Road Bike Safety In Bike Un-friendly Areas

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by srock, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. srock

    srock New Member

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    Hello,

    I live in a rural community and biking is my primary transportation. Unfortunately, not many people in the community bike around town and bike-awareness is low. It can be scary sometimes because some people don't even consider looking out for bikes. And the roads are certainly not designed or maintained with bikers in mind. Fortunately it is a small town and few folks are in a rush.

    I have found the best practice in raising bike awareness is to use moments of eye contact when a driver actually notices me. I give a significant look, not a shaming glare but a strong stare that says "I'm here, be aware." I think one of the biggest issues for drivers who experience road rage or carelessness, is a lack of connection from within the barrier of their car. Connecting, as in prolonged significant eye contact, inspires people to feel empathy and consider the others with whom they share the road.

    I'm curious to hear thoughts on this, as well as tips for increasing safety and bike awareness in bike un-friendly areas.
     
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  2. gavinfree

    gavinfree Member

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    When the safety measures and awareness aren't in place, then you have to install those things yourself and become your own safety enforcer. It can help to make sure that drivers know you're around, and then you can always install LED flashing lights on your bike rims to make sure that you're visible at night. Unfortunately, some people still won't pay attention, even if they know you could be there, and you have to simply watch out and get out of the way in those cases, whether or not that person should have the courtesy to simply know you're there and move for you, if necessary.
     
  3. srock

    srock New Member

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    I have found this to be true. I operate on the assumption that people don't see me, and act accordingly. In most cases they do just in time. When I try to ride assuming the drivers understand bikers, it doesn't work out well (for instance, if I go around the back of a car turning left at a 4-way stop and I am going straight, they are likely to get confused and just stop in the middle of the intersection, causing more danger) People are funny and don't often think. It's important to be aware and think /react quickly on a bike.
     
  4. welshdude3

    welshdude3 Member

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    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00E1NQ696/ref=mp_s_a_1_7?qid=1436548905&sr=8-7&pi=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70&keywords=cygolite&dpPl=1&dpID=41V82qeyxjL&ref=plSrch

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B003YC4A9I/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?qid=1436549008&sr=8-3&pi=AC_SX200_QL40&keywords=nite+rider+150+lumens&dpPl=1&dpID=41Gs3OfA8ZL&ref=plSrch

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00EQUVFTU/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1436549137&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX200_QL40&keywords=Bell+bicycle+headlight&dpPl=1&dpID=414%2BJCfZ5CL&ref=plSrch

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00L0G9JN2/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1436549216&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SY200_QL40&keywords=bicycle+.5w+tail+lights

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00E1NQ6T6/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1436549864&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SY200_QL40&keywords=cygolite+hotshot&dpPl=1&dpID=31vag0Bvk3L&ref=plSrch

    Pretty sure I posted all these to another thread regarding daylight and nighttime lighting.

    The Bell hb light is best on strobe for days as the Cygolite front is a little bright for daytime use on strobe, but perfect for night on pulse. The Hotshot is 2w and can be seen 1300+ feet.

    All 5 of my bikes have the same lighting rig. I swap the Niterider light from bike to bike if I anticipate a lengthy night ride. It's strictly backup.

    So, a 1.5w daytime strobe and a 360 lumens Cygolite for night on pulse. A 2w Hotshot for day AND night operation w/2 0.5w blinkies. The blinkies are rotated as are the rest of my lights. There are bikes I use more than others, so I take a pro-active re-charging rotation as well as regular battery changes for the lights requiring that action.

    This system was developed when living rural and commuting 42 miles per day. Worked 2nd shift, so I rode at night consistantly. As each bike was acquired the same lighting system was installed. Never actually added it all up, but I've got 5-750.00 tied up in lighting...and worth EVERY dime.

    As a utility cyclist all my bags, clothing, shoes, tires, wheels, etc. have reflective material. Regardless of living rural, urban, suburban or on the Moon visibility isn't everything it's the ONLY thing.
     
  5. 9lines

    9lines Member

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    You should avoid cycling on such areas. Why should you not go and cycle on a place where you will not encounter any traffic? You should mind about your safety first then consider cycling later. But you also need to observe the road rules so that incase of an accident, you will be on the safe side. Never argue with rude road users and drivers. You will be wasting your time.
     
  6. joshposh

    joshposh Banned

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    This is true. Make eye contact with the driver and not the vehicles head lights. That would be the best sure way that you are communicating in some way. If you just see a car coming that doesn't mean jack. You can't communicate with the car.
     
  7. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    This may be derogatorary so I wouldn't mention the exact place in Manila. But people say that when you enter that area on a bike, you are lucky to leave even with only the handlebars. It may be an idiom because that place is inhabited by dirt poor people who subsist on leftover food from fast food outlets. But what's worrisome in that place is the sight of drinking people (men and women at times) in the early morning. And other vices are also there like drugs so you can imagine that your bike can be stolen... from your hands.
     
  8. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Active Member

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    The most important thing is to always be on alert when you're riding. This may diminish some of the enjoyment as it would be nicer to ride in a more carefree manner but your safety comes first. Don't cycle faster then you need to as this will give you time to swerve out of the way in case of a potential collision with a motor vehicle. In many ways, it's important to cycle somewhat defensibly as that will reduce risk significantly.
     
  9. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    On the news last night was a CCTV shot of a guy running away with a bike. In a busy street corner, a biker parked his bike with no lock. As he walked to the nearby establishment, there came this guy who nonchalantly got hold of the bike, walked a few paces before riding it and off he went. The video showed has fast that thief was. And to consider that it is a busy street, indeed bikes are hot items nowadays.
     
  10. sunshiney

    sunshiney Member

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    I think the most important thing besides staying aware is making sure you're as visible as possible. Whether in how you dress, or with lights and reflectors depending on how much daylight there is. A lot of people around here wear reflective bracelets and anklets which I think is a great idea, particularly since it draws extra attention when you signal with your hand.

    In this case it sounds like it would be best to be extra cautious and defensive. Leave yourself a lot of time to get where you're going so you can focus on the ride instead of being rushed. I like to signal fairly far in advance as well to give people a chance to notice and interpret what I'm doing. Not everyone in traffic knows bike signals, either, so don't assume people are going to know where you're going.

    I like your strategy of making eye contact, I always try to do that when crossing in front of a car. It's alarming how often drivers don't seem to notice you at all, so I think it's important to get that acknowledgment where possible.
     
  11. briannagodess

    briannagodess Member

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    I am really not that brave to bike around bike un-friendly areas. I just cannot risk it as our country has no lanes for bikers. It's a real shame. I'm quite contented with biking around our village or in our commercial center where there are few cars. That is not to say that I don't follow some guidelines, you never know when accidents can happen.

    I think the most important thing is to be very aware and cautious. Be it people, cars or animals, you would need to be careful in biking around any place. Don't get too close to cars or other bikes. Also you have to signal whenever you're turning right or left, since you don't have the lights that can say that. During night time, it's important to be very careful. I rarely bike at night but when I do get home in the dark, I try to bike slowly. Having some light in the bike that can guide you is also good.
     
  12. cycle93

    cycle93 Member

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    Oh, sadly I am not good person to work together with drivers. I had so many almost-accidents that i became so shy, I rather go on the sidewalk, but not trying my luck.
     
  13. pwarbi

    pwarbi Well-Known Member

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    I sometimes cycle to and from work and working in a large city I have no choice but to cycle in a not so friendly area.

    While the introduction of bus lanes have made it a little easier, there's still countless amounts of idiots that if I didn't know any better I would say are aiming for you rather than at going around you.
     
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