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Does Roadbiking Make You a Better Driver?(25 posts)

Does Roadbiking Make You a Better Driver?Fez
Sep 17, 2003 11:53 AM
Well, as a roadbiker, I have always been a cautious, defensive, and bicycle-friendly driver.

I think riding a bike has made me a better driver.

1) I am much more aware of my surroundings. When I ride a bike, I am constantly aware of what is ahead of me, behind me, and to the side of me. I find myself doing the same behind the wheel. Mirrors in the car make it even easier than on the bike.

2) Crits make you learn all about turns and apexes. The same principles apply to an automobile as well.

3) Speed control. On a bike, its important to look ahead, conserve speed, and keep braking to a minimum. On the road, I am constantly amazed at how many idiot drivers hit the gas full throttle and blow by me, only to be stopped at the next intersection, saving no time, being dangerous, and wasting gas.

Any others?
Sep 17, 2003 11:59 AM
What you said, plus whenever I see an impatient/jerk/idiot driver while riding my bike I say to myself "I will not be like that!". Made me a lot mellower behind the wheel.
how cycling has affected my drivingJS Haiku Shop
Sep 17, 2003 12:00 PM
Since cycling has rotted my brain, I:

1) love to drive in close traffic with my mirrors 6" from the next car
2) get irritated when the driver in front lets gaps open in traffic
3) cut corners and use the whole road on twisty bits
4) avoid even small debris in the road, rough patches, and potholes
5) have the urge to use hand signals
6) accelerate at the bottom of hills and overpasses
7) accelerate again at the top
8) try to roll slowly instead of stopping at red lights
9) gun it over speed bumps
10) find myself "getting aero" over the steering wheel on long, flat stretches
11) am considering putting skulls on all 4 schrader valves

perhaps i'm strange for noticing these things.
LOL! I'm surprised you didn't change to Presta valves...Fez
Sep 17, 2003 12:06 PM
I don't know what's scarier:

a) Being a passenger in your car, or
b) Being a cyclist and having to share the road with you driving your car.
I can tell you which is scarier...TNSquared
Sep 17, 2003 12:57 PM
being a me. :-) Actually, J has been kind enough to share the hospitality of the Element with me on a couple of road trips. It's the 80's funk music, not his driving, that is scary.
What is in your gun rack??? nm.MB1
Sep 17, 2003 12:16 PM
bat for mailbox baseball nmJS Haiku Shop
Sep 18, 2003 5:18 AM
Do you call out road hazards to the drivers behind you? nmMXL02
Sep 17, 2003 12:38 PM
of course, don't you? 'slowing!'...'standing up'...'hole!' nmJS Haiku Shop
Sep 18, 2003 5:19 AM
Are you a Honda snob? Turning up your nose to Fiat drivers? nmDave Hickey
Sep 17, 2003 1:38 PM
Wrong! Its the other way around....don't some Ferrerai's havebicyclerepairman
Sep 17, 2003 3:14 PM
Campagnolo wheels?
Sep 17, 2003 3:37 PM
Alfas, too
if fiat made an Element, i'd be happy to push it to the shop nmJS Haiku Shop
Sep 18, 2003 5:20 AM
roll slowly and weave to prevent falling over (nm)witcomb
Sep 17, 2003 5:30 PM
mountain biking is just the oppositeColnagoFE
Sep 17, 2003 12:25 PM
after MTB I find myself driving faster and way less defensively. must be the attitude.
Definately yestheBreeze
Sep 17, 2003 12:34 PM
Ditto on all of the above, especially cornering. Though I have noticed a tendancy to want to to lift my inside knee and weight the outside foot.

Once while driving back from a century I found myself pointing out roadside debris to drivers behind me. It felt almost natural until I realized I was in a car.
ditto on the brakesgtx
Sep 17, 2003 12:55 PM
I've avoided getting involved in two very nasty freeway wrecks by staying calm and keeping my foot on the gas. Too many drivers swerve or throw on the brakes for minor stuff, then get out of control. And, like on the bike, I am constanly aware of my escape/evasive options.
No. I used to pull the ball, now I slice it :-) (nm)ET
Sep 17, 2003 1:05 PM
Sep 17, 2003 1:37 PM
I've caught myself, or my wife has caught me rolling through stop signs or even red lights. I never use to do that, and I hate to see others do it. Plus I want to draft the cars in front of me.
Between that and being an auto claims adjuster...merckx56
Sep 17, 2003 2:25 PM
I drive like freakin old man! You'd be surprised how crappy drivers really are! Our vehicles are markes with our company name EVERYWHERE and they still tailgate and just generally drive like morons around us. I feel bad for the guy that either hits me on my bike or in my company vehicle!
No, it's made me a worse driver......TNSquared
Sep 17, 2003 5:44 PM
every time I pass someone on a nice bike, I run off the road trying to get a better look! Of course, I make a point to veer *away* from the cyclist. :-)
Well, I get better gas mileage by drafting oiher cars! (nm)Jeff Rage
Sep 17, 2003 6:31 PM
Slower: Conserving speed, watch the brakes, hold your line! nmSpunout
Sep 18, 2003 3:53 AM
Sep 18, 2003 5:00 AM
I am more cautious with bikers, but now I'm in a big hurry to get home from work so I can jump on the bike.
Its been pointed out to me...MShaw
Sep 18, 2003 10:05 AM
...that I'm more aggressive after the Tuesday Night Races here at the San Diego Velodrome. I tend to go into gaps that otherwise I probably wouldn't, etc. I hadn't thought about it, but I can see how racing would do that: you have to be alert, aggressive, and to look out for #1.

When I haven't been racing in a while, I'm a much more mellow driver.

The biggest thing I've noticed is that most people don't look far enough ahead. I'll see that a light is red (or brake lights, or...) from 1/4-1/2mi away, so ease up to it. I constantly have my doors blown off by people that blaze up to the light, then jam on the brakes. Oh well.