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Old 07-06-2011, 08:57 AM
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Dovestrobe Dovestrobe is offline
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Exclamation Defensive Riding Thread

I wish to hear from anyone who has learned a tip or two regarding riding in traffic or even on country roads at night. Recently on this forum someone gave advice on how to handle log trucks
Quote:
COTA:I had no trouble with the log trucks. It worried me at first, there are several blind corners. But they always gave me plenty of room. I did my best to not to be on the otherside of a blind of a corner by adjusting my speed or position in the lane.
A few of my own:

When approaching an intersecting road with an automobile on that cross road (lurching) readying to make a left or right. Look in back of you, make sure no cars are in your lane, signal and merge to the left. Rational: makes you more visible and if car makes a right, you can avoid the big spill or deathmobile kill.

If when riding you note a deceleration of an automobile to your left or one that is moving slowly to pass without signals, anticipate sudden right hook: Cautiously place hands on bike brakes, slow down and if need be turn right with car (if car decides to make a quick right!) by turning into car and then quickly turning a sharp right. Deathdefying but it works! Bike lanes are NOT immune, so be defensive!!!

When on a bike path, two joggers appear in front running abreast, blocking the path. Call out, "On your left, bicycle!" If no response, take out squirt gun and give a hefty blast, note this may anger the runners who may wrastle your bike from you and dump your bike over a bridge into swift current!
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Sometimes when I'm out doing a shopping run, I'll be offered a free sample (cut of pizza, doughnut, cheezywiz thingy)...little do they know that behind every bite is my gasoline!

Last edited by Dovestrobe; 07-06-2011 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:21 AM
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lynnef lynnef is offline
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Riding at night out in the boonies. I do that fairly often; never had a problem. Lighting and reflectivity are your friends. Drivers will slow down and/or give you a wide berth when passing - I think it is because they aren't quite sure what that thing up ahead is!

Traffic is usually very light at night. Vehicles have their headlights on; harder for them to sneak up on you.

You pretty much have the road to yourself. But do be extra alert around bar-closing time.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:40 AM
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Simple Nature Simple Nature is online now
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I gotta try the squirt gun thing... I'll be sure to be on a downhill so they can't catch me :]

I give great value to my bright front facing blinking lights. They are a wide dispersion zoom light that don't have that blinding center but really calls attention to those sidestreet approaching vehicles that really would rather not stop completely for their right turn. I can no longer count the number of instances where I've seen that look of disgust when someone realizes that if they'd have run the stop sign, they'd have killed another cyclist. With the significantly reduced number of close calls, I know the lights have a lot to do with it.

Blind corners in some of our switchback ascents locally scare me to death. I try to avoid these at all costs when they have regular commuter traffic. On some of the more remote roads, I just try to remain visible by not hugging the inside of the curve. I can always move to the edge when I've been spotted and ackowledged.

There is nothing better than knowing the roads you are traveling. There are specific commerce routes in the country environs that really prefer bike trafic didn't impede their high rate of travel. On the weekends, however, we cyclist seem to command our rightful right-of-way. In most cases, these commerce routes have a quieter alternative nearby. I'm not excusing these people's impatience, mind you, just calling it as I see it.\

Riding at night can be the most peaceful experience. Low traffic routes and neighborhood excursions, especially on bright moonlit nights, can be one of the most relaxing things you'll do in your daily existance. The peace of mind knowing that you are like a rolling Christmas tree commanding attention form everything that breathes makes this an even better experience. People have literaly stopped their cars just to see if they had just had an alien encounter when I go by.

There are places, even with every good intention of the municipality that one simply should not ride, even in bike lanes, and where riding on the sidewalk is highly recommended. These places are easy to spot, as in where you see multiple instances of maintained roadside memorials. One can never have too good of rearside visibility by way of mirrors... one can never have too much bail-out space when imminent danger is coming up fast behind you.

I just got the Washington Co and the Beaverton bike maps... These are good to study before you embark on your next adventure.

http://www.visitwashingtoncountyoregon.com/bikemap/
no order info but: http://www.beavertonoregon.gov/index.aspx?NID=1031

I got the Beaverton map hardcopy at the THPRD Nature Park at Murrey and TV-Hwy inside at the info center.

Ride safe!

Last edited by Simple Nature; 07-06-2011 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:02 PM
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beelnite beelnite is offline
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Default Eye contact

Even at night on city streets... eye contact with the driver is HUGE!

At an intersection never assume they see you until you see the whites of their eyes. And even then...

Often, if a driver isn't looking my way... I slow up. Then they go, thinking it's clear and turn their head and see me! EERRRRCH. No problem buddy. I saw YOU even if you didn't see me.

It's OK. I'm not mad. Part of the ride. Like cows in the road... cars navigating intersections and "blind" corners.

A wave and a nod is better than squashed and apologies. I've saved countless good people from having to live with my untimely death.
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:14 PM
boneshaker boneshaker is offline
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Something that has saved me innumerable times is not being to the right of a car who may turn. If there is a place to turn, I never put myself next to a car because if they decide suddenly oh-shit-i-missed-my-turn-no-time-to-signal-or-look I know I won't have time to move so I make sure I'm never there to begin with.

Stay safe out there...
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:22 PM
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I also learned today that is it illegal to pass a bus on the right... yes, than means a bike, in a bike lane, cannot pass a Trimet bus. Although this makes sense for survival instincts, I didn't know there was a was a special law specifically to cover Metro's hiney.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple Nature View Post
I also learned today that is it illegal to pass a bus on the right... yes, than means a bike, in a bike lane, cannot pass a Trimet bus. Although this makes sense for survival instincts, I didn't know there was a was a special law specifically to cover Metro's hiney.
Now this is interesting. I have had Trimet buses pause at a bus stop and not cross the white bike lane line. I assume that was so I could more easily clobber a bus rider so that Trimet could collect on this error on my part! My instinct is always to pass a bus on its left. Course observing if it is safe to do so by turning my head to check the traffic behind me and then signaling left, then passing.
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Sometimes when I'm out doing a shopping run, I'll be offered a free sample (cut of pizza, doughnut, cheezywiz thingy)...little do they know that behind every bite is my gasoline!
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simple Nature View Post
I also learned today that is it illegal to pass a bus on the right...
Is that an Oregon statute (ORS) or some more local jurisdiction? Got a reference for the exact code?
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boneshaker View Post
Something that has saved me innumerable times is not being to the right of a car who may turn. If there is a place to turn, I never put myself next to a car because if they decide suddenly oh-shit-i-missed-my-turn-no-time-to-signal-or-look I know I won't have time to move so I make sure I'm never there to begin with.Stay safe out there...
I had an instance in Berkeley CA, where I was riding down College Avenue and a line of cars were stopped waiting for the light to change at Clairemont Ave. I was passing a black SUV when it decided spontaneously to move into a DIAGONAL parking spot and caught my front wheel in its front wheel. I was thrown at least 15 feet into that empty parking spot. Luckily I had taken an anatomy class and knew that it is detrimental to fall on one's hands (wrists -- fragile, upper arm connection--fragile) so I immediately turned mid flight and landed on my back pack. All these folks were staring down at me and telling me to sue and get as much as I could. Thankfully, no harm happened to me. My front wheel was pretzeled, so I asked the SUV owner to pay the forty to replace it! He and his girlfriend drove me home, he was sure shaken.

Yes, a car hovering immediately at one's left is definitely a situation one want's to avoid.

Ironically, I live adjacent to MapleWood Elementary which has diagonal parking for the parents. I purposely ride further into the car lane when I approach this scary demon at the end of my ride. Sometimes you can't leave the past behind entirely!
__________________
Sometimes when I'm out doing a shopping run, I'll be offered a free sample (cut of pizza, doughnut, cheezywiz thingy)...little do they know that behind every bite is my gasoline!

Last edited by Dovestrobe; 07-14-2011 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dovestrobe View Post
<snip>...
Yes, a car hovering immediately at one's left is definitely a situation one want's to avoid.
Or a motor cycle for that matter. I had one do a hard right when I was cooking along at better than 20mph. Hit the binders as I saw the chainring on my recumbent only inches from the cycle's rear swing arm. Learned much later that this did serious damage to my bike. At least no one was injured which easily could have happened. The really stupid thing is that this motorcycle was gauging me for at least 3 blocks!
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