The joys of stop signs

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by bigfloppyllama, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. bigfloppyllama

    bigfloppyllama New Member

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    I was out on Alameda today and while the later half of the ride doesn’t have many stop signs, the first half of the trip runs right through a few suburbs laden with stop signs at every corner. About 90% of the time I’ll come to the empty intersection and end up having to unhook myself from the left pedal (not clip less, but the strap sort of thing). This being in California, complete stops are a very rare occurrence and most cars just slow down to about 5mph before speeding up again (provided there are no other cars waiting to go). While driving and cycling I’ve always been pretty good about making complete stops, but that was before I started using these pedals. It’s pretty annoying to have to keep unhooking myself and then trying to flip the pedal around and insert my foot. I’m not too familiar with the laws and leeway police have towards bikers that slow down to a near crawl (under 1Mph) and then continue on without putting a foot down. My friend says his cousin got a fine for not putting his foot down, but I wasn’t informed on the situation. I only do this when the entire intersection is empty and there are no cars in sight. Any thoughts on this prospect of stop signs?
     
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  2. Vo2

    Vo2 Member

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    Here in SA, my non-cycling motorist buddies reckon that one of the main reasons they hate cyclists is becuase they don't stop at stop signs and robots (traffic lights). Some of them have even told me to my face that they will deliberately try and drive as close as possible past a cyclist at intersections, just to force them to unclip.
    Sad state of affairs, I know :(
     
  3. bigfloppyllama

    bigfloppyllama New Member

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    Hmm. Most cyclists i've seen usually unhook/unclip when there are cars around. With so many distractions on the popular riding roads most people I come across are overyl cautious at stop lights and busy intersections.
     
  4. JoelinNH

    JoelinNH New Member

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    Sometimes I pick a nearby parking lot, if possible, near the intersection, and complete smaller circles, while eyeing the light, and then proceed to and through the intersection once the lights have turned in my favor. When stops are unavoidable, a tall curbing is also quite handy as you only have to unclip from the one side and rest on the curb. Unfortunately there are 17 lights on my rural road!
     
  5. Bateleur

    Bateleur New Member

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    I would normally approach a the same rules that applies to cars. that is .. first come first serve. If it turns out to be my turn I won't stop dead but my speed is down to a point that if there is a problem or a another car will not stop as it should, I would be able to stop or get myself to a safe position. I have not yet noticed an aggrivated motorist by this practice. Traffic lights I stop but sometimes if there is no cars approaching, I just get up and go. I have however had motorists being upset just by me pulling of a second before them at a traffic light.
     
  6. unfitbutslim

    unfitbutslim New Member

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    I'll consider myself lucky then. Its a one stop light town! The thought of a traffic light was non-existant a decade or two ago. Problem is the, the next traffic signal won't be so horrific for the towns people.
     
  7. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    I figure it's *more* annoying if I come to a full and utter stop when I'm preceding a car -- he's just got to wait longer. Cars are pretty friendly 'round here, though. Even the people in them, sometimes. Not everybody, of course.
     
  8. prestonjb

    prestonjb New Member

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    The typical rule for stop signs/lights in the USA is to stop.

    The riding in circles is a no-no. Even in a parking lot... Just stop and wait your turn.

    The accepted practice in the USA is to slow to what the cars do. For lights, a trackstand is acceptable but hard to do if the road is narrow or you are in a group.

    At stop signs you usually can roll around 2-3mph and wait your turn. Some motorist get confused and you may have to dab your toe so they will get the hint you are letting them go first.

    I would recommend ditching the clips for cleats. I use carbon sole mountain bike shoes on my road bike. The stiff soles give the same feel and no-hot-spots common of older road shoes with SPD cleats... And the tread on the shoe makes stopping and starting safer... No slippin' and slidin'

    And the SPD cleats are WAY more convient than those old clips. I also use mountain bike pedals (double sided)...
     
  9. Randal Lovelace

    Randal Lovelace New Member

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    Interesting, in Altamonte Springs the police/sherrif are lax about ticketing bicyclist...however Apopka (a town I pass thru to get to work daily) is on a vengfull ticket writing spree against bicyclist, motorcyclist, and moped riders.

    And just as a matter of note, I don't have fancy pedals and I always come to a full stop at lights and stop signs - personally I'd rather have to wait a few than to get hit by a car.
     
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