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58

I found this article which has some statistics on accidents involving wrong-way cycling: Table 4 shows that all categories of bicyclists traveling against the direction of traffic flow are at greatly increased risk for accidents—on average 3.6 times the risk of those traveling with traffic, and as high as 6.6 times for those 17 and under. This result ...


55

Oh... where do I even start? I love dogs, I am crazy about them, too. I have 3 labs of my own. I am from a place where street dogs are very abundant. If you don't see any dogs in the next 100 yards, consider yourself lost! :D I am barked at often, chased often, even confronted sometimes. I used to run away before, because it is what a normal guy does. I ...


53

For one thing, if you cycle with traffic the closing speed between car and bike is the DIFFERENCE in speed between the two. If you're doing 20mph and the car is doing 45, the closing speed is 25. Reverse it and the closing speed is 65 -- over twice as fast. This affects the time the driver has to react to the cyclist's presence -- over twice as much time ...


50

Some bicyclists do wear full-face helmets; in particular, downhill mountain bikers and BMXers will frequently wear full-face helmets, as the chance of a crash causing you to land on your face is greater. The problem with full-face helmets is that they're hotter; your head is great for getting rid of excess heat, and the full-face helmet helps trap more of ...


46

Rank, Folke and Jespersen (2001), "Differences in cyclists and car drivers exposure to air pollution from traffic in the city of Copenhagen", The Science of The Total Environment, 279:131-136 teams of two cyclists and two car drivers in two cars were equipped with personal air samplers while driving for 4 hours on 2 different days in the morning traffic ...


40

The short answer is that 'safer' is subjective and depends on your requirements. You are both correct. Movement attracts the eye, so your blinking light is noticed. It is easier to judge the position of a steady state light. For a motorist to pick out your tail light, particularly, from a sea of noise is very difficult. The surface area of the light is ...


39

Helmets should be replaced roughly every 5 years and after any crash where your head makes contact with the ground. Helmets will crumble, compress or otherwise deform in sometimes hard to see ways when you hit the deck. The structural integrity of the thing will be massively diminished after even a relatively tame fall. This is one area where you don't want ...


38

The obvious few things are: Front light Red rear tail light Spare batteries for said lights Spoke lights/reflectors for improved side visibility Bright clothing, ideally cycling clothing with reflective strips on them.


38

The fork is fitted the wrong way around. The brake caliper should be in front of the fork, not behind it. The way it is, the bike will be very, very hard to ride because of the negative rake, making it very nervous. The negative rake is also the reason for the pedal overlap. Normally, you should at most get some toe overlap. Loosen the bolt in the top of ...


36

BMXers in some places put the shoe between rear tire and frame, just where the rear brake normally is attached to the bike. I've never done that, because I used to run knobby tires (ouch!), and nowadays I care a lot about brakes. You really should avoid this situation, because many times there would not be much to do. I would guess, a good alternative ...


31

It is worth noting that deaf people cycle perfectly well. @Joe's excellent comment merit's adding into the answer... Edit It should also be noted that deaf people are used to being deaf. They never rely on sounds like hearing-abled people do. Its OK to listen to music as long as a) you are aware that you don't have any audio clues to hazards b) don't ...


27

As you gain more experience in biking, you will learn to rely on your hearing as a fairly important input in your ability to make decisions. This applies to various disciplines of biking in the following ways: Urban: Cars starting up, parked cars cars with engine running, cars you can't yet see roaring up driveways or out of parking garages, and certain ...


27

Bicycle helmets contain crushable foam that works to extend the duration of impact by about 6 ms (milliseconds). This doesn't make the impact force disappear, instead it extends the duration of force experienced by the brain. By extending the duration, you reduce the peak force. The brain can withstand impacts to some degree, however if the impact is too ...


27

To be honest, I think you handled the situation pretty well as it was. You've got to get yourself to the bottom of the mountain safely and even in locales which have laws about deliberately impeding following road users you will have to allow people to pass in a manner safe for you, this isn't necessarily going to be immediately. Seems to me that this ...


26

AGAINST One of my primary issues with bike lanes is that motorists tend to think that you have to stay in that lane. So when you have to move right because of debris, garbage cans or parked cars in the lane it further annoys ill-informed drivers. Additionally, drivers come to expect you to be out of traffic, riding on the shoulder, and will squeeze by you ...


26

Bicycle mirrors are going fall into two basic categories- the type that you mount somewhere on your bike and the type that you mount somewhere on your head. Both categories have their pros and cons, but many of them are subjective. A pro to one individual may be considered a con to the next. Within those two categories you have a variety of different options ...


25

This is not an either-or proposition. Your bike is hitting the bumps and supporting your full weight (minus the very small proportion of weight that might be falling at that exact moment) regardless of how you stand when you hit the bumps. The difference is whether you're going to let the additional damping effects of the down tube, seat tube, bottom ...


24

Get a Bright Bike kit from brightthread.com: Bright Bike DIY kits cover your bicycle in easy-to-apply design-savvy ultra reflective vinyl for safety. It is like covering your bike with a big stickers that turn ultra-bright in headlights. The retroreflective vinyl is the same material used on the backs of running shoes, but with colors. The kits greatly ...


24

Only cross if you are walking and pushing your bike. If you are riding, you are a vehicle and generally you are required to obey all traffic control devices in the same way any other vehicle operator is. There are exceptions, like the Idaho Yield laws, but generally you have to behave like a car. The other thing to think about is that the more you behave ...


24

They're designed to take the impact of the fall, once they've done the job they can't be used again and you must buy another. It's not safe to attempt to repair a helmet with glue.


24

The Bicycle Safety Institute disagrees with the 2-3 year rule. They have a good page on replacing helmets. I usually replace one when the foam rubber gets old and crumbly, when the adjustments quit working, or when I damage it. UV can deteriorate the plastic if you leave it outside a lot. And, if you ever "use" a helmet, i.e., crash and save your skull with ...


23

Exposure while cycling is generally no worse than being in a vehicle. In fact can be better depending on the weather and the amount of solvents in the plastic of your car. You do experience more when cycling heavily - simply because you breath more - but general medical evidence is that the benefits of increased fitness greatly outweigh any problems. The ...


23

The key thing, is that you never want to be to the right of cars that are turning right. Depending on the exact lane setup and traffic amounts, I would do one of these: Merge left into the go-straight (left) lane, so that anybody turning right is in a separate lane to the right of me. Be in the center or left third of the right-turn lane, so that anybody ...


22

My opinion: I don't believe you can effectively draft and have enough time to stop. I don't know the exact aerodynamics (and I suspect it's affected by speed and wind), but if you watch any paceline or peleton, they're never more than a couple feet (about half a meter) behind the rider in front, often only a few inches (centimeters) behind. With a ...


22

For: If you fall on top of your head, it will protect it (also side impacts if wearing a full-face helmet while riding downhill mountain bike) No, this is not an overly simple reply. It's what it's designed for, it's what it does well and it's why you should wear one. Feel free to edit with documentation about head protection, but I think the number of ...


22

Bike Loops (sensors for traffic lights) One thing we have in the SF bay area are markings on the road where a bike can stand to trigger a green light. In intersections where the lights are governed by sensors, bikes can't usually trigger those, and end up having to either run the light, push the pedestrian crossing button, or wait for a car to show up. ...


22

Keep your front brake. It does the most work, it will stop you much faster than your rear brake ever could hope to. Take a look at a motorcycle, the front brakes are always much larger than the rear. Whenever you brake, on a bicycle, motorcycle, in a car, more weight is transfered to the front wheels, so the front tire has more traction to stop you with. ...


21

A lot of cyclists promote vehicular cycling in which you act just like a car, obeying all of the rules of the road. This includes respecting all stop signs & lights, travelling in the same direction on the same side of the road as motorized traffic, and using the full lane (taking the lane), often ignoring marked bike lanes if they are too small or ...


21

The Highway Code comes in handy with this question... In London drivers of all buses are exceptionally well trained and likely to be highly experienced. They know every part of their route and have 'dealt with' plenty of cyclists before. They will always indicate when they are pulling over and indicate again when they are going to pull out. It is highly ...


21

The short answer is that, in practical terms, the difference isn't great. The longer answer requires some explanation of "visual conspicuity." In optical engineering, conspicuity is the study of what makes things "conspicuous," and some researchers split the tasks into "detection" and "identification" (see, for example, the works of A. Toet et al, such as ...



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