. Check out the cyclists in midtown Manhattan. They ride in perhaps the most traffic-dense environment this side of Bangkok but still manage to survive. The trick is knowing how to ride in such a way that you co-exist with traffic.

This is a complicated subject, and the literature contains a wide range of opinions. Some riders never venture into heavy traffic, choosing either to ride on bike paths or hang up their wheels. Others get downright surly about their rights to the road, which can lead to driver confrontations, accidents and injury. No cyclist is a match for a 4,000-pound box of metal. Here, I’ll take a middle course.

A Few More Traffic Tips

Take nothing for granted at intersections. When you approach an intersection with the intention of proceeding straight ahead, and you have the right of way, look carefully to the left and right. There’s no guarantee that drivers will obey a stop sign or traffic signal. Heed the advice of my old linebacker coach and “keep your head on a swivel.” Watch for pedestrians, too.

When you see a driver stopped at a cross street, try to make eye contact. This can be difficult when the car or truck has tinted windows -- and when you are likely wearing sunglasses -- but it’s always worth a try. It’s not foolproof, though. Several times a driver has looked right at me and then pulled out, seemingly oblivious to my presence. You never know.
Extra Tip! When you’re moving, it can be hard to tell if a vehicle is inching forward from a cross street and about to pull out. Your perspective is constantly changing. So look at the vehicle’s front wheel. It’s the surest way to spot motion.

Signal turns and stops. When turning, follow the same laws that govern motor vehicles. Position yourself in the correct lane well in advance of the turn, signal your intention and take a predictable line through the corner. Ride at a reasonable speed. Leave plenty of room for pedestrians, slippery crosswalks and parked cars that pull away from the curb without warning. Remember, an accident in traffic is usually much worse than a fall on a rural road. You may hit a car or even get run over by one that can’t stop in time.

Signal that you’re slowing or stopping by holding your left hand down with palm facing rearward. This simple gesture often works like magic to hold traffic back -- very useful when it feels like a driver is about to squeeze past and force you too close to the curb or parked cars. Signal a left turn with left arm straight out to the side. A right turn can be signaled by holding the left arm out with the elbow bent up at 90 degrees, or with the right arm straight out to the side. (Some states may specifically require the older, left-arm signal, while others allow either. Know the law where you’re riding.)

Obey laws to earn respect. You’ll be safer in traffic if you go about your business in a responsible way. Very few riders can be pro racers but we can all look and behave in a professional manner. Motorists are much more likely to treat you with respect if you demand it with a mature demeanor and law-abiding actions. On the other hand, when you ride erratically and roll through stop signs, drivers can’t be blamed for showing disdain. Aid your cause by wearing a bright, visible jersey and your helmet, which indicates that you’re a serious cyclist and concerned about safety.

Survival in traffic boils down to riding predictably and in such a way that you confidently and competently assert your legal right to be on the road.

Don’t accept harassment. What if you’re hassled or threatened by a motorist? Unfortunately, this can happen even when you are doing everything right. Every experienced cyclist can tell you about flying beer cans, intentionally close passes and verbal abuse. The best reaction is to bite your tongue, show no reaction and ride on. If the driver sees no reaction, the episode will be over. If you react with gestures and shouts, he may slam on the brakes and ruin your whole day. You actually win by ignoring these people.

However, if harassment is serious or repeated, report the vehicle description and license number to police. They may refuse to take action unless they witness the event or there has been physical contact, but who knows? Maybe the driver has threatened other cyclists and your report will be the one that results in arrest. It never hurts to file a report and have it on record.

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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