How to be more confident on the street

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by AryaSnark, May 5, 2016.

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  1. AryaSnark

    AryaSnark New Member

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    I'm going to finally move to Gliwice, the city where I'm working now, and since I'm going to rent an apartment 8 kilometers (Uncle Google says it's 4,97 miles ;)), I'd like to ride my bike instead of taking the bus. Bus service is unreliable and getting more and more expensive every year here, anyway. My problem is that there are no cycling paths in this part of the city, and I will have to go on the road with he rest of traffic. I think I have the skills to handle this, I even had a "test ride" recently and it went OK, but I learned cycling in the country roads and I still feel uneasy when going down a busy street. Does anybody here have the same problem, or any idea how to deal with it?
     
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  2. OursIsTheFury

    OursIsTheFury Member

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    Well, it's all about not hesitating when crossing the street in your bike, or making eye contact with the drivers to let them know you're passing first, or if you want them to pass first. That's the thing with the dynamic between cars and bikers, you have to establish communication when on the road, and make sure to get your intentions clear when you are communicating, so there won't be any mishaps and accidents could occur if that happens. Make sure to have reflector lights to make sure you get seen by drivers at night, and as always, protective padding and helmets go a long way when traversing through a dangerous highway.
     
  3. PurpleAubergine

    PurpleAubergine New Member

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    If the local drivers are agknowledging cyclists on the road as actual vehicle entities then you're good. Aside from familiarising yourself with the streets and layout of the city all you need to do is do a few more test runs to memorise stop signs and traffic light ques.
    But there are cities and town out there where a) there are no bike lanes, plus b) the drivers, while being mindful of cyclists, expect you to give them priority. Which is wrong in terms of the Driving code of conduct but it's a local meme so it spreads and stays in the local driver mentality. So be mindful of that.
    During high traffic there might be more incidents of mishaps and misunderstanding so try to sort these out by doing test runs that go gradually from low traffic hours to high traffic hours.
     
  4. Jcycle

    Jcycle Active Member

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    Crossing the street? Are you one of those people clogging up sidewalks with a bicycle and riding in crosswalks? I hate that crap and it isn't even legal where I live. I hope this isn't you and that you meant something else by crossing the street.
     
  5. AryaSnark

    AryaSnark New Member

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    Thanks for tips, guys!

    You've basically described the situation in Gliwice :( I've did a test ride in high traffic in the morning, and I managed it somehow, but I'm not sure if one go is enough to make any conclusions.
     
  6. sharkantropo

    sharkantropo Member

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    As PurpleAubergine said. If The local drivers aknowledge cyclists on the road as actual vehicle entities the everything is going to be fine. And then become acquainted with your path traffic signaling. Also I recommend to find out your route traffic peak hours, so you can anticipate it when you are ready to commute, so you can ride across lesser busy streets.
     
  7. PurpleAubergine

    PurpleAubergine New Member

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    One thing that some local cyclists will do when faced with a high-traffic, high-speed road, it so get on the pavement and cycle there. It's propably against the rules of conduct in some countries and pedestrians really hate it when cyclists do that, but I've seen it done in cities where it's not illegal and the alternative is to be mowed down by a truck or blown away by the air-shockwave of a fast car.
     
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  8. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I'm not familiar with your roads but if there are no bike lanes, I guess it would be a great risk to commute on bike to work. That 8 kilometers is not a short ride and accidents can happen. When you mentioned busy streets, that would be a problem if there are no cyclists around because the vehicle drivers may not be used to seeing a bicycle on the road. But if there are cyclists around, it would be a good idea to join the pack and learn the ropes from them.
     
  9. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Active Member

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    Perhaps there are alternative routes in your area which you can use. Stick to the quieter roads whenever you can, and only get on the main road when it's necessary. If you're not feeling confident in areas where you need to cross the road, just get off your bike and cross by foot like a normal pedestrian.
     
  10. AryaSnark

    AryaSnark New Member

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    Well, I personally avoid this as much as possible. The police tolerates this in here, but as a pedestrain I hate when cyclists are forcing me to the side of the pavement, or suddenly appear speeding from behind me, and as a cyclists, I never know how to alert pedestrians on me passing. When I ring, people often jump scared, or even get aggressive towards me, and if I don't, I fear hitting them if they suddenly turn when I'm cycling past.


    Good idea, my route already consists mostly of less crowded roads, but my office is at one of the main streets, so no matter what route I take, I still have to cycle the last few hundred meters on a busy road, full of cars.

    @ Corzehns: Too bad nobody in my offcie cycles to the job. They'll all from outside the city, so they either drive or take a bus (one guy travels by train, which we learned when he was late one hour once, because a falling tree has destroyed the power lines).
     
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