Would you die for your love of biking

canada16
canada16 Posts: 2,360
edited November 2008 in Commuting chat
Hey

I commute everyday 10 miles to work and back, and almost everyday I almost get hit.

Someone turning in front of me.
someone going in front of me then just turning.
or people almost missing you by about an inch whilst passing.

I can believe people are like this, I got two kids and a wife, I ride safe with a Fenix TK11 on the front and the top of the line cat eye rear, which is the brightest you can buy.

I just don't understand it, I have some guy today, went to go into a side road, seen me at last minute and decided not to go, this made me slam on my brakes, I gave him the finger and he got out of his car and started shouting saying I was not driving a lorry I could have got around.

WHAT ARE PEOPLES PROBLEMS, it seems like they try hit you, don't they realise that I am a human with a life and kids.

Its making me think commuting is not worth it as this happens all the time. but why should I give up something I love just because of jerks, but then is it worth the risk.

What do you guys think.

Comments

  • Littigator
    Littigator Posts: 1,262
    Stick with it...cycle wider and slower and ALWAYS assume the worst of other road users

    I do, but I still manage to enjoy myself :)

    And avoid confrontation when you can, sometimes I give hand gestures but I don't think it's very helpful either to their aggression as drivers or your stress levels as a cyclist
    Roadie FCN: 3

    Fixed FCN: 6
  • Having similar thoughts myself at the moment. Did not cycle today as I had a very strong & specific feeling that something bad was going to happen in a particular spot.

    I was so freaked out - and generally jumpy regarding cycle commuting at the moment anyway - that I decided to get the tube instead.
  • The answer to your question is "no, not willingly".

    There are some bad drivers around. I always say the cardinal rule is to stay as close to the speed of the traffic around you as you can. Fast in fast, slow in slow.

    Then you need a sixth sense of what cars as likely to do judged from their speed, road position, confidence of driving etc. And you need a dose of assertiveness to hold a position in the road.

    But generally I don't have near misses. I'm always slightly bemused when I read about people who have them on a regular/weekly/daily basis.
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
    Bike 2-A
  • Belv
    Belv Posts: 866
    There are many issues there, but "Yes, it's dangerous".
    You have to ride for yourself (i.e. following all relevant traffic laws+applying common sense), but also drive for those around you, anticipating their mistakes and stupidity as far as possible. If i couldn't use (some sections of) the cycle paths on my commute then i wouldn't cycle it.

    My first thought when i read your thread title was "Don't be so stupid!", but then i don't cycle commute out of a love of biking.
  • biondino
    biondino Posts: 5,990
    canada16 wrote:
    I am a human with a life and kids.

    Is that a Freudian slip?
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    I won't die willingly for my love of commuting. What I am is just a cautious and safety concious when cycling as I am driving or even being a pedestrian.
    There are some bad drivers around. I always say the cardinal rule is to stay as close to the speed of the traffic around you as you can. Fast in fast, slow in slow.

    Then you need a sixth sense of what cars as likely to do judged from their speed, road position, confidence of driving etc. And you need a dose of assertiveness to hold a position in the road.

    +1

    I often fear for other cyclist when watching them in the following situation:

    A bus stop is approaching. The bus driver overtakes the cyclists and stops at the bus stop. The cyclist, without looking over their right shoulder and well into their blind spot/behind them, swerves out around the bus with a car (also going around the bus, but who took up an early position and indicated that it was going to do so) inches from crashing into the back/side of them.

    Please look over your shoulder, constantly. A simple, look over the shoulder, signal and perhaps eye contact with the motorist behind could prevent anything dangerous happening.

    What I've learned about safe commuting:

    - Ride fast in fast traffic, slow in slow traffic.

    - Look over your shoulder.

    - Sixth sense.

    - Make eye contact, when possible, with other motorist whose path of driving intersects with your own - this can make them away of your existence.

    - Use hand signals and you don't look a tw@t you'll look like you know what your doing and motorist will tend to give more respect.

    - Anticipation - Look as far up the road as possible, planning your route.

    - Look for car signals: Indicators, brake lights and hazard lights.

    - Ears - keep them clean use them to listen for what is around you.

    - Assertiveness - If you need to go then go

    - Hold a solid road position.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • Belv
    Belv Posts: 866
    DonDaddyD's tips are good, and i'd like to add:
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    - Make eye contact, when possible, with other motorist whose path of driving intersects with your own - this can make them away of your existence.
    ...but don't assume that eye contact stops the driver from pulling out on you anyway.
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    - Look for car signals: Indicators, brake lights and hazard lights.
    ...if the car is parked, look for a driver in it and the direction of the front wheels as indications that the car might be about to move.
  • Rich158
    Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    I'd never let the danger of commuting put me off, I love cycling and that's that. At the end of the day only 0.4% of those who commute have accidents so the odds are it won't be you.

    The secret is to always ride defensively, assume the worst of every other vehicle and pedestrian, and use every sense you have. Don't underestmate the value of your peripheral vision either, I am often aware of other road users before I see them purely because they have strayed into my peripheral vision, I call it my sixth sense.

    I am constantly amazed by the number of cyclists that use I-pods, they must be the 0.4% who get flattened on a regular basis.
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • canada16
    canada16 Posts: 2,360
    Its a nightmare as my working hours are always in rush hour in cardiff centre so you can imagine tons of traffic.

    Will keep plodding along, I just wish car drivers would realise that maybe one day there kids will be riding there bikes down the street and another car driver like them just hits them and they will know what its like.

    Its horrible to say but they need to learn we are all trying to get to the same place, I dont cut in front of them.

    People are so streesed over here, canada has a good riding scene, and I think the government needs to protect cyclists more with newer laws and penalties for motorists.

    They want us to ride all the time instead of riding your car, but they are no creating more routes that are safer for us.

    Thats my moan. lol
  • Paulie W
    Paulie W Posts: 1,492
    I think a good deal of this is about perception. I've never been hit for which I am thankful but in 15 years of commuting I can also count on one hand (OK maybe two) the number of times I have felt that my life was in genuine danger from the behaviour of another road user. Of course, I see acts of selfishness and stupidity on a daily basis some of which may require me to take some form of evasive action but I've come to recognise that I'm rarely if ever if any real danger from this behaviour. I may of course be kidding myself but it makes life a lot less stressful
  • biondino
    biondino Posts: 5,990
    0.4% over what time period, or distance? It's certainly not ever - we had a poll a couple of months ago and 3/4 of the posters on the board had had at least one off (although not all while commuting if I remember rightly).
  • spen666
    spen666 Posts: 17,709
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    ...
    Please look over your shoulder, constantly. A simple, look over the shoulder, signal and perhaps eye contact with the motorist behind could prevent anything dangerous happening.

    What I've learned about safe commuting:

    - Ride fast in fast traffic, slow in slow traffic.

    - Look over your shoulder.

    - Sixth sense.

    - Make eye contact, when possible, with other motorist whose path of driving intersects with your own - this can make them away of your existence.

    - Use hand signals and you don't look a tw@t you'll look like you know what your doing and motorist will tend to give more respect.

    - Anticipation - Look as far up the road as possible, planning your route.

    - Look for car signals: Indicators, brake lights and hazard lights.

    - Ears - keep them clean use them to listen for what is around you.

    - Assertiveness - If you need to go then go

    - Hold a solid road position.

    I concur with the above

    I would also add treat everyone else on the road or pavement as a potential source of danger
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  • gtvlusso
    gtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    No, but I would kill for it.....
  • tailwindhome
    tailwindhome Posts: 19,292
    spen666 wrote:
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    ...
    Please look over your shoulder, constantly. A simple, look over the shoulder, signal and perhaps eye contact with the motorist behind could prevent anything dangerous happening.

    What I've learned about safe commuting:

    - Ride fast in fast traffic, slow in slow traffic.

    - Look over your shoulder.

    - Sixth sense.

    - Make eye contact, when possible, with other motorist whose path of driving intersects with your own - this can make them away of your existence.

    - Use hand signals and you don't look a tw@t you'll look like you know what your doing and motorist will tend to give more respect.

    - Anticipation - Look as far up the road as possible, planning your route.

    - Look for car signals: Indicators, brake lights and hazard lights.

    - Ears - keep them clean use them to listen for what is around you.

    - Assertiveness - If you need to go then go

    - Hold a solid road position.

    I concur with the above

    I would also add treat everyone else on the road or pavement as a potential source of danger

    +1


    Watch for the brake lights flickering

    It means they've move from handbrake to footbrake and are about to pull out in front of you
    “New York has the haircuts, London has the trousers, but Belfast has the reason!
  • Rich158
    Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    I think I got the 0.4% from the cycling weekly website, and they took it from Sainbury's insurance

    'In a survey carried out by Sainsbury's Home Insurance published this week, the number of cycle commuters now stands at 3.3 million people. The injury figure of 13,368 equates to only 0.4 per cent of commuters alone, without taking into account leisure riders, racers, etc. '

    The figure of 13,368 people injured is sobering though, although 9000 of the injuries didn't involve a third party.
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • spen666
    spen666 Posts: 17,709
    also BEWARE THE DOOR ZONES on both sides of traffic
    Want to know the Spen666 behind the posts?
    Then read MY BLOG @ http://www.pebennett.com

    Twittering @spen_666
  • Greg T
    Greg T Posts: 3,266
    Greg66 wrote:

    But generally I don't have near misses. I'm always slightly bemused when I read about people who have them on a regular/weekly/daily basis.

    Other Greg is having a moment of rare lucidity, he must be off the tipex thinners (remember that!!!).

    I very rarely have occasion to be concerned on the bike and I do thirty miles a day through Central London.

    I see lots of guys on bikes who are trying to get themselves knocked off but that's a different story.
    Fixed gear for wet weather / hairy roadie for posing in the sun.

    What would Thora Hurd do?
  • canada16
    canada16 Posts: 2,360
    Thanks for that guys

    You have made me feel better, maybe its just jerks in cardiff, some not all that have a problem with cyclists, but london and other massive cities probably see more on the road than her, I only see a few on the way to the centre, quite a shame really.

    Will keep on trucking, lol
  • canada16, the next time I'm down in Cardiff I'll bring my bike and spend a day reclaiming the road for all our two wheeled bretheren!
  • Littigator
    Littigator Posts: 1,262
    Greg T wrote:
    I very rarely have occasion to be concerned on the bike and I do thirty miles a day through Central London.
    .

    Apart from when you happen across me and Mrs L wobbling along the cycle lane and have to take emergency avoiding action!
    Roadie FCN: 3

    Fixed FCN: 6
  • wgwarburton
    wgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    Hi,
    Cycling is safe. You are unlikely to be killed riding your bike.

    There are various ways to present the statistics, depending on your agenda. It's fashionable at the moment to assert that cycling is dangerous because that's media friendly, encourages the sale of Bicycle helmets and allows politicians to be seen to be "doing something" in the name of road safety.
    Here's a counter argument from Malcolm Wardlaw (BSc MBA), a transport consultant. This is a excerpt from an article titled "Cycling, the actual risks"

    "A British cyclist who rides for 280 hours per year (2,300 miles)
    will face an annual risk of death about double that of a British
    driver, but the risk is low at 0.0083% per year. This risk corresponds
    to an expectation of travelling 280 hours per year for 12,000
    years"

    This is a catch-all statistic, too- it includes all the unlit, RLJing, pavement-riding eejits that we all like to shake our heads at...
    IMHO, it's better that experienced cyclists try to counter the myth that cycling is dangerous, rather than perpetuate it. If it was as dangerous as some suggest then there wouldn't BE any experienced cyclists :-)

    Cheers,
    W.
  • Hi,
    Cycling is safe. You are unlikely to be killed riding your bike.

    There are various ways to present the statistics, depending on your agenda. It's fashionable at the moment to assert that cycling is dangerous because that's media friendly, encourages the sale of Bicycle helmets and allows politicians to be seen to be "doing something" in the name of road safety.
    Here's a counter argument from Malcolm Wardlaw (BSc MBA), a transport consultant. This is a excerpt from an article titled "Cycling, the actual risks"

    "A British cyclist who rides for 280 hours per year (2,300 miles)
    will face an annual risk of death about double that of a British
    driver, but the risk is low at 0.0083% per year. This risk corresponds
    to an expectation of travelling 280 hours per year for 12,000
    years"

    This is a catch-all statistic, too- it includes all the unlit, RLJing, pavement-riding eejits that we all like to shake our heads at...
    IMHO, it's better that experienced cyclists try to counter the myth that cycling is dangerous, rather than perpetuate it. If it was as dangerous as some suggest then there wouldn't BE any experienced cyclists :-)

    Cheers,
    W.

    That's a good post.

    Totally agree with the agenda being used to fuel construction of crappy cycling facuilities that keep us out of harm's way. Or just out of the way.
  • Greg T wrote:
    Greg66 wrote:

    But generally I don't have near misses. I'm always slightly bemused when I read about people who have them on a regular/weekly/daily basis.

    Other Greg is having a moment of rare lucidity, he must be off the tipex thinners (remember that!!!).

    I very rarely have occasion to be concerned on the bike and I do thirty miles a day through Central London.

    I see lots of guys on bikes who are trying to get themselves knocked off but that's a different story.

    +1. I have drivers who'd like to try and kill me from time to time, but usually the ol' spidey sense is good enough that I see them coming...

    They've only got me once. So far so good!
  • canada16
    canada16 Posts: 2,360
    I would have thought that quite a few bike accidents happen on the roads involving cars


    If its that few, what am I worried about... Touch steel
  • akcc05
    akcc05 Posts: 336
    I try to stay in the middle of the lane and keep with the flow of traffic, that way drivers can see you clearly and there is less chance of being doored. in central london it's quite easy to stay in the middle and keep up just by catching the slipstream from the car in front.

    i don't usually squeeze my way to the front at a red light either, i just stay in the middle and queue with the traffic, it's kinda dangerous when the light turns green while you are squeezing your way between two buses.

    some of you may not like this but i jump pedestrian red lights as well (when absolutely safe) because i believe cyclists are most venerable when accelerating from a dead stop at a light, especially when there is a bunch of them in busy hours. having said that, i only jump reds when there's no pedestrians and i do so very slowly, then drivers will at least think you are being extremely cautious, unlike the fakengers.