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Thread: My Morning Commute

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    This is so habitual for me that I find myself doing it even on my rides home in the middle of the night when I know for certain there is no one around for miles.
    I catch myself doing it while pushing a cart around the grocery store.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkel View Post
    I catch myself doing it while pushing a cart around the grocery store.
    'Cause of those scoflaw eCart drivers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    I think it should be an ingrained habit to glance over your left shoulder any time you are going to move left, whether on trail, road or racing in a garage. A mirror can mitigate this need to a significant degree, however. Even if you are completely copacetic with your move, it's good to know what's back there.
    This is so habitual for me that I find myself doing it even on my rides home in the middle of the night when I know for certain there is no one around for miles.
    Sigh. By implying that we don't employ mirrors and similar habits, you're beating a dead horse and missing the point entirely.

    Quote Originally Posted by ginacico View Post
    Me: Northbound MVT approaching turn onto the 14th St bridge. Looked behind and saw no one, slowed down gradually, gave a long full-arm left turn signal, and made a gradual wide turn leaving plenty of room for someone coming downhill in the opposite lane.

    You: Appeared out of nowhere and screeched your brakes behind me, as though I'd done something unpredictable and interrupted your morning hammerfest.


    Dude, that was audacious and amateur. Just because you're fast doesn't mean you're not an idiot.
    The point is, defensive behavior won't keep you from a wreck or near miss when people behave like asshats.

    LOTM and I are bitching about idiots who don't follow conventional rules of the road. I've concluded there is no productive advice on how to avoid or stop them, which is why this thread sounds like a broken record. A broken record. A broken record.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ginacico View Post
    sigh. By implying that we don't employ mirrors and similar habits, you're beating a dead horse and missing the point entirely.



    The point is, defensive behavior won't keep you from a wreck or near miss when people behave like asshats.

    Lotm and i are bitching about idiots who don't follow conventional rules of the road. I've concluded there is no productive advice on how to avoid or stop them, which is why this thread sounds like a broken record. A broken record. A broken record.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subby View Post
    I'm worried that the dude driving the opposite direction from me on Georgetown Pike this morning at 6:20am was not able to properly hear my witty rejoinder to his "get off the road" admonition. So just in case you stumble upon this board searching for answers, what I replied was..."fuck you".

    Boom. Roasted. Here is some Neosporin for that burn, etc..

    #fightme
    Curious. When we ride together, you always leave the fighting words to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ginacico View Post
    The point is, defensive behavior won't keep you from a wreck or near miss when people behave like asshats.

    LOTM and I are bitching about idiots who don't follow conventional rules of the road. I've concluded there is no productive advice on how to avoid or stop them, which is why this thread sounds like a broken record. A broken record. A broken record.
    Yup. Just this morning I was almost run over by the same driver twice. Even with my defensive behaviour, I barely escaped injury due to my evasive manoevers the second time. I failed to channel my inner Dirt, and I believe the surprisingly explative-free phrase I yelled was "What?!?!?! Did you NOT see my hand signal?"

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by ginacico View Post
    LOTM and I are bitching about idiots who don't follow conventional rules of the road. I've concluded there is no productive advice on how to avoid or stop them, which is why this thread sounds like a broken record. A broken record. A broken record.
    Kind of. After an RH sermon on civility (more or less) I am trying not to come off as bitchy, but as learning. There are as many people have noted above, things we do for our own safety that are in fact accommodations to unsafe behavior by others. Defensive biking, I guess. But I doubt any of us are perfectly defensive riders at all times - at some point looking out for the rule violators is exhausting. Not that I would ever discourage a practice that makes one safer. As I said, I will turn around to look more on trails and consider getting a helmet mirror (I had a handlebar end mirror a couple of bikes ago, but I hated it). But I do think the principle burden should be on the rider passing to call their passes, which is in fact the trail etiquette that I believe all trail owning orgs support, and which we now have nice new signs on most trails in NoVa to remind us of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ginacico View Post
    Sigh. By implying that we don't employ mirrors and similar habits, you're beating a dead horse and missing the point entirely.

    The point is, defensive behavior won't keep you from a wreck or near miss when people behave like asshats.

    LOTM and I are bitching about idiots who don't follow conventional rules of the road. I've concluded there is no productive advice on how to avoid or stop them, which is why this thread sounds like a broken record. A broken record. A broken record.
    I don't think Steve was implying that. LOTM was the one who says he doesn't look behind him (and I understand believes that this shouldn't be required if you signal). I'd agree with Steve on this one, that checking before you change lanes is just safe practice. I'm sure that 90% of the folks here are doing this. But, yeah, that horse is dead and I feel bad about the way it died. I'll stop beating it.

    Completely agree that you can't stop people from being asshats. Ideally there'd be consequences for people behaving like that on the trail besides just the ire of their fellow MUP users. Sadly relying on peoples' better nature and common consideration is a sort of 80/20 rule around here. I'm sure for some of you it feels less positive than that. I will say that every time I ride the MVT in traffic, I am amazed at the difference in behavior. On the W&OD most people cover lights, etc. On the MVT basically no one does. And obviously the trail is narrow and busier and people are speeding around peds or shooting the way-too-narrow-on-that-trail gap. It's ridiculous. And not even all of them are e-bike riders! ;-) The non-e-bike riders must be from Maryland.

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    Is like with cars. You shouldn't have to check to make sure drivers are actually stopping when their light changes red, but you do; otherwise, you get dead if you go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    I don't think Steve was implying that. LOTM was the one who says he doesn't look behind him (and I understand believes that this shouldn't be required if you signal). I'd agree with Steve on this one, that checking before you change lanes is just safe practice. I'm sure that 90% of the folks here are doing this. But, yeah, that horse is dead and I feel bad about the way it died. I'll stop beating it.

    Completely agree that you can't stop people from being asshats. Ideally there'd be consequences for people behaving like that on the trail besides just the ire of their fellow MUP users. Sadly relying on peoples' better nature and common consideration is a sort of 80/20 rule around here. I'm sure for some of you it feels less positive than that. I will say that every time I ride the MVT in traffic, I am amazed at the difference in behavior. On the W&OD most people cover lights, etc. On the MVT basically no one does. And obviously the trail is narrow and busier and people are speeding around peds or shooting the way-too-narrow-on-that-trail gap. It's ridiculous. And not even all of them are e-bike riders! ;-) The non-e-bike riders must be from Maryland.

    Ah, I shouldn't beat dead horses either, but do want to clarify my position a bit.

    1. I always look when changing lanes on roads.

    2. Even before this discussion, I sometimes looked when changing lanes on trails.

    3. I have often not done so. If I am the only person here who has not completely consistently biked defensively (IE not merely being a PAL, but going beyond to check for violations by others) I do need to self reflect more.

    4. Yes, I do think that one should not HAVE to look behind on a trail when passing appropriately and signalling. Note, we are talking about passing into an opposite direction lane, where only another passer should be approaching from behind, its not the equivalent of passing into another lane going the same direction (as on a multilane road). And I note that all the trail etiquette rules I have seen do say to call your passes, and none say to anyone that they are required to look behind when passing. As a matter of policy, of what trail etiquette we promote, I do NOT think we should be promoting an obligation to look behind when passing. Just as we should not be promoting an obligation for people proceeding through an intersection with a green light to look for red light violators. Or promoting an obligation for pedestrians walking with the light, in crosswalks, to not look at their phones in order to check for scofflaw drivers.

    5. That does not mean defensive biking/walking/driving is not a good idea for self preservation. I certainly do not look at my phone when walking across the street. I am, I think more cautious at street intersections than most riders I see. I will be more careful when passing on the trails, to avoid being hit by someone passing me without calling.

    6. But yeah, those folks (who pass without calling) are a source of danger and discomfort to other trail users. They are not following widespread rules of trail etiquette (at least in the USA).

    7. My main solution to this, for me personally, is simply to avoid the MVT at the most crowded times, when it is filled both with users I need to pass (walkers, runners, and very slow riders) and the pathletes who will pass me without calling. Thankfully I have an alternative I like the Eads Street bike lanes. People can complain about the imperfections of those lanes all they want, but given how I ride (not terribly fast, and quite careful at intersections) I find them much more comfortable than the MVT most of the time - I tend to take them at PM rush hour even though they lengthen my commute home.

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