How do you deal with it mentally?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    The Martian
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well How do you deal with it mentally?

    How do you deal with getting cut off, side swiped, squeezed off the road, and otherwise put in danger by careless (or actually malicious!) individuals in cars?

    I'm not talking about in the heat of the moment. I realize probably the best you can actually do on the road is ride defensively, be on alert, be in control, and assume no one sees you, etc.

    I'm talking about mentally. I find these incidents starting to scare the crap out of me, perhaps more than they should. Sometimes they even make it hard for me to finish my ride (I've found myself shaking so hard I have to get off and walk a few blocks at times!). Lately I've been noticing I really have to talk myself into getting on my bike and going somewhere, even to the grocery store (and I HAVE to eat!). I find myself walking a whole lot more and looking at the bike longingly as I walk out the door thinking "I want to ride, but I don't want to die today" (or similar). I almost never ride my roadbike "just cuz" anymore and I have to fight myself to get on the mountain bike because I have to ride so much road to get to the trails. This is not how I want to live!

    So how do you guys deal with getting up and getting back on the road every day? Am I the only one that wrestles with these problems?

  2. #2
    ride like you stole it
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    just force yourself to ride, one of those face your fears kind of things. If you keep it up and don't let yourself walk your bike you'll just get used to it and it wont bother you. But if it is truly dangerous to ride your bike I would suggest taking the route thats less traveled, like keeping off of main roads.

    The biggest thing right now (at least for me it would be) is to not take a break from commuting on your bike right now because it's affecting you so much mentally that the fear could build up in your mind.
    I lubed my disc brakes because they squeaked.
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  3. #3
    nnn
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    In central London the only reason I can keep riding is I ride a LOT - I know every bit of street, I've seen all type of drivers and pedestrians and feel secure and familiar in predicting what's going to happen most of the time. If for some reason I stop commuting for a while ( say a few weeks in the summer) it's quite scary at first, but you have to keep it up and become confident in your skills to take things on - don't be brash or stupid, but also don't be timid - stand your ground! We have as much right to use public roads as cars do and as long as I stop at traffic lights cars will give me way when they have to give me way even if it means I cut them off and make them stop to embarass them in front of everyone...
    I used to get very worked up and angry at drivers but nowadays I just accept half of them are idiots who shouldn't be let to drive milk-cars, let alone 4x4s but that's life, learn to recognise them and avoid them - make your presence known and put them in their place.
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  4. #4
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    I feel your pain. Everytime I commute to school I always get at least one driver not paying attention who almost kills me. This past week I was on the highway with a wide shoulder. I was all the way over on the right side of the shoulder and some asshat was on his cell phone and swerved onto the shoulder and just missed me and he must've not been paying attention because he jerked the wheel to the left and about side swiped a car at 55 mph.

    The back roads aren't much better. People like to be in the opposite lane coming around corners and I have almost been run over by rednecks in pick ups trying to take the corners on this hill as fast as they can. It sucks. I feel your pain. As I say my biggest fear isn't being killed, it's some jerkoff running over me and then just driving away and no one knowing what happened to me.

    It sucks.

  5. #5
    Double-metric mtb man
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    I feel your pain too. We've got very aggressive drivers here locally (and some poor cyclists..but that's another tale). I've witnessed drivers swerving at or close range honking/yelling at cyclists, I know someone who has been clipped (driver didn't stop) and I've had stuff thrown at me and been yelled at a few times.

    I've found that if you be assertive and predictable in your riding, then things are generally not too bad.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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  6. #6
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    I've dealt with plenty of these kind of drivers -- but the problem seems to have largely melted away, after a newspaper article last year (go figure!).

    But when I was dealing with them, I would usually, while finishing the ride, sometimes even at work (I work with my hands), construct elaborate scenarios in my mind about their painful degradation and shedding of blood.
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  7. #7
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    I am rarely surprised by a motorist's actions. When they do do it, or pass illegally, I chase them and talk to them about looking out for cyclists and the 3ft passing distance. I try to be nice. Sometimes they are really pissed off and offended, at least initially. I had a guy on a motorcycle (with his kid on the back) start swearing at me and flicking me off because I nicely told him that he passed too close and the law is 3ft. A few blocks later I told him that I was just trying to ride safe and that he should cool it and he agreed and apologized. Something happens to people when they get behind the wheel and drive in traffic. It happens to me too (not that I have a car, but I do have a license). Riding a bike puts you outside the normal traffic flow into your own (usually) peaceful realm.

  8. #8
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    You could do like I do when I ride. I carry a heavy sure fire flash light or some heavy object and one time a car kept buzzing me as I rode down a 35 mph street. They were teenage kids and they would accelerate and then slow down and each time would get right up next to me almost clipping me with their car and laughing. After about 4 times with this method I pulled out my sock of coins from my pocket and threw it at their windshield. Jackasses about $%%# their pants. Little bastards.

    I can't believe when people see a biker they see it as a free pass to try and play chicken with them. Personally I wish cops would ticket cars that drive this way!

    I know for a fact a car was purposely trying to force me off the road on a main street and a cop was about 3 cars behind him and saw the whole thing and never did anything.

  9. #9
    The Martian
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    Thanks for the input everyone. I commute daily, but I only have about 1.5 miles of very tame federally restricted streets to get to work (old military base). I only get out on real streets a few times a week; I guess I should make an effort to do it more often.

    I rode through the odd shaking feeling (except I actually shake! like jello.) this weekend. I think I might have looked almost drunk there for a few hundred feet.... Felt better afterwards, until I got cut off again less than half a mile up the road *sigh*.

    It'll be nice to have an uneventful ride or two again! Normally my area is pretty bike friendly.

  10. #10
    NormalNorm
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    You really have to assume that everyone driving is a complete idiot and be really defensive. There is no second chance. Scary but true.

    I find that riding in traffic is a confidence thing and that you only get it by riding in traffic more.

  11. #11
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    I live in a city that is self proclamed a bicycle friendly city, not especially true when you are commuting year round on a bike. I get many a insult while riding by college kids and red-necks. it used to piss me off and I would yell back and let them know that they pissed me off.

    But, over the past year I have been working on letting it all go. reasons.
    1. I am ridding my bike and i am happy.
    2. they are driving their car and wasting money.
    3. I know if they are yelling and being pissed off at me, they are having a much worse day than I am.
    4. since they do not know me and we have most likely never met before, their anger is directed at me since I am not like them at the moment, and am smiling.
    5. I am come to the realization that since their anger is not personally directed at me, I need to let it go, so that I can enjoy my ride. plus if they can let anger out and not go home and have a messed up family life, i can take it.

    i know it sounds out there, but I have found it helps. please continue to commute, you will be happier.

    also look at maps, find longer/more sceinic routes to ride away from the trafic.

  12. #12
    HTFU and Ride
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    i am lucky, i ride in the country and there isn't too much traffic and even the rednecks seem to give me plenty of room

    i agree with the comments about just getting out and riding. the more diverse situations you encounter on the bike the more comfortable you will be the next time.

    also check out www.yehudamoon.com! great comic strip about cycling in general. lots of good commuter stuff
    Winter is coming.

  13. #13
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    I dunno where you ride, but it sounds really...hostile. Maybe you should get a mountain bike, and go back ways, off road? Lots of people do that here in Santa Fe because of the asshats they allow to get a license in this state.

  14. #14
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    What I do is develop routes, I adjust them until they are as safe as I can make them..

    Of course they all have dangerous spots etc. so I develop strategies to mitigate the dangers at each spot...

    I plan it so that I am highly visible and as safe as can be...

    When I go off my routes, I ride especially carefully...

  15. #15

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    All great points so far. My commute's 12 miles through a SF suburb, or a 25 mile commute with a ferry hookup to The City. My two rupees from my experiences:

    1. Route planning can make all the difference. The shortest or most direct route isn't always the best one. It takes experimentation.

    2. Look at it like a MTB line: anticipate, look ahead, previsualize threats, and remember that unlike MTBing, obstacles in commuting can move. Make that a challenge to be the craftiest rider, riding between the raindrops so to speak. Abstracting people and vehicles and challenges as obstacles will help keep you from feeling hateful, takes the emotional edge off.

    3. Always look for an exit. I've got my routes down so I can expect where traffic flow will narrow and where I can, and sometimes should, hop onto a sidewalk to avoid real nastiness...sidewalks are my escape routes, never to be ridden normally but there if you need to bail out of intense situations (for, like, 1/3 of a block or so - I NEVER do this in urban environments, way more risk than reward).

    4. Practice sudden braking. The most dangerous area I bike through? School zones. Those long queues of uncaffeinated, harried parents dropping a vanload of loud neighbor's' kids off makes drivers EXTREMELY unattentive, at least to non-ped traffic. I've learned how to front-wheelie not by choice. Again, don't harbor grudges. Make eye contact to prove your point and get on with your commute/life.

    5. I feel safer biking in big cities (read: bike aware) than the burbs!

    -Atomick

  16. #16
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    Yup, most dangerous driver is a soccer mom driving the kids, and talking on the cell, absolutely no care or attention at all...

  17. #17
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    great thread and as i try to commute daily I run into more problems. Luckily it's only a 2.5 mile commute so driving seems absurd any way. What I'm learning is to try to make eye contact with drivers, that doesn't always work so I keep my hands near the brakes when necessary. I might holler at someone if they pass too close but what good does that do?

    I actually had a guy yell at me for being in the center of the lane in a downtown street (20 mph) I politely told him that I took the entire lane in this instance because there was debris in the shoulder - he didn't care and told me to f off. No matter. I wasted a little more energy in exchanging harsh words but I realized that I was simply wasting my breath. Not only that but a guy in a pick up truck and me on my bike, I wonder who would win in a head on collision? Something to keep in mind - I rarely give hand gestures these days. Best to leave the coffin drivers alone usually.
    My one says BRAP!

  18. #18
    The Martian
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    I personally just *love* it when I'm speeding (15 or 20 MPH zone and I'm going downhill) and they still just HAVE to pass me!

    It's like there is some stupid mental thing about "gotta go faster than that stupid slow cyclist" no matter how fast the "slow" cyclist is going.

    I almost got hit a few weeks ago going through a federal security gate full speed a couple hundred feet from a stop sign. The tire marks are still there from where I decided to get aggressive and take the whole lane (it was that or get impaled on a iron security fence and I decided if the dude was going to hit me there wasn't a better place in the world for him to do it). The guard just looked at the guy and went back to his computer game. THAT made me angry! Not that I was surprised.

    I had a good confidence building ride to my friend's concert this week. Hopefully I can get over my weird fear response as it's just dangerous and makes the situation worse.

  19. #19
    paintbucket
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    I deal with it by realizing that 99.99% of the time I'm not really in any danger at all even when I have to get on the brakes hard or take other evasive action. Drivers, even stupid ones, are pretty predictable, and staying out of harms way is usually pretty easy if you're paying attention.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  20. #20
    Outrageously happy
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    Since I've started commuting, I've developed a huge case of Tourrette's. I'll yell at drivers if they aren't looking at me, and I think they should be. I don't want the last thing I ever see to be some hausfrau in an SUV, yapping on a cell phone to some other hausfrau in an SUV. Yelling is a great stress reliever, too, but I suppose that is also the reason I usually ride alone.

    Seriously, just do everything you can to remind drivers you are there. Most drivers are pretty cool, give plenty of space and time, and often smile and wave. Those are the ones I don't yell at!

  21. #21
    meow, meow.
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    I learned to avoid roads like the plague. In the city, I'm always looking for weird routes through yards, pedestrian-only bridges, sidewalks, littered commons and the like, but never the occupied roads, and very rarely secondary roads at late evenings (and even then I'm only forced to ride the road because it's better lit than the sidewalk -- those become scary minefields in the dark, with all the broken glass, open hatches, bent steel rods protruding from the ground and piles of dog ****). I only ride the shortest route to work (4km) when weather conditions make all the longer routes hardly passable (like heavy snowfalls or lots of melting snow in spring).

    Another big reason to avoid traffic is that I get to breathe *much* cleaner air! I don't mean just car exhaust (which is horrible and very offensive -- looks like all the officials who are supposed to keep car exhaust in check are bribed), but the omnipresent dust this city is notorious for.

    I feel at war with the city. It is my sworn enemy. And my cause (and every other cyclist's) is just.

    P.S. One thing I forgot to mention. I have neither a car, nor a driving license, or an intention to ever drive a car. The world may burn in whatever hell it chooses, only without me taking part in maintaining car-centric civilization.
    Last edited by J. Random Psycho; 05-08-2008 at 09:25 PM.

  22. #22
    Like catnip for people
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    >I personally just *love* it when I'm speeding (15 or 20 MPH zone and I'm >going downhill) and they still just HAVE to pass me!

    And then they proceed to drive slowly once past you, especially around corners... That really irks me.

  23. #23
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    I still haven't come to terms with how to deal with careless drivers. I'm still grappling and trying to figure out if I should let my rage and 6'4" frame serve swift justice to drivers or if I should relax and take it like a man. I think its kinda like Vietnam, you have to "be there" to really understand how frustrating cycling can be. It blows my mind to imagine how some of you guys/gals who live in denser urban areas with no bike lanes can commute every day.

    I ride in a very cycling-friendly city, Irvine, CA, located in the heart of Orange County (population 202,000 as of 2007). We have wide bike lanes almost everywhere on both major streets (6 lanes, 3 each way) and arterial ways thanks to the master planning of the Irvine Company who owns and developed the entire city. There are tons of bike clubs, high end bike stores, and several multi-use paved paths that link together throughout the city. After living here for 2 years, anytime I go outside of my zip code I'm amazed how poorly other cities are planned--lacking bike lanes, back-assward intersections with dangerous turns, signs and buildings obstructing one's view of the intersection and corners, driveways where they shouldn't be, etc.

    Irvine was ranked the safest city in California for the third year in a row (see https://www.ocregister.com/ocregiste...le_1702349.php). We have tons of police and the saying around here is if you drive a car over 5 years old you're likely to get pulled over. Thats not to say Irvine is wealthy, the median household income is $80,000, and keep in mind that Orange County is one of the most expensive places to live (I pay $1,600 per month for rent for a crappy 2 bedroom apartment).

    Being master planned, there are street lights throughout the entire city, the grass and hedges are always trimmed neatly by an army of robots (read day laborers), lane markers are pristinely white, and the intersections always have 3-4 lights indicating vehicle traffic in each direction. You don't have one flimsy light hanging from a wire and blowing in the wind, we're talking about huge freeway style infrastructure poles with optical sensors for fire trucks, cameras, and bright LED fail-proof green traffic lights. There are even bicycle push-buttons at almost every intersection so you don't have to get off your bike and press the cross walk button. Everyone is always aware of when to go, when to stop, what direction other people are turning, and who's coming from where. Driving around here makes you think you're Nostradamus and you can predict the actions of other motorists before they happen--just the way the city wants it to be.

    When I started cycling two years ago, I used to think that the master planning of the city and all the precautions they take for cyclists will keep me safe. Then I pulled my head out of the sand.

    The problem in my particular neck of the woods isn't the city, its the drivers.

    In Irvine I still find drivers to be inconceivably lazy, impatient and thoughtless with respect to cyclists and especially pedestrian traffic. I can't cross a street here while walking to the bank without worrying about getting train wrecked around a right-hand corner by a 6,000lb gas guzzling hummer or an over-the-hill bleach-blond split-end "OC Housewife" wannabe commuting to work from Newport Beach to pay the minimum payment on her negative amortization mortgage for her McMansion in an S-class Mercedes because her husband lost his high paying executive mortgage job at New Century.

    When I drive in this city myself, I find thoughts running through my head like "Maybe I should trade in my 4,000lb Toyota Tacoma for a 8,000lb Toyota Tundra and put a 12-inch body lift on it and weld 2-inch thick steel plating on the sides just in case one of these morons isn't paying attention and T-bones me."

    Motorists very rarely obey right-hand turn red lights and almost always roll stop signs. Lad-die-da-do-do-doop. They just roll up and round the corner or roll the intersection while only looking for a larger vehicle. Cyclists? Phhhfff. Pedestrians? If I don't see them, they don't exist!

    As a cyclist I don't get a as many motorists driving in my lane on straight stretches of road compared to other cities since there is normally ample real estate, thanks again to the master planning (unlike most cities where they just expand roads using creative means such as narrowing lanes, digging up sidewalks, putting up no parking zones, and removing the bike lane), however, while driving myself, which I try to do very little of, I still see oblivious drivers talking on their cell phones and drinking coffee while swerving into the bike lane.

    I was behind one lady recently who was swerving in and out of the bike line while tailgating 5 feet from the car in front of her as she put on her morning over-priced Covergirl eye shadow and lip gloss. Attention drivers: When you're tailgating someone you cannot effectively see around the car infront of you and therefore cannot see that cyclist you're about to run over.

    No matter how safe and well designed a city may be, the root of the problem we face everyday lies with motorists. Anyone can get a license to drive a tank and kill in this country. ANYONE. Gray Davis wanted to give driver's licenses to illegal aliens for Christ's sake.

    Our driving tests are worthless. They're offered in a million languages (Amharic, Hindi, Portuguese, Tagalog, Armenian, Hmong, Punjabi, Thai, Arabic, Japanese, Russian, Tongan, Cambodian, Korean, Samoan, Vietnamese, Chinese, Laotian, Spanish, and Farsi/Persian) Why the hell are they offered in any language other than english? Der, what does that sign that says "SHARE THE ROAD" mean?



    Motorists in Southern California don't take driving seriously. They think it is a mandated, institutionalized, god given right. The police do not enforce bicycle laws--except write tickets for running a stop sign, yeah, I got one of those in Laguna Beach at 8AM in the morning with nobody around--and if you call dispatch with a report that a car almost took you out intentionally they laugh and say call back if you have another problem (this happened to me when a thug slammed on the gas to try and clip me while crossing the street).

    I hate to be pessimistic but I have absolutely no faith in drivers. Cycling will never be reasonably safe with the tanks until people take driving seriously. Every time you get behind the wheel of a car you take the lives of cyclists, pedestrians, and other drivers in your hand.



    (A gathering to mourn the death of the school teacher and cyclist Christy Kirkwood on Santiago Canyon road. There are memorials covered in flowers and photos all along this highway of cyclists killed by irresponsible drivers).

    https://www.ocregister.com/articles/...0-road-cycling
    Last edited by tribune; 05-09-2008 at 12:02 AM.

  24. #24
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    I used to get really worked up over this sort of stuff. It really was effecting my desire to and enjoyment of riding. So instead of fixating on everyone that gave me a little less room than I thought they should and getting all worked up, I started trying to focus on the safer drivers, instead of angry gestures at anyone that crowded me, I waved at people that passed me patiently. It worked--I realized a LOT more people were cool about it than not, and it allowed me to really notice how few people were really a serious threat. Really helped my frame of mind.

    I also find a "what the hell?" shrug/gesture gets the message across without inflaming the situation as much as a middle finger. I save that for the REAL jerks...

  25. #25
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    Commute Safely?

    Two things I can think of of hand.(1) Get a REAL LOUD WHISTLE (like a Police whistle) and put it on a string around your neck so you can give A NICE LOUD BLAST when you need to. Or an air horn of some type, since we don't have the benefit of a car horn. (2) REAL HIGH VISIBILITY. But that can be bad or good, depending on the circumstances. Watch out that some nutzoid doesn't "target" you because you ARE easy to see. I use white cruiser tires (Kenda K-130) and I'm going to put some reflective tape between my spokes on the rims. That way I can be all lit up like Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. ...And watch out for this: I read once about a guy who was trying to cross a street on a bike. The Motorist stopped and motioned to him to go ahead and cross in front of him.The biker thanked him,at started across. As soon as the biker got in front of the car,THE DRIVER FLOORED THE GAS PEDAL AND TRIED TO RUN HIM DOWN !!!! So be careful guys. ---zarr

  26. #26
    PM Me for Wood Fenders
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    I've found it effective to ride closer to the center of the lane but still on the right side of it. This is essentially taking ownership of the lane but still allowing space for you to move over when a vehicle does approach. It slows them down, you move over to give them room to pass rather than them squeezing you off the road. It's all part of letting people know you are out there and establishing that you have that right as much as they have the right to drive their car. With gas approaching 4 bucks a gallon it will be interesting to see who migrates to the pedal power and the vehicle masses see more people commuting via bike.

    Ouside of avoiding roads on my commute, one thing that also helps me stay with the flow is listening to music. Now I'm not trying to start a new thread/topic, but when I ride I have an ear bud on my right and nothing on my left/car side. That way I can still hear veicles approaching but still have some tunes to absorb in.

    Just be careful and aware of what's going around you. I also ride a Cross Check. I get the added speed over a MTB but have the build to go off road when needed or desired.
    The wood is being bent! Let me know what you need!

  27. #27
    All That is Man
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    Don't think about it. That's how you do it. I know at any moment a car could swerve and take me out, but I can't live in constant fear becuase that's just not living. Obviously ride very defensively.
    John

  28. #28
    maker of trail
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    When I ride on the road, I ride aggressively, and stick to the road rules. I guess having been a motorcyclist helps here too.

    I stay in lane, don't dodge in and out of parked cars to maintain visibility.
    I use turning lanes as if I was a car.
    Sure some times things get tight, but thats because the roads get tight.

    I have yet to have any issues riding on the road.

    Being both a driver and a cyclist in my city, I tell you, there are some freekin idiots on the road riding bikes, ones that cause problems for themselves probably because they are oblivious to the road rules, don't have lights at night, or are simply to timid to take their place on the road.

    One of my favorite is the cyclists in the right turning lane at a light and wanting to go straight thus blocking right turning traffic (right turn on red allowed) and wondering why people get pissy with them, rather then siting between the turning and straight lanes...

  29. #29

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    I carry something heavy as well... about 30 pounds worth of college text and computer stuff... works well when the airhorn on my bike don't make the message clear!!!
    LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE CROSSING YOU DRIVING IDIOTS

  30. #30

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    I treat all drivers equally they are all idiots and must be treated as such... I find myself using the bike rack on the public transit more... I end up with less death threats and usually arrive a few minutes behind schedule which I make up for on my bicycle. I use my airhorn often despite the use sparingly warning... when I approach an intersection I use it if there are cars making right hand turns, and I didn't get a chance to go to the left lane. Use it just about everywhere someone honked back which then tried to speed off in an old junk Buick I caught up and honked this time at the driver window

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by elgeneralsv
    I treat all drivers equally they are all idiots and must be treated as such... I find myself using the bike rack on the public transit more... I end up with less death threats and usually arrive a few minutes behind schedule which I make up for on my bicycle. I use my airhorn often despite the use sparingly warning... when I approach an intersection I use it if there are cars making right hand turns, and I didn't get a chance to go to the left lane. Use it just about everywhere someone honked back which then tried to speed off in an old junk Buick I caught up and honked this time at the driver window
    Be careful if you use a police whistle. Somebody might think you are stopping them to give them a ticket.

  32. #32
    Red Rider
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    Dealing with your commute mentally

    In the past 4 years, I have been commuting off and on and I have had a d**khead or two cut me off, pull out in front of me or yell really loud to try and startle me. Even had a few yelling at me about being in the street (where I am supposed to be by law). Had a young boy toss something at me and hit me in my arm as I rode by about a month ago. Had kids toss crap out of the school bus at me on two other occassions. It gets to me some days and it can be really stressful but I still ride because of the conveinience, the savings, the health benefits and most importantly, the love of cycling and the bike culture. It's what keeps me focused and how I overcome the mental issues involved.

    I have never been stressed to the point that I won't get on my bike but in the last 6 - 8 months, I have noticed that just before I get ready to commute to or from work, I get this feeling of anxiety. I feel like a have butteflies in my stomach and a weird nervousness. I can't really explain why because it's not like I ever had anything really serious happen during my commuting but the feeling has lead me to be even more cautious as I commute. I do most of my commuting late in the evening or at night but I have been doing that for well over 4 years so I don't think that is the issue I am having with the anxiety

    My best advice is to commute at a time and on routes with less traffic. Also to ride defensively and to manage risk in your commute on the bike. Maybe you can mix it up with driving, taking public transportation and walking (if your job is close by). Instead of commuting to work, maye you should limit it to just running errands, exercise or hanging out on your bike. I have found that being very familiar with what you ride greatly reduces the stress you feel on the bike. Handling, braking and cornering becomes second nature so you're not surprised by how the bike responds when a situation comes up.

    I hope this helps and I hope that you overcome the stress issue and ride your bike.
    RIDE OR DIE...

  33. #33
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    karma. if i ride well, i will be treated well. if someone cuts me up, they will get stuck in traffic, or get stuck behing a slow moving manure truck.
    plus, napalm death on my mp3 player

  34. #34
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    I want a muriatic acid water pistol to ruin their paint.

    But seriously, when I was a m/c courier, I developed a really good attitude. I looked at it as a challenge. A very defensive challenge. A headgame I play for my own survival. Can I anticipate, be soo aware, spot the signs, spot the escape route, etc of a bad situation and keep it from happening? It makes for a very conscious ride. I once rode my m/c up on a sidewalk and totally missed the car that would've smacked right into me. I saw what was about to happen and speeded up my response to get ahead of it. I helps that I had 900 cc.

    Now I don't. It's very different when it's just my legs. I feel a lot more vulnerable. But the head game and eye training is still good preventative riding technique and I still like it.

    Eye contact is good, but I've had drivers look right at me and speed up so they'd be in place in time for me to hit them on their driver's side door (that's when I started fantasizing about the muriatic acid pistol).

    I'm not perfect at it, and I do get mad at stupid drivers, but I do like the escape from my own ego. Basically, it's not who's right or wrong (ego driven) but how do I get there as effectively as possible (pure goal driven).

    And at night, besides my own see me lights, my headlight is pointed to aim directly into the side view mirror. They may not look for you when they go to open their door, but their eyes do come near enough to the reflection angle that they'll get a spot of light and stop. That's the theory anyway.

    I've also noticed that since I forgot to toe in my new brake pads, the outraged pig squeal gets a lot of respect.

    But my main point is that if I couldn't see it as a challenge that I'm totally up for, I wouldn't do it.

    c

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekJeff
    I've found it effective to ride closer to the center of the lane but still on the right side of it. This is essentially taking ownership of the lane but still allowing space for you to move over when a vehicle does approach. It slows them down, you move over to give them room to pass rather than them squeezing you off the road. It's all part of letting people know you are out there and establishing that you have that right as much as they have the right to drive their car. With gas approaching 4 bucks a gallon it will be interesting to see who migrates to the pedal power and the vehicle masses see more people commuting via bike.

    Ouside of avoiding roads on my commute, one thing that also helps me stay with the flow is listening to music. Now I'm not trying to start a new thread/topic, but when I ride I have an ear bud on my right and nothing on my left/car side. That way I can still hear veicles approaching but still have some tunes to absorb in.

    Just be careful and aware of what's going around you. I also ride a Cross Check. I get the added speed over a MTB but have the build to go off road when needed or desired.
    I too ride closer to the center of the right lane on a two lane road every day. I found riding too far to the right had cars squeezing by me in my lane. Ironically, one day I was riding right/center and not one, but two police cars has passed shouting at me to move to the far right? I wondered if even these dumbsh*ts don't know the law.
    Draft College Republicans

  36. #36
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    Head on a swivel, always looking for danger. Behind every corner lurks a fool with a mocha waiting to step out looking away from you, in every alley and cross street is a car waiting to jump into traffic. Learn to assume and plan for the worst option in all traffic encounters, and your preparation will give you the confidence you need. Don't ever think, "I have the right of way, so the car won't pull out/change lanes/cut me off, etc." They will, and it's up to you and you cyclist's heightened sense of self preservation to anticipate and avoid it.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by rearviewmirror
    I too ride closer to the center of the right lane on a two lane road every day. I found riding too far to the right had cars squeezing by me in my lane. Ironically, one day I was riding right/center and not one, but two police cars has passed shouting at me to move to the far right? I wondered if even these dumbsh*ts don't know the law.
    My 'trick' here for any car that get's too close to me, I wobble a bit like I'm put off balance by them being so close and 'accidentally' my foot clips the side of their car.

    Of course, this starts an argument so I only save it for needed occasions, but then I politely explain that they put me off balance and if I was close enough to touch their car, it's too close and I could easily be dragged under and they could face a manslaughter charge rather than a small dent.

    I also sleep sound in the knowledge that I can out run them in traffic if needed any way.

    In all honesty though, it's hard to ride on the road safely these days because people just don't understand / accept you being there. The best thing to do it take your time, take up a lane so they can't squeeze past and ignore the shouts (although sometimes that seems to make them worse for some reason, and don't even get started on smiling at them)!!

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