Hast. Gen. almost comes true!

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Kerry Nikolaise, Oct 4, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Great day in Missouri - temps in the high 60s low 70. On my way back from my 21 mile ride. Four way
    stop - I stop and proceed straight through the intersection. Car comes to stop sign on my right - I
    am through the intersection. Young high school girl (could tell by the sticker in window) and girl
    friend in car - barely stop at stop sign, make right turn and miss me by a foot. I am yelling at the
    top of my lungs at her as I see her make the turn going right toward me - "hey, hey, hey". The
    giggle and speed away as the one in the drivers side throws some litter back my way.

    It is really weird how perceptive one is on the bike, because of a constant, heightened sense of
    awareness.

    Kerry "I wish my generalizations didn't come true" Nikolaisen
     
    Tags:


  2. J. Zwiebel

    J. Zwiebel Guest

    I had an identical near miss, except it was a house frau in a Mercedes turning at a 4-way stop
    during rush hour in Potomac, MD. From the complete look of surprise on her face as I vented my
    anger, it was clear that never saw me. I think 4-way stops are complicated for drivers: cars are
    entering from all sides with each driver trying to decide when to move forward vs. everyone else. In
    the meantime, drivers don't expect to see cyclists and so we're simply not "seen." Clearly, crossing
    an intersection with a 4-way stop is dangerous and cyclists must assume they're invisible and
    proceed accordingly... JAZ

    "Kerry Nikolaisen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Great day in Missouri - temps in the high 60s low 70. On my way back from my 21 mile ride. Four
    > way stop - I stop and proceed straight through the intersection. Car comes to stop sign on my
    > right - I am through the intersection. Young high school girl (could tell by the sticker in
    > window) and girl friend in car - barely stop at stop sign, make right turn and miss me by a
    > foot. I am yelling at the top of my lungs at her as I see her make the turn going right toward
    > me - "hey, hey, hey". The giggle and speed away as the one in the drivers side throws some
    > litter back my way.
    >
    > It is really weird how perceptive one is on the bike, because of a constant, heightened sense of
    > awareness.
    >
    > Kerry "I wish my generalizations didn't come true" Nikolaisen
     
  3. On Sat, 4 Oct 2003 23:46:46 -0400, "J. Zwiebel" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Clearly, crossing an intersection with a 4-way stop is dangerous and cyclists must assume they're
    > invisible and proceed accordingly...

    One sound survival strategy is always to conduct yourself among motor vehicles as though you were
    invisible to the driver.

    Just because you're paranoid dosen't mean they aren't actually out to get you.
     
  4. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Zippy the Pinhead <[email protected]> writes:
    > On Sat, 4 Oct 2003 23:46:46 -0400, "J. Zwiebel" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> Clearly, crossing an intersection with a 4-way stop is dangerous and cyclists must assume they're
    >> invisible and proceed accordingly...
    >
    > One sound survival strategy is always to conduct yourself among motor vehicles as though you were
    > invisible to the driver.

    But then, how does a cyclist effect a well lane-positioned left turn from a 4-way stop? If you're
    invisible to the driver behind you,
    he'll run you over to get to the stop line. If you're invisible to the oncoming straight-through
    driver, he'll run you over as you make your turn. And if you're invisible to the cross
    traffic, they'll run you over as you ingress the intersection.

    And if you're *acting* as if you're invisible, you're cowering in the right-hand gutter, waiting for
    there to be no traffic at all before proceeding. And the right-hand gutter is not a place from which
    to hang a left. Might as well make a pedestrian box-turn.

    So, I respectfully disagree. 4-ways are not a place to be (or act as if) invisible. They're a place
    to be loud-&-proud. Let me repeat that: they're a place to be loud-&-proud.

    Furthermore, I've learnt to not signal my left turn intentions while stopped at 4-ways. It just
    befuddles and empuzzles all the other drivers. I just go as the oncomer goes, then signal, and make
    my turn behind the oncomer. I still have my skin on. It works. Or has, heretofore.

    cheers, & a noble spirit embiggens the smallest man [Jebediah Springfield], Tom
    >

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    [point] bc [point] ca
     
  5. >So, I respectfully disagree.

    I agree with your disagreement, the problems involved with purported invisibility are too numerous
    to mention, seriously. I'd be glad to talk about this in another thread but right now I'm too tired
    to engage the issue, maybe we can do this another time.

    The essential fact is that we are not invisible nor are we the sort of superheroes who can become so
    on demand, we are ordinary people riding bicycles.

    The strategies we use to, yes, stay alive aren't rocket science.

    But it isn't about invisibility. It's about taking charge of the environment, mastering the
    challenge, and getting on down the road.

    It's a sport. It's about victory. If you don't get that aspect of cycling then you just plain don't
    get cycling.

    That's my opinion, and as I said I'm probably too tired to talk about this right now.

    --

    _______________________ALL AMIGA IN MY MIND_______________________ ------------------"Buddy Holly,
    the Texas Elvis"------------------
    __________306.350.357.38>>[email protected]__________
     
  6. Tim Smith

    Tim Smith Guest

    Zippy the Pinhead <[email protected]> wrote:

    >One sound survival strategy is always to conduct yourself among motor vehicles as though you were
    >invisible to the driver.

    This is good advice for a motorcyclist, and one that I practiced all the time when riding
    motorcycles. It doesn't work for cyclists, who cannot keep up with motorized traffic in most
    circumstances.

    We have to depend on drivers seeing us, which is why wearing outstanding clothing, and using both
    lights and reflectors at night, is a must.
     
  7. "J. Zwiebel" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I had an identical near miss, except it was a house frau in a Mercedes turning at a 4-way stop
    > during rush hour in Potomac, MD. From the complete look of surprise on her face as I vented my
    > anger, it was clear that never saw me. I think 4-way stops are complicated for drivers: cars are
    > entering from all sides with each driver trying to decide when to move forward vs. everyone else.
    > In the meantime, drivers don't expect to see cyclists and so we're simply not "seen." Clearly,
    > crossing an intersection with a 4-way stop is dangerous and cyclists must assume they're invisible
    > and proceed accordingly... JAZ

    4-way stops may be slightly complicated, but pretending invisibility isn't the solution. I believe
    the cyclist should, instead, look and act like a confident, legal road user who _will_ take his
    right of way. Be there and be real!

    I approach a 4-way stop by taking the lane. I don't want anyone thinking they're going to come along
    side and drag-race me to get past, and I definitely don't want anyone hitting me with a right hook.

    I give everybody the eye as I'm approaching. Usually, there's little doubt who has the ROW (based on
    arrival time). If it's me, I'll be conspicuously looking at the other drivers as I take my turn. On
    a few occasions, I've shaken my head at someone who looked like they were going to try to cheat.
    Rarely, I've had to yell.

    I try to avoid "You go... No, you go..." types of disputes. If the motorists are not sure whether
    they should take their ROW - for example, if arrival time is a tie, and they're on the right, and
    unsure the crazy guy on a bike will stop - I wave them through as I'm still approaching. I know the
    rules, I know I'll stop, and I don't mind taking charge if all it means is reinforcing the laws.

    OTOH, if the rules say I've got the ROW, I won't stop for more than a fraction of a second. In
    particular, if traffic is backed up so people really are having to take turns, I take my turn very
    quickly. I'll usually start out before the previous car is even out of the way.

    And BTW - if it's _not_ a 4-way, but a regular 2-way stop and I have the ROW, I will not coast! Even
    if it's a downhill, I'll "soft pedal" so they see that I am really coming through - that I have no
    intention of relinquishing my ROW.

    Don't be invisible. Be confident in the rules, and take control of the situation. If you're good on
    a bike, you'll know more about what to do than most drivers. Use the rules of the road to your
    advantage.

    - Frank Krygowski
     
  8. J. Zwiebel

    J. Zwiebel Guest

    I'm afraid my comment about cyclists being invisible to drivers was misunderstood. I certainly agree
    that cyclists must do whatever they can to be noticed, and I also get to the center of the lane at
    stop signs (I don't "cower" in the gutter!) and try to establish eye contact with drivers. I simply
    don't assume that I'm actually SEEN by drivers.

    JAZ

    "Frank Krygowski" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "J. Zwiebel" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > I had an identical near miss, except it was a house frau in a Mercedes turning at a 4-way stop
    > > during rush hour in Potomac, MD. From the
    complete
    > > look of surprise on her face as I vented my anger, it was clear that
    never
    > > saw me. I think 4-way stops are complicated for drivers: cars are
    entering
    > > from all sides with each driver trying to decide when to move forward
    vs.
    > > everyone else. In the meantime, drivers don't expect to see cyclists and
    so
    > > we're simply not "seen." Clearly, crossing an intersection with a 4-way
    stop
    > > is dangerous and cyclists must assume they're invisible and proceed accordingly... JAZ
    >
    > 4-way stops may be slightly complicated, but pretending invisibility isn't the solution. I believe
    > the cyclist should, instead, look and act like a confident, legal road user who _will_ take his
    > right of way. Be there and be real!
    >
    > I approach a 4-way stop by taking the lane. I don't want anyone thinking they're going to come
    > along side and drag-race me to get past, and I definitely don't want anyone hitting me with a
    > right hook.
    >
    > I give everybody the eye as I'm approaching. Usually, there's little doubt who has the ROW (based
    > on arrival time). If it's me, I'll be conspicuously looking at the other drivers as I take my
    > turn. On a few occasions, I've shaken my head at someone who looked like they were going to try to
    > cheat. Rarely, I've had to yell.
    >
    > I try to avoid "You go... No, you go..." types of disputes. If the motorists are not sure
    > whether they should take their ROW - for example, if arrival time is a tie, and they're on the
    > right, and unsure the crazy guy on a bike will stop - I wave them through as I'm still
    > approaching. I know the rules, I know I'll stop, and I don't mind taking charge if all it means
    > is reinforcing the laws.
    >
    > OTOH, if the rules say I've got the ROW, I won't stop for more than a fraction of a second. In
    > particular, if traffic is backed up so people really are having to take turns, I take my turn very
    > quickly. I'll usually start out before the previous car is even out of the way.
    >
    >
    > And BTW - if it's _not_ a 4-way, but a regular 2-way stop and I have the ROW, I will not coast!
    > Even if it's a downhill, I'll "soft pedal" so they see that I am really coming through - that I
    > have no intention of relinquishing my ROW.
    >
    > Don't be invisible. Be confident in the rules, and take control of the situation. If you're good
    > on a bike, you'll know more about what to do than most drivers. Use the rules of the road to your
    > advantage.
    >
    > - Frank Krygowski
     
  9. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "J. Zwiebel" <[email protected]> writes:
    > I'm afraid my comment about cyclists being invisible to drivers was misunderstood. I certainly
    > agree that cyclists must do whatever they can to be noticed, and I also get to the center of the
    > lane at stop signs (I don't "cower" in the gutter!) and try to establish eye contact with drivers.
    > I simply don't assume that I'm actually SEEN by drivers.

    Fair enough.

    But I figure 4-way stops actually compel all road users to assume that they /are/ being seen, since
    4-way rules require drivers and riders to keep track of what's going on at the intersection. And
    besides, 4-way stops are such relatively low-speed affairs, there's plenty of opportunity to assess
    the situation, and even to make not-so-panicy-as-ditch-diving evasive maneouvers if really
    necessary. So due diligence falls upon us riders to ensure we are not only seen, but seen to be
    going with the flow along with everybody else. I guess I just have trouble getting my head around
    taking pains to enhance visibility, predictability and communications with the other road users, and
    then pretending it's all for nought.

    I think it would be suicidal for a truly, non-hypothetically invisible person to hang around in
    the midst of traffic. A real invisible person with any sense would be watching Tuscan Sun or some
    other new release for free, or repairing his/her credit history. Anywhere that's not the middle
    of a street.

    Maybe rephrasing "act as if invisible" to "not 100% expect drivers will act predictably" would work?
    But still, we might as well act as if all cars are runaway semi tractors with no brakes.

    I think I still prefer to deal with what *is* (i.e: all the due diligence I've taken care of
    myself), rather than imaginative stretches of what might be. And if we assume we're not seen by the
    drivers but we proceed normally anyway, what's the point of all the pretending & guessing?

    cheers, Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    [point] bc [point] ca
     
  10. R15757

    R15757 Guest

    Tom Keats wrote in part:

    << Maybe rephrasing "act as if invisible" to "not 100% expect drivers will act predictably" would
    work? But still, we might as well act as if all cars are runaway semi tractors with no brakes.

    I think I still prefer to deal with what *is* (i.e: all the due diligence I've taken care of
    myself), rather than imaginative stretches of what might be. And if we assume we're not seen by the
    drivers but we proceed normally anyway, what's the point of all the pretending & guessing?

    cheers, Tom

    -- >>

    I see what Tom is saying but the point is to eliminate, as much as possible, the guessing. To take
    control. this is interesting, because those in the "be loud and proud" camp feel as if they are
    taking control, when in fact what they are doing is repeatedly putting control into the hands of
    motorists. They depend on the vision and awareness of others.

    We must deal with reality, as Tom says. The reality is that, no matter what we do, no matter how
    proud we feel, no matter what we wear, no matter what kind of trailer we pull, no matter where we
    ride in the street, there are a number of drivers who will simply not see us. This is the incurable
    nature of riding a bike on the street. This is the reality that we must deal with.

    << Maybe rephrasing "act as if invisible" to "not 100% expect drivers will act predictably" would
    work? But still, we might as well act as if all cars are runaway semi tractors with no brakes. >>

    Expect the worst from every vehicle, I say, based on its physical potential to move into a given
    space, not based on cultural norms, traffic laws, or common sense. Tstreet, I was only momentarily
    surprised. This move was, essentially, normal for city traffic.

    It's a matter of expectations and attitude. The "loud and prouders" usually don't realize that more
    cynical riders are sharing the same road position, making "vehicular" style left turns, etc. They
    think the "invisible" cyclists are all cowering in the gutter, afraid of the traffic flow. But the
    gutter is usually a bad place to be invisible.

    The invisible cyclist is out in the street, too, but with a fundamentally different attitude and set
    of expectations. The invisible cyclist expects that car to pull out in front of him/her, and will be
    ready for it. A lot of the "proud" cyclists seem to be rather innocent. The only way someone could
    figure that bcoming visible to drivers is the most important thing is if they have never been run
    down by someone who appears to be looking right at them. When that happens, as it eventually does,
    they will have to reevaluate their whole mindset.

    Robert keeping rookies out of the ER since '91
     
  11. Roberth

    Roberth Guest

    <the good stuff Tom wrote>
    >
    >
    > cheers, Tom

    The salient feature of urban traffic is the Mistake. The basic human Mistake.

    "Ride like you're invisible" is not an adequate description of the riding style that I personally
    have been advocating here, although it comes close. It is really about *anticipating the mistakes
    of motorists*. Anticipating the mistakes of others is not something you do while vehicular
    cycling. Rather, vehicular cycling is something you may or may not do while anticipating the
    mistakes of others.

    Robert
     
  12. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (R15757) writes:

    > The invisible cyclist is out in the street, too, but with a fundamentally different attitude and
    > set of expectations. The invisible cyclist expects that car to pull out in front of him/her, and
    > will be ready for it. A lot of the "proud" cyclists seem to be rather innocent. The only way
    > someone could figure that bcoming visible to drivers is the most important thing is if they have
    > never been run down by someone who appears to be looking right at them. When that happens, as it
    > eventually does, they will have to reevaluate their whole mindset.

    Just to clarify, I've been limiting my points to the assertion that it is advisable to act as if
    invisible _at_4-way_stops_.

    How exactly does one do that? Especially at a traffic facility whose very functionality is entirely
    based upon visual cues working together with a rigourous but simple ROW protocol from which it's
    impossible to safely deviate? It all sounds so incongruous to me.

    I suppose there's always the possibility a driver might prematurely lurch forth into the
    intersection, or even barge through without stopping. But that's something which all road users at
    4-way stops -- drivers, riders and pedestrians should consider. To my that's more about anticipating
    poor judgement on the parts of others despite one's own visibility, or lack thereof.

    I've also heard some riders say that they like to cross intersections with a car alongside them,
    shielding their left side. But lurking in blind spots ain't my cup o' tea.

    cheers, Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    [point] bc [point] ca
     
  13. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (RobertH) writes:

    > It is really about *anticipating the mistakes of motorists*.

    We seem to have had a synchronicity moment. I just wrote more-or-less the same thing, at the same
    time you did.

    It's not about "acting as if invisible", it's about "being a mind-reader" :)

    cheers, Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    [point] bc [point] ca
     
  14. "R15757" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Tom Keats wrote in part:
    >
    > << Maybe rephrasing "act as if invisible" to "not 100% expect drivers will act predictably" would
    > work? But still, we might as well act as if all cars are runaway semi tractors with no brakes.
    >
    > I think I still prefer to deal with what *is* (i.e: all the due diligence I've taken care of
    > myself), rather than imaginative stretches of what might be. And if we assume we're not seen by
    > the drivers but we proceed normally anyway, what's the point of all the pretending & guessing?
    >
    >
    > cheers, Tom
    >
    > -- >>
    >
    > I see what Tom is saying but the point is to eliminate, as much as
    possible,
    > the guessing. To take control. this is interesting, because those in the
    "be
    > loud and proud" camp feel as if they are taking control, when in fact what
    they
    > are doing is repeatedly putting control into the hands of motorists. They depend on the vision and
    > awareness of others.
    >
    > We must deal with reality, as Tom says. The reality is that, no matter
    what we
    > do, no matter how proud we feel, no matter what we wear, no matter what
    kind of
    > trailer we pull, no matter where we ride in the street, there are a number
    of
    > drivers who will simply not see us. This is the incurable nature of riding
    a
    > bike on the street. This is the reality that we must deal with.
    >
    > << Maybe rephrasing "act as if invisible" to "not 100% expect drivers will act predictably" would
    > work? But still, we might as well act as if all cars are runaway semi tractors with no brakes. >>
    >
    > Expect the worst from every vehicle, I say, based on its physical
    potential to
    > move into a given space, not based on cultural norms, traffic laws, or
    common
    > sense. Tstreet, I was only momentarily surprised. This move was,
    essentially,
    > normal for city traffic.
    >
    > It's a matter of expectations and attitude. The "loud and prouders"
    usually
    > don't realize that more cynical riders are sharing the same road position, making "vehicular"
    > style left turns, etc. They think the "invisible"
    cyclists
    > are all cowering in the gutter, afraid of the traffic flow. But the gutter
    is
    > usually a bad place to be invisible.
    >
    > The invisible cyclist is out in the street, too, but with a fundamentally different attitude and
    > set of expectations. The invisible cyclist expects
    that
    > car to pull out in front of him/her, and will be ready for it. A lot of
    the
    > "proud" cyclists seem to be rather innocent. The only way someone could
    figure
    > that bcoming visible to drivers is the most important thing is if they
    have
    > never been run down by someone who appears to be looking right at them.
    When
    > that happens, as it eventually does, they will have to reevaluate their
    whole
    > mindset.
    >
    > Robert keeping rookies out of the ER since '91

    Should anyone care....

    I did take the lane at the stop sign, and once through the stop sign. Had I been any closer to the
    curb (i.e., not take the lane), I woulda been a bug on a windshield.

    Kerry
     
  15. R15757

    R15757 Guest

    Tom Keats wrote;

    << Just to clarify, I've been limiting my points to the assertion that it is advisable to act as if
    invisible _at_4-way_stops_.

    How exactly does one do that? Especially at a traffic facility whose very functionality is entirely
    based upon visual cues working together with a rigourous but simple ROW protocol from which it's
    impossible to safely deviate? It all sounds so incongruous to me.

    I suppose there's always the possibility a driver might prematurely lurch forth into the
    intersection, or even barge through without stopping. But that's something which all road users at
    4-way stops -- drivers, riders and pedestrians should consider. To my that's more about anticipating
    poor judgement on the parts of others despite one's own visibility, or lack thereof.>>

    I agree with that. Four ways are generally places for slow, methodical, position-establishing
    riding. As experienced riders, we are mainly concerned with the things that happen when we're
    cranked p to speed, the drivers who might turn left into us, or drivers blowing lights or stop
    signs, or restarting from stop signs right into us. Because we are experienced, we won't get
    right-hooked or doored or any of that piddly shit any more. God forbid we might get tagged by some
    drunk or some kid fiddling with the radio from the back side, but there's nt much we can do about
    that. And the four way doesn't pose much of a threat relative to other features of the traffic grid.

    But let's think about the four way stop for a moment...the redundancy of the four-way stop is
    ominous. Some of those four ways used to be regular two-way stops. But the two-way stop was too much
    for people to deal with. They blew right through it and there was a critical mass of smashing and
    blood, etc. and the intersection sprouted another set of signs. Now, with the four-way, when people
    blow right through the stop hopefully the cars going the other direction will be stopped. See some
    of those stop signs are invisible along with the cyclists. The four-way stop is a desperate response
    to human incompetence. This is not unlike the "all red" moment at traffic lights, which must be just
    long enough to allow the red light runners to roll through, and not so long that assholes notice it,
    and begin to ignore it.

    <<I've also heard some riders say that they like to cross intersections with a car alongside them,
    shielding their left side. But lurking in blind spots ain't my cup o' tea.

    cheers, Tom >>

    The lurking in the blind spot is just a by-product of getting out of the Gap. All the left-turner
    sees is the Gap in the traffic. If youre in there, riding along...Best to use a shield, if possible,
    just for a moment.

    Robert mind the gap
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...