Invisibility is not a Superpower- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    I don't understand what that's supposed to be about.

    If a driver hits you, of course they will say "I didn't see you". No one is going to say "I was daydreaming" or "I was playing with the radio" or "My brain received the sensory inputs but did not correctly process them to allow me to take the appropriate course of action."

    What's the article advocating? It's not for more lights or mirrors, because it gives examples where those didn't work. It's not for being law-abiding, because that doesn't work. It's not for making eye-contact with other drivers, because even that's not enough.

    Perhaps a new form of advocacy is needed—one that transcends either/or mentalities like "motorist" or "cyclist." At the end of the day we're all just a guy or a girl, mother or father, daughter or son, lover, friend…each of us just trying to get through our days with a bit of joy, laughter, some light.
    I question the efficacy of this.

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    I agree. What's the point? If people are not seeing a man in a gorilla suit crossing a lobby, the issue is with that person.

    We have those who are not looking at the road at all, so have no chance to see us. We have those who are looking for cars and filter out cyclists. Outlandish lights and or safety clothing can punch through some of that filtering, but not all.

    "I did not see you" is valid if it is at night an I am riding ninja. If I have all the safety accouterments and then some, the answer is "Why not, you can sure see me now, right?" If you can plainly see me now, why could you not before? Who keeps looking for their keys after they find them, though we often say, "Figures, in the last place I looked!"? If you saw me and hit me we are talking attempted murder. It is however very human to wonder how you screwed up so badly when you don't as a general rule leave a blood bath in your wake.

    People screw up. We need to own our screw-ups. We have a local lawyer the "man on the bike" whose adds ask drivers to be more aware of motorcyclists. That repeated ad drums it in. The interest in being a better safer driver and watching for cyclists and motorcycles has no priority and little interest. It is a mind set or maybe more accurately a lack of a mind set. Driver mind set. And no, it is not our fault if they don't see us if we are as visible as is reasonable. Defensive riding helps. The fact that I now know of three cycling instructors run over from behind tells me that there is a lot of 'driving blind' out there that is hard to detect in time to avoid the collision.

    Safe cycling, all.

  4. #4
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    Do you all run blinkers all the time? Being hit from behind is one of my fears and has me constantly listening for cars coming from the backside. I don't always run one but the more I think about it, the more I probably should even during the day.
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    ^ I do. With rechargeables I figure there's no reason not to. I also wear a high-vis vest which I figure is probably more useful during the day.

    But the article says it doesn't matter - cars will hit you anyway and they will claim they didn't see you. Which ignores the fact that 99.5% of collisions don't involve cyclists, and I'm sure that in a lot of those cases the drivers would also claim that they didn't see the other car.

    Invisibility isn't a cyclist superpower, but blind driving also isn't an excuse.

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    I did like this thought "If a cyclist is visible enough to be yelled at and harrassed, surely they are visible enough to not be struck down. It's one thing to legitimately be blinded by the sun glinting off the windshield; it's quite another to be blinded by rage.". I also agreed that "As cyclists we need to become super-visible. As motorists we need ultra-vision." - addressing just one side of the equation, like cyclists obeying the law and having lights and bright clothing can't hurt, but there needs to be change on drivers' parts too.

  7. #7
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    Problem all comes down to laws and ppl dont own up to their mistakes. Its a 2 way street though. Granted I see far less cyclists than motorcycles do this, but racing through traffic being straight up a-holes. I have almost hit both 2 wheeled varieties, because they think the world stops for them.

    Being a cyclist, I give others when im driving as much room as possible. Not cause a whole lane is needed but so other drivers become aware by my unexplained merge to oncoming lane to pass..a bicycle. Cars behind me follow example. 2-3 more drivers that I may have just taught to see. One less driver on the road hopefully me and others dont have to worry about.

    Dont get me started on motorcycle riders. 50/50 so far for ones I fell deserve to be hit with the attitude they carry when riding.
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  8. #8
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    No, but invincibility would be.

    Yeah, I'm not sure the article isn't really getting anywhere. Drivers and cyclists will never get along.

    I got run over while crossing an intersection when I had the right of way. A lady just lurched forward right over the front end of my bike.

    I was riding with my mom a couple weeks ago on an outer city limits two lane road. Dusk time. We made a right turn at approximately 40 mph (long, wide turn, not screeching around a sharp corner). I saw a guy with a flasher on the back of his bike about 50 yards up and told my mom, "Watch out for that guy."

    Now this guy was hugging the edge of the pavement the best he could, flasher, bright clothes doing everything I imagine possible to be seen, and my mom had the rest of the road, yet still gives this poor guy maybe 6 inches between his left bar and her right mirror. Man I let my mom have it! I was pissed. "I told you there was a guy there. You said you see him. You have all the room in the world to give him, yet you barely missed him. WTF, MOM?!?"

    My point is that cyclists can do everything but add two extra wheels, a motor, lights, and a unibody, thereby converting a bike to a car to avoid being hit on the road. Drivers may have all the necessary information, reaction time, and margin of error they could possibly need to avoid an accident. Yet there will be instances in which people, the cyclist or the driver, will completely blunder the processing of this information into a collision avoidance.

    Looks like it's always going to be completely up to us bikers to avoid getting killed both by riding according to the rules and being the ones who have to react to the dangers.
    Last edited by Saladin; 10-05-2014 at 08:29 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    I don't understand what that's supposed to be about.

    If a driver hits you, of course they will say "I didn't see you". No one is going to say "I was daydreaming" or "I was playing with the radio" or "My brain received the sensory inputs but did not correctly process them to allow me to take the appropriate course of action."

    What's the article advocating? It's not for more lights or mirrors, because it gives examples where those didn't work. It's not for being law-abiding, because that doesn't work. It's not for making eye-contact with other drivers, because even that's not enough.



    I question the efficacy of this.
    Interesting thing about this, and I'm going to be somewhat tangential here. But here's my question: why do we feel that the author has to pass judgement or moralize?

    I went to see a play - well, it was a one guy performance, so I guess that's a monologue - and the guy told stories in a more or less cohesive manner. The thing is, he told stories about some pretty crucial and relevant sh*t but never explicitly stated any sort of belief on the matter (except for once or twice). A lot of people hated it. It was offensive, it was crude, but it was real, and I appreciated the intent on letting me make what I want of a situation.

    So now here I go. Why does the author have to have the solution? What if it was more important for them to bring information into scope so that readers can analyze it and further develop a new, safer cyclist worldview or advocacy? Was I crazy about the article? Not exactly, but here's the thing - the author doesn't need to instill a sense of urgency or advocacy in us by pleading or moralizing about cyclist visibility and the issue of "not being seen" by drivers. What is stopping us from viewing information that they may have strung up in some way with some aesthetic purpose and making what we will of that?

    I'm going to get more blinky lights.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    I'm going to get more blinky lights.
    Doesn't matter. Get sirens too. My mom will still take you down.
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  11. #11
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    I'll take on your mom any day!!!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Interesting thing about this, and I'm going to be somewhat tangential here. But here's my question: why do we feel that the author has to pass judgement or moralize?
    I had debated adding a parenthetical to the end of my post: "(mostly I just think the headline is stupid)." Because I really do think the headline is stupid...along with the twee childhood dreams stuff.

    A fatalistic article with no moralizing - "try to be as safe as you can, but you could still be hit by a daydreamer" - would be fine as a depressing realitycheck.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    I had debated adding a parenthetical to the end of my post: "(mostly I just think the headline is stupid)." Because I really do think the headline is stupid...along with the twee childhood dreams stuff.

    A fatalistic article with no moralizing - "try to be as safe as you can, but you could still be hit by a daydreamer" - would be fine as a depressing realitycheck.
    Yeah, That'd be refreshing for sure. And yeah, the headline is goofy. Honestly I think the aesthetic they went for was, too. Meh. Just something that struck me.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    Do you all run blinkers all the time? Being hit from behind is one of my fears and has me constantly listening for cars coming from the backside. I don't always run one but the more I think about it, the more I probably should even during the day.
    This has been evolutionary for me. In the 70's to early 80's bike craze riding in campus towns, the motorist awareness was higher. More cyclists. I eventually got a helmet one of these after a too-close to death accident:

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    Bike lights were crap and not required. Streets were well lit.

    I resumed riding here when they repaved the subdivision as my wheels would not have survived the craters. This is before gas got high and the economy low and there were few cyclists. A mirror confirmed what the ears said: too many people drove too close to my rear tire too fast for my safety. A sudden flat, pothole, or squirrel and I'd be a road pizza.

    My search and testing said that in sunlight a Hi-Vis vest or jacket is hard to beat, combine it with at least one 1 watt or higher blinkie, and drivers start to slow earlier and plan how they will overtake. Redundant blinkers are more effective in their interfering cadences and are backups. Reduced the slaming on the brakes at the last minute crap. Cloudy days, shade trees, sun in the eyes up the ante for lights as the Hi-Vis is not so high visibility, and sunlight washes out 1/2 watt lights to uselessness. I use a 1 watt blinkie in the helmet, a 2 watt on the seatpost and 200 lumens of solid on wide angle lights on the back of the rack. They are comparable to car brake lights in power. And the Hi-Vis vest. This gets 99% of drivers moving over when I ride the shoulder of 2 or 4 lane roads. About half of the 1% who don't move are at the 3' mark plus or minus a bit. A few of the closer half have mirrors coming near enough that I suspect that it's intentional.

    My increased perspicuousness will not help inattentiveness from any cause. But if they trying to drive at all properly they will see me. My bike in a courtroom will convert "I did not see you!" into "I was driving like an idiot!. I just hope exist to testify.


    Quote Originally Posted by Saladin View Post
    No, but invincibility would be.

    I was riding with my mom a couple weeks ago on an outer city limits two lane road. ... I saw a guy with a flasher on the back of his bike about 50 yards up and told my mom, "Watch out for that guy."... yet still gives this poor guy maybe 6 inches between his left bar and her right mirror. ...

    Looks like it's always going to be completely up to us bikers to avoid getting killed.
    I had a driver who would have mirrored me had she still had a right hand mirror while her son screamed at her and she forced an oncoming car of the road then only 50' after passing pulled into a parking spot. This was before the Hi-Vis vest, with a single 1/2 watt Superflash. I was taking the lane and it was just before a blind corner on a bright sunlit day but under shade trees. A complete idiot behind the wheel!

    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    I had debated adding a parenthetical to the end of my post: "(mostly I just think the headline is stupid)." .
    I also vote for invincibility. Walking away from cars with me-shaped dents in them and the steam rising from the ruined front ends. It isn't happening, but it is a fun thought.

  15. #15
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saladin View Post
    Doesn't matter. Get sirens too. My mom will still take you down.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    I'll take on your mom any day!!!
    Well, this got interesting rather quickly.
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