A Quick Challenge For You



decca234uk

New Member
Jan 18, 2010
130
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I've got a quick question for you. I know that safe cycling is dependant on a lot of factors all coming together and the question I'm about to ask may seem pointless in isolation, nevertheless I'm going to ask it anyway. The question is; what in your opinion is the single most important thing you can do to ensure your safety on the road?
I'll kick it off by saying that in my opinion it's assuming you haven't been seen by drivers and taking action to be seen.
I'd be interested in any other ideas you may have.
Cheers

Paul/img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
 

jhuskey

Moderator
Oct 6, 2003
10,606
678
113
Keep in mind that not all accidents are caused by other drivers. Some are caused by road conditions, animals, cyclist error. With that in mind I would say distracted motorists and lack of anticipation by the cyclist are key elements.
 

CalicoCat

Member
Jan 10, 2010
405
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It seems that your concern is about being seen by motorists. I would say that taking the lane helps a lot in that regard. For example, if a driver is turning right from a cross street to your right, there are no cars behind you, and you and the driver haven't made eye contact, take the lane. The driver is going to look down the road for traffic and may not see you if you are in the gutter. If you are where cars usually are, he is more likely to make eye contact with you.
 

drummerboy1248

New Member
May 23, 2004
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It's a given that we have to deal with the cars on the road. Alot of that is out of our ability to control. While I am familiar with several folks that were hit by cars, including one that was killed here a few months ago, most of the bike crashes I have personal knowledge of were caused by the cyclist themselves and did not involve motor vehicles. Most, maybe all, of those could have been avoided if the rider was looking up. Most of the crashes were caused by going into wheels ahead along with a couple that were caused by obstacles in the road (pot holes, debris, gravel). Too many cyclists ride staring at the wheel ahead of them or their own front wheel. You cannot hold a line unless you look down the road. Pick a target and aim at it. Eyes should be up to middle of the back of rider ahead in a group. You also have to get the big picture of what's going on in the drive scene, and you have to be looking up to see it. It's the pot hole you never saw that takes you down. Also, do not look directly at the obstacle you are needing to avoid. The bike tends to go where you are looking. I have given this tip to many new riders and racers that I have noticed weaving and riding in a dangerous manner in a group. When they apply what I tell them, their riding immediately becomes safer and they hold their line. I ride with a high school team on their training rides occassionally. Teenage riders are alot like teenage drivers, and it can be a little scary riding with them. So it is maybe a bit self serving for me to get them to ride safely.
 

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