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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Indianapolis, Indiana

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    I thought about target fixation when I was riding this morning. I know what happens to me when I am driving, like seeing the bright headlamp of a bike. I used to think "what's that," and probably fixate on it. Now, I assume it's a bike. Today, at about 5:10 AM, I saw another rider coming toward me with a huge and bright helmet light. I knew what it was, but I am betting the few drivers out did not.
    I've been thinking about this myself. The very first part of my ride to work from home is very, very dark with no streetlights at all. To make matters worse, the darkest part is an interstate underpass with very rough pavement. I've been checking out the riders I pass on the way to work, and it is REALLY hard to see them! They have bright headlights, but outside of a blinky on the back they don't have much - and it is really hard to see them from even with the blinky and their headlight doesn't have a wide enough spread to make it easy to see lit pavement from behind. I am not riding to work right now I see a need for a much more serious lighting answer for side and rear. Back when it got light 15 minutes after leaving home I wasn't as worried about it, but now it doesn't get light until I've been in the office an hour or so...well...

    My headlight, as powerful as it is, also doesn't quite last long enough to get to work when it is dark the entire trip. This is disappointing considering what I paid for it! It needs to be brighter and last longer.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Boise Idaho
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post

    Also related to this thread is issues of visibility. See my post in the other thread about why a little bit of visibility aid is worse than none at all. Be very alert for motorists who will target fixate on you.
    Target fixation is why I do not like blinking type lights, they drive me nuts as I think they are super unsafe. As Oakleaf pointed out, a light that doesn't give enough visibility is equally dangerous. In fact I believe blinking lightst are illegal in Germany.

    Good, visible lighting with a steady beam is what I use. I am lucky to have a dyno hub so I never have to worry about making sure my light is charged.
    Sky King
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    I just finished LCI training... yes. "Common sense" is often dead wrong when it comes to cycling.

    http://www.bikelib.org/safety-education/adults/ has some good information...

    A story about lane position. I read and asked a lot of questions about where to ride in the lane and yes, I was told that I should ride out there and control my lane... because it is my right! I just should! I need to control things!

    Well, I care a lot more about getting there alive than I do asserting my self... so I took that stuff with a grain or three of salt.

    Then, I was doing a 100 mile ride with a friend of mine, on a road a bit faster than we were accustomed to. He was the first to complain about the drivers, who were constantly buzzing us even though there was rarely approaching traffic; they could have gone around. It made me think, and I said "this is where I've read we should move out in the lane and supposedly things will get better." Of course, I was thinking "the drivers will get mad!"

    We moved out. Suddenly, a wave of Good Driving Etiquette enveloped the road. Drivers signaled and passed us as if we were tractors -- they'd just go out into the oncoming traffic lane when it was safe, and move around us.

    Then we stopped for a bite to eat. Darn it, when we came out, all the bad drivers were out in force. They were all buzzing us again... well, that is, until we remembered to Change OUr Ways and ease out another foot or so -- not a lot, but basically in line with where the right wheel of a car would be.

    Yup. Suddenly the drivers got better.

    There are all *kinds* of other reasons that it's safer to be out there, such as the "arc of attention" that doesn't include things on the shoulder...

    ... and that's just one example of the counterintuitive realities of riding on the road. Unfortunately, a fair number of the people out there who take the lane are like those folks I didn't believe -- some of them basically think that the solution to *everything* (including the common cold) is to "move further out" and that "hey! we belong on the busy roads!!!" and "if you're on the sidewalk, you're wrong. Period. Always." They don't realize that they explode their credibility when they wax dogmatic ...

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Bike riding safety is very important. During ride you need to keep good eye on the road, sometime crazy roads comes up during the riding journey, however, riding on those roads safely is the great challenge. In the night I specially find it tough to ride bike (whenever I try to ride at night).

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    I'm a beginner myself, so i cannot advice much here, But I would never pass a headlight and flashing rear light. Its a MUST!

  6. #21
    Join Date
    May 2013
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Lots of great advice. All good tips. Here's some more based on riding in nightmare Chicago traffic for six plus years.

    Go slow, as in don't bite off more than you can chew as far as handling traffic and road conditions. If you find yourself trapped in a more than you can handle, there is no shame in pulling off the road and walking your bike. It takes experience and lot's of it to deal with serious traffic on a bicycle. Even with my experience, I did it now and then in Chicago.

    Mirrors, yes, but you also need to learn how to turn your head and check to In the rear without losing control of the bike. Mirrors on bikes have blind spots, just like mirror on cars. Take the lane when at stop signs or stop lights or I guarantee, someone will turn right, right over the top of you. Make eye contact with cars on the other side of the intersection. Make sure they see you before moving out into the intersection. Lights in heavy traffic, even during the day. Bright clothing, always. Hand signals, hand signals, hand signals. Ride in a predictable fashion, no sudden moves. If you're having trouble riding a tight line on the right of the road, time to slow down or even get off the road and walk the bike. Being confrontational and stubborn and insisting that you own your part of the road with a line of angry cars behind you is something I never did. Take a moment, pull off and let everyone pass if possible.

    Dealing with cars is all important, of course, but it's not the only thing. Road conditions can really compound things in a hurry. Prior knowledge as to the hazards along your route - sand, gravel, potholes, road cracks, narrow shoulders, bad intersections, bad shoulders, tight spots, bridges and so on - is gold. Be very cautious on unexplored roads and routes.

    All in all, I depended as much on my hearing as my vision to stay safe. Leave the earphones at home, always!



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