Scared of riding in traffic.

boss
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Re: Scared of riding in traffic.

Postby boss » Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:13 am

wombatK wrote:
nuttzo32 wrote:Have got the new road bike now and i am starting to get a bit more confident riding in the traffic though i think it will take a while for that uneasy feeling i get when a big van/truck whooshes by to subside, thanks to everyone for their help.

Well done. Now for your next big trick once you've desensitised yourself to motoring idiots
and nutbags, you've got to work on not becoming complacent. There isn't a nutbag determined
to kill you lurking around every corner, but it's not a bad strategy to ride like there is.

Cheers


It takes time to become 'at ease' when larger vehicles overtake.

I've been riding for many years and still do not like the feeling of a big semi trailer overtaking me when I'm doing 40-50 and they're doing 60. I'm not saying that they're not entitled to overtake (they are!) but it's a weird feeling having a single vehicle overtake you for 10-ish seconds, especially when they're a bit close.

GraemeL
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Re: Scared of riding in traffic.

Postby GraemeL » Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:32 am

MattyK wrote:
nuttzo32 wrote:My biggest fear is obviously getting hit by a car from behind

This is largely irrational - just because you're not looking behind you, doesn't mean that the driver approaching you from behind can't see you. In fact quite the opposite, typically he will have had plenty of time to observe you before you even hear him coming.

As said, the vast majority of car/bike collisions are at intersections, from the side. Bikes have a nasty habit of being invisible until they pop out unexpectedly into a driver's field of view.


I think I read somewhere that being hit from behind was up at number 1. I know that is the main thing that worries me and was the main reason for using a video camera on the bike.

As for riding in traffic, I was scared stiff the first week or so. Just remember not to hug the gutter, stay out far enough to avoid the drains, as you get used to it, you may want to ride more defensively. Also leave yourself a lot of room when passing parked cars. If you have a car, open the door and place your bike next to it, you will be surprised at just how far out you need to be.

Graeme
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nuttzo32
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Re: Scared of riding in traffic.

Postby nuttzo32 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:30 pm

GraemeL wrote:
MattyK wrote:
nuttzo32 wrote:My biggest fear is obviously getting hit by a car from behind

This is largely irrational - just because you're not looking behind you, doesn't mean that the driver approaching you from behind can't see you. In fact quite the opposite, typically he will have had plenty of time to observe you before you even hear him coming.

As said, the vast majority of car/bike collisions are at intersections, from the side. Bikes have a nasty habit of being invisible until they pop out unexpectedly into a driver's field of view.


I think I read somewhere that being hit from behind was up at number 1. I know that is the main thing that worries me and was the main reason for using a video camera on the bike.

As for riding in traffic, I was scared stiff the first week or so. Just remember not to hug the gutter, stay out far enough to avoid the drains, as you get used to it, you may want to ride more defensively. Also leave yourself a lot of room when passing parked cars. If you have a car, open the door and place your bike next to it, you will be surprised at just how far out you need to be.

Graeme


Graeme your car door tip is excellent especially since i ride home from work through an industrial area where there are a lot of cars on both sides of the road. I'm sure there have been more than a few cyclists injured from swerving to avoid an open door and getting hit.I have also now decided to get a mirror and i will never take the reflectors off the wheels as they will help with being seen when side on.

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il padrone
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Re: Scared of riding in traffic.

Postby il padrone » Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:37 pm

GraemeL wrote:I think I read somewhere that being hit from behind was up at number 1. I know that is the main thing that worries me and was the main reason for using a video camera on the bike.

Not the case at all. In urban areas the no. 1 cause of accidents is intersection collisions, followed closely by rider entering the road.


On rural roads being hit from behind is the major case of severe injuries and death. If you know how to establish your presence on the roads, on rural roads you can dramatically reduce the risk. Plus avoiding major highway riding will help.
Mandatory helmet law?
"An unjustified and unethical imposition on a healthy activity."

GraemeL
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Re: Scared of riding in traffic.

Postby GraemeL » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:05 am

nuttzo32 wrote:Graeme your car door tip is excellent especially since i ride home from work through an industrial area where there are a lot of cars on both sides of the road. I'm sure there have been more than a few cyclists injured from swerving to avoid an open door and getting hit.I have also now decided to get a mirror and i will never take the reflectors off the wheels as they will help with being seen when side on.


I always thought I was leaving plenty of room between myself and parked cars, but one day I just happen to have the bike beside my car as the wife got out. I left the door open and placed my bike far enough out so I could pass the door without changing my line, I was very surprised to see just how far out from the car the bike had to be when the car door was fully open.

Graeme
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elStado
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Re: Scared of riding in traffic.

Postby elStado » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:58 am

Mirrors are invaluable both on busy roads and busy cycle paths.
Check out my practical cycling and cycle touring website: VELOPHILE AUSTRALIA

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nuttzo32
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Re: Scared of riding in traffic.

Postby nuttzo32 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:03 pm

A month of cycling on the road and i am now quite comfortable cycling in the traffic. I am able to look behind and merge with the traffic easily now and i don't feel uneasy when cars pass by close anymore.


clackers wrote:
Fear of what's behind you is natural at first, Nuttzo, but in the city, cyclists are more likely to be hit from the side.

Try to look into the windshields of cars at intersections to see if the driver knows you're there, and look for cars beside you that are trying to turn left!


I see now that yes you are more likely to be hit from the side especially when cycling through double lane roundabouts but i make sure i am smack bang in the middle of that lane.

Once again thanks for the support from everyone and my next challenge is to do the sunsuper ride to conquer cancer on october 19-20th 2013 which gives me 10 months to build my fitness.

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Xplora
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Re: Scared of riding in traffic.

Postby Xplora » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:24 pm

Sounds like you're claiming your lane with confidence. Good one!

It always seems peculiar, but a lot of very imposing cyclist behaviour becomes very natural and very safe, as you've found. I find it super weird that hugging the centre line of a one lane road is ever safe, but if there are lots of cars and people entering and leaving driveways, then that's the place to be!

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