An Interesting Theory

Discussion in 'Motor Bicycle Safety And Stolen Motorized Bicycle ' started by 2door, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    This is interesting reading and reinforces my contention that when we ride we should pretend that we are invisible. If this theory is correct, we in fact, are.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/moto...cycles-on-the-road/ar-BBq9Woc?ocid=spartandhp

    I found the part where he says bicycles are more easily seen than motorcycles because they move slower. Of course he doesn't address motorized bicycles which we all know move faster than pedal bikes. Probably in the same category as motorcycles as far as the human eye is concerned.

    What's your thoughts?

    Tom
     
  2. Mr.B.

    Mr.B. Active Member

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    Yep, I always ride like I'm invisible. I try to be hyper aware and look ahead for potential threats (most common someone backing out of a parking space)...

    I think a lot of times drivers might very well see me with a quick glance and it just registers as just a guy on a bicycle way down the street. They don't realize just how fast I'll be there.

    But it's the distracted folks engaged in a one handed mobile device conversations that really scare me!

    -Kirk
     
  3. Chaz

    Chaz Member

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    I try to be as visible as possible. Yellow reflective stripes on my arms to help with signalling as well as general visibility. A bright white motorcycle helmet. I move around in the lane a bit so I don't lull them into a coma by just going in a perfectly straight line. At stop lights I'll stand up and stretch a bit which is also good for my back. I check for movement in parked cars. Stay out of their blind spots whether that means speeding up or slowing down. Always aware of cars who are stuck behind a left turning vehicle. Always be aware of exit paths etc etc.

    I guess not everyone here comes from a street motorcycle background and if they don't then they should study up on it because it is not like driving a car at all.

    I don't ride so much like I'm invisible but more like the cars/trucks are out to get me. I expect the idiotic moves from so many drivers. They never disappoint.
     
  4. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Back in the 60s there was a national campaign aimed at safe driving. It was referred to as 'Drive Defensively'. I supposed that was meant to inform you that everyone else was out to get you. Like Chas says, assume they are gunning for you and take appropriate action when you're on the road.

    Unlike him, however, I assume that nobody can see me no matter what I'm wearing or where I'm riding. I always expect the worst and try to avoid those situations. That's why I ride as if I'm invisible. So far, knock on wood, it's worked for me. In fact I've adopted that mind set even when I'm in my car. I never assume that other drivers actually see me or will respond as if they do. Maybe I should paint my truck day-glow yellow because it's white now. Would that help? Probably not. When you're typing on your phone even a bright yellow Ford pickup would be invisible.

    Tom
     
    #4 2door, Jun 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
  5. YesImLDS

    YesImLDS New Member

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    Reasons like these are why I don't ride where I live (110k+ pop) It's just too busy for anything with 2 wheels on these roads. It's sad to say that, but anybody who wants to ride around in that is accepting a death sentence. Problem is that we can only make ourselves so visible and the fact that humans are not perfect beings. Two and two together and eventually someone will get hit.
     
  6. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 New Member

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    Cool article. A cage driver may see you but his brain may choose NOT to track you. Awareness is more than moving your eyes. Your mind must be focused as well to see and recognize all the hazards.
    I still feel that the key to being seen by cagers is movement. Many people have pulled in front of speeding locomotives at crossings, despite the incredibly bright lights on the locomotive.
     
  7. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    That's a good article.to add to that, Motorcyclists and bicyclists (usually) look around a lot more when riding, and I believe that applies when we're driving a car, too.

    I know I pay attention to bikes when I'm driving, just because I'm used to being in their situation. As a driver in a car, I've often been honked at (and yelled at, flipped off, etc) for waiting to turn or pull out of a driveway when a bike, MC, or pedestrian is approaching.

    Your average commuter is concerned with getting somewhere in the quickest time possible, has an over-inflated sense of entitlement, and takes more risks to be "on time."

    Luckily, I don't have that lifestyle. I have the unique ability to always arrive on time, which my bosses love, and my girlfriends hate.

    Another factor is upbringing. I grew up around truckers and bikers, hearing stories of horrible accidents, and learned respect for the road before I was old enough to be behind the wheel.

    To add to that, I grew up riding bikes and skateboards in Milwaukee and Southern California, two places where traffic is always out to kill you.

    I've also raced cars on the track, driven cross country many times, in every kind of weather, terrain, etc, meaning I know the limitations of the vehicles I'm driving (or riding.)

    I know my bicycle, motorized or not, or my 50cc vintage motorcycle isn't going to be beating out too many cars, so I'm patient and aware when driving.

    A lot of people growing up today (and in the last 30 years) were driven to school, grew up on the couch, and never had the experience of riding a $1000+ bmx bike in a bad neighborhood at midnight, or ditching cops and irate homeowners after they discover you skateboarding in their empty swimming pool.

    Kinda going off on a tangent, but the point is, some of us have developed real life survival skills instead of playing video games and having our parents pay someone to teach us to drive.
     
  8. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    I don't think much of the theory. Not only are car drivers running into motorcycles everyday, they're also running into other cars, buses, 18 wheelers, houses, basically anything on, or near the road is fair game. Even if the theory is correct it doesn't matter, you still need to ride like you're invisible, and everyone is out to get you.

    That's why now that I'm riding a motor bicycle exclusively, which no license is required, I ride to stay alive, screw the law. The longer you sit at a red light the more likely the chance you'll get rear ended. I treat most red lights as stop signs. Stop signs are just suggestions. Sidewalks are motor bicycle super highways. If I'm riding down a street and come to a traffic jam, I'll hop on a sidewalk and ride past it in a heartbeat.

    Of course I have an advantage over most of you guys, because my motor bicycle is electric.

    I thought I was going to grow old and die, before the light changed for my bicycle officer.
     
    #8 biknut, Jun 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
  9. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    I'm with Baird on everything he said. I posted a thread some years ago about giving bikers a break and being aware of them whenever I'm in close proximity to them. We also share a lot of experiences so, Baird, I'm with you.

    Biknut, I'm not sure what to say to your assumption that, "Stop signs are just suggestions". You and I are usually in agreement on things but this one I'll have to take exception to. If everyone adopted that philosophy we'd be in deep trouble no matter what we were driving or riding. The younger generations are all convinced that the world is all about them anyway and to offer them the option of obeying traffic signs or ignoring them is just asking for driving conditions to get worse than they already are. Stop signs are there for a reason and it isn't just to inconvenience anyone.

    Tom
     
  10. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods New Member

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    The authors point is plausible and compelling. I'm not sure he's telling us anything that we didn't know, as far as the behavior of motorists. And ourselves for that matter. But he's offering an explanation that has the ring of truth to it.

    One take-away for me; more evidence of what I've already believed. Slow is better than fast on an MB.

    Not that I'm trying to convert anyone. I honestly respect your right to choose for yourselves. Some simply want to go as fast as possible. Denying that longing has at least some unfortunate effects. So if speed is your thing, I won't tell you not to do it. I'll wish you the best of luck.

    I'm not completely unable to do 20 mph plus. There are a few situations where that's the right thing to do. But when it's not needed, then about 12 mph is so much safer, less noisy and more relaxed.

    If anyone who reads this is undecided, then I'll urge you to try going slow.

    Something only semi-related; 30 years ago I had the experience of bicycling a lot in one of the big cities. There was no choice about it, you simply had to ride quite close to the string of parked cars on the right edge of practically every street. There was no other place to be riding.

    We learned to have a good, solid look at the driver's seat --rear left passenger, too-- of every single car that we were passing. Every single one without fail. For fear of a car door popping out in front of us.

    I resented the necessity a little bit. On the logic that I wouldn't have to have devoted so much of my attention, and rather limited brain processing power, to those people if only they wouldn't behave so stupidly with their cars.

    But that's something like resenting the tide coming in. Waste of effort.

    So I paid a lot of attention. And I considered it the price I needed to pay for safety.
    Driver's often give excellent indications of just what they're about to do through their body, and facial, language.

    These days I don't have as many parked cars to be concerned about. And I have room to avoid them, anyway. But watching the drivers is still handy. And it's handy with those drivers who are moving about, as opposed to parked.

    Of course I actually can't see them as well, now that I've reached a state of advance youth, than I could see them then. But the attempt is still worth-while.
     
    #10 bluegoatwoods, Jun 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
  11. biknut

    biknut Active Member

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    .shft.
    Well, of course you do have to apply common sense. I'm not advocating riding like a jerk. If there's traffic at the stop I'm going to wait my turn. I'm not about to barge out in front of a 4000 lb bone crusher. But if I'm just cruising, and can see a long way before I get to the stop that nothing is coming, that's what I'm talking about.

    One day I was riding though Highland Park, one of the most upscale parts of town, and they have their own police force. Most people would tell you they're pretty strict. Where I was there were stop signs every block. There wasn't much traffic, and I was blowing every stop. After the third one in a row a Highland Park patrol car drove by me without so much as a look.

    I'm not sure, but it's possible I was benefitting from electric bike privilege lol.
     
  12. mogollonmonster

    mogollonmonster New Member

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    I am invisible, you can't see me, I can't out run my own farts, and everybody is aiming for me. That's how I ride all the time. I was using our local bike path but a near miss with a summer visitor on a recumbent trike, has me riding on the shoulder of the highway.

    I have noticed that if I ride it like a motorcycle, out in the lane like a legitimate vehicle, I'm treated like one. As compared to when I hug the white line, which inspires illegal passing and other stupidity.
     

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