Roadie Tips To Stay Alive...

BiknBen

Well-Known Member
I was just a young buck when I began riding on the road. I had no one to provide me with much guidance. I just stared at shiny stuff at the bike shop, got on the Performance Bike mailing list (pre-interweb ), and read Bicycling Mag.

One quote that got my attention was printing in Bicycling, "Ride Fast, Hog the road, act like traffic!" I cut it out and taped it to my bedroom wall among other bike pictures and clippings. To this day, I still take that advice with me on every ride.

Ride Fast
Women's self-defense groups say "walk with purpose to avoid becoming a victim of an attack". The same thing applies to a cyclist. Ride like you mean it. Weaving all over while trying to look over your shoulder at each car is going to get you in trouble.

Hog the Road
Don't take it literally. Demand your share of the road. Stay visible, make motorists react to you. Give an inch and they'll take a foot. If you ride in the gutter, you will be overlooked and ignored. The law states that you must stay as far right as practical. That does not mean you have to ride in the debris of the shoulder. Don't risk a crash or flat just because they don't clean the roads.

Act Like Traffic
Obey the rules of the road. Use turn signals and turn lanes. Show respect to motorists and demand the same in return. Riding erratically leads to beeping horns and yelling drivers.

Feel free to reply with tips of your own. :hmmm:
 

Cyclopath

Shop Owner / Employee
Shop Keep
Be Aggressively Defensive
Never, ever assume any driver can see you.
Especially at intersections when you have the right of way... Be loud, point directly at drivers to get their attention(works like a charm) make your intentions known and get acknowledged. Then be sure to give a thank you wave.

Loud and bold gets you noticed, quiet and timid gets you dead.
 

ChrisG

Unapologetic Lifer for Rock and Roll
Good stuff, Ben.

A few more:

Learn how to look around
As Ben notes, you don't want to be constantly looking over your shoulder, but I all too often see and ride with people who sit on the bike like the Tin Man. Awareness of what's going on around you is tough to maintain if you never bother to look. This is particularly annoying, not to mention downright dangerous, in group ride situations. Practice looking behind you while maintaining a straight line.

Ride Light
The ability to absorb bumps, cracks, rocks, road kill, etc. is vital. To me, another mark of the incomplete cyclist is the really strong roadie who can't deal with a pothole without crapping his pants. If you ride in NJ, you're gonna deal with bad roads eventually, if not often, so learn to ride with your shoulders relaxed, elbows NOT LOCKED. Your rear end should not be welded to the saddle. Grip on the bars should be firm, but not clenched-fist firm.

The flipside of this is the mtb-er who is graduating to the road and slams into stuff like he's still on his 6" travel bike. Avoidance is still the #1 way to deal with road obstacles, as long as it can be done w/o dangerous weaving.
 

ArmyOfNone

Well-Known Member
Ride prepared...

For the very least a flat. Just get on the bike and ride w/o a thought of "what if i get a flat?"

Its the one thing at the shop I can sell since im not so great at selling bikes. :D
 

Wobbegong

Well-Known Member
Dont be afraid to use your voice.....

If your approaching an intersection and you havent made eye contact with the person in the car waiting to pull out, dont be afraid to use your voice as a horn. This has saved my ass a few times.

Make sure your seen, even if by voice.
 

elzoller

El Guac-Oh
the first thing I learned about road biking...

So...before I got on the road I went and bought tubes to be prepared ;) to my surprise, I learned I had to wear protection while inflating my tires :rolleyes:

SANY0029.jpg

*actual box of Kenda tubes.

I have never checked, but do MTB tubes have the same instructions on their boxes? :D
 

BiknBen

Well-Known Member
JimieV said:
Romance explosions?

C'Mon now. I start a nice thread in a sincere attempt to help others. 5 posts later we are talkign about money shots and safety glasses. :eek:
 

clarkenstein

JORBA Money Launderer
JORBA.ORG
:topic:

in all seriousness - if you are/have been tagged by a car... what do you do? i'm not talking like i got slammed by a truck and my femur is trying to get a suntan kinda of tagged, more like, i was at an intersection, and the car in the right lane bumped me while turning right and i was going straight and i had a brush with the door, but stayed upright.

also...

at an intersection with left turn and/or right turn lanes at a light, do you sit in the lane when waiting at the light to change, or do you always stay to the right, wait for the traffic to turn right, then make your move to continue on (i hope that makes sense... i'm taking a break from studying for the CPA exam, so my brain isn't working)?

sorry if the ?'s are dumb - i have very little road experience...
 
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jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
OK OK OK !! Sorry. Back on point...Rule number ONE for staying alive on the road...

DON'T DIE!!

You'll pretty much stay alive as long as you're not dead, death will kill you every time:D

-Jim.
 

BiknBen

Well-Known Member
clarkenstein said:
if you are/have been tagged by a car... what do you do?... i was at an intersection, and the car in the right lane bumped me while turning right and i was going straight and i had a brush with the door, but stayed upright....
This is called a "Right Hook". It is a classic maneuver that I've had happen a number of times. When approaching a side street on the right, listen for cars slowing down as they get next to you. I will often move left in an attempt to discourage the Hook. If they go by and are about to hook you, slide to the left and pass them on that side as they turn. If too late, turn right with the vehicle.

What you do when hooked is up to you. I have given drivers a tongue lashing. I got hooked by a school bus once. I waited the next day and took a photo of the bus driver and plate number to report to police.

clarkenstein said:
...at an intersection with left turn and/or right turn lanes at a light, do you sit in the lane when waiting at the light to change, or do you always stay to the right, wait for the traffic to turn right, then make your move to continue on...
Take the lane and wait like a car...almost always. If I didn't think it was safe doing that, I would consider an alternate route entirely.
 

Cyclopath

Shop Owner / Employee
Shop Keep
:topic:

in all seriousness - if you are/have been tagged by a car... what do you do? >>> i was at an intersection, and the car in the right lane bumped me while turning right and i was going straight and i had a brush with the door, but stayed upright.

Choking the driver, nailing them with a water bottle or other violence is ill advised, but if you've been hit, you can take tag numbers and have the right to report it to police as if it were an automotive accident. If you have the right of way, you've been broad sided. If you're tagged and the driver leaves, it's a hit and run. Plain and simple.

Now, the officer you speak with may or may not take it seriously if there is no physical or property damage, but should definitely be reported with even a minor injury if for nothing else but to scare the bejesus out of the clueless driver and protect their next victim.

at an intersection with left turn and/or right turn lanes at a light, do you sit in the lane when waiting at the light to change, or do you always stay to the right, wait for the traffic to turn right, then make your move to continue on...

You signal to drivers and take the lane that is allotted for flow in the direction you're going. ie. Left for left, middle for straight, right for right
That being said, you need to be completely aware of all vehicles around you and never assume that anyone sees you.

There are many areas where I will signal drivers that I am going straight especially when traffic splits at forks, circles, jug-handles etc. When there's lots of cars and lots of movement, a cyclist can be easily overlooked by a driver. Large motions, loud voices and unexpected signals from a cyclist gets you noticed in dicey situations.

Be aggressively defensive at all times.
Make your intentions known and remember to give a wave of thanks to the driver.:)
 

KenS

JORBA: Director
JORBA.ORG
Eat
A gel or something similar at least every hour, something solid after 3 hrs. I learned what happens after not eating for 6hrs, never again.
 

MTB Aussie

Member
Always take a lane in the middle when stopped to prevent drivers from trying to get by and sticking you between lanes. You can usually accelerate as fast as cars at a green before pulling back to the right after making your turns. Always use a blinking light on the back even in broad daylight ( see above about being noticed). Always assume the driver is going to ignore you.

There are plenty of dead guys in the cemetery that had the right of way. Don't assume because you think you have it that you will get it. Act like it (see "assertive" and "aggressively defensive" above), but be ready to dodge when you don't get the ROW.

Remember too, when a driver yields, waits or otherwise does the right thing for you wave and smile and encourage it.

(just think how hard this stuff is, on the mtb you just pick a line and hammer it!)
 

Cyclopath

Shop Owner / Employee
Shop Keep
.....
(just think how hard this stuff is, on the mtb you just pick a line and hammer it!)

Yes, but then there are the trees that move INTO your way.
Trees never move onto the tarmac.
Rocks never toss you OTB or slam you to the ground...
Poison Ivy? Chiggers?? WTF!!!

Seriously, they're both fun for different reasons. Er, not the poison ivy or chiggers... but road and MTB... a little clean shaven and high strung and a little bit dirty and bruised makes one very well balanced.:D
 
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MTB Aussie

Member
Yes, but then there are the trees that move INTO your way.
Trees never move onto the tarmac.
Rocks never toss you OTB or slam you to the ground...
Poison Ivy? Chiggers?? WTF!!!

Seriously, they're both fun for different reasons. Er, not the poison ivy or chiggers... but road and MTB... a little clean shaven and high strung and a little bit dirty and bruised makes one very well balanced.:D
The point I was making was with MTB YOU are the one who controls your destiny. I like both types of riding, for all the reasons you pointed out.
 
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