Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: long distance cycling

Expand Messages
  • Jim Gagnepain
    In reading all of the posts in this thread, I found a lot of similarities to my experiences. Like Bart, I suffered an early accident with an at-fault car,
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 31, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      In reading all of the posts in this thread, I found a lot of
      similarities to my experiences. Like Bart, I suffered an early
      accident with an at-fault car, where my bike was totalled. This
      experience instilled the idea in me that "every auto driver is
      stupid". Although I know this isn't true, I treat each driver this
      way, and assume they will do the worst.

      Like Sue, I made a transition to a Bike-Friendly city. It was great
      to move to a place with bike paths and bike lanes. I just returned
      from a touring/camping trip from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs. I
      saw both ends of the spectrum. I rode completely through Denver on 2
      paved bike trails, along the Platte River, and along Cherry Creek.
      I saw a lot of wildlife and beautiful natural areas.

      After that, I had about a 1-foot wide shoulder on the leg from South
      Denver to Colorado Springs. Like Lauren, on this trip, I had to
      cooperate with traffic. On a number of occassions, I looked in my
      mirror, and saw a Semi bearing down on me, while at the same time a
      truck was approaching from the front. "Good time for a break!", I
      told myself, as I left the roadway.
      ----
      Jim Gagnepain
      http://home.comcast.net/~oil_free_and_happy/

      --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "SueW" <gswidemark@...> wrote:
      >
      > I have been a bike commuter for years.
      >
      > First, I am afraid we can NEVER ignore endless streams of cars
      because the fact remains that you have people on drugs, distracted
      people with cell phones and JUST bad drivers (like the one who hit
      me in 1998 who didn't even HAVE a cell phone and was a 56 year old
      upstanding guy who simply wasn't looking where he was going). You
      have drivers who are angry and drivers who should really not have a
      license and lots of other things. When you are sharing a street
      with cars, YOU NEED to be very attentive at all times.
      >
      > Second, I do not know where you live but in my city there are some
      200 miles of bike lanes and major sections of off road, multi access
      paths (no cars allowed) so even if you have to ride a bit out of
      your way, it's worth it to map out a route which includes side
      streets or residential (low speed streets) and whenever you can, off
      road multi access paths - THERE is where you can enjoy cycling....
      >
      > I know some folks are into that "effective cycling" and will
      adamently say WE HAVE TO ESTABLISH OUR RIGHTS and ride on all the
      streets.... in theory this is true but you know when you argue with
      a nutcase driving a 2000 lb vehicle, you may end up dead. I have
      known in the past couple of years, several effective cyclists who
      established their rights and ended up dead. I am not into that one.
      >
      > Anyway, if you disagree with what I am about to say, I
      understand ... but this is what *I* do as being a bike commuter for
      over 40 years - If I HAVE to go on a busy street which is high speed
      or high traffic, I go on the sidewalk. Here we have wide sidewalks
      which lend and very little pedestrian traffic. If there IS NO
      sidewalk, I go as little as I have to on the street but basically
      find another way... if you can limit your routes to side streets and
      the like, it will not only be more enjoyable but much safer.
      >
      > I will add here that we moved from a bicycle UNFRIENDLY city to
      one which was bicycle friendly some 30 years ago because one of my
      issues WAS wanting to bicycle commute everyplace as well as ride all
      year around.
      >
      > That's just me ... everyone has their own way of handling stuff...
      >
      > Sue
      > http://suewidemark.com/bent.htm
    • Lauren Cooper (DancesWithCars)
      Jim Gagnepain I had about a 1-foot wide shoulder ... Like Lauren, on this trip, I had to cooperate with traffic. On a number of occassions, I looked in
      Message 2 of 14 , Aug 1, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        "Jim Gagnepain" >>> I had about a 1-foot wide shoulder ... Like Lauren, on
        this trip, I had to cooperate with traffic. On a number of occassions, I
        looked in my mirror, and saw a Semi bearing down on me, while at the same
        time a truck was approaching from the front. "Good time for a break!", I
        told myself, as I left the roadway.<<<

        Jim, I often agree with your writings, and perhaps I've misunderstood. But
        please understand that in the case above, I don't consider that to be
        cooperating with drivers.

        Squeezing onto that 1-ft. shoulder set everyone up for potential trouble.
        Squeezing over "signals" to drivers behind that it is OK to squeeze past.
        That leaves the cyclist with no margin of safety.

        One better way would have been to ride out in the traffic lane, signal
        traffic behind to slow, and then use the shoulder once they've slowed to a
        safe passing speed. Repeat as each new gap opens.

        Another would be to allow a line of traffic to build up behind for a few
        minutes, then pull off the road for a bit and allow the line to pass while
        you wave and say thank you to each driver.

        That is what I would call cooperating; where each driver gives a little so
        that all can share the road in safety.

        Thank you for your thought and consideration. And thank you for bicycling!
        DancesWithCars at CycleMedia.org

        "Roughly half of all car/bike crashes are the cyclists' fault; about half are motorists'. So cycling as a responsible, law-abiding adult is 50% safer. But we've become 80% safer by also taking in-depth adult-level traffic-cycling classes, which taught us to compensate for common motorist errors as well.
        This Advanced Traffic-Bicycling (sm) serves us everywhere we go, on every road, bikelane or not. It works so well that our cycling becomes a dance of mutual cooperation with drivers."
        from Dancing-With-Cars (sm): An Introduction to Advanced Traffic-Bicycling (sm)

        __________________________________________________
        Do You Yahoo!?
        Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
        http://mail.yahoo.com
      • Jim Gagnepain
        ... Lauren, on ... occassions, I ... the same ... break! , I ... misunderstood. But ... be ... trouble. ... squeeze past. ... Actually, I left the roadway
        Message 3 of 14 , Aug 1, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "Lauren Cooper \(DancesWithCars\)"
          <cyclemedia@...> wrote:
          >
          > "Jim Gagnepain" >>> I had about a 1-foot wide shoulder ... Like
          Lauren, on
          > this trip, I had to cooperate with traffic. On a number of
          occassions, I
          > looked in my mirror, and saw a Semi bearing down on me, while at
          the same
          > time a truck was approaching from the front. "Good time for a
          break!", I
          > told myself, as I left the roadway.<<<
          >
          > Jim, I often agree with your writings, and perhaps I've
          misunderstood. But
          > please understand that in the case above, I don't consider that to
          be
          > cooperating with drivers.
          >
          > Squeezing onto that 1-ft. shoulder set everyone up for potential
          trouble.
          > Squeezing over "signals" to drivers behind that it is OK to
          squeeze past.
          > That leaves the cyclist with no margin of safety.

          Actually, I left the roadway alltogether. I stood in the grass
          outside the shoulder, and let those big trucks go by. I "take the
          lane" quite often in town, where the situation calls for it, and
          there are low speed limits. But I would never do anything that
          foolish with a Semi bearing down on me at 70 MPH. And please, if
          you think it's OK to do this, reevaluate...

          >
          > One better way would have been to ride out in the traffic lane,
          signal
          > traffic behind to slow, and then use the shoulder once they've
          slowed to a
          > safe passing speed. Repeat as each new gap opens.
          >
          > Another would be to allow a line of traffic to build up behind for
          a few
          > minutes, then pull off the road for a bit and allow the line to
          pass while
          > you wave and say thank you to each driver.
          >
          > That is what I would call cooperating; where each driver gives a
          little so
          > that all can share the road in safety.
          >
          > Thank you for your thought and consideration. And thank you for
          bicycling!
          > DancesWithCars at CycleMedia.org
        • Lauren Cooper (DancesWithCars)
          ... looked in my mirror, and saw a Semi bearing down on me, while at the same time a truck was approaching from the front. Good time for a break! , I told
          Message 4 of 14 , Aug 2, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            >>> I had about a 1-foot wide shoulder ... On a number of occassions, I
            looked in my mirror, and saw a Semi bearing down on me, while at the same
            time a truck was approaching from the front. "Good time for a break!", I
            told myself, as I left the roadway.<<<
            >> Jim, please understand that in the case above, I don't consider that to
            be cooperating with drivers ... One better way would have been to ride out
            in the traffic lane, repeatedly signal traffic behind to slow, and then use
            the shoulder once they've slowed to a safe passing speed. Repeat as each
            new gap opens. Another would be to allow a line of traffic to build up
            behind for a few minutes, then pull off the road for a bit and allow the
            line to pass while you wave and say thank you to each driver. That is
            cooperating; where each driver gives a little so that all can share the
            road in safety. <<
            >>> I would never do anything that foolish with a Semi bearing down on me
            at 70 MPH. And please, if you think it's OK to do this, reevaluate... <<<

            I've spent time in Colorado Springs on similar roads. I've tried your way,
            and I've tried the ways above that I learned by studying Advanced Traffic
            Bicycling in depth. If you have not tried BOTH, then please consider doing
            so. Please study the book "Effective Cycling" in depth, and take a course
            in Advanced Traffic Bicycling. I _guarantee_ you will learn more useful
            knowledge than you can guess exists.

            In truth, no matter how you do it, riding these kinds of narrow highways IS
            very stressful. But there's the choice. You can endure the stress of
            hugging the edge of the roadway, semis passing inches from you, with no
            safe-space zone or margin of safety for you, constantly watching your rear
            to be ready to jump off the road. Why do cyclists do this? One is the
            obvious fear; but there is also a feeling that you don't want to
            inconvenience others also using the road. Those are valid feelings; but
            are they worth compromising one's safety for?

            The other, safer choice is to hold up traffic momentarily, and safely
            endure a self-induced stress of knowing that there are many annoyed drivers
            behind you, and a few psychos as well (fortunately they are stuck back in
            the line of traffic waiting behind you); and then the stress of a few
            insults and curses sent your way as you move aside and thank them for
            waiting.

            No one is interested in running you over. They will see your frequent hand
            signals; they will not run you down; but some will be angry. That may be
            equally stressful, but at least it's safer for the cyclist. That's why
            it's the law. It is truly safer than waiting to be sideswiped by someone
            who will not even notice in their rear-view mirror that their squeezing
            past you sent you into the ditch. Been there, done that; learned that
            there is a better way.

            Thank you again for your thought and consideration.
            DancesWithCars

            __________________________________________________
            Do You Yahoo!?
            Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
            http://mail.yahoo.com
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.