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  #181  
Old 11-20-12, 13:28
Aapjes Aapjes is offline
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Originally Posted by Cycle Chic View Post
The point is it is hard for motorists to spot cyclists when they are wearing in effect camouflage gear. I have been driving recently and noticed how difficult it is in the winter to see cyclists.
It also hard to spot pedestrians, trees, parked cars and cars that you approach from the side in winter. It's a simple fact that it's impossible to wrap the world in Hi-viz to accommodate drivers. The only solution is for drivers to adapt to the circumstances, not to validate the beliefs of some that the world should adapt to them.

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You cant see lights from the side view either. We have to accept that we are nowhere close to having the Dutch driving laws. People riding in all black are asking for trouble.
Reflective side walls are standard on the tires of Dutch city bikes. They are better than a hi-viz jacket, since it immediatly identifies you as a cyclist and shows your angle relative to the car (a round reflection is a 90 degree angle, oval is less so).
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  #182  
Old 11-20-12, 13:34
Aapjes Aapjes is offline
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Originally Posted by winkybiker View Post
Works much better than the imperious and arrogant "bell".
What is up with this hatred of the bell by some? A bell is easier to hear than shouting and clearly identifies the thing coming from behind as a bike (so people don't have to look).

In my experience, the people who hate a bell seem to be mostly upset that they feel that they are called out on their (lane-blocking) behavior. Many people today are so arrogant to believe that they are always right and can't accept even the idea of being corrected by others. So they lash out. The only thing a ring does is say: a bike is here. That you see it as imperious and arrogant is just some weird projection that you do.
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  #183  
Old 11-20-12, 20:59
fatandfast fatandfast is offline
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Originally Posted by aphronesis View Post
Yes, but there's also the case to be made that certain lights should be discretionary. If you roll to a stop and aren't impeding cars or pedestrians, it's not clear why a cyclist shouldn't be able to then keep on going. To put it in absolutes is to recall the idiocy a couple of years ago when New York police were stopping cyclists at dawn in Central Park in order to ticket them for blowing lights on the loop.

That said, there are a lot of cyclist (young, but not exclusively) in the US and probably in the UK, who, if not required to be licensed, should be required to undergo basic training and demonstrate reasonable competence on the bike and to convey a certain level of awareness that they are in actual (as opposed to virtual) motion surrounded by carriages of much greater volume and speed. In the past six years I watched two of the white ghost bike riders get killed in situations that were clearly their fault. (Civic infrastructure in those spots could have been much improved, but it was still their doing in violating basic rules of the road without checking that they were clear). It remains the case that a majority of riders in New York are a hazard to themselves for one reason or another--and that the male commuters are hazards to each other once they get on dedicated paths. But many of them are still abiding by lights.

It's also the case that not all drivers are antagonistic as suggested upthread. Not in SF, not in Boulder, not in much of New York any more. Even in places like New Jersey, it varies greatly from township to township where if anything drivers are overly cautious and "politically correct" to the point of becoming a different type of hazard. This is its own problem in the UK.
Today has been super emotional for me. I am in between projects and have a load of free time. I have been going on long rides in and around NYC. I have been going with sunlight but ended a few in twilight which comes on very, very fast.

I was having a great ride, no gear too big, just downloaded some Stone Roses and Babyshambles,and others on the player. I went to the bottom of Yonkers going through Riverdale and back to Brooklyn. On my return I was going with all traffic effortlessly, my speeds seam to blend most of the time and was not overtaken by anybody going 90mph right next to me.

When I got to Union Sq there was a blockade right in front of Paragon Sports. Peds and cyclists were allowed thru. I wish I hadn't there was a truck stopped in front of Heartland Brewery that had crushed and killed some 24 yo. It could be anybody or everybody depending on your point of view.

Drivers and riders need to share the road,for the most part we are going in the same direction but I have found that pedestrians just walk out assuming that there is always 4 or 5 feet that will be available between anything in the street and the curb they just stepped from. This miscalculation is at worst deadly. God bless that guy and his family.

On another ride this week a woman dropped her ifone because she was texting and trying to multitask while walking. I came to a stop at the light but because she was startled as I entered her field of view she kind of jumped off the ground from being scared. I felt bad but I often realize how brain dead we are in the city. Everybody walking and texting and watching ipad videos while crossing in front of traffic. I zone out and forget to stay in my lane or hold my line while I am out spinning. I am not sure what the answer is but after buying a new car recently,auto electronics will surely be the death of more cyclists. My radio(XM and reg) telephone and GPS are all on a screen that is a distraction from my driving. There are so many things going on inside of cars today that were not even 10 years ago.
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  #184  
Old 11-20-12, 21:56
aphronesis aphronesis is offline
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Originally Posted by fatandfast View Post
Today has been super emotional for me. I am in between projects and have a load of free time. I have been going on long rides in and around NYC. I have been going with sunlight but ended a few in twilight which comes on very, very fast.

I was having a great ride, no gear too big, just downloaded some Stone Roses and Babyshambles,and others on the player. I went to the bottom of Yonkers going through Riverdale and back to Brooklyn. On my return I was going with all traffic effortlessly, my speeds seam to blend most of the time and was not overtaken by anybody going 90mph right next to me.

When I got to Union Sq there was a blockade right in front of Paragon Sports. Peds and cyclists were allowed thru. I wish I hadn't there was a truck stopped in front of Heartland Brewery that had crushed and killed some 24 yo. It could be anybody or everybody depending on your point of view.

Drivers and riders need to share the road,for the most part we are going in the same direction but I have found that pedestrians just walk out assuming that there is always 4 or 5 feet that will be available between anything in the street and the curb they just stepped from. This miscalculation is at worst deadly. God bless that guy and his family.

On another ride this week a woman dropped her ifone because she was texting and trying to multitask while walking. I came to a stop at the light but because she was startled as I entered her field of view she kind of jumped off the ground from being scared. I felt bad but I often realize how brain dead we are in the city. Everybody walking and texting and watching ipad videos while crossing in front of traffic. I zone out and forget to stay in my lane or hold my line while I am out spinning. I am not sure what the answer is but after buying a new car recently,auto electronics will surely be the death of more cyclists. My radio(XM and reg) telephone and GPS are all on a screen that is a distraction from my driving. There are so many things going on inside of cars today that were not even 10 years ago.
Yeah, you raise a number of points. First though, in the states at least, I found that traffic became less deadly with the advent of instant communication. Not just because I think people were distracted and otherwise engaged, but more because it established a shift in the economy where far fewer people and things had to be present 15 minutes ago. This was first noticeable in the Bay Area in the late 90s, but took hold in New York shortly thereafter. Traffic is comparatively tame relative to what it was years ago and I still firmly believe many cyclist fatalities in New York occur to those who aren't cognizant of their surroundings and aren't moving at the speed of traffic.

That's not to say it should be that way, but that's how it is. Although the negligence of drivers has also lessened greatly since the city began pushing cycling as a lifestyle agenda. Doesn't, however, mean that there will be that much recompense if you have the actual misfortune to get hit by a car.

The only times that I was ever deeply fearful for my life would be if I chose to descend from the top of Manhattan to the lower bridges via Broadway. The section from forty second down to twenty third was dark and little traveled--with minimal cross traffic as well--which meant you could hit full cruising speed heading down that. It also meant there was a very high likelihood of a cabbie with an uptown fare coming down on you at 60 mph; no flashing tail light or reflectors were any guarantee that they would register in his stressed out, fare addled head as a human being.

Pedestrians as much as drivers have to take responsibility for the roads though. As do cyclists: while I could appreciate salmoning as a completely anarchic gesture against the hegemony of the private auto, no one intends or uses it that way and, consequently, it only has (or had) a negative effect on the general public's perception of cyclists. You know as well as I do that the second pedestrians see an opening in NY they're out in the street and unless you bear directly at them, they won't give way. On that score, the only pedestrians I've ever hit in nearly twenty years of cycling in New York were three who jumped against the light in thick traffic and I chose to hit them and take the controllable accident rather than risk creating more havoc behind me and being run down. But it remains the case that there's no single fault in that city.

Last edited by aphronesis; 11-21-12 at 00:27.
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  #185  
Old 11-20-12, 22:41
Throbbobank Throbbobank is offline
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Originally Posted by Cycle Chic View Post
Well good luck to you all in your black gear...if you continue hating motorists then you deserve all you get. Unfortunately it wont be in our lifetime that we see the Dutch Law here in the UK. If you dont light yourself up 'like a christmas tree' then you are gona get hit by one of those c***s*c*ers'.

Yes they are ignorant because 90% have never ridden a bike and do not realise how frightening it is to be on the UK roads - but you cant change that !!

If Wiggin's and Sutton's accidents dont change the law, nothing will. Oh unless Boris gets knocked off.
I am eager to see the day that a UK motorist explains the death of a minibus full of toddlers because they "didn't see it" because it wasn't "hi-viz" and the driver had the audacity to be listening to a radio while driving......

No - they aren't "ignorant" they are just entirely inconsiderate of other road users (including other drivers except those in much larger vehicles such as tractors and lorries where we hear no complaints akin to those levelled at cyclists) because they are cocooned in a one tonne shell which gives them a sense of self-preservation safety (including the ability to "run away") ......the way to "change that" is to properly prosecute and imprison drivers for such offences

You may be right that the continental approach of vulnerability as critical to law in relation to road users not being accepted in our lifetime - I can only hope that as more of us get out on the road and (sadly) get mowed down by those C**ks****rs the public clamour to amend that will grow
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  #186  
Old 11-21-12, 03:01
winkybiker winkybiker is offline
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Originally Posted by Aapjes View Post
What is up with this hatred of the bell by some? A bell is easier to hear than shouting and clearly identifies the thing coming from behind as a bike (so people don't have to look).

In my experience, the people who hate a bell seem to be mostly upset that they feel that they are called out on their (lane-blocking) behavior. Many people today are so arrogant to believe that they are always right and can't accept even the idea of being corrected by others. So they lash out. The only thing a ring does is say: a bike is here. That you see it as imperious and arrogant is just some weird projection that you do.
I don't block lanes. I don't lash out. But I still hate the bell. To me, it places the responsibility of getting clear on the person being overtaken This concept is unique to bicyclists (and muddle-headed). Everywhere else, the person coming from behind must give way. That's what I do. I slow and wait until it is safe to pass. I'm not projecting anything.
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  #187  
Old 11-21-12, 04:45
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ElChingon ElChingon is offline
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So maybe people here who have been hit by cars or had a very close call can list out what they were wearing to start some statistics on the matter of bike riding clothes and car's hitting them. I know its ad-hoc but at least its a start.
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  #188  
Old 11-21-12, 07:03
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frenchfry frenchfry is offline
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Originally Posted by Cycle Chic View Post
Over the last couple of weeks now I have become less and less sympathetic with cyclists getting knocked over by cars.

What is it with you men with wearing BLACK WINTER GEAR ????

Okay you have a light front and back but you're on a wing and a prayer if you think motorists can see those. Why wont you wear hi-viz jackets ??

Yeh they look crap but its only for winter.

I,m also curious as to what kit Bradley Wiggins had on when hit. I bet my bottom penny that he had on the Black Sky kit...no hi - viz stuff...probably a tiny light. Anyone know ?

So - no sympathy with cyclists wearing black kit. Even in Holland, where the motorist is liable for any incident involved with a cyclist, it would be hard to convict when the rider is dressed in black.
I have to agree with you. There seems to be a trend towards all black gear and those wearing black are simply not very visable, especially in twilight conditions. There are group rides here starting at 2pm and by the time we get home it is quite often getting dark. Yesterday one guy even had on a reflective vest (in France they are usually a bright yellow with reflective stripes) which are highly effective even in daylight conditions.
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  #189  
Old 11-21-12, 08:51
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RedheadDane RedheadDane is offline
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Originally Posted by winkybiker View Post
I don't block lanes. I don't lash out. But I still hate the bell. To me, it places the responsibility of getting clear on the person being overtaken This concept is unique to bicyclists (and muddle-headed). Everywhere else, the person coming from behind must give way. That's what I do. I slow and wait until it is safe to pass. I'm not projecting anything.
The way I see it the fact that you don't block lanes actually gives you the right to be annoying when people ring you.
I only ring those people who really do block the way, those pesky riding-two-by-two-and-talking people... excuse me, if you've got enough air to talk, you're going to slow!

As for the concept of checking-the-lane-you're-going-into-being-clear only applying to cyclists, well... I'm pretty sure I've seen a lot of people doing to same in cars...
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  #190  
Old 11-21-12, 18:08
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Originally Posted by Aapjes View Post
What is up with this hatred of the bell by some? A bell is easier to hear than shouting and clearly identifies the thing coming from behind as a bike (so people don't have to look).

In my experience, the people who hate a bell seem to be mostly upset that they feel that they are called out on their (lane-blocking) behavior. Many people today are so arrogant to believe that they are always right and can't accept even the idea of being corrected by others. So they lash out. The only thing a ring does is say: a bike is here. That you see it as imperious and arrogant is just some weird projection that you do.
Agreed. I think a bell is a very polite way of asking "can I pass" instead of the shouting approach. I apply the same principles when I'm driving: when someone is driving below the speed limit on the overtaking lane, I use my left indicator to ask to pass. It has the same effect as tailgating or flashing your headlights, but it is a lot more polite.

Sure, as winkybiker notes, the people from behind might be the problem, but both on the bike and in the car I notice a lot of people slowing down other people unnecessarily. As long as they are asked in a friendly way to move over, everyone's happy.

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Originally Posted by aphronesis View Post
Yeah, you raise a number of points. First though, in the states at least, I found that traffic became less deadly with the advent of instant communication. Not just because I think people were distracted and otherwise engaged, but more because it established a shift in the economy where far fewer people and things had to be present 15 minutes ago. This was first noticeable in the Bay Area in the late 90s, but took hold in New York shortly thereafter. Traffic is comparatively tame relative to what it was years ago and I still firmly believe many cyclist fatalities in New York occur to those who aren't cognizant of their surroundings and aren't moving at the speed of traffic.

That's not to say it should be that way, but that's how it is. Although the negligence of drivers has also lessened greatly since the city began pushing cycling as a lifestyle agenda. Doesn't, however, mean that there will be that much recompense if you have the actual misfortune to get hit by a car.

The only times that I was ever deeply fearful for my life would be if I chose to descend from the top of Manhattan to the lower bridges via Broadway. The section from forty second down to twenty third was dark and little traveled--with minimal cross traffic as well--which meant you could hit full cruising speed heading down that. It also meant there was a very high likelihood of a cabbie with an uptown fare coming down on you at 60 mph; no flashing tail light or reflectors were any guarantee that they would register in his stressed out, fare addled head as a human being.

Pedestrians as much as drivers have to take responsibility for the roads though. As do cyclists: while I could appreciate salmoning as a completely anarchic gesture against the hegemony of the private auto, no one intends or uses it that way and, consequently, it only has (or had) a negative effect on the general public's perception of cyclists. You know as well as I do that the second pedestrians see an opening in NY they're out in the street and unless you bear directly at them, they won't give way. On that score, the only pedestrians I've ever hit in nearly twenty years of cycling in New York were three who jumped against the light in thick traffic and I chose to hit them and take the controllable accident rather than risk creating more havoc behind me and being run down. But it remains the case that there's no single fault in that city.
Am I right in saying that leaving Manhattan via Broadway is one of the main routes for cars as well? In that case, I would (as you seem to do too) avoid this route if I were on the bike. Leave the main arteries to cars and use safer and quieter roads as a cyclist and everyone's happy.

I see a lot of cyclists in the new cycling world (UK, USA), not necessarily on this forum, demanding their place. In a way it's understandable as there might be no other quick way, but in my opinion by pushing your case like some do (critical mass rides for example, hateful things, and jumping red lights like there is no tomorrow), car drivers have a right to be annoyed.

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Originally Posted by Throbbobank View Post
I am eager to see the day that a UK motorist explains the death of a minibus full of toddlers because they "didn't see it" because it wasn't "hi-viz" and the driver had the audacity to be listening to a radio while driving......

No - they aren't "ignorant" they are just entirely inconsiderate of other road users (including other drivers except those in much larger vehicles such as tractors and lorries where we hear no complaints akin to those levelled at cyclists) because they are cocooned in a one tonne shell which gives them a sense of self-preservation safety (including the ability to "run away") ......the way to "change that" is to properly prosecute and imprison drivers for such offences

You may be right that the continental approach of vulnerability as critical to law in relation to road users not being accepted in our lifetime - I can only hope that as more of us get out on the road and (sadly) get mowed down by those C**ks****rs the public clamour to amend that will grow
In the Netherlands, 85% of cycling accidents do not involve a car. I know that in many cases we have separated traffic, but still, car drivers are generally not that bad in my opinion (also speaking from experiences in foreign countries). There are the shocking examples and they are very dangerous for everyone, including cyclists. For them, make sure you use proper head and tail lights, that is way, way more effective than some stupid hi-vi jacket.
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