Video: Vulnerable on the Open Road, Bike Safety

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a video of five pro cyclists discussing bike safety. It’s part of a new campaign by PeopleForBikes. To support cycling infrastructure and future development, they’re collecting one million signatures from people across the states. Check out the pledge here.

Comments

Tim - 09/04/12 - 1:40am

I’m all about bike awareness but this video has a few clips of cyclists riding 2 or 3 riders abreast, enough to piss off any driver, myself included. No wonder why you get clipped, you are taking more than 3 feet of the road allocated for cyclists. I don’t understand why people don’t ride as far right as possible. If you want to make your “presence” known and ride further from the curb than expect to get honked at or clipped if you are holding up traffic. Anytime there is an accident, I honestly think both parties are at fault. If you’ve ever ridden a motorcycle, I would say it’s even more dangerous than cycling and it takes more common sense.

Lstuff - 09/04/12 - 10:04am

This video is why I ride off-road like 85%+ of the time. If I ride pavement it’s most likely on closed roads, designated paved bike path or areas with bike lanes. I will go way out of my way to go to one that’s safe. When I do ride on the road with others I ride single file and as far right as possible, being “hyper aware” (as the biker in the video says) and proactive to drivers. Yes, it’s really nice riding next to your buddy on the road or in a pack and yes people should respect you and most do, but it’s that one car that takes your buddy out and then possibly you too for being right next to him that can end both your lives or cripple you! Is that worth it? Not in my book. The risk is way too high. Off road I control most of the risk and yes there is quite a bit of risk careening a trail a high speed right on the edge of a cliff or trees or boulders flashing by, one small blowout or mistake on your part and you could be in a world of hurt. But still there are no trucks, cars and big rigs driving on the off road trails that could possibly clip me.

Like the video stated: “A car wins every single time”.

Anyway be safe out there everyone. Don’t think twice think three times about the choices you make out there it could mean your life!

This video is a great start for awareness and nicely done. It requires respect and awareness from both automobile drivers and bicyclist.

JoeKing - 09/04/12 - 10:29am

Road riding….dealing with texting, honking, traffic, police, traffic lights, heat reflected off asphalt, inattentive drivers behind you, egos & pain.

Mountain biking…dealing with trees, flowers, squirrels, rocks, more challenging technical riding & tranquility.

After many years of road riding I made my choice.

Aaron - 09/04/12 - 11:19am

Tim- I’m not sure where you are from but where I ride cyclist have the same rights to the road as vehicles. While we generally make an effort to “single up” for drivers that’s not always a possibility. As far as your comment about staying as far right as possible, I totally disagree. I’ve found that when I try to do this it encourages drivers to pass when they shouldn’t or don’t really have the room. Additionally, when I’m far right it’s harder for drivers to see me and increases the chances that they will not realize I’m there on the road. What was said in the video is so true, is it really worth risking someone’s life so you aren’t inconvenienced by loosing 20-30 seconds out of your commute? Slow down and remember that you are driving a half ton vehicle and encountering people on 18 lb bikes.

RUSTYDOGG - 09/04/12 - 1:14pm

Ride smart. Its a road made for cars. Too many riders feel they are entitled to that small piece to the side. That may be true in the DMV manual and law books. But doesn’t mean jack at the end of the day. Paying attention while driving these days isn’t first priority these days. Everyday is a gamble on the road, all you can do is hope that its not your turn to bite the dust. Nothing you can do about it. Just the facts.

Chipollini - 09/04/12 - 5:31pm

@ Aaron – I completely agree, except most cars are closer to 1 ton/2000 lbs+ but, yes no contest.
And yes, Tim you are a knuckle head…
1. Most of this footage other than the interviews are of pro teams with pace cars and marshaled roads for the shooting of it promotional purposes, thats why they are spread out like that. The accidents that they had were in training or casual riding.
2. Most states in the US and other countries see cyclists on city streets and some highways as equal in rights to any other motorist, with the directive for slow traffic to stay to the right when passing conditions arise.
3. If your are a cyclist riding in an are where the shoulder is in poor condition, littered with debris, non existent, or an area that cars can’t pass (i.e. double yellow’s, twisty roads, blind corners etc.) take the center graciously, signal, hustle as best you can, and give a thank you wave and a smile. And, like the video said, be “predictable”. Aaron is right, it’s not about making your “presence” know so much as to not encourage drivers to pass in places that are hazardous to both cyclists and motorists.
4. Getting past a cyclist in a rush to get home to a sad life of shit food **and various edited things** is not an excuse to blast past cyclists, how much time will you save racing to the next red light then idling for 45 seconds before racing to the next red light? You won’t get there any faster, the McDonalds in the passenger seat will still be semi gelatinous by the time you get back, the fry soggy, and for what?

Tim - 09/04/12 - 11:05pm

@Aaron – The point is minimizing your risks which means choosing the right place to be at the right time. I’ve come to the conclusion that if a driver is in a hurry or driving aggressively, there is nothing you can do about it and they WILL pass you safely or unsafely. If you want to try to play police officer and enforce those rules on your bicycle, good luck! I believe drivers respect cyclists the most when the cyclist knows how to position themselves so they are not in the way or they know how to get out of the way quickly if they are. Cars are traveling twice your rate of speed if not faster, don’t be an obstruction or nusance out on the road.

@Chipollini – If I’m a knucklehead then you are a complete moron. If you want ride your bicycle based on assumptions on how drivers will react to your riding behavior, you won’t last long. Not every driver follows the rules to the T and it’s impossible for you to enforce that when you are on your bicycle. Good luck trying to “not encourage drivers to pass you”, sounds like an unnessary gamble. It wouldn’t suprise me if drivers buzz by you and piss you off or if you’ve had confrontation with drivers in the past. I think this is wasted argument because I don’t think you truly understand what it takes to be a DEFENSIVE bicycle rider. I would love to see you ride a motorcycle, you would probably be already fried.

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