Is Commuting Dangerous on a Recumbent?

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by wiredued, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    Is visibility a problem in traffic? Is dismounting and pushing the bike on crosswalks more difficult than with a diamond frame? How much does your bike wiegh is it easy to carry down stairs?
     
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  2. Golf Guy

    Golf Guy New Member

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    I would NEVER get on any public road with a bicycle or a motorcycle. In the El Paso area, people are breaking all the rules of driving and both bikes mentioned above are at risk.

    If I did get on the public roads, I would ride AGAINST the traffic. This would enable me to see whats coming at me.

    Many cyclists ride along the Rio Grande. It has a river-walk setup with bike paths and closed to automobiles.

    Or, they go to the parks and golf courses to ride the paths.

    Last year, one of our City Council members was killed riding a recumbent on the public roads.
     
  3. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    Seeing whats coming at you and avoiding it are two different things I know someone who used this method and was hit by a drunk driver. He lost a finger and almost lost an arm. Walking on public roads has similar risks to riding a diamond frame do you walk on public roads?

     
  4. CCM_Evox

    CCM_Evox New Member

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    Sometimes the best way to drive a recumbent safely is to avoid automobiles all together but often this approach is not possible. One of the best safety practices for riding in traffic is to get a tall flag and flashing L.E.D. lighting front and rear. Secondly, ride with the traffic and use properly adjusted mirrors. Stay in your bike lane if one is available. Obey all of the rules of the road and signal as much as possible. Use eye contact with any driver before crossing their path. Even after doing everything possible, there always seems to be a few drivers that will put your life in danger. After a while, you will be able to predict the bad corners or blind intersections along your route. I altered my route to work by several kilometers just so I can avoid a few traffic hazards. I also use the bike lanes and paths as much as possible. The challenge is great and the risk of injury will always exist but meet the challenge and reduce the risk and you will be rewarded mentally and physically for your efforts.
     
  5. blazingpedals

    blazingpedals New Member

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    OK, now I KNOW this Golf Guy is a troll. Anyone who advocates violating traffic law has got to be looking for a response. So here's a serious one. Read up on the vehicle code, GG. All 50 states have an item which reads something similar to this, which was taken from the Michigan Vehicle Code:
    " Every person riding a bicycle or moped upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter..." Driving (riding) on the correct side of the road is a primary responsibility.

    The two most significant things you can do to enhance your safety on the roads is 1) be visible and 2) be predictable. Anyone riding on the wrong side of the road is already demonstrating UNpredictability, and as a benefit to the gene pool, they're going to appear at intersections in places that drivers don't expect, virtually inviting someone to hit them. It's not surprising that wrong-way riding has been identified as THE LEADING cause of car/bike accidents. Number two, riding at night without lights, is a distant second.
     
  6. Golf Guy

    Golf Guy New Member

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    As one who "broke the law" all throughout my college days, riding against the traffice, I have no right to dictate to those who wish to obey the law. As a matter of fact, obeying the law is the better side of the law to be on. I'm guilty. I broke the law.

    I rode right through town. Shared the road with cars, trucks and semis. No bike paths existed. This was Las Cruces, NM and talk about a safety hazard...whoo boy. I watched a cyclists get hit from behind by a mother taking her child to school. I watched as pickup trucks leaned into you as close as possible with an open passenger door as they went by. You all have most likely seen these same things.

    I joined a cyclist club at the college and lasted a short time. They through me out because of my tennis shoes, jeans and driving against the traffic.

    So...rather than breaking the law riding against the traffic for safety, I advocate NOT SHARING ANY ROAD WITH MOTORIZED VEHICLES.

    Sorry, but that's how I feel about this subject.
     
  7. Bentriderlon

    Bentriderlon New Member

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    Hahahahahaha!!! BTW the word is "threw" not "through." Again, HahahahaSobSnortHahaha:):):D:p;):rolleyes:
     
  8. stealth2

    stealth2 New Member

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    Hi, this is stealth2 from Western Australia :) I ride my Recumbent everywhere even to do the shoping and its all about planning and keeping your cool. I totally agree with the acticle below, it is exactly what you have to do to have an enjoyable day. Take care and enjoy :)

     
  9. chuckchunder

    chuckchunder New Member

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    I've commuted by bike for over twenty years, the last four or five on recumbents. about 18 months on a clwb and after that on a trike.

    Is visibility a problem in traffic? not sure if you mean them seeing you, or you seeing them, i'm assuming you seeing them. not on the clwb, it was similar to a bike e, so had a high seat position. my head was about the same height as my 13yr old son on his mtb. the trike is much lower obviously, but i have not found seeing in the traffic a major issue. if there is a low wall or bushes at a junction then you can't see past them where you would on a wedgie, but this kind of thing is obvious. also obvious is that you don't get the "overview" of the traffic that you can from a wedgie. as far as them seeing you, i have not found the 'bents any more invisible to traffic than my mtb or 10speed ever were, in fact they tend to give you more room. i have the usual flag on the trike and when commuting use a bright vest as well.

    Is dismounting and pushing the bike on crosswalks more difficult than with a diamond frame? um, must admit i've never done this. on the clwb would be no different than a wedgie. on the trike you can make getting out of the seat easier by coming to a stop fairly quickly and letting the momentum help stand you up, if you understand what i mean. but i can imagine it would be a pain in the proverbial.

    How much does your bike wiegh is it easy to carry down stairs? the clwb was made from mild steel "patio tube", and weighed in at 18kg. the trike weighs the same. i wouldn't want to have to carry either up or down stairs. having said that, a greenspeed folder (say a gt3) or similar would be a different matter. as far as i know most short wheel base 'bent bikes would weigh less than this. the velotechnic grasshopper for example is about 14kg, with dual suspension.

    the answers to your questions would vary with the type of bent you're riding i guess. one thing i couldn't do on the clwb was "hop" a curb. can ride up most kerbs on the trike, and off any, but the ability to just jump accross to the footpath when you need to is reduced.

    hope this helps
    cheers
    chuck
     
  10. Catrike #116

    Catrike #116 New Member

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    Is visibility a problem in traffic? YES...I ride with flags, wear an orange vest, rear of trike has orange triangle. I am ever vigilant when I ride.

    Is dismounting and pushing the bike on crosswalks more difficult than with a diamond frame? YES.

    How much does your bike wiegh is it easy to carry down stairs? 30lbs w/o gear, w/gear don't know. IS DOES NOT LEND IT SELF TO CARRYING DOWN STAIRS

    I own a Catrike Road, year 2004. I am 54 years of age. I must strip the trike down to basic config to lift into bed of my truck. I would not attend stairs unless I had to.


    __________________
    Catrike Road 2004/#117. The Lord helps those who help themselves.
     
  11. blazingpedals

    blazingpedals New Member

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    Wiredued, I didn't see what kind of bent you said you have or want. Some trike riders like like Catrike#116 can be absolutely petrified by cars because they're right down on the pavement, looking level with bumpers. Most bents, even my lowracer, aren't that low and don't have a big problem with being seen. In heavy traffic, a taller bent would be a better choice, so that the rider can be seen above the beltline of most cars. Something about the shape of a bent rider always attracts more attention compared to an upright, which tends to blend into the background for most drivers. As with riding uprights, ride to be seen, but ride defensively because some drivers won't see you even if you are garbed in flourescent clothing with flashing neon lights.

    I don't have a problem dismounting and walking my bike, but YMMV. USS tends to be harder to walk than OSS. Most bents are harder to carry up stairs because you can't just put the frame around your shoulder, plus they're usually longer than a DF.
     
  12. ncaudio

    ncaudio New Member

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    Commuting on a recumbent is less dangerous than on a DF bike. Most recumbent riders are better able to keep track of traffic due to upright seating position, the bicycle is more visible (at least with a fairing) I've been commuting for about 5 years and most of that has been on a Lightning P-38/ F-40. I consider myself to be equivalent to a car so have never walked the bike. I do recommend riding with traffic and the other recommendations about LED lights and mirrors are good ideas, I use them. One other consideration is that recumbents are pretty good in accidents since the seat takes a lot of the hit as opposed to body parts, and since you are closer to the ground, the fall isn't as severe. Just stay with the bicycle and let it take the road hit as much as possible.


    Roger
     
  13. Ryanotokyo

    Ryanotokyo New Member

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    This kind of comment is not constructive. Pedestrians and cyclists are killed by motor vehicles on a daily basis (and I might add, so are other car drivers). Because one recumbent rider was killed last year, does not make recumbent riding any more dangerous. If you think your local roads are dangerous, don't stop using them, lobby your local government for more traffic calming measures.
     
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