scared to ride in town

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Determined, Jun 1, 2003.

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  1. Determined

    Determined Guest

    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 I 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 is perfect IMO, and I just haven't had the courage to try this ride for fear of
    getting run over by a car!

    What's the best way to break into riding in a city?

    determined
     
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  2. Jon Bond

    Jon Bond Guest

    "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
    I
    > 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
    is
    > perfect IMO, and I just haven't had the courage to try this ride for fear
    of
    > getting run over by a car!
    >
    > What's the best way to break into riding in a city?
    >
    > determined

    No good best approach - just a mindset. You have as much right as the cars to be there, if not more,
    so don't let them push you around. If possible, though, try to stay off main roads, or any road with
    bad pavement or narrow shoulders. Then, ride on the white line, or even a little bit on the road
    side of it. That way people will HAVE to move to get by you, which means they'll notice you. If
    you're on the shoulder, people are a lot more likely to buzz by really close. When you get into
    traffic, just be careful if you're going to weave through. If you have to make a left turn, get into
    the middle of the right lane first, then move to the side of the left lane or even the middle of the
    left lane. When you're at a stop sign, it sometimes makes sense to stop in the middle of the lane -
    people won't try to blow around you in the intersection then. Obey the traffic laws, but don't be
    afraid to be agressive out there. They won't notice you unless you make yourself noticed!

    red blinky light in the back and maybe even a green or other colored blinky in the front aren't bad
    ideas if you might be out in less than ideal visibility situations (dark, sunrise, sunset, rain).

    Jon Bond
     
  3. On Mon, 02 Jun 2003 03:18:24 GMT, "determined" <[email protected]> wrote:

    |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 I |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 is |perfect IMO, and I just haven't had the courage to try this ride for fear of
    |getting run over by a car!
    |
    |What's the best way to break into riding in a city?

    Lose your panties and replace them with boxers.
     
  4. Bb

    Bb Guest

    > What's the best way to break into riding in a city?

    Well, Portland is supposed to be a good biking city (according to some roadie rag). You've probably
    noticed there are road riders all over the place, so drivers are at least somewhat used to bikers.

    Try to find a route with bike lanes (another nice feature of PDX is lots of bike lanes). I prefer to
    avoid busy intersections also; it seems like intersections is where a lot of riders get hit. If you
    look around awhile, you may even be able to find routes through parks and such.

    As much as some of these guys on this NG like to sound tough, it certainly can be dangerous. I know
    a lot of guys who've been hit, several hospitalized, one who was in a coma for two days. I just
    found out today that another guy I know (who crashed bad up on Skyline two years ago when a dog ran
    out in front of him) has now lost most of the feeling on his left side, and the doctors don't know
    if it'll get better.

    --
    -BB- To reply to me, drop the attitude (from my e-mail address, at least)
     
  5. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "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
    I
    > 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
    is
    > perfect IMO, and I just haven't had the courage to try this ride for fear
    of
    > getting run over by a car!
    >
    > What's the best way to break into riding in a city?
    >
    > determined

    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...
     
  6. Superslinky

    Superslinky Guest

    determined said...

    > 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 I 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
    > is perfect IMO, and I just haven't had the courage to try this ride for fear of getting run over
    > by a car!
    >
    > What's the best way to break into riding in a city?

    I do a LOT of city riding on my mountain bike. In some ways I find it to be a lot like driving a car
    in the city. You have to be aware of what the cars around you are doing and ride defensively. Cars
    won't always give you the right of way, no matter how obvious it is that you have it. You have to be
    aware of the fact that it is you that will be injured in the resulting accident, not the car, and
    act accordingly. In other words, cars are much bigger than you and can do what they want. You must
    get used to it.

    You need to find routes that are bicycle friendly. If there are bike lanes, that is great, but those
    are few and far between in this neck of the woods. Residential side roads aren't necessarily better
    than main arteries. Side roads can have many stops that not only slow you down, but many drivers
    blow through the stop signs in out of the way places without looking. A main artery may be much
    wider with fewer stops and stop lights instead of stop signs, which brings order to intersections. A
    two-lane highway with a wide, paved shoulder may be an excellent bike route. Sidewalks are fair game
    for bicycles as well. They usually are rougher than streets, but there aren't any cars on them. Most
    often if I am at an intersection, I will become a pedestrian and get on the sidewalk if one is
    available. Some roads are simply awful for bicycles. For example, a five lane commercial strip with
    a curb and no sidewalk would be about as bad as it gets. Cloverleaf intersections at entry/exit
    points for limited access highways are extremely bicycle unfriendly. Avoid at all costs. Take full
    advantage of parks and greenways. Most cities have extensive park systems around lakes and rivers.
    You may be able to traverse most of the city just by staying in the parks. College campuses are
    great stomping grounds for bikes. Ride through them at will. Nobody will look twice at you.
    Abandoned railroad tracks can become great urban single track for bicycles. There are lots of those
    around here.
     
  7. Mark Fowler

    Mark Fowler Guest

    "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
    I
    > 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
    is
    > perfect IMO, and I just haven't had the courage to try this ride for fear
    of
    > getting run over by a car!
    >
    > What's the best way to break into riding in a city?
    >
    > determined

    Always ride a few feet out form the curb, that way you will have space to swerve if the car gets too
    close. Over time you will develope a sense of how close the vehicle is going to be when it passes
    you and you can move accordingly. Never try to enforce your position on a vehicle - you will lose!!
    If the vehicle responds correctly you will be ok, if he doesnt then you will be the one that will
    need to move. Always move out slightly when crossing junctions, vehicles will be less likely to try
    to race round you if they have to move into the coming traffic to go round you. And get some
    mudgaurds!! You get a "different" kind fo muck splashing up from roadds than you do from trails.

    Mark
     
  8. Kathleen

    Kathleen Guest

    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
    >
    > I
    >
    >>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
    >
    > is
    >
    >>perfect IMO, and I just haven't had the courage to try this ride for fear
    >
    > of
    >
    >>getting run over by a car!
    >>
    >>What's the best way to break into riding in a city?
    >>
    >>determined
    >
    >
    > 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 noisier.)

    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.

    Kathleen
     
  9. David Kunz

    David Kunz Guest

    Kathleen wrote:
    > 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
    >>
    >>
    >> I
    >>
    >>> 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
    >>
    >>
    >> is
    >>
    >>> perfect IMO, and I just haven't had the courage to try this ride for fear
    >>
    >>
    >> of
    >>
    >>> getting run over by a car!
    >>>
    >>> What's the best way to break into riding in a city?
    >>>
    >>> determined
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> 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
    > noisier.)
    >
    > 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.
    >
    > Kathleen
    >
    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
    around you.

    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.

    David
     
  10. In article <[email protected]>,
    "determined" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > 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 I 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
    > is perfect IMO, and I just haven't had the courage to try this ride for fear of getting run over
    > by a car!
    >
    > What's the best way to break into riding in a city?

    It's like doing that drop you have never done before: you don't stand there looking at the landing
    too long, you just roll in and go for it.

    To make things easier on yourself, start by practicing road riding on less busy streets. If there's
    a quieter route to your work, maybe parallel streets, use that for a few days.

    Finally, your route is short enough to just ride it, but you and your knobby tires will be happier
    if you buy some slicks for the trip. This will make your bike much faster, and not wear your tires.
    The Cadillac way to go is to buy a second set of rims, but if you don't switch from dirt to road too
    often, you can just use one set of rims and swap tires.

    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  11. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    determined wrote:
    > 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 I 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
    > is perfect IMO, and I just haven't had the courage to try this ride for fear of getting run over
    > by a car!
    >
    > What's the best way to break into riding in a city?
    >
    > determined

    That's the right attitude to start.

    I've been sharing the road with cars for almost three decades now, and have never been injured
    seriously. Much of that has been in Utah, where drivers are known for their cluelessness. Other
    parts of the country are dangerous because people are aggressive. Same difference to a biker. I've
    hit maybe three cars in my life (parked or stopped - my bad), but have NEVER been hit. So you see,
    it can be done safely.

    Drivers don't want to hit you no matter how aggressive they act, or whether they realize it. Their
    insurance and court costs could ruin them. That doesn't matter IF you get mangled, but it's a very
    important factor to keep in mind. I understand there are a lot of bikes on the roads around
    Portland, so drivers there should be used to them. But it only takes one... If you learn how to act
    like a good bike rider, you'll be okay.

    Recon your routes to work on weekends when the traffic is much quieter.

    Look for parallel routes to fast main drags.

    Act like slow-moving motor vehicles you've seen like mail trucks or tractors. They take their share
    of the road but keep as far out of the way as they *reasonably* can. That's your MO on a bike.

    For narrow, fast streets, avoid them if at all possible. If not possible, ride fast until you get
    to a more quiet or wider street. Again, do the slow-moving motor vehicle thing. Take the space you
    need to ride safely and comfortably, don't hide in the gutter, and *make* drivers see you and move
    around you.

    Speed doesn't kill as much as relative speed does. The faster you are able to ride, the more like a
    car you can act. If you're very slow, become a pedestrian at intersections. If you're fast, cross
    over to the turn lanes and ride through them just as you would in a car.

    Keep your head on a swivel especially in parking lots. Be hyper-alert in any unfamiliar
    neighborhood. Once you learn its rhythms, you'll know where potential threats come from.

    I've never used a rear-view mirror, relying on my hearing to tell me if there's a car behind me,
    possibly with an impatient driver. But it really doesn't matter, since I'm always as far to the
    right as I can safely and comfortably be. If I ain't fast enough for them, they'll wait. Getting
    passed within 3 feet (it's closer than you'd think) is usually cause for me to take MORE road.

    Paradoxically, downtown and congested areas are often quite safe, because whether in a car or on a
    bike, everyone needs to stay alert to stay out of trouble. It's just an acquired skill to ride
    through them on a bike.

    Follow the advice given by others here. It'll take you a while to find the right balance between
    assertiveness and discretion. Start off a little timid.

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we
    could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." --Microsoft VP in
    charge of Windows OS Development, Brian Valentine.
     
  12. M&M

    M&M Guest

    "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 I 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
    > is perfect IMO, and I just haven't had the courage to try this ride for fear of getting run over
    > by a car!
    >
    > What's the best way to break into riding in a city?
    >
    > determined

    Obey the rules of the road ( same as driving a car ) . Be aware that YOU and your bicycle are much
    smaller than a motor vehicle so you won't be spotted right away by the average driver . Wear a
    helmit . Wear reflective clothing and bright colors to make yourself as visible as possible . I
    wear a reflective vest that can be also worn over a Jacket ( same as road construction workers wear
    ) on my commutes . In dusk or early morning , during inclimate weather, I use 2 - 4 small flashing
    strobe lights that can be seen from all sides and easily clip on my clothing and be seen at eye
    level by most drivers up to a mile away . When approaching an intersection , make eye contact with
    the other drivers to make sure they are aware of youe presence . Look out for occupants in vehicles
    parked alongside the roadway and give yourself room to avoid getting "DOORED". To avoid being cut
    off or clipped by a car trying to pass you and making a right turn at an intersection directly in
    front of you , move towards the center of the lane . During winter weather , it is a good idea to
    use studded tires on icy pavement . The extra cost is justified compared to the cost of hospital
    emergency room visits .

    When you are getting started , give yourself plenty of time the first few weeks so you won't get
    too freaked out and so you can get used to the traffic patterns ( this is a new learning
    experience for you and can be somewhat stressful ).I have been commutting this way for 18 years
    and I found ( even some research shows this ) that the more you commute like this , the more
    experience you gain , the less likelyhood you are going to be involved in an accident .

    I have only listed a few items above and others may add to this . A lot is just plain common sence
    (sp?) and some you will learn as you gain experience .

    Good luck , and have fun !

    M&M
     
  13. Jd

    Jd Guest

    "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 I 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
    > is perfect IMO, and I just haven't had the courage to try this ride for fear of getting run over
    > by a car!
    >
    > What's the best way to break into riding in a city?

    Get a motorcycle.

    JD
     
  14. Jd

    Jd Guest

    Kathleen <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > 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
    > >
    > > I
    > >
    > >>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
    > >
    > > is
    > >
    > >>perfect IMO, and I just haven't had the courage to try this ride for fear
    > >
    > > of
    > >
    > >>getting run over by a car!
    > >>
    > >>What's the best way to break into riding in a city?
    > >>
    > >>determined
    > >
    > >
    > > 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.

    You're never driven in GJ, have you? These morons will look right at a semi truck and pull out in
    front of them. I've seen it happen. They constantly pull out in front of me in a big 'ol silver 4x4
    pickup while looking right at me. Sometimes they even wait until I'm closer, especially when I'm on
    my motorcycle.

    My rule has been and will always be, if they look like they have the potential to do something
    really stupid, they will...whether they look at you or not.

    I've been riding motorcycles on the street since 1982 and have yet to be picked off by a motorist. I
    have had some pretty close calls, but the "rule" has kept me out of the hospital on all of those
    occasions.

    JD
     
  15. "determined" <[email protected]> wrote
    > I'm very intimidated by cars, heavy traffic, maneuvering intersections, etc. I only have a 5 mile
    > ride one way, which is perfect IMO, and I just haven't had the courage to try this ride for fear
    > of getting run over by a car!

    Take a look at:

    http://bicyclesafe.com/index.html

    It'll give you some good tips on vehicular cycling. Even better, pick up a copy of "Effective
    Cycling" by John Forester and read chapters 26-35. You _can_ ride safely in heavy traffic, but it
    requires education and practice.

    CC
     
  16. Jimbo

    Jimbo Guest

    Corvus Corvax wrote:

    > "determined" <[email protected]> wrote
    > > I'm very intimidated by cars, heavy traffic, maneuvering intersections, etc. I only have a 5
    > > mile ride one way, which is perfect IMO, and I just haven't had the courage to try this ride for
    > > fear of getting run over by a car!
    >
    > Take a look at:
    >
    > http://bicyclesafe.com/index.html
    >
    > It'll give you some good tips on vehicular cycling. Even better, pick up a copy of "Effective
    > Cycling" by John Forester and read chapters 26-35. You _can_ ride safely in heavy traffic, but it
    > requires education and practice.
    >
    > CC

    or check this link out... It has scads of info....

    http://www.strangecult.com/pisser/sprocket.html

    Jimbo...Thanks for the link Supabonbon...(san)
     
  17. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    [email protected] (JD) wrote:

    >You're never driven in GJ, have you? These morons will look right at a semi truck and pull out in
    >front of them. I've seen it happen. They constantly pull out in front of me in a big 'ol silver 4x4
    >pickup while looking right at me. Sometimes they even wait until I'm closer, especially when I'm on
    >my motorcycle.

    JD, it probably takes them that long to recognize you... ;-)

    >My rule has been and will always be, if they look like they have the potential to do something
    >really stupid, they will...whether they look at you or not.

    Words to live by. No one ever goes to the hospital by underestimating the intelligence of drivers
    around them.

    >I've been riding motorcycles on the street since 1982 and have yet to be picked off by a motorist.
    >I have had some pretty close calls, but the "rule" has kept me out of the hospital on all of those
    >occasions.

    I've managed to miss the cars on my motorcycles, and had on my road bike through 100,000+ road
    miles - until:

    http://www.habcycles.com/bikecrash.html

    Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
     
  18. Kathleen

    Kathleen Guest

    JD wrote:
    > Kathleen <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    >>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
    >>>
    >>>I
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>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
    >>>
    >>>is
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>perfect IMO, and I just haven't had the courage to try this ride for fear
    >>>
    >>>of
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>getting run over by a car!
    >>>>
    >>>>What's the best way to break into riding in a city?
    >>>>
    >>>>determined
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>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.
    >
    >
    > You're never driven in GJ, have you? These morons will look right at a semi truck and pull out in
    > front of them. I've seen it happen. They constantly pull out in front of me in a big 'ol silver
    > 4x4 pickup while looking right at me. Sometimes they even wait until I'm closer, especially when
    > I'm on my motorcycle.
    >
    > My rule has been and will always be, if they look like they have the potential to do something
    > really stupid, they will...whether they look at you or not.
    >
    > I've been riding motorcycles on the street since 1982 and have yet to be picked off by a motorist.
    > I have had some pretty close calls, but the "rule" has kept me out of the hospital on all of those
    > occasions.

    It's true that there is a butt-load of stupidness out there. And some out and out malice, as
    well. But it's the stupid - the oblivious - that's liable to get you, just because it's more
    common. Making eye contact is an attempt at communication; an attempt to assess intent. If a
    driver meets my eye and acknowledges me, I feel pretty safe proceeding when the light turns.
    I've *never* had somebody nod an acknowledgement then lunge their vehicle into my path. If
    they don't or won't look at me, I proceed with extreme caution. They're either stupid, or
    rude and willing to try to pass it off as stupid. Either way, it's bad. As to DK's strategy
    of refusing to look at drivers so's they know he's serious and he's gonna go for it... Knock
    yourself out, David. I, for one, do not play chicken with metallic objects that outmass me
    by a factor of 10 or 20. Before I make the stay-or-go decision, I want every last scrap of
    available data, and that includes a direct visual assessment of the driver, his attitude,
    and where his attention is focused.

    Kathleen
     
  19. Jimbo

    Jimbo Guest

  20. David Kunz

    David Kunz Guest

    Kathleen wrote: ...
    > It's true that there is a butt-load of stupidness out there. And some out and out malice, as
    > well. But it's the stupid - the oblivious - that's liable to get you, just because it's more
    > common. Making eye contact is an attempt at communication; an attempt to assess intent. If a
    > driver meets my eye and acknowledges me, I feel pretty safe proceeding when the light turns.
    > I've *never* had somebody nod an acknowledgement then lunge their vehicle into my path. If
    > they don't or won't look at me, I proceed with extreme caution. They're either stupid, or rude
    > and willing to try to pass it off as stupid. Either way, it's bad. As to DK's strategy of
    > refusing to look at drivers so's they know he's serious and he's gonna go for it... Knock
    > yourself out, David. I, for one, do not play chicken with metallic objects that outmass me by
    > a factor of 10 or 20. Before I make the stay-or-go decision, I want every last scrap of
    > available data, and that includes a direct visual assessment of the driver, his attitude, and
    > where his attention is focused.
    >
    > Kathleen

    I guess I only do it when I get really tired of having my right of way stomped-on. You're probably
    right that it'll eventually get me in trouble :).

    David
     
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