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...drivers pass helmeted cyclists more dangerously...
 

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17236
Location: Portland, OR

5/20/19 9:34 AM

...drivers pass helmeted cyclists more dangerously...

debating whether drivers pass helmeted cyclists more dangerously


https://qz.com/1474671/scientists-are-still-debating-whether-bike-helmets-are-actually-safe/

While studies have shown that helmetless cyclists are given slightly more room on the road, the pool noodle [next link] guarantees that most cars will not only move over, but often move over to the other lane.

While the TTF was burping, Reed sent me this he was going to post, got me googling with my coffee:

https://qz.com/1620913/the-best-cycling-hack-is-a-pool-noodle/

Is there and aero version??

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17236
Location: Portland, OR

5/20/19 10:54 AM

Excuse my test reply...


EDIT:[sigh of temp relief] OK, that actually went well/quick with no burp...


EDIT/EDIT: or not....

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4376
Location: Nashua, NH

5/20/19 6:20 PM

Considering that in the US, ~70% of bicycle accidents are self-inflicted and only ~5% involve being struck from behind, it's pretty moronic to base a discussion of helmet safety on how close cars pass riders.

I'm going out on a limb here and state that I think the author of the pool noodle article needs to reevaluate her practice of (apparently) unnecessarily taking an entire lane and backing up traffic. Forcing drivers to pass in the opposite lane is both inconsiderate and dangerous. If she keeps doing that, sooner or later she's going to become a road rage victim, pool noodle or not.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17236
Location: Portland, OR

5/20/19 7:20 PM

"sooner or later she's going to become a road rage victim, pool noodle or not."


With a pool noodle sticking outta her ars, and a lily stuck in her hand...

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3270
Location: Springfield

5/21/19 4:16 AM

Ever since spending the winter of '75 on my Cortina rollers I've considered the white stripe on the side of the road to be enough room, and the left edge of the stripe just fine.

Frankly it creeps me out to see a fully kitted rider taking their half in the middle.

Using Vitruvian Man as an example, from the shortest to the tallest adult it's about 3 feet from spine to fingertip (1/2 height.) Add a foot and from the white line you end up with about half a lane to work with even for the 4'11" members.

As if you didn't already know.

The pool noodle seems like a good idea for the clinically anxious as long as they keep within one rollers' width of the white line.



Last edited by daddy-o on 5/21/19 8:48 AM; edited 1 time in total

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April
Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 6540
Location: Westchester/NYC

5/21/19 7:25 AM

Options

I still see it occasionally, a flag that mounts on the rack and stick out maybe a foot to the left (or right if you're riding in "those countries"). The flag also folds forward in case it got snagged by passing car/trucks. Probably more expensive, but seems better function than pool noodle.

The idea to "force cars to use the opposite lane" is I think a misunderstanding. Better visibility should be the main goal. Most driver don't INTEND to hit cyclist. They just "don't see it" in their brain. Drivers also misjudge the width of their car. (that probably explains more on why trucks hit cyclist in much higher percentage than cars). So, pool noodle or flags both serve as a indicator on how far the cars need to stay away from the rider. (The pool noodle in the photo seems too long)

Whether to "take the lane" depends on how wide the lane is. If there's enough room for cars, more importantly trucks, to pass WITH SUFFICIENT SEPERATION, I don't take the lane. BUT, if the lane is narrow AND had poor visibility, I DO take the lane to force cars to wait. Because if I don't, cars/trucks will try to SQUEEZE between me and on-coming traffic, with INSUFFICIENT separation. That's an invitation of trouble. Cyclists are always at the losing side on that kind of trouble.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4376
Location: Nashua, NH

5/21/19 9:44 AM

I think the main reason for truck-cyclist collisions is the fact that trucks are wider, so they not only take up more of the lane, but they have less room to move left without moving into the opposite lane. When you have oncoming traffic on narrow roads, this becomes a significant issue.

There's also the potential element of fatigue for many truck drivers, but I don't know if it's been determined to be a significant cause of truck-bike accidents.

I certainly didn't mean to imply that one should never take the lane (I did it once just yesterday), only that one should never unnecessarily take the lane. There is no benefit to angering or frustrating drivers, only downsides.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17236
Location: Portland, OR

5/21/19 10:25 AM

"have less room to move left without moving into the opposite lane."

Liability is less running over one lone cyclist than hitting cars full of folks head on and/or chain reaction head on over the line into opposing traffic.

What does the truck drivers reflexes allow for if a line of 20+ cyclist on the right, and a lane full of car coming the other way....

Rhetorical 'and' cynical, I know...

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4376
Location: Nashua, NH

5/21/19 11:04 AM

Threre's also the instinct for self-preservation. A truck driver - or any driver - isn't especially likely to get hurt from hitting a cyclist, but could be killed if they veer into oncoming traffic.

That said, I've seen too many instances to count of drivers nearly crashing their cars or hitting people in an effort to avoid squashing a suicidal squirrel. While I certainly try to avoid killing critters, my basic philosophy is "don't worry, they'll make more". ;-)

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17236
Location: Portland, OR

5/21/19 11:08 AM

"While I certainly try to avoid killing critters, my basic philosophy is "don't worry, they'll make more".

Yeah, I'd rather not either. I wonder how big a critter it would take before my control would waver... Cat, dog, deer... heffalump and woozles.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4376
Location: Nashua, NH

5/21/19 3:18 PM

The biggest critter problem around here is turkeys, with multiple cases of them going though peoples' windshields. A woman Linda works with had that happen last week when she was driving a brand new car home from the dealership. UGH! Fortunately, she wasn't hurt.

Turkeys apparently save all of their intelligence for hunting season - when they seem to disappear - but the rest of the year, they're as dumb as a rock. They can potentially be a problem for cyclists, too, but I haven't heard of any bike-turkey accidents locally.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6194
Location: Maine

5/21/19 3:37 PM

Critters

One time Bobke was riding in a domestic race where he was not impressed with the packriding skills of some of the riders. A squirrel ran across the road, causing some general chaos but not a crash. Bobke said to his teammate ďDonít worry, he wonít hurt his relatives.Ē

Like Daddy, I had Cortina rollers, and like others here, though I commute several days per week, I almost never take the whole lane. Really, I only do it shortly before a left turn or if there is a particularly narrow lane due to construction, potholes, etc. Some say you should ride three feet away from parked cars but I have never done that and never will. I also hate most bike lanes. I think if you know how to ride, ride defensively, and keep your eyes open, you are safe except for loony things which you couldnít avoid anyway. I donít want to slow drivers unnecessarily and piss them off, and I think it is seldom necessarily to block them. When safety requires, you do so, but I think that is not often.

I think not only trucks but SUVs with protruding side view mirrors can be difficult to judge as a driver if you are not used to them, and can come closer to cyclists than you think. Iíve had that happen myself when renting. Need to be vigilant as a driver.

We have tons of turkeys around here, Iíve seen flocks (?) of around 20 right around my house, but Iíve never seen one near a bike or car. Iíd say the biggest critter hazard to bikes here is squirrels or chipmunks. Maybe you roll over it, or maybe not...

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17236
Location: Portland, OR

5/21/19 5:13 PM

The MUT passes thru a marsh here, ducks galore, but worse... Muskrats. I almost got taken out a few days before heading to CA, week before the 11th. Baby just scurried across, I was riding no hands... Only 3' in front of me, but for sure close enough to make me react @ 15-16 MPH. I don't think I would not have got to the brakes fast enough had he did the squirrel dance...

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