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Why every cyclist needs a pool noodle on roads

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Why every cyclist needs a pool noodle on roads

Old 05-20-19, 05:17 PM
  #26  
gerryl
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Not for me. There comes a point where you can't be scared of everything.
I remember seeing a woman rider once who seemed to have more lights on her bike than tractor trailer, was herself decked out in lights and was wearing a high visibility vest with aluminum foil strips attached to it. It occurred to me that this poor woman was absolutely terrified of being on the road, she couldn't have been having a good time.
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Old 05-20-19, 05:29 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post

last thing--using a mirror is so important. When I hear a truck coming, I keep an eye on it, and that second or two heads up of Joe Blow trucker crowding the edge of the road hopefully means I am looking and can react to it.

so please everyone, use effective mirrors.
I can't see myself using mirrors. I have a hard enough time keeping track of the mayhem going in front of me to worry about what's happening behind me.
Having said that I do, if I hear something out of the ordinary happening behind me I will move off the road onto the shoulder ( another advantage of wide tires ) or even stop and let what ever is behind me pass. So far so good.😀👍
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Old 05-20-19, 07:08 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by gerryl View Post
I can't see myself using mirrors. I have a hard enough time keeping track of the mayhem going in front of me to worry about what's happening behind me.
Having said that I do, if I hear something out of the ordinary happening behind me I will move off the road onto the shoulder ( another advantage of wide tires ) or even stop and let what ever is behind me pass. So far so good.😀👍
Gerry, real honest, respectful comment here-- When we drive cars we use our mirrors for safety and for enhanced and advance warning that gains a few seconds awareness. As vulnerable cyclists, I appreciate the same on my bike, and I wouldn't drive my car without using the mirrors, and sure as heck wouldn't a motorcycle (rode a lot of them).

I too stop and let things pass when my mirror helps me know of a sketchy situation coming in a few seconds.
Decades ago when I started using a mirror, I still remember how more relaxing it was, knowing for the vast majority of times that a vehicle was moving over, or was still far back enough not to meet me and the oncoming truck.
No need to reply.
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Old 05-20-19, 07:50 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post
...As for the "take the full lane when descending" nonsense advocated by the writer of the linked article, If you can't keep from riding off the shoulder when taking only the outside foot or two of the lane, then you shouldn't be riding your bicycle on hilly terrain. Be as polite to the drivers as you expect them to be to you.
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I agree. My closest town is 10 km. downhill from my house. Even though I am a cyclist and support cycling rights, I’d probably be shouting obscenities at a rider who ‘took the full lane while descending’ that whole way. You’ve got to be as considerate to the drivers as you expect them to be to you.
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Old 05-20-19, 08:05 PM
  #30  
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I'm waiting to hear the first news story where a passenger of a passing car grabs the noodle and causes harm to the cyclist.
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Old 05-20-19, 08:23 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Mountain Mitch View Post
I agree. My closest town is 10 km. downhill from my house. Even though I am a cyclist and support cycling rights, I’d probably be shouting obscenities at a rider who ‘took the full lane while descending’ that whole way. You’ve got to be as considerate to the drivers as you expect them to be to you.
this is key

and in general, every situation is different, and some bike riders do not have the situational awareness of what is behind them, or they take a not dangerous situation as dangerous--I am completely aware that there are times , rare for me, that taking the lane is the best thing to do, but the vast majority of the time, depending on your riding skills and ability to hold a line, being at the side of the shoulder is fine--which I do while keeping an eye on my mirror to see whats happening.
Other times, stopping and letting cars by is the right thing to do-which I also do and sometimes deciding in just a few seconds that the rear in coming and oncoming traffic just doesnt have the room or time to squeeze by with me along side both of them-and thats ok.

being able to rapidly evaluate properly a given situation while being completely and properly aware of closing speeds, distances and timing is the key factor here, and some riders don't evaluate it properly.

and yes, rarely some vehicles are aggresive for no reason, and rarely some people are jerks for no reason too as passengers or drivers.

there is no correct answer here, and the noodle persons story of going down a hill taking the lane is of unknown details to us, so who knows.
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Old 05-20-19, 09:11 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
last thing--using a mirror is so important. When I hear a truck coming, I keep an eye on it, and that second or two heads up of Joe Blow trucker crowding the edge of the road hopefully means I am looking and can react to it.

so please everyone, use effective mirrors.
Recently I did a short ride on a bike with a bar-end mirror & realized a big draw-back: riding off-saddle made it impossible to see the mirror. I love my EVT SafeZone helmet mirror which lets me see behind & ahead at the same time. OTOH anything that increases visibility wouldn't seem to hurt IMO.
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Old 05-21-19, 07:11 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by zweitesmal2 View Post
This is the stupidest idea yet- how to induce even more rage.
I almost agree. The only reason I don't is that there are so many competing stupid ideas out there that I can't choose the single stupidest one.
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Old 05-21-19, 09:23 AM
  #34  
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My son thought it might come in handy with some of the puddles he hits while riding in Japan !
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Old 05-22-19, 01:32 PM
  #35  
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I use a Nite Ize vest meant for running:

https://www.amazon.ca/Nite-Ize-LED-R.../dp/B00U1HUV4C

I've had about 6 or 7 drivers open their windows at traffic lights to thank me for wearing one, and that it really helped them see me at a distance (especially in winter conditions as I ride all year, road conditions permitting).

It fits nice and tight, and I don't even think about it anymore. The lights are visible but not annoying or distracting. If wearing it keeps that one car out of my ass, then so much the better. The noodle thing is just asking for it. The lifted truck / gas guzzler crowd stuck permanently in the 20th century would lock onto it like a bull in Pamplona.
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Old 05-22-19, 01:38 PM
  #36  
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Perhaps we can come up with a solution where the first impression of the driver is not, “what is that idiot doing?”
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Old 05-22-19, 01:39 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by gerryl View Post
I can't see myself using mirrors.
Perhaps you are a vampire?
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Old 05-22-19, 04:02 PM
  #38  
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I'm pretty sure that using a pool noodle as described in the article constitutes a "wide load" and requires the use of a red flag or strobe at the end of the noodle.

Kind of adds to the allure IMO.

I mean, if you are going to run a pool noodle, why not go all out and add the strobe?

If I read the law right then four feet is the limit in Georgia.

Maybe I'll just hire these guys for my next bikepacking trip...

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Old 05-22-19, 08:04 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Perhaps you are a vampire?
Gold star for you young man, that made me chuckle.
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Old 05-22-19, 08:15 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I'm pretty sure that using a pool noodle as described in the article constitutes a "wide load" and requires the use of a red flag or strobe at the end of the noodle.

Kind of adds to the allure IMO.

I mean, if you are going to run a pool noodle, why not go all out and add the strobe?

If I read the law right then four feet is the limit in Georgia.

Maybe I'll just hire these guys for my next bikepacking trip...

Funny how stuff triggers memories-- climbing a reasonably long and sometimes steep pass in southern Mexico, got passed by a truck slowly chugging along with some big oversized load, and a guy in one of the accompanying "oversize load" cars yelled out "You guys got balls!" as he went by, which really did make me smile and the encouraging comment made the climb a bit easier.
Just one example of the common friendliness we experienced there, and on the trip on general.
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Old 05-23-19, 03:10 AM
  #41  
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This thread is so much better than I expected it to be. I mostly just clicked because I was curious to read about a new silly idea of bikers all riding around with pool noodles sticking out off of their bikes. I was prepared to read the thread, role my eyes at the responses in support, typical get the brightest flashing lights you can, aim them right into drivers faces because otherwise no one will see you and you'll die, take the lane anytime you're in the street, and make sure you command the road type stuff.

I'm happy to see many people basically advocating riding with awareness, common sense, and the courtesy you expect from the other users of the road. I realize bikes are harder to see. I ride with awareness of that fact. I know I'm slower than them, so I try not to hold them up. I wouldn't want some jerk doing that to me when I'm trying to get somewhere on time and plan on being able to go a "normal" speed in my travels. I've found cars generally aren't jerks to me either. Sometimes there's an idiot, but there are ass***** everywhere. No reason to be an ass to everyone else because you've dealt with a couple ass*****. You just have to be aware of your surroundings, use common sense, and try to treat each other with common decency. Basically it's things you should in every part of life.

Originally Posted by seedsbelize View Post
When I was shopping for a rear light for an upcoming tour, I read in a review for the Cygolite Hotshot. It produces a cone of intense red light, which automatically causes traffic to move over. I observed just that on the tour I just finished. Traffic was moving over further than necessary for no apparent reason.
I don't think they moved over for "no apparent reason." That sounds like the current U.S. trend of blindingly bright or flashing(or both...) lights. I live in a very active bike town with lots of blinkies(most not too bad) and the occasional intense, retina burning dot of light pointed at eye level. I dislike them just as much as the cars. ...Maybe a little more, because I know they're contributing to car driver's negative feelings toward cyclists.

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Old 05-23-19, 04:44 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post

I don't think they moved over for "no apparent reason." That sounds like the current U.S. trend of blindingly bright or flashing(or both...) lights.
He has been living in Asia for a long time.
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Old 05-23-19, 01:19 PM
  #43  
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To me it's still applicable. It sounds like the same thing that's been trending in the cycle light industry here in the U.S. for a while now. I don't know how familiar he is with cycling in the U.S. these days, but I think there's a strong similarity between what he was describing and a lot of what's currently being marketed here. Perhaps it wasn't relevant and I should have left that sentence out. I think the point is the same either way.
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Old 05-23-19, 01:55 PM
  #44  
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Wanted to offer an educational document on wind shear, the bow wake of a Zip code sized Motorhome's effects on a bicycle rider , on the roadside, as They blow buy at 65+ mph, to be on the front of the steering wheel part, of every one on the lot, but the sales guys at Garrity in Junction City , just laughed it off... (commenting on the age of the people who finally could afford one).. A few years ago, one summer, on US101 , such a wind wall knocked an elderly man on a father-son Oregon coast bike tour, off, his bike, he fell to his left and under the following trailer wheels of a truck.. I doubt the Pool Noodle would have helped...
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Old 05-23-19, 02:09 PM
  #45  
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The picture of the rider using a noodle in the OP's link is ridiculous. The rider is on a road with a 6-8 ft shoulder that has rumble strips near the fog line. It does not get much better than that.

I was hit in the left shoulder by a passing van's mirror. I was late for work and I decided to take a "shortcut" on a very busy road; it was rush hour and I knew was a bad road to cycle on. There is little or no shoulder and is lined with curbs most of the way. Luckily, the mirror was one of those wide swinging mirrors used on rigs that haul trailers. The mirror swiveled toward the rear of the van, and didn't cause any injury. I was riding pretty slow into a headwind that caused my partially zippered rain jacket to balloon out behind me. I think it acted much like an airbag and the loud "whop" just scared the crap out of me. I just knew I had an injury, but a pre-shower mirror check just showed a red mark. I should not have been on that road, I knew better. Granted the driver misjudged the clearance, but I think it was an honest mistake.

As far as taking the lane on hills: there is one short hill in town that I ride almost every weekday. It is steep, about 10%, but it is relatively short. It is narrow and, has a true 15 mph curve near the bottom. I take the lane for car drivers' safety. I can hit 24-28 mph before reaching the curve, and can take the turn much faster than a car. My wife and I were riding down to the gym when a guy driving a pickup passed us on the decent. He had to go over 30 mph to pass and lost control trying to negotiate the curve. He ended up in someone's front yard. That incident led us to taking the lane to keep people who cannot judge the speed of a bike from ruining their vehicles' under carriages jumping curbs, and destroying peoples' front yards. Sometimes you just have to tick them off for their own good Riding uphill on the way home at 3-4 mph, I take the sidewalk as a courtesy to the drivers.

Last edited by Doug64; 05-23-19 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 05-23-19, 08:38 PM
  #46  
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Doug's comment about courtesy to drivers is a good one, and I've always ridden my bike also thinking like a car driver, and have no problem pulling off the road if it helps a group of cars get by a narrow section or whatever. A few seconds isn't a big deal to me, and I figure its a win win for everyone if we use common sense.
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Old 05-23-19, 09:48 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Doug's comment about courtesy to drivers is a good one, and I've always ridden my bike also thinking like a car driver, and have no problem pulling off the road if it helps a group of cars get by a narrow section or whatever. A few seconds isn't a big deal to me, and I figure its a win win for everyone if we use common sense.
I do that too on some of the twisty narrow local climbs. Some lesser-skilled drivers just don't know how to pass so one has to help them out. Heh, sometimes I also use the circular 'pass me' gesture to let the hesitant drivers know it's OK.
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Old 05-23-19, 10:21 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Funny how stuff triggers memories-- climbing a reasonably long and sometimes steep pass in southern Mexico, got passed by a truck slowly chugging along with some big oversized load, and a guy in one of the accompanying "oversize load" cars yelled out "You guys got balls!" as he went by, which really did make me smile and the encouraging comment made the climb a bit easier.
Just one example of the common friendliness we experienced there, and on the trip on general.
As a kid I lived in Mexico for 3 years & in the 90's I did a couple of car tours. I think Mexican drivers are generally actually a bit more attentive & skilled than US drivers but OTOH in rural areas they sometimes go pretty fast. On the Autopista del Sol I saw a couple of bad wrecks, folks going 90-100 mph but not slowing enough for curves. From what I've seen in Mexico, bikes are common in cities but not so much in the countryside so make sure to be aware.
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Old 05-24-19, 06:54 AM
  #49  
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I could see that they could be an asset on a road, but NOT on a MUP or bike trail. You would think that this fact would be obvious.

A few years back I was following a ****** who had one of these on a MUP. Most people he passed without incident. Sometimes the other person was riding close to center and he was a bit too, it would smack them as they passed and he shouted out "Sorry!". He hit at least 10 pedestrians that I saw. Not hard, nothing that would inur anyone, but enough to be a nuisance. One large group of people was hogging the oncoming lane spilling over into ours as happens quite a bit on a MUP. He hit at least 3 people in the group, the last guy at the end stepped out, grabbed the goofs bikes handlebars, taking the rider to the ground. He then stomped on the rear wheel, ripped the noodle off the bike and hit the rider with it, then threw it at him.

So, do this if you want, but use some brains if you do, don't use it on a bike/mup trail.
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Old 05-24-19, 08:09 PM
  #50  
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Ouch! Some folks use those Swedish-type horizontal reflector sticks that seem to be more appropriate. They don't stick out as far plus less aero drag. BTW all the local recumbent riders now seem to be sporting vertical safety flags. 2 years ago a rider was killed by a motorist while riding a bike path & crossing a street. Actually back in the 70's bike boom a lot of riders sported the flags (yeah, & some also had the cool up-turned drop bars )...maybe they'd help drivers spot cyclists while cresting hills.
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