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Keep your head up

Old 09-26-19, 11:23 AM
  #1  
anthony714
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Keep your head up

As a moderate cyclist who didn't get a car till I was 17, I had to learn that cars do not care about you. I had to be aware of them, learn their mannerisms, and predict their behavior based on previous experiences. Like how a driver WILL NOT look both ways before exiting a parking lot making a right turn. If you were coming from the opposite direction, 99% of the time they do not even know you are there.

And always, always remember. Right or wrong, their fault or your fault, a car will always win. Keep your head up when you ride.
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Old 09-26-19, 11:36 AM
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This is a concept from motorcycle safety, but it's applicable to cycling as well.

https://www.motorcycle.com/rider-saf...ity-88228.html
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Old 09-26-19, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by anthony714 View Post
As a moderate cyclist who didn't get a car till I was 17, I had to learn that cars do not care about you. I had to be aware of them, learn their mannerisms, and predict their behavior based on previous experiences. Like how a driver WILL NOT look both ways before exiting a parking lot making a right turn. If you were coming from the opposite direction, 99% of the time they do not even know you are there.

And always, always remember. Right or wrong, their fault or your fault, a car will always win. Keep your head up when you ride.
The other thing you should have learned was to cycle in the direction of traffic. Then that motorist will be looking at the direction you are coming from.
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Old 09-26-19, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by anthony714 View Post
As a moderate cyclist who didn't get a car till I was 17, I had to learn that cars do not care about you. I had to be aware of them, learn their mannerisms, and predict their behavior based on previous experiences. Like how a driver WILL NOT look both ways before exiting a parking lot making a right turn. If you were coming from the opposite direction, 99% of the time they do not even know you are there.

And always, always remember. Right or wrong, their fault or your fault, a car will always win. Keep your head up when you ride.
That doesn't just apply to cyclists, but pedestrians as well.
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Old 09-26-19, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
The other thing you should have learned was to cycle in the direction of traffic. Then that motorist will be looking at the direction you are coming from.
You have assumed the other poster actually meant to write what they wrote. I no longer do so. Chances are good they do not ride salmon, but meant to say that a driver making any kind of turn out of a parking lot will only be scanning for objects larger than a Geo Metro and will thus overlook the presence of most bicycles until they are practically on top of them.
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Old 09-26-19, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
You have assumed the other poster actually meant to write what they wrote. I no longer do so. Chances are good they do not ride salmon, but meant to say that a driver making any kind of turn out of a parking lot will only be scanning for objects larger than a Geo Metro and will thus overlook the presence of most bicycles until they are practically on top of them.
Yup earlier this year, while making a left turn, well into turn, from terminus of bike trail; a car from opposing parking lot just pulled up to exit at speed and right turned across my arc without really even slowing down. I was aware and able to take evasive action. Driver did see me at last second, paced me for a few moments and apologized profusely. While still unnerving, it is just one example I sometimes use for city vs suburban riding. City drivers on average are more tolerant and recognize when they make mistakes. Suburban drivers are abusive. Even when they are at fault it's really 'your fault' for being in street in the first place.
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Old 09-27-19, 05:54 AM
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Also, don't ride sidewalks. Many years ago, my 18+ year old son was riding on a sidewalk on a one way street. He was going opposite of traffic. A lady was making a left turn onto the one way street as he approached from her left. She pulled out and went right into him. Messed the bike up pretty badly but he was okay.

On a side note, she didn't even call her insurance company even though the police were called and a rescue squad showed up on the scene. Her insurance company gave us the run around until my mother in law called and got a hold of a supervisor. At the mention of lawsuit for $20,000 for fixing his bike and the pain and suffering that their client caused a visually impaired (my son is legally blind) young man who was just trying to renew his bus pass so he could get to and from the local college, they readily agreed to a $2,500 settlement f we would just go away. His bike was a Diamondback Sorrento which was a real cheap bike. His new bike was much much better.
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Old 09-27-19, 06:57 AM
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Old 09-27-19, 08:03 AM
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Another reason to incorporate bike lessons and on-road bike experience as a requirement for a driver's licence.


But until that happens, keep your trigger finger on your bike horn.

Last edited by Daniel4; 09-29-19 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 09-29-19, 01:08 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
The other thing you should have learned was to cycle in the direction of traffic. Then that motorist will be looking at the direction you are coming from.
That motorist still won't see you. They are only looking for "threats" to their potential turn. You are invisible. You pose no threat, you are not even moving at the right speed to trigger their mental filter. That motorist will look right through you. You are a ghost. Keep THAT in your mind.
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Old 09-30-19, 11:12 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
That doesn't just apply to cyclists, but pedestrians as well.
Which part? Many jurisdictions have laws requiring one to walk against traffic when there is no sidewalk.
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Old 09-30-19, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Which part? Many jurisdictions have laws requiring one to walk against traffic when there is no sidewalk.
I was thinking of even pedestrians on the sidewalk walking the opposite direction of traffic. Many motorists making right turns do not bother looking right. They will look to their left, then when the lane is clear they hit the gas, and then they look to the right. If a pedestrian wasn't paying attention and happen to walk in front of that car, well, you get the picture. My buddy was hit this way by a pickup truck and was pinned under it for two hours. And I see this all the time as well, as a pedestrian. Shake my head every time.
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Old 09-30-19, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I was thinking of even pedestrians on the sidewalk walking the opposite direction of traffic. Many motorists making right turns do not bother looking right. They will look to their left, then when the lane is clear they hit the gas, and then they look to the right. If a pedestrian wasn't paying attention and happen to walk in front of that car, well, you get the picture. My buddy was hit this way by a pickup truck and was pinned under it for two hours. And I see this all the time as well, as a pedestrian. Shake my head every time.
Last month I took a long 45 minute walk along Danforth Avenue. Several times just when I was about to step off the curb at the pedestrian walk signal, a right turning driver raced in front.

Good thing I make it a habit of looking over my shoulders before making my move. When I step off the curb, I look left at the nearest car. As I cross over to the middle of the crosswalk, I look and stare at any left turning cars. Sometimes, they try to race you and cut you off. As I make it to the other side, I keep my eye on the right turning car trying to cut you off too.

I started this habit since I started bike commuting. A cyclist does have to look out for all the bad drivers. Sometimes they floor the gas right after you pass and that could be dangerous too. Your reaction to the sudden noise may just freeze you as you don't know if the driver is trying to cut you off or race behind you. A mistime or misjudgment by the driver, may result in a collision.
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Old 10-01-19, 09:13 AM
  #14  
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I have become a more aware pedestrian as well because of all the $H!t I see motorists to while cycling.
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Old 10-01-19, 09:18 AM
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All true. Another thing I've noticed is that when approaching a stop sign, nearly every driver looks straight ahead until they reach the stop line, and only then do they scan left and right. Unlike cyclists, who are always (or should always) anticipate traffic as soon as possible. How often have you come to an intersection and tried to see around the corner? I think most of us do that. Drivers: only focus on what is directly in front.
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Old 10-01-19, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
all true. Another thing i've noticed is that when approaching a stop sign, nearly every driver looks straight ahead until they reach the stop line, and only then do they scan left and right. Unlike cyclists, who are always (or should always) anticipate traffic as soon as possible. How often have you come to an intersection and tried to see around the corner? I think most of us do that. Drivers: Only focus on what is directly in front their cell phone.
fixt.
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Old 10-01-19, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
fixt. Drivers only focus on what is directly in front their cell phone.
Paranoia is neither cute nor clever.
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Old 10-01-19, 06:34 PM
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Keep your head up
Originally Posted by anthony714 View Post
As a moderate cyclist who didn't get a car till I was 17, I had to learn that cars do not care about you. I had to be aware of them, learn their mannerisms, and predict their behavior based on previous experiences. Like how a driver WILL NOT look both ways before exiting a parking lot making a right turn. If you were coming from the opposite direction, 99% of the time they do not even know you are there.

And always, always remember. Right or wrong, their fault or your fault, a car will always win. Keep your head up when you ride.
I occasionally have to remind myself to look farther ahead, at least about 20 to 40 feet, than just focus on the immediately preceding (about 10 feet) road surface. Of course I incessantly glance a little higher up and further afield to watch traffic, and the landscape immediately adjacent to the road, including intersections.

Besides looking, you've got to pay attention and anticipate. (link).

I have also posted about a collateral advantage to keep your head up:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I'm very motivated by novelty, and stymied by boredom on a bike, but I do have the motivation of commuting to work.

I have found that when I drive my frequent, decades-old routes I often notice things I had not seen before. I think it’s because I can look around at more than just the road surface when driving. So when the commute is getting too familiar, I just raise my head higher and look over a wider field of view.

I particularly seek novelty on my long Saturday rides...
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Old 10-01-19, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
... Another thing I've noticed is that when approaching a stop sign, nearly every driver looks straight ahead until they reach the stop line, ..
What's wrong with this? My issue is how many drivers don't first stop at the stop line.
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Old 10-01-19, 08:53 PM
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Here's another interesting but tragic story. It's about a missing or negligent dog walking service.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toron...cars-1.5300961


But you know what else I picked up on? No mention of the three drivers that ran over the dog (as of Oct. 1, 22:54 EDT). It's a great dane so you can't miss it.

On the flip-side, the dog was cared for by three cyclists before the owner took her to emergency.
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Old 10-01-19, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
What's wrong with this? My issue is how many drivers don't first stop at the stop line.
Because they aren’t anticipating cross traffic.
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Old 10-01-19, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
All true. Another thing I've noticed is that when approaching a stop sign, nearly every driver looks straight ahead until they reach the stop line, and only then do they scan left and right. Unlike cyclists, who are always (or should always) anticipate traffic as soon as possible.

How often have you come to an intersection and tried to see around the corner? I think most of us do that. Drivers: only focus on what is directly in front.
Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
What's wrong with this? My issue is how many drivers don't first stop at the stop line.
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Because they [the drivers] aren’t anticipating cross traffic.
Who cares? Among my most important safety aphorisms:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
  1. Make yourself as visible as possible,and assume nobody sees you.
  2. ...
  3. You don’t have the right-of-way until the other yields it to you(learned from my teacher in driver’s ed)
  4. …. 9
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I wear a helmet and use a blinkie. But the most important safety precaution is to anticipate.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 10-02-19 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 10-01-19, 11:28 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Another reason to incorporate bike lessons and on-road bike experience as a requirement for a driver's licence.
You cannot be serious ...


Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
But until that happens, keep your trigger finger on your bike horn.
I'll keep my trigger finger on my brake lever, thank you. That's where you should keep yours as well. Noise pollution does no one any good. If you were even half right in thinking your way, thousands of cyclists would be dead and buried. That we are not is testament to the fact that alerting motorists to a fait acompli does nothing, reacting instantly to the fait acompli with an appropriate defensive or evasive maneuver, without panic or emotional overhang is the mark of a true road warrior that can expect a long run.
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Old 10-02-19, 03:19 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Because they aren’t anticipating cross traffic.
I must be missing something. Wouldn't they look once they've come to a stop?
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Old 10-02-19, 09:36 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
I must be missing something. Wouldn't they look once they've come to a stop?
Yes. That's the issue. They don't scan before the stop, they roll up looking straight ahead, and only then do they scan. It's poor situational awareness.
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