> Pete wrote:
>> "determined" <[email protected]
> wrote in message
>> news:[email protected]
>>> Ok, I have a mountain bike... But I'd like to start riding to work, for health reasons and
>>> environmental reasons. I've never ridden in town, and
>>> live in Portland, OR. I'm very intimidated by cars, heavy traffic, maneuvering intersections,
>>> etc. I only have a 5 mile ride one way, which
>>> perfect IMO, and I just haven't had the courage to try this ride for fear
>>> getting run over by a car!
>>> What's the best way to break into riding in a city?
>> Start small. Subdivisions, neighborhood streets..anything low key.
>> Follow the rules, anticipate cagers foolish actions, be predictable.
>> Assume that the car coming out of the driveway WILL pull out in front of you.
>> Move on to slighty busier streets as you feel more comfortable.
>> Pete They don't want to hit you any more than you want them to, if only to avoid the scratched
>> paint and the paperwork...
> All that AND, at intersections, even if it's your turn at a 4-way stop sign, even if you've
> got the green light, look for eye contact from drivers before you proceed. A driver who is
> studiously avoiding looking at you either
> A) really doesn't know you're there, or
> B) knows you're there, but is planning to ignore your right-of-way because "you shouldn't be
> playing in traffic anyways, when people gotta get to work, goddamnit". (This is a middle-aged
> guy thing, IME. If a young guy is going to do something rude, it's usually more overt and
> So, watch the eyes. If you have any doubts, wait. Sometimes if you're waiting at a light, you
> can force an acknowledgement by sliding your shades down your nose so there's no doubt of what
> you're looking at and staring directly and pointedly at the "oblivious" driver. Just last week
> I had a guy try really hard to pretend he didn't see me, until the woman in the seat next to
> him twigged to the game and tugged on his sleeve and literally pointed me out, much to his
> obvious irritation.
I sometimes do the opposite. If it's my turn and I don't make eye contact they know that I don't
care... (doesn't mean that I won't yield if I need to, just that I'll make it difficult for them).
A couple of other things.
Get a rear-view mirror and use it! I have a little one on my helmet. took a while to get used to
(scanning the field with that small circle, and vertigo if I stare into it too long/much), but I
even like it on trails because then I know when I'm holding someome up (or they're catching me
I've noticed the same thing as others: if you leave room for cars to get by, but not easily, they'll
nearly side-swipe you to pass. If I can, I leave lots of room, otherwise, I make them go around me.
Seems to have to do with being able to squeeze past vs. having to go into the other lane to get
Also, if I notice someone not passing me, I get out of their way ASAP -- if they're respectful of my
space (or afraid to pass me), I do my best to help 'em out
When I need to, I act like a car. I get into turn lanes and use them. I get into the traffic lane to
make a left even if there isn't a turn lane (sometimes even on high speed roads
). I move out into
traffic if I need to go around something -- starting well before the obstacle -- I also signal
(point) to show what I'm about to do!
The point about looking for less traveled back ways is a really good one!
City drivers are more agressive than country drivers. Delivery and truck drivers are more agressive
than cars (they're in a hurry)! Dump truck drivers are the worst!
Drivers coming home from work are comotose / super agressive. I try to avoid this traffic.
Teens are risk takers. They'll come close to you even if they don't need to. IMO, it's just lack of
age-based experience combined with normal limits testing.