Bikes and cars don't always get along this well.

The Lowest Common Denominator

The Lowest Common Denominator

by / / 122 posts

Stupidity is a powerful force never to be underestimated. Geese are a good example; a more stupid vertebrate one would be most challenged to come across yet should you wander into a flock of them pecking about peacefully in a field, one is likely to erupt from its grazing to grab a billful of your ass and commence beating you savagely with its wing. I witnessed such an event in Minneapolis, where a goose goosed a friend of mine. To our collective dismay, he showed off his buttockian bruise proudly for many weeks.

I’m not immune my own stupidity, which is unfortunate because if you already have to deal with other people’s stupidity, you should at least be free of dealing with your own. Tragically, the opposite appears to be true. In point of fact, a dominant portion of my life is spent recovering from my own acts of idiocy. For example, I recently rode an Imperial century on Whidbey Island in scorching heat. To combat dehydration, I carefully prepared my usual two bidons – one with electrolyte and one with plain water as is my custom – and proceeded to leave them in the car rather than place them on the bike. I was gleefully unaware of this oversight until I was well over an hour into the ride and I reached down for a drink in my usual Casually Deliberate style and found the cages mockingly empty.

Stupidity is also why I believe the iPhone has always been designed to be a one-handed device, to allow its user to send messages with one hand while driving, leaving the other hand free to drink coffee or wave the bird at other drivers. This leaves plenty of bandwidth for the vehicle to swerve off the road and stack up bicyclists on its hood.

There is no courage without fear, and no intelligence without idiocy. The problem with the latter in both cases is that they are much easier than the former and it feels a lot like easy win on the push with most of the population. Which means that in the majority of cases, we are dealing with idiotic cowards which is not an encouraging scenario, especially when taking your own stupidity into account.

Last year, the New York Times published an essay on the mentality of motorists when it comes to Cyclists. Its a terrifying read, the sort of writing that makes you question whether its smart to keep riding on the road. My personal conclusion is that the road is where I find my soul; to stop riding would be its own kind of death. Nevertheless, it is frightening thought that not only are many motorists inattentive, but some feel bicycles don’t belong on the road in the first place, and that should they be struck and killed, it is somehow their own fault. A truck driver in Seattle recently killed a female Cyclist who was commuting downtown. The local news celebrated the driver’s integrity for not leaving the scene of the accident.

Which raises the question of how one is to stay safe while riding. Personally, I’ve found myself riding ever more defensively aggressive when I’m on the road. I’m riding farther out from the side on narrow roads to keep cars passing at dangerous points and I’m avoiding the highest-trafficked roads whenever possible. In the rain, I’m even riding The Reflective Bike of Authority. (I draw the line at donning a YJA; we’re not a savages.)

These are easy things to do, but the fact is we are still at the mercy of our peers on the road who may not be watching for us, or – worse – not care if they hit is or – worst of all – feel it is somehow our own fault by being on the road in the first place. Changing this begins with us, the Cyclists, through the idea that we are ambassadors for our sport. With that, I felt it an appropriate time to remind us of our Urban Riding tips and update them a bit.

  1. Lead by example. Always obey traffic laws, taking special care to avoid violating hot-button laws like running stop signs. Every time we break a law, we send the message that the rules of the road don’t apply to us.
  2. Don’t escalate. You will invariably be placed into a dangerous situation by a driver who is either ignorant of the danger they caused you or is simply an ass. In both of these cases, screaming obscenities at them will only serve to put them on the defensive and make them hate cyclists even more than they already do. If you absolutely must say something, do your best to let them know why what they did was dangerous; if you’re polite and assertive, the message is much more likely to find it’s way home.
  3. Be gracious. If a car does the right thing, wave at them in thanks. If you know you are holding them up because you’re obstructing their path, move the side as soon as it’s safe and gesture your appreciation of their patience.
  4. Avoid telepathy. Always signal your intent and try to make eye contact with drivers whenever you’re not sure if they see you or not, especially in scenarios when you’ll be crossing their lane of traffic.
  5. Pay attention to the cars around you. Take note of the subtle signals the drivers are sending you. Are they overly fond of the brake pedal? Are they speeding? Are they swerving, texting, or otherwise distracted? Or do they drive predictably and use their turn signals properly? These things will tell you a lot about how safe you’ll be when they’re close to you.
  6. Ride predictably. When out training in town, consider yourself to be riding in the bunch, except the other riders are cars that can kill you. Just like riding in a group, when in traffic, hold your line, signal when there’s a hazard or when turning, and generally ride as predictably possible.
  7. Ride towards the side of the street. If there is a shoulder, ride in it, but if not, stay as far to the side as you safely are able to. Don’t ride so far to the side that it means you’re riding in debris that might cause a flat or might cause you to move erratically; there’s nothing safe about suddenly flying out into traffic while trying to avoid an object. Never ride through a puddle you can’t see the bottom of; it could be a much deeper hole than you think.
  8. Ride aggressively defensive. If there’s a narrow section of road coming up where it will be dangerous for a car to pass, signal to the cars behind and swing out into the middle of the lane until it’s safe for them to pass.
  9. It’s helpful to be able to accelerate quickly to move with traffic if necessary. In the event that you’re riding in a lane in order to discourage cars from passing, it’s good to move as close to the speed of traffic as possible.
  10. Avoid overly dangerous routes. Ride on the roads you need to in order to train properly, but also avoid unnecessarily dangerous areas or only ride them when traffic is at it’s lightest. Roads with good shoulders are preferable and, counter-intuitively, bike paths are not always safer places to ride; these are often filled with people of a variety of skill levels who may not be paying attention.

The best rides are those you come home from; always ride to proactively avoid placing yourself in dangerous situations and have a plan if you find yourself needing to take a risk. Stay safe and always remember we’re all brothers and sisters on the road. Vive la Vie Velominatus.

// Etiquette // La Vie Velominatus // Technique

  1. @Rob

    @Puffy did not see the apology vid but she was fired from her job – a police officer! What a twat.

    @Frank, Im not sure I want to play nice anymore? Back in the dark ages as a lone commuter for 4 years in London I had to obey all traffic rules and cars were, for the most part, respectful. Fast forward to these days, bikes as anarchists and cars pissed off, I choose to follow the lead of the cars and act like them – which in Miami is give them as much shit as they give each other and me. The translation for those who do not know is every one is freakin riding and driving like turds so I will be aggressive, offensive and ride very visibly as defense against their dumb, aggressive shit.

    Yes I probably piss off some good gentle folk but I do not care when 3-4,000Lbs of impatient asshole is shut down just a little, it feels good. What I’d really like is a law that allows us to carry Samurai swords, the long fuckers on our backs and when the next Caddildo Escalade cuts me off or can’t find the 10 seconds to wait before it comes close enough to nick me with the wing mirror then its time to chase it down and at the next light slash its hood/bonnet, chop off the offending wing mirrors and deflate all four tires.

    Ok, I feel better and of course, especially here in “hey everyone has a gun” Miami, I am just taking it all with the attitude that unless they make contact or threaten me I let it go. Its just bad driving. But I am serious about being Offensive, aggressive and visible as the best defense.

    Rob is wise. Like Rob, after many, many years of sharing the road with cars, I do have a hair trigger for telling someone to fuck off if necessary.

    Once, on my commute home I was about to take a right on my home street. Of course a car was passing me and it took the same right, no signal, no warning. Had I been going straight it would have been ugly. I called the operator an “Old Whore!” and we both careened through the corner. The car then pulled into the next driveway, where a grandson was waiting for his grandmother to arrive, the aforementioned Old Whore.

    As she pulled in, and I rode by, the grandson gave me the shrug, essentially saying, sorry, she is old as fuck to be driving. No harm, no foul.
    I fear I’ve told this proud story before. Oh well.

  2. @frank

    The reflective strips I put on the cranks help a lot – the moving cranks makes a huge difference.

    If you’re willing to desecrate a pair of rims, putting it on the rims can give an amazing result. The silver-color tape on an old pair of Open-4 CD’s (or the like) hardly shows from more than a few feet away. Line one side of the rim and it has a pulsating effect, like a big blinky light. I don’t know if it looks PRO, but it’ll help keep you alive.

  3. Wait, you went for a ride in scorching heat and didn’t take a drink for an hour?

  4. I want my 3 feet and “reasonable and prudent speed”!

    http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-bike-clearance-20140917-story.html

    Of course there is also this:

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-milton-charges-deputy-20140828-story.html

  5. This is my go-to gilet/overshoe combo for winter pre-work rides. The stripes across the middle are reflective & the back has further reflective patches as well, needless to say the pink is fairly eye catching (I’ve been told by riding buddies I’m still visible from close to 1k away on a foggy morning) and my thinking is that given my feet are the bit that’s moving, making them as bright as possible can’t hurt in attracting attention.

    The rumour that I also take considerable enjoyment from the odd looks I get walking to the office after parking the bike are completely unfounded…

  6. @Mikael Liddy

    You’re a brave, brave man, Mikael. I salute you.

    I mean, photographic evidence of a Rule #50 transgression. Your name may start with an M but doesn’t end ‘arco’.

    David (in jest, of course…..)

  7. Bike lanes? Car lanes? Driver education? Traffic lights? Road rules? LUXURY!

    I’ve lived in Cairo for a little over a year now. Its a city of 12 million people, with very limited public transport – the car is king. Petrol is cheap as are taxis and micro busses so the roads are very busy and well known for traffic jams. Fortunately I can walk to work. I don’t imagine I will ever drive here. The road rules are routinely disregarded. There’s only a few sets of traffic lights in the whole city and they get ignored. It’s quite normal for vehicles to cut across traffic, push in, turn left from the right lane, shortcut roundabouts or drive on the wrong side of the road. Anything goes.

    I ride the roads a bit. About 4-5 hours a week. Its about 15 minutes on the road to get to the MTB trails. The road bunch goes every Friday morning, returning before midday prayer time so the traffic is considerably reduced, but still solid. So its very much a matter of going when and where the cars are not.

    On first impression its chaos but after a while you get used to the patterns. It can seem “dog eat dog” but there’s an order to it. And there’s very lttle agro out there. Everyone gets cut off all day so it becomes a non issue. There’s not so many hoons but just as many idiots.

    In the end, the way I ride here is the same as in any city, heavily regulated or not: Be hyper aware of every vehicle, expect it to cross your path or into your space, have an exit plan, ride predictably, make eye contact…etc

    In many ways the increasing regulation of roads can make drivers less aware of the bigger picture and fixated with their “right of way” which they equate to some kind of ownership. Sydney was a beautiful place to ride but the divide between cars and bikes is getting extreme. At least in Cairo the idiots yelling out car windows usually cheer or call “Welcome to Egypt”.

  8. 11. Run a mirror. Most fatalities in Oz happen when the cyclist is struck form behind, especially at pinch points. KNowing what’s coming can save your life.

    12. Make eye contact before crossing the path of a vehicle. If you can’t see the whites of their eyes, they have not seen you.

    I ride at night a lot, as previously noted. Less cars, less heat, no magpies. What’s not to love.

    Good lights, including a little blue flasher to give peeps taht “oh fuck, its’ the cops” moment.

  9. @frank

    @@blackpooltower

    “Don’t escalate” makes total sense. I’ve tried the sweary, aggressive method and it has done no good.

    If, instead, you catch up with a bad driver at the next lights and say something like “Can you give a bit more room please, mate? That was scary back there”, you achieve so much more. By staying polite, you don’t trigger a confrontation. By drawing attention to your vulnerability you appeal to their better nature (everyone has one somewhere) and by asking them to do something differently – this is the key bit – they might actually do something differently.

    A big row changes no one’s behaviour. Think about the actual outcome you’re trying to bring about: better awareness, one driver at a time. Not tribal war.

    I’ve had success with this myself; making it personal and about how scary it was and how bad it would be for both of us if it went sideways seem to be the most effective.

    @Nate

    @frank are the reflective strips on the side of the cranks or on the trailing edge of it?

    That 3M black tape is great; you absolutely can’t tell its there until a light shines on it.

    Another thumbs up for 3M – I have a pair of Gaene G.Coste shoes in their Reflex material; essentially the entire upper is made of reflective 3M material and really lights up on dull days or winter nights.

  10. @Harminator I love Cairo traffic – don’t you think it’s just like being in the peloton in a bike race?

    You have to anticipate where everyone will go, how they are moving, slowing, who’s about to change their line – I’d love to have a go.

    But your point about ‘right of way’ and how it makes people less generally aware and more specifically focused is very true. Cairo is a great example of it, and I would add Mumbai as well.

    Remember a few years ago there was a lot of talk about some experiments in the Netherlands I think where they had removed all the traffic regulations, speed zones, rights of way, give ways and so on. Their theory was that making people take responsibility on their own judgement caused them to be more aware and less likely to have accidents.

    All they had to do was go to Cairo to see it in action on a massive scale. There really are no rules whatsoever, and people drive according to the conditions, not the regulations.

  11. @ChrisO I was going to make that comparison. Except a Cairo peloton would have the team cars and busses in with the bikes…

    To me, it feels more like being in one of those race track computer games. Except there’s no “play again” when you clip another racer and flip over the guard rail.

    Apparently the city brought in an expert traffic consultant to make recommendations on regulating for improvement. After 3 months he concluded that nothing could be done. And not in a bad way. Given the population and infrastructure, travelling times are actually pretty good.

  12. @frank

    On both the front and back of the crank on the outward facing surfaces:

    That 3M black tape is great; you absolutely can’t tell its there until a light shines on it.

    Sold, worth sticking on the seat tube too? Presumably peels off easily one the nights start getting lighter?

  13. @Harminator

    Bike lanes? Car lanes? Driver education? Traffic lights? Road rules? LUXURY!

    Ha ha! Nice use of Python…

  14. @Mikael Liddy I think it’s fair to say any driver in their right mind would give you a wide berth dressed like that.

    And I mean that in the nicest sense.

  15. @Mikael Liddy

    This is my go-to gilet/overshoe combo for winter pre-work rides. The stripes across the middle are reflective & the back has further reflective patches as well, needless to say the pink is fairly eye catching (I’ve been told by riding buddies I’m still visible from close to 1k away on a foggy morning) and my thinking is that given my feet are the bit that’s moving, making them as bright as possible can’t hurt in attracting attention.

    The rumour that I also take considerable enjoyment from the odd looks I get walking to the office after parking the bike are completely unfounded…

    You sir are a brave and self-confident man. Few would dare dress like you let alone go anywhere near their work place. Kudos for sticking to your guns and (secretly) enjoying the “odd looks.”

    Oh, and by the way, your “winter” attire is spring, fall, and occasionally summer attire here in Wisconsin! I wore basically the same set up on Saturday morning.

  16. In general, for winter riding, I think anything that blinks or moves is best. When I used to commute to Uni in the late 80s, I wore reflective ankle bands. They really got drivers’ attention. Nowadays with led lights being so good, cheap and versatile, there’s no excuse for not using one. If I know I’ll be riding in the full dark I’ll put a blinking white led on both forks, a white light under the stem and a blinking red led off the saddle and two red blinking leds on the seat stays. I might look like a friggin Christmas tree but the drivers see me.

    Back in the day the best we had were Wonder lights that ran on regular batteries and lasted about 30 minutes before fading. The damn clip weighed more than most led lights do today and don’t get me started on big ass Ever Ready (a real misnomer) lights that took two DD batteries.

  17. @Wiscot Ha, I had forgotten about those old Ever Readys! Used to have them on my Raleigh for doing the paper round, when I were a lad. Fucking awful things. Spent all my paper round wages on batteries.

  18. @VeloJello

    @Wiscot Ha, I had forgotten about those old Ever Readys! Used to have them on my Raleigh for doing the paper round, when I were a lad. Fucking awful things. Spent all my paper round wages on batteries.

    I’m sure I have one of those in a box of stuff in the back of the workshed somewhere…

  19. The biggest thing I’d like to add is DON’T PASS ON THE RIGHT… even if you’re in a bike lane (for North America). But if you must, do so with the utmost caution. Drivers don’t look or signal if they’re turning right, they just swerve, and they assume that once they’ve passed you that you disappear like some sort of video game (as much of their life is imagined as though they were ‘gaming’). I’ve had people pull up beside me, then swerve into a drive way while I’m still there – in a bike lane I might add.

    My other rule to add is: ALWAYS ASSUME THEY’RE TEXTING. because they usually are.

    I’ve pre-ordered a Ride Eye in order to get evidence of aggression and dangerous driving.

    Also, a fellow out of England has written a book that would enlighten many motorists. Although in North America this may be quite different since much of the infrastructure was built during the auto boom.
    http://www.roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com/

    My favorite thing for a-hoes to say if “You’re not a car”, to which an easy response is “Neither are you! Unless of course you are the first talking car of your kind. I am a person, nice to meet you talking automobile”

  20. @Teocalli

    @VeloJello

    @Wiscot Ha, I had forgotten about those old Ever Readys! Used to have them on my Raleigh for doing the paper round, when I were a lad. Fucking awful things. Spent all my paper round wages on batteries.

    I’m sure I have one of those in a box of stuff in the back of the workshed somewhere…

    And to enlighten our younger readers, the lenses on those puppies were about 3″ in diameter! And the clips were so bad that if you hit a serious bump the damn thing jumped out, landed on the road and promptly broke into 20 pieces.

  21. The road is host to many more idiots than murderers. I set my 650 lumen NiteRider to blink for daytime town riding. Cars magically pull to the left. I have even seen young women look up from texting behind the wheel.

    A new kickstarter project (ridehelios.com) has bars with built in front light and turn signals. Won’t work for that perfect fit, but plenty good enough for the commuter bike.

  22. @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    I’m sure I have one of those in a box of stuff in the back of the workshed somewhere…

    And to enlighten our younger readers, the lenses on those puppies were about 3″³ in diameter! And the clips were so bad that if you hit a serious bump the damn thing jumped out, landed on the road and promptly broke into 20 pieces.

    Yup! I’m sure I have a metal one somewhere too with many dents from that syndrome. Trouble is that even if the lamp survived the filament in the bulb inevitably broke.

  23. @Teocalli

    @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    I’m sure I have one of those in a box of stuff in the back of the workshed somewhere…

    And to enlighten our younger readers, the lenses on those puppies were about 3″³ in diameter! And the clips were so bad that if you hit a serious bump the damn thing jumped out, landed on the road and promptly broke into 20 pieces.

    Yup! I’m sure I have a metal one somewhere too with many dents from that syndrome. Trouble is that even if the lamp survived the filament in the bulb inevitably broke.

    Yup, and to be honest, after 20 minutes of use you’d probably get more lumens from a candle!

    I’m so old I remember handlebar-mounted bottle cages. Most bikes had no brazed-on bosses. They sucked unless you activated the spring clip that squeezed the bottle! Again, you hit a bump and your bottle went a-flyin’! They were chrome-plated steel which always worked well when brought into contact with liquids.

    You kids today, you just don’t know how good you have it, now get orf my lawn.

  24. @frank you got a part number for that tape?

  25. @extra special and bitter re: never pass on the right: it astounds me how many drivers will roar up my side, slam on their brakes to make a right in front of me, realize I’m there and moving faster than some college kid on a walmart bike, then almost get rear ended because it only then occurs to them that they shouldn’t cut me off. Then everyone has to wait while I yell at them that if they’re going to cut me off they should just own it.

  26. @Mikael Liddy

    This is my go-to gilet/overshoe combo for winter pre-work rides. The stripes across the middle are reflective & the back has further reflective patches as well, needless to say the pink is fairly eye catching (I’ve been told by riding buddies I’m still visible from close to 1k away on a foggy morning) and my thinking is that given my feet are the bit that’s moving, making them as bright as possible can’t hurt in attracting attention.

    The rumour that I also take considerable enjoyment from the odd looks I get walking to the office after parking the bike are completely unfounded…

    That gilet is awesome, I was given one as a freebie during my recent Manchester to London ride. Downside is that I’m now going to be forced to buy some Rapha kit as it doesn’t go at all all well with any of my current kit. The fit is absolutely spot on.

    I was wondering how it would be received here, is a PYA (or PGA) more acceptable than I YHA (YGA) on the grounds that it’s a nice piece of kit and it is possible to look fabulous in it?

  27. I think I might need a black bike first.

    Overshoes

  28. @Chris

    I think I might need a black bike first.

    Overshoes

    I believe that’s the low-cut Quintana model right there . . .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RHv4ESCggo 14 seconds an 1′ 25″ tell the terrible tale of the pink booties.

  29. @Chris The Brevet jersey (complete with vest) is an amazing piece of kit.

  30. @wiscot

    I’m so old I remember handlebar-mounted bottle cages. Most bikes had no brazed-on bosses. They sucked unless you activated the spring clip that squeezed the bottle! Again, you hit a bump and your bottle went a-flyin’! They were chrome-plated steel which always worked well when brought into contact with liquids.

    You kids today, you just don’t know how good you have it, now get orf my lawn.

    This could get like the Monty Python clip. You only *remember* one of these……

  31. @Mikael Liddy Nice look, but why are you messing about with black jersey and white arm warmers? You need a pink long sleeve pro team jersey. If you haven’t tried them, do it, they are absolutely superb. The arms are not as warm as the classic arm warmers though.

    @Chris My take on the whole thing is that bright colours are necessary on the road in anything other than really good visibility, and especially so when mixing it with traffic. I interpret the term ‘YJA’ as applying to the sort of baggy mountain bike ‘commuter’ jacket usually sported by people who ride bikes, in which it is impossible to Look Fantastic. It doesn’t have to be yellow, it can be red, orange, blue or any colour you like, it still looks shit. Proper race spec kit from the likes of Rapha, Castelli, et al will fit properly and enable one to maintain acceptable sartorial standards in any colour one likes. As for Rapha, I’ve bought a load of their stuff over the years; it’s not cheap, but I’ve never been disappointed with any of it.

  32. @Teocalli

    @wiscot

    I’m so old I remember handlebar-mounted bottle cages. Most bikes had no brazed-on bosses. They sucked unless you activated the spring clip that squeezed the bottle! Again, you hit a bump and your bottle went a-flyin’! They were chrome-plated steel which always worked well when brought into contact with liquids.

    You kids today, you just don’t know how good you have it, now get orf my lawn.

    This could get like the Monty Python clip. You only *remember* one of these……

    Ahhh, but mine had a spring clip to hold the bottle, not like your fancy-schmancy one! The bottle also had a wee cap to cover the drinking spout that was attached to the bottle by a collar-thingy.It was made of plastic at least . . . .

    By the way, what’s that black thing it’s sitting on? I ain’t never seen one of them afore . . .

  33. @wiscot Dunno what the black thing is but nowt but trouble seems to come out of it……

  34. @Mikael Liddy Mr. Liddy, I have whole new level of admiration and appreciation for you. Chapeau!

  35. @Chris I have the pink Rapha jacket. It is fabulous and drivers seem to give me a bit more room.

  36. @Chris E Dub

    This is frightening and interesting at the same time:

    http://youtu.be/wzL0Kyk4m-8

    This truck/construction mob have these signs on all their fleet;

  37. @Frank Happy to oblige. I don’t use the word often but when I do I mean it.

  38. @Frank Hey, I’d hate to disappoint. I don’t use the word often, but when I do I mean it.

    BTW, I can sort of post. It’s definitely an IP address thing – can’t post from home, only from work, or when I’m on my UK VPN.

    So I was meditating further on this general subject this morning as I rode home, especially after Harminator’s posts yesterday about Cairo.

    In Dubai nobody cares that I skip some red lights – there are other bits where I have to cross six lanes of traffic moving at 90km/h. This is a city where they are used to seeing workers on old steel sit-up bikes (Flying Pigeons are popular) riding in the gutter the wrong way against traffic.

    Nobody sees me as a threat. I’m not in their way, I’m not blocking their lane and I’m not going faster than them, so they don’t give a toss if I skip a light to get ahead and avoid being in their way when the light goes green.

    And this is where I think Frank and other people who say we should obey the rules are wrong. By doing that we reinforce the message that we are the same as cars, we just happen to be powered differently. This was the official position of the British cycle groups in the post-war road development environment. They took a firm stance that bikes had every right to be on the roads and should be treated as any vehicle, and that view is the one that largely holds sway in the English-speaking world.

    On the Continent however they took the view that bikes are not the same as cars. They are more vulnerable, slower and have different requirements, and therefore different rights and obligations. And they developed an infrastructure to fit that and the mentality to follow.

    So now, who has better cycling rates, fewer deaths and injuries?

    By not obeying the laws of the road, meant for cars, I am saying that I am not just a human-powered car. If it pisses off motorists that I don’t follow the same rules then maybe they should stop to think whether we are really the same in the first place.

  39. @ChrisO

    BTW, I can sort of post. It’s definitely an IP address thing – can’t post from home, only from work, or when I’m on my UK VPN.

    I do check the SPAM periodically for your name because I know you are having issues and I found one post from Saturday and one from today (actually from Sept 18 which is the future for us here in the Pacific time zone) but you’re the only one who has barked loud enough to make it known there’s an issue and a scan of the SPAM queue (about 19,000 posts) is an impossible task if the goal if finding others whose posts are being locked up.

    Hopefully you’re unkonwingly sharing an IP host with a terrahist and that’s why and you’re the only one who’s getting bogged down.

  40. @davidlhill

    @Mikael Liddy

    You’re a brave, brave man, Mikael. I salute you.

    I mean, photographic evidence of a Rule #50 transgression. Your name may start with an M but doesn’t end ‘arco’.

    David (in jest, of course…..)

    I love that the first response had nothing to do with the kit…well played.

    For the record that’s about a week’s worth of stubble, it’s just that my face seems not to grow any hair outside that area!

  41. Some really good advice there. I generally ride defensive aggressive, more as a means of leaving myself some wriggle room when things get a little tight. Being gracious has also worked well for me. A waved thank you goes a long way with most drivers and will hopefully encourage them to give way more often. I am considering some brighter gear for this autumn/ winter as I get more aware of my own mortality as I get older. Not sure that head to toe black conforms, but not sure if I’m ballsy enough to go flo pink either. Chapeau @Mikael Liddy

  42. Awesome work, Frank. Lately I too have been going to new lengths to avoid getting run over. Taking the lane, even more eye contact, riding at off-off peak times, taking the lowest volume routes. I feel much safer all the time, but I won’t let that slip into inattention. I think I used to ride Defensively Aggressive, but tried too hard to not piss off drivers along the lines of moving all the way over, even when it made me less safe. Now I ride well off the shoulder stripe and if people don’t like that, sorry dude. I want to force the cars to use the other lane to pass.

    The tape idea is great, gotta get on that.

    If you live anywhere with cycling advocacy, get INVOLVED! Entire states are removing “Share the Road” signs (they don’t work as intended) and replacing them with “Bicyclists Make Take Full Lane.” I know KS and DE have done it, your state could be next, so get invovled!

    Also, I run a light on the back of my helmet in fall winter. Planet Bike just came out with a new awesome Micro Super Flash. Super light since it is USB and thus no batteries. I just put a Velcro strap through the rear of all my helmets and move the light depending on which I’m using.

    Super Flash Turbo on seatstay, Serfas Thunderbolt on seat pillar, Super Flash Mini on helmet, three levels of lights. I dig all of them, if anyone is in the market for new lights. The full sized Super Flash also now comes in USB-rechargeable. Nice.

    Keep ridin’ Defensively Aggressive, Followers!

  43. @Owen http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0093QJQMK

    Tiny roll but 1m enough for a couple of bikes.

  44. @wiscot

    Oh, and by the way, your “winter” attire is spring, fall, and occasionally summer attire here in Wisconsin! I wore basically the same set up on Saturday morning.

    Just for shits & giggles, here’s what I got away with this morning leaving at 5.15am (pre-dawn, 24 days in to spring)…

    Think I’ve said it before, but riding in Adelaide doesn’t suck.

  45. @Mikael Liddy

    @wiscot

    Oh, and by the way, your “winter” attire is spring, fall, and occasionally summer attire here in Wisconsin! I wore basically the same set up on Saturday morning.

    Just for shits & giggles, here’s what I got away with this morning leaving at 5.15am (pre-dawn, 24 days in to spring)…

    Think I’ve said it before, but riding in Adelaide doesn’t suck.

    Sydney is hosting some glorious weather over the next little bit. Lucky for me I am on holidays so will get plenty of time to develop the tan lines.

  46. @gilly

    Some really good advice there. I generally ride defensive aggressive, more as a means of leaving myself some wriggle room when things get a little tight. Being gracious has also worked well for me. A waved thank you goes a long way with most drivers and will hopefully encourage them to give way more often. I am considering some brighter gear for this autumn/ winter as I get more aware of my own mortality as I get older. Not sure that head to toe black conforms, but not sure if I’m ballsy enough to go flo pink either. Chapeau @Mikael Liddy

    Capo does a range of black jerseys and jackets that are reflective when a light shines on them. Haven’t tried them myself, but they look good (pics with & without flash, from Pez).

  47. @The Grande Fondue

    @gilly

    Hm. The site seems to strip frames out of Gifs? Here’s a link: http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/capo-hivisjacket-anim.gif, and I’ll try embedding it:

  48. How’s this quote from an ABC television presenter here in Oz at the end of an article bemoaning car congestion in Melbourne:

    “…and that’s without even mentioning all the bicycles that dangerously infest our roads these days.”

    Think he was looking for a reaction, but comes across as a fucktard.

  49. @Brianold55

    How’s this quote from an ABC television presenter here in Oz at the end of an article bemoaning car congestion in Melbourne:

    “…and that’s without even mentioning all the bicycles that dangerously infest our roads these days.”

    Think he was looking for a reaction, but comes across as a fucktard.

    So does he want them replaced by cars? As you say – halfwit at best.

  50. @Teocalli

    @Brianold55

    How’s this quote from an ABC television presenter here in Oz at the end of an article bemoaning car congestion in Melbourne:

    “…and that’s without even mentioning all the bicycles that dangerously infest our roads these days.”

    Think he was looking for a reaction, but comes across as a fucktard.

    So does he want them replaced by cars? As you say – halfwit at best.

    “Infest”? What are we, fucking locusts? That moron should be forced to commute to work for a week by bike. That would change their tune.

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