Some experiences over 15 years on a roadbike

cstoebe

New Member
Some of my experiences over 15 years on a roadbike. Feel free to add



Most cars misjudge how fast you are going- prepare to yield

Bikes yield to everyone- even horses have the right of way.

Be on high alert around kids and dogs

Don't ride right next to the curb- too much crap accumulates for a flat. Best to ride on car tire tracks

Ride out away from the curb near or on the shoulder line so cars can see you. When they see you they always go around. And the cars behind them follow the car in front. If you ride next to the curb the cars will dismiss you or even squeeze you

Ride with a powerful daylight flasher

Avoid school zones when moms are picking up- they never see you

Don't ride against traffic

Don't let a car wave you thru {like an intersection) if you don't have the right of way. It's 200 lbs vs 2 tons. Some drivers stop so you can go ahead, but I'd rather follow them, not be ahead.

Most insurance policies (homeowner/renters) do not cover motorized vehicles. And not just for theft, but for liability also.

Don't think your bike is safe locked on your bike rack. I'm amazed at the ingenuity of thieves

Use something like this from ebay to lift a heavy ebike
 

Sifu Ben

Active Member
I used to ride with the Princeton Freewheelers, an awesome bike club for group rides. We would have some riders who were bike activist types who didn't know when to pick their fights. They would ride 3 across getting the cars behind us pissed off trying to prove that bikes have a right to the roadway too. I hated riding with cyclists who were "squirelly". They couldn't maintain a stable speed, always changes direction or position in the road, made sudden control inputs (streering, braking, pedaling). If they were new, I'd give them the benefit of the doubt. I was new too at one time. But when they regularly ride, and still haven't developed skills, I cut them no slack and tell them to ride in the back, watch and learn. I always get compliments that they want to ride behind me because I rode very steady so I was easy to follow. I hate triathletes on bikes. We call them tri-geeks. No group riding skills, unsociable and selfish. I loved road riding but I now live out where there are less variety for routes, drivers aren't used to cyclists on roads, cell phones are distracting drivers and my belly is now in the way of being in a race tuck so I drastically reduced my road riding mileage.
 

Frank/Delaware

Active Member
Some of my experiences over 15 years on a roadbike. Feel free to add



Most cars misjudge how fast you are going- prepare to yield

Bikes yield to everyone- even horses have the right of way.

Be on high alert around kids and dogs

Don't ride right next to the curb- too much crap accumulates for a flat. Best to ride on car tire tracks

Ride out away from the curb near or on the shoulder line so cars can see you. When they see you they always go around. And the cars behind them follow the car in front. If you ride next to the curb the cars will dismiss you or even squeeze you

Ride with a powerful daylight flasher

Avoid school zones when moms are picking up- they never see you

Don't ride against traffic

Don't let a car wave you thru {like an intersection) if you don't have the right of way. It's 200 lbs vs 2 tons. Some drivers stop so you can go ahead, but I'd rather follow them, not be ahead.

Most insurance policies (homeowner/renters) do not cover motorized vehicles. And not just for theft, but for liability also.

Don't think your bike is safe locked on your bike rack. I'm amazed at the ingenuity of thieves

Use something like this from ebay to lift a heavy ebike
If you look at something on the road... you will hit it; better to look away.// If you see debris in the road today, it will be there tomorrow, even after a heavy rain.//
 

ki11a

Well-Known Member
Ride out away from the curb near or on the shoulder line so cars can see you. When they see you they always go around. And the cars behind them follow the car in front. If you ride next to the curb the cars will dismiss you or even squeeze you

Seriously in bike lanes.... the more you move closer to the curb/sidewalk away from the street, the more cars take a liberty to come extra close to you. I have found that if you stay in the middle of the bike lane its the best instead of being close to the curb/sidewalk. Dont know what psychology plays into here but its odd.
 

DouglasB

Active Member
The tip about cars waving you through is one of my all time pet peeves. By giveing their right of way to you, it confuses the whole intersection and no one knows what to do. Very confusing. When I was a child, a woman stopped for me on a busy street and waved at me to cross in front of her. I knew better and waited for her to proceed. She kept insisting I cross in front of her but I sood fast. Someone finally smashed into her rear end. No one was going anywhere so I finally crossed in front of her.
 

Riverman

Member
Couple years ago I was cruising up a local street. Saw a pickup on side road waiting to pull out. He had to cross a railroad track just before the street I was on. Railroad guys were stopped pretty close to him. It's the local railyard where they sort and store railcars. I was on the main street so didn't think much of it. Just as I was getting in front of him he shot out to go straight across to other side street. I did a quick swerve and he just missed my back end. Later on my way home I passed his house and saw him out in the yard. Recognized it was someone I knew. Turns out he was watching the train and the engineer had waved him through. Can't assume anything when your on a bike.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
Some of my experiences over 15 years on a road bike. Feel free to add
  • Most cars misjudge how fast you are going- prepare to yield
  • Bikes yield to everyone- even horses have the right of way.
  • Be on high alert around kids and dogs
  • Don't ride right next to the curb- too much crap accumulates for a flat. Best to ride on car tire tracks
  • Ride out away from the curb near or on the shoulder line so cars can see you. When they see you they always go around. And the cars behind them follow the car in front. If you ride next to the curb the cars will dismiss you or even squeeze you
  • Ride with a powerful daylight flasher
  • Avoid school zones when moms are picking up- they never see you
  • Don't ride against traffic
  • Don't let a car wave you thru {like an intersection) if you don't have the right of way. It's 200 lbs vs 2 tons. Some drivers stop so you can go ahead, but I'd rather follow them, not be ahead.
  • Most insurance policies (homeowners/renters) do not cover motorized vehicles. And not just for theft, but for liability also.
  • Don't think your bike is safely locked on your bike rack. I'm amazed at the ingenuity of thieves
  • Use something like this from eBay to lift a heavy ebike

Excellent advice!

I would add one more from my years of riding... Always assume that drivers do not see you!
 
Last edited:

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I learned long ago to be as steady and consistent with my steering as possible when riding in traffic. I am sticking to the middle of any bike lane so I have movement options and because all the trash/branches are ‘usually‘ right next to the curb. Front and rear lighting (day and night) is an absolute requirement these days to help combat increasingly distracted drivers. Honestly, I absolutely hate being in traffic and I take any backstreet route that gets me away from it.
 

Kayakguy

Well-Known Member
I used to ride motorcycles, and of course read a lot of m-cycle magazines. One frequent complaint was drivers ("cagers") turning left in front of the rider. The universal recommendation was to always make eye contact with the driver--but then the driver would sometimes make that left turn in front of you anyhow.

So I surmised that some drivers interpret your eye contact as permission/invitation to go ahead and make that left turn. I instead developed the habit of staring straight ahead and acting as if I was going to claim my right of way come hell or high water. Of course I kept a vigilant peripheral eye on that driver in case they did try to challenge me. But no one ever did.

The only time I had a close call was when a very young driver (using genderless pronouns here) assumed, when their left turn signal turned red, and my go-ahead light turned green, that it was unavoidable to proceed through the intersection due to the powerful suction created by the left-turning vehicle ahead of them. We all came to a halt, and I waived them on through, since there was no way for me to get around them, and my Yamaha Majesty was no match for the 4-wheeler.

Incidentally, this insistence on claiming your right of way privileges works well if you drive a real beater of a car also. Other driver recognizes you have nothing to lose, and decides not to risk their shiny new Bloatmobile against a lunatic driving a piece of trash.

I know this all sounds very aggressive, but I promise, I am not truly an aggressive driver or rider. But I do think timid drivers (and riders) may create more problems than we generally realize.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
I used to ride motorcycles, and of course read a lot of m-cycle magazines. One frequent complaint was drivers ("cagers") turning left in front of the rider. The universal recommendation was to always make eye contact with the driver--but then the driver would sometimes make that left turn in front of you anyhow.
So I surmised that some drivers interpret your eye contact as permission/invitation to go ahead and make that left turn. I instead developed the habit of staring straight ahead and acting as if I was going to claim my right of way come hell or high water. Of course I kept a vigilant peripheral eye on that driver in case they did try to challenge me. But no one ever did.
The only time I had a close call was when a very young driver (using genderless pronouns here) assumed, when their left turn signal turned red, and my go-ahead light turned green, that it was unavoidable to proceed through the intersection due to the powerful suction created by the left-turning vehicle ahead of them. We all came to a halt, and I waived them on through, since there was no way for me to get around them, and my Yamaha Majesty was no match for the 4-wheeler.
Incidentally, this insistence on claiming your right of way privileges works well if you drive a real beater of a car also. Other driver recognizes you have nothing to lose, and decides not to risk their shiny new Bloatmobile against a lunatic driving a piece of trash. I know this all sounds very aggressive, but I promise, I am not truly an aggressive driver or rider. But I do think timid drivers (and riders) may create more problems than we generally realize.

Great advice to new riders... thanks for sharing!
 

Frank/Delaware

Active Member
I used to ride motorcycles, and of course read a lot of m-cycle magazines. One frequent complaint was drivers ("cagers") turning left in front of the rider. The universal recommendation was to always make eye contact with the driver--but then the driver would sometimes make that left turn in front of you anyhow.

So I surmised that some drivers interpret your eye contact as permission/invitation to go ahead and make that left turn. I instead developed the habit of staring straight ahead and acting as if I was going to claim my right of way come hell or high water. Of course I kept a vigilant peripheral eye on that driver in case they did try to challenge me. But no one ever did.

The only time I had a close call was when a very young driver (using genderless pronouns here) assumed, when their left turn signal turned red, and my go-ahead light turned green, that it was unavoidable to proceed through the intersection due to the powerful suction created by the left-turning vehicle ahead of them. We all came to a halt, and I waived them on through, since there was no way for me to get around them, and my Yamaha Majesty was no match for the 4-wheeler.

Incidentally, this insistence on claiming your right of way privileges works well if you drive a real beater of a car also. Other driver recognizes you have nothing to lose, and decides not to risk their shiny new Bloatmobile against a lunatic driving a piece of trash.

I know this all sounds very aggressive, but I promise, I am not truly an aggressive driver or rider. But I do think timid drivers (and riders) may create more problems than we generally realize.
I don't look at the driver, I look at the driver side front wheel - tells me a lot. I remember the old Hurt report on motorcycle accidents - most happen with cars 45 degrees left and right of your center line.