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Re: Re(2): [carfree_cities] bike to work

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  • Wade Eide
    Thank you, Timothy, for your excellent advice to novice cyclists! I agree whole-heartedly. I think that your advice could be printed and used as a handy pocket
    Message 1 of 16 , Jun 3, 2000
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      Thank you, Timothy, for your excellent advice to novice cyclists! I
      agree whole-heartedly. I think that your advice could be printed and
      used as a handy pocket reference for all cyclists. Cyclists who
      follow John Franklin's techniques have a risk of accident much
      lower than cyclists who don't. I think that it's important to point out
      that the techniques are not hard to learn. Anyone can do it--young,
      old, people who prefer to ride slowly on cruiser bikes, people who
      prefer to ride fast on racing bikes.

      Furthermore, I strongly believe that following those techniques
      increases the enjoyment of cycling, as well as its utility as a
      serious means of transportation. I have certainly found that to be
      true in my own case.

      When speaking of safe cycling technique, I often describe it in a
      sort of shorthand way, in saying that it's "cycling according to the
      rules of the road". You are quite right in pointing out that safe
      cycling is more than just that. Thanks for taking the time to give a
      more complete description. I'm sure that it will be appreciated by
      both the cyclists and the non-cyclists on this list.

      Cheers,

      Wade Eide
      Montreal




      On 30 May 2000, at 15:27, Timothy.Cooper@... wrote:

      > I agree that cycling by adult, experienced cyclists is "the safest,
      > the most efficient and the most fun means of transport there is", but
      > that far too many children, elderly and inexperienced cyclists are
      > killed or injured by motor cars. This does not mean that the cyclist
      > victims are generally "at fault" in such accidents - generally the
      > motorist is at fault and either simply failed to see the cyclist or
      > tried to pass the cyclist at excessive speed without allowing adequate
      > clearance. However, cycling in accordance with the Highway Code is not
      > synonymous with cycling safely. I would urge anyone who is considering
      > taking up cycling to read "Cyclecraft - Skilled Cycling Techniques for
      > Adults" by John Franklin, published by the Stationery Office (UK
      > Government publisher) and backed by the Royal Society for the
      > Prevention of Accidents (ISBN 0 11 702051 6). Reading this book is far
      > more likely to save your life than wearing a helmet.
      >
      > Cyclists who adopt Franklin's techniques will be far less likely to be
      > the victim of an accident. They will still be at risk of aggression
      > (road rage), but the risk is slight. In my experience of daily
      > cycling, far more drivers behave courteously towards me - e.g. giving
      > way to me at junctions where they have priority, or moving over to
      > allow me to pass them when they are stuck in a traffic jam - than
      > behave aggressively or dangerously. The tiny minority of drivers who
      > think that cyclists shouldn't be allowed on the road tend to
      > intimidate rather than attack, and it is easy (and wise) to get out of
      > their way.
      >
      > I paste below the advice I sent to someone who was preparing an
      > article on cycling tips for novice cyclists.
      >
    • Todd J. Binkley
      Timothy Cooper, When speaking of safe cycling technique, I often describe it in a sort of shorthand way, in saying that it s cycling according to the rules of
      Message 2 of 16 , Jun 3, 2000
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        Timothy Cooper,

        When speaking of safe cycling technique, I often describe it in a
        sort of shorthand way, in saying that it's "cycling according to the
        rules of the road". You are quite right in pointing out that safe
        cycling is more than just that. Thanks for taking the time to give a
        more complete description. I'm sure that it will be appreciated by
        both the cyclists and the non-cyclists on this list.

        Cheers,

        Wade Eide
        Montreal

        Ditto.  Postings (and offlist messages) by both you and Wade Eide have opened my eyes to the dangers of bike lanes.  And on many streets, riding in traffic lanes when there's insufficient space alongside them (with proper precautions), forcing motorists to slow down and change lanes or wait until you have space to yield safely, is definitely safer than getting passed at high speeds while you're inches away from a parked car or a curb.

        Thanks,

        T.J.

      • Martha Torell
        ... What is meant by bike lane in this context? Is it part of the road used by autos that is reserved to bike use? Is there a maximum speed limit above which
        Message 3 of 16 , Jun 4, 2000
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          > Ditto. Postings (and offlist messages) by both you and Wade Eide have
          > opened my eyes to the dangers of bike lanes. And on many streets,
          > riding in traffic lanes when there's insufficient space alongside them
          > (with proper precautions), forcing motorists to slow down and change
          > lanes or wait until you have space to yield safely, is definitely
          > safer than getting passed at high speeds while you're inches away from
          > a parked car or a curb.
          >

          What is meant by bike lane in this context? Is it part of the road used
          by autos that is reserved to bike use?

          Is there a maximum speed limit above which it is not wise to bike with
          autos.

          Martha
        • Richard Risemberg
          ... There are bike lanes in parts of Southern California that are on teh shoulders of freeways! I ve used the one near Santa Barbara, where the freeway and a
          Message 4 of 16 , Jun 4, 2000
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            At 6/4/00 7:41:00 AM, you wrote:
            >
            >Is there a maximum speed limit above which it is not wise to bike with
            >autos.
            >
            There are bike lanes in parts of Southern California that are on teh shoulders of freeways! I've used the one near Santa Barbara, where the freeway and a railroad track are squeezed in between steep cliffs and
            the sea. Noisy but not too bad. If you're used to traffic.

            Richard
          • Timothy.Cooper@cec.eu.int
            ... Bike lanes in this context refers to cycle paths which run parallel to but separate from the carriageway. Where vehicle speeds are too high for cyclists
            Message 5 of 16 , Jun 5, 2000
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              > > Ditto. Postings (and offlist messages) by both you and Wade Eide have
              > > opened my eyes to the dangers of bike lanes. And on many streets,
              > > riding in traffic lanes when there's insufficient space alongside them
              > > (with proper precautions), forcing motorists to slow down and change
              > > lanes or wait until you have space to yield safely, is definitely
              > > safer than getting passed at high speeds while you're inches away from
              > > a parked car or a curb.
              > >
              >
              > What is meant by bike lane in this context? Is it part of the road used
              > by autos that is reserved to bike use?
              >
              > Is there a maximum speed limit above which it is not wise to bike with
              > autos.
              >
              > Martha

              "Bike lanes" in this context refers to cycle paths which run parallel to but separate from the carriageway. Where vehicle speeds are too high for cyclists and motor vehicles to mix safely, segregated cycle paths offer enhanced safety. However, this enhanced safety lasts only while segregation is maintained, and is offset by increased danger when bikes and motor vehicles are thrown together again. If cyclists are removed from the roadway, drivers forget they exist - out of sight, out of mind - and drivers are not looking out for them when they reappear. Thus cycle paths are generally a good idea out of town, where vehicle speeds are high and segregation can be maintained over large distances, but a bad idea in town, where there are too many intersections. At intersections it is generally safer for a cyclist to be in the traffic, where a car would be, than on a segregated cycle facility, where drivers may fail to see him.

              I generally reckon that a 50 kph speed limit is the maximum acceptable on a road used by cyclists. Where speed limits are higher, a segregated cycle path or alternative route is needed. Novice cyclists and children need roads with a speed limit no higher than 30 kph. However, many of us ride on streets with higher vehicle speeds. The higher the vehicle speeds, the greater the danger to cyclists, and the more important it is for cyclists to ride in a way which reduces the risk. Novice cyclists who are afraid of traffic tend to expose themselves to danger, by trying to stay on the road while keeping out of the way of cars. That's not possible. Either get off the road (onto a slower, safer road), or claim your right to be on the road, part of the traffic. It is not wise to ride on a road on which you don't feel safe, whatever the speed limit (or typical vehicle speeds).

              Timothy Cooper
            • Timothy.Cooper@cec.eu.int
              I have greatly enjoyed taking part in the lively and informative discussions of the carfree cities egroup, and wish to thank all contributors. However, it has
              Message 6 of 16 , Jun 6, 2000
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                I have greatly enjoyed taking part in the lively and informative discussions of the carfree cities egroup, and wish to thank all contributors. However, it has been taking up too much of my time, and I have reluctantly decided to unsubscribe. I hope to spend more time promoting cycling, walking and public transport in the areas where I live and work. I would urge you all to continue discussing these important issues, but also to apply them in your own lives by eliminating or reducing your use of cars. This affects your decisions about where to live and work, how to travel, etc. I would also urge you to join or form local pressure groups to campaign for improved facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users. Small-scale local improvements will pave the way for the giant leap forward which we all eagerly await.

                Should anyone wish to contact me in connection with my contributions to this discussion, please contact me offlist at Timothy.Cooper@....

                Timothy Cooper
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