Geez, I'm only getting started

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Geez, I'm only getting started

Postby wolfrider » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:25 pm

I've really been enjoying getting out on the bike the last few rides, feeling easier the more I get into the route I've been practicing on. It's a relatively quiet coastal road with a few small inclines and decent road surface. Decided to head out on Sunday for a quick ride, round trip of 14km. Had a few surprises along the way, riding to the top of the hill and approaching a round about rather slowly, I claimed the lane and began to move through. As I began I spotted a P plater traveling way too quick to give way as I was entering, had my brakes covered and was trying to make a visual contact with him before stopping in the middle of the road. At the last minute before I was going to pull up, he came to a screeching halt just before my intended ride line, with a shake of my head I rode past him and back on my way.
Not only 300m down the road I had entered into a few curvy sections of road that have a dedicated bike lane alongside the lane. Along comes Sunday driver grandpa and decides to cut the inside of the corner just as I was exiting. I could feel the breeze off the car as he shaved past me and could smell his dirty old spice cologne, he was that close.

I've heard the stories all too much around the forum, but I'd never guess I'd have my own so soon into starting out on the bike. It does make me very aware of traffic around me and to be intuitive while on the road. After hearing other peoples close encounters and injuries from motorists, im sure it helped for what i needed to be careful of when assesing the road and traffic around me.
Hoping to begin my commute soon, as my delivery of lights came yesterday, Ayups on the front and a Radbot on the rear, adding to some small LEDs mounted on my helmet. Now I just need some long tights to make the early morning ride bearable :wink:
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by BNA » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:08 pm

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Re: Geez, I'm only getting started

Postby ShanDog » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:08 pm

Don't let it discourage you. I've found that weekend drivers seem to be much worse the those commuting to/from work. That said, the best advice I've received is to pretend every driver is terrible and cannot see you.
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Re: Geez, I'm only getting started

Postby Oxford » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:26 pm

ShanDog wrote:... That said, the best advice I've received is to pretend every driver is terrible and cannot see you.

Amen to that.
Life is not about waiting for the rain to pass.....it's about learning to dance (or ride) in the rain.
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Re: Geez, I'm only getting started

Postby zero » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:58 pm

Comes in waves I find. If you ride properly, claim lanes, make arm signals, head check etc, you go months and thousand kms without dramas, then you'll get 3 idiots on the one trip.
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Re: Geez, I'm only getting started

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:43 pm

Oxford wrote:
ShanDog wrote:... That said, the best advice I've received is to pretend every driver is terrible and cannot see you.

Amen to that.

zero wrote:Comes in waves I find. If you ride properly, claim lanes, make arm signals, head check etc, you go months and thousand kms without dramas, then you'll get 3 idiots on the one trip.


I'll give you another Amen brothers.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Geez, I'm only getting started

Postby find_bruce » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:08 pm

I thought it was "assume they can see you & are actively aiming to run you down"

Then you can be pleasantly surprised like I was tonight when a 4wd was pulled up on the bike lane but reversed back to let me passed- I thanked her with a friendly wave- all fingers pointed in the same direction
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Re: Geez, I'm only getting started

Postby ShanDog » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:13 pm

find_bruce wrote:all fingers pointed in the same direction


Wow!! I'll have to try that one some time!

Whilst I'm quick to let an ignorant driver/pedestrian know the trouble they've caused, I make it a point to thank people doing the right thing. If some peds make a concerted effort to move or a careful driver does the right thing, then I believe positive reinforcement is a good thing.
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