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Frustration despite cycling defensively

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Frustration despite cycling defensively

Old 06-02-22, 05:07 AM
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Anfieldtramp
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Frustration despite cycling defensively

So this is going to be a bit of rantÖnot sure if this is the right place, but oh well, here it goes.

Iím a food delivery courier, have been for about 4 years, of which the last three were spent riding in the CBD of the city Iím in (Singapore).

Now in this whole time, Iíve never once been in a serious accident. The few scraps Iíve had usually involved falling off the bike while it was stationery, stupid stuff like that. Early on, when I was still new, there were a few close calls at zebra crossings and traffic lights. The authorities here try to encourage cycling on footpaths as much as possible, with the bike lanes being on the footpaths instead of the roads.

Today I came close to being hit, twice, and the extremely frustrating thing from my point of view is that it seemed there was very little I could do to prevent myself getting into such situations.

The first occured on the sidewalk of a building (shopping mall). I was rounding a pillar and out of an abundance of caution, I decided to slow down to walking speed, since it was a blind spot. It was just as well, since a motorcyclist just happened to be barreling down the sidewalk. I was furious. Like, what the actual ****? He wasnít even supposed to be there in the first placeÖusually youíre expecting a pedestrian or maybe another cyclist to be around that corner, not an effing motorbike. If I had gone perhaps 3 seconds later, Iím quite sure I would have been hit, since there was no way he was going to stop in time.

Three hours later, and I am cycling down the main road on the far left (we keep left here while on the road) quite slowly actually, since I knew traffic behind was being held up by a red light. A car approaches from a smaller road on the left, wanting to turn in, and then proceeds to cut right in front of me. The thing that really, really, unnerved me, was that as he did so, he actually accelerated into my path, despite having seen me. It was the closest I came to being hit all these years.

Then thereís the fact that recently, a fellow rider I knew was killed while on the job by a drunk driver at 11 in the morning. Itís gotten to the point where Iím wondering if thereís anything I can possibly do to ensure my own safety anymore. I mean, I check blind spots, I donít assume I have right of way, I slow down at when I know there are vehicles merging in from the left, I do my utmost best to avoid not the hordes of smartphone wielding office workers who blindly cross the roads, the lights, who walk in zig zags.

Anyway, thanks for reading this far. And do feel free to give any advice. Hopefully Iíll still be around to read it come tomorrow or the next few days or whatever.

Last edited by Anfieldtramp; 06-02-22 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 06-02-22, 05:10 AM
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BTinNYC
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Stay cautious. These times are craziest ever.
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Old 06-02-22, 05:46 AM
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Bald Paul
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
Stay cautious. These times are craziest ever.
It's not just bicycling, either. In Myrtle Beach yesterday a motorist, driving behind a couple on a motorcycle, evidently wasn't paying attention (I know, hard to believe that nowadays) and just drove over them when they slowed. I won't post the link, but you can Google it if you want to see the video.
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Old 06-02-22, 07:34 AM
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Anfieldtramp To ride defensively you have to anticipate the worst behavior from others...but it is depressing when it actually occurs. I don't know your local laws but I found drivers and others began to defer a little more when I began riding with a in the daytime with a bright, white flasher pointing forward on my helmet a couple of years ago. Also I have been using an AirZound Airhorn for 25 years and that helps alert drivers and other obliviots to my presence, and it seems to me that upon hearing a loud horn their lizard brain often stops them or at leads causes them to yield the right of way when appropriate.

However, I still don't bet my safety and life on these two devices and trust no one.

Stay vigilant and try to ride outside of work and the CBD to remind you of how wonderful cycling can be.
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Old 06-02-22, 08:00 PM
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I agree, stay vigilant.

On my commute to work today, I pulled up to a crosswalk (zebra crossing). Cars are supposed to let people crossing have the right of way, and our state law requires them to stop. I’m glad I didn’t trust the cars because I had four cars drive right through the crossing without a care in the world. Had I started across, I would have been hit. Only when I started waiving my arms and pointing to the crosswalk did the next vehicle finally stop.
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Old 06-03-22, 05:08 AM
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My most frustrating moments are when I drive my truck. When I'm on the bike, it takes a lot more to frustrate me. I don't use crosswalks, I cross intersections, just as if I were in a car. All my riding is very much similar than how I drive my truck.
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Old 06-03-22, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
My most frustrating moments are when I drive my truck. When I'm on the bike, it takes a lot more to frustrate me. I don't use crosswalks, I cross intersections, just as if I were in a car. All my riding is very much similar than how I drive my truck.
I mostly use intersections, but there are a few streets where I feel I am safer in the crosswalk during peak traffic times.
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Old 06-03-22, 10:13 AM
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To the OP, you may feel frustrated on a bike, but you'll be even more frustrated if you are driving. That kind of frustration is what makes driving dangerous to all road users, including to themselves.

Keep safe. Get some cameras. A use a loud horn when you anticipate something wrong might develop like if you see a car approaching a stop sign but not sure he's really going to stop.
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Old 06-03-22, 10:33 AM
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In four years you had not seen this kinda stuff? That makes you interesting and very unusual.
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Old 06-04-22, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
In four years you had not seen this kinda stuff? That makes you interesting and very unusual.
I haveÖbut Iíve never been on the receiving end of such close calls back to back on the same day
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Old 06-04-22, 02:30 PM
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We've had a recent spot of hit and runs around where I live. It's a rural area, so few roads, and they tend to be narrow farm highways. Well folks are crashing into one another and at least one party then just drives off... In one case the wrecked vehicle went on to miss a turn, landed in a ditch by a local farmer... taking out their parked car along the way. The driver then ran.

Civility on the road has never been perfect, but these days... it is downright absent.
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Old 06-08-22, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Anfieldtramp View Post
Three hours later, and I am cycling down the main road on the far left... A car approaches from a smaller road on the left, wanting to turn in, and then proceeds to cut right in front of me.
One of the reasons not to stay so far to the edge of the road (left in your case, right for many of the rest of us) is that you're less visible there, and even if you are seen, you don't register as "traffic" - being a bit more into the travel lane, especially when approaching intersections, can help remind people that you're a vehicle, too.

The thing that really, really, unnerved me, was that as he did so, he actually accelerated into my path, despite having seen me. It was the closest I came to being hit all these years.
This sounds like the common reality that drivers never correctly estimate cyclist's speed - they always either under or overestimate it. And sometimes they're wrong in one direction, realize that, and then end up even more wrong in the other direction.
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Old 06-08-22, 08:29 PM
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I do what I think is reasonable, and shrug off the close calls.

Statistics say I'll probably die a slow lingering death after a stroke or congestive heart failure. I've seen that happen with my elders, and it ain't pretty.

If the stress and worry prevents you from enjoying life, that's reason to do something else.
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Old 06-10-22, 04:01 PM
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I've found it more common that when I take the lane to try to discourage unsafe passing (blind hill, blind corner, too tight to pass with enough space, going the same speed as traffic, etc) people in my area seem to just pass even closer or just go around anyway.

Just two days ago I took the lane just as I was about to crest a blind hill, and a minivan behind me went entirely into the other lane to go around me (I usually appreciate the space but not in this case). I heard a car coming up the other side so I looked back and waved the minivan to stick behind me. It was close.

Not sure what people are thinking? Especially when driving I think to myself "If you can't see, DONT GO"
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Old 06-10-22, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by WelcomeSir View Post
Not sure what people are thinking?
The answer to that is pretty obvious: they aren't thinking
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Old 06-10-22, 11:02 PM
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Been hit almost twice in one day... Look Out! Things come in threes right?

We can not let our guard down... Heads Up!!!

Ya know it's coming...
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No matter where your at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)
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Old 06-12-22, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Anfieldtramp View Post
Anyway, thanks for reading this far. And do feel free to give any advice. Hopefully Iíll still be around to read it come tomorrow or the next few days or whatever.
If you have survived 4 years, then you know all the pitfalls by now. My only advice is to stay as vigilant as you have been. Anticipate trouble. They are going to throw everything at you sooner or later. Happy you survived to tell the story.
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Old 06-14-22, 12:13 AM
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Hey bro, fellow food courier here although I live in a less crazy city. The potential for being hit is just part of the job, it sucks but there really isn't much you can do about it. As long as you are attentive you SHOULD be okay, but as you learned from your coworker that isn't always the case. Singapore has crazy traffic, there is a race happening there in about 8 months that im considering traveling to.
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Old 06-14-22, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Keep safe. Get some cameras. A use a loud horn when you anticipate something wrong might develop like if you see a car approaching a stop sign but not sure he's really going to stop.
Most couriers who get hit are paying attention and can dodge a clueless car, the problem arises when a drunk/distracted driver wastes you seemingly out of nowhere. No lights/mirrors/garmin varias will not save you in the events that actually kill couriers. Heck most of them don't even run lights or helmets and ride 30+ hours a week, its not because they are reckless.

Last edited by LarrySellerz; 06-14-22 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 06-30-22, 03:35 AM
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sinkie here too.
stay safe, i guess you can only control what you can,
maybe having lights will help the situation more?
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