Would These 5 Changes Actually Help Cyclists?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Would These 5 Changes Actually Help Cyclists?

  2. #2
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    1. "Even in a hypothetical situation where they could save 100% of all head injuries, you'd still end up shortening more lives if [making] people wear them reduced cycle usage by 2-3%," says Geffen.

    Car air bags were imposed based on crash test dummy results. Is there any comparable bike helmet data? (Let's set aside poorly built shrapnel producing air bags, though lousy helmets surely exist, too.)

    My impressions from one fall on ice and the blown tire episode, is I saved facial and scalp injury in one case, and being scalped in the second. The helmet completely shattered and my concussion was significant in the second and I suspect the helmet was not up to the task. So if helmets are to be mandated we need good third party assessments to decide which to buy.

    2. "Some 44% of fatal cycling accidents are caused by drivers failing to look properly."

    Some are blinded by mental filters so they don't see the obvious cyclist. (rememebr the gorilla in the atrium experiment?) Some are not looking at the road (distracted). These are not going to see you. Bright lights might help if the driver scans the road occasionally. A motorcyclist/lawyer advertises on TV asking drivers to stop and look a second time for motorcycles. Given the 50-80% of rolling stops here, I am unsure of how effective this is, (maybe they realize they have to roll slower or actually stop (Gasp!) to get two good looks in?) but he is putting his money where his safety is.

    "Clothing made almost no statistically significant difference - 1-2% of drivers always drove dangerously close."

    That is my number with bright lights and Hi-Vis in the day, too. It was far worse (10-20%) before the bright lights were added where I can be seen readily a half milt to a mile away (30-60 seconds warning).

    My feeling is that it all helps. Nothing is a cure as that 1-2% lies squarely with the drivers.

    3. Headphones. Any that let no ambient noise in are not helping the cyclist ride safely. I depend on my hearing to alert me to traffic behind when traffic in front has my attention. My tinnitus interferes enough, I don't need earphones to mess me up more. Prius sneaking up in stealthy silence can be a problem. No one wants to restrict the deaf from cycling, but making ourselves deaf is not wise. Surely we can let Darwinian selection kick in for the terminally stupid and not legislate this? Research into whether some ear buds would not interfere too much with traffic sounds would be nice. Bose over the ear noise canceling earphones seem stupid. Although my 20 hp V-Twin John Deere is still quite audible, though a lot quieter, so maybe if not dialed up to 11 on the volume control, they can be worn safely? We now have water resistant bluetooth speakers so we don't have to give up the tunes to ride. If I elect to wear ear buds and use a volume that lets me hear all but the quietest traffic, that does not seem to be worth a law just because some idiots will crank the volume? What about cagers with the bass booming out of them? That messes up my hearing a lot more. I think the safety advice on this is the right approach. This says it all:

    "A study by an Australian magazine found that cyclists listening to music could hear more ambient traffic noise than people in cars with the windows up - even with no music at all."

    So the complaining cagers have the no evidence for their biased views, though I suspect too loud a setting would be a problem, but you can't enforce a volume setting below many decibels as shown by those loud car sound systems.

    4. "Positioning is by the far the biggest influence a cyclist can have on his or her own safety," says Franklin. "If I had to teach somebody one thing about cycling it would be that." The optimal position depends on the situation, although never hugging the kerb, he says. The absolute minimum is half a metre, says Franklin.

    Wisconsin law allows a cyclist a yard (almost twice the half meter). I agree with the above statement based on decades of riding. Yes, there is some tendency to crowd when I ride the right tire wear mark, but with my lights warning them so far in advance, I get little of that now. So I think some of these things like attempting to be visible and forcing passing in the oncoming lane are complementary.

    5 Flashing and non-flashing lights. "Much depends on context, says Chris Juden, technical officer at CTC." Yep. I use both either together or separately. It is easy to mis a flash with a blink of the eye or the turn of a head so I mix flash and steady up front in the day. I don't have enough street lighting to use flashing front lights at night. The back is a mix of flash, pulse and constant. Redundancy in case of battery or light issues is best, too. In my rural and not too-urban situation, what I do works. I defer to others for the overwhelming lights of heavy urban traffic riding.

    What works in one cycling environment or even time of the day may not for others. So blanket laws may hurt more than they help.

  3. #3
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    Pure clickbait. "You won't believe what happens when cyclists follow these 5 weird tricks - the results are breathtaking!"

    All 5 of them basically put the onus on cyclists. How about 5 changes to traffic design, laws or enforcement that will protect cyclists from drivers?

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