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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 15:17 
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I never reach the point where I know I've been seen, but I reach the point where I know it doesn't matter - through positioning and speed and the fact that I know if I need to I can get out of the way.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 15:18 
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BottyBurp wrote:
Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
BottyBurp wrote:
COAST, experience, positioning, engine revs to name the first few that come to mind...


And do you ever reach that point when you know you've been seen?

Nope.


Oh, that's interesting, because I often do...

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 15:23 
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Grumpy Old Biker wrote:

...

R1nut wrote:
I have ridden with the lights on and off and have discovered that when filtering through traffic I tend to get seen better if I have my lights on.


But do you ride any differently whether or not you have your lights on?



When filtering? No. My method is to sway the bike from side to side while maintaining a straight (as possible through bunched motorway/dual traffic) line. I have discovered, by trial and error, that if my headlights are on then they tend to light up the side or rear mirrors thus improving my visibility. With headlights on I can see cars up to 20ft ahead moving over, with them off 20 inches.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 15:24 
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Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
BottyBurp wrote:
Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
BottyBurp wrote:
COAST, experience, positioning, engine revs to name the first few that come to mind...


And do you ever reach that point when you know you've been seen?

Nope.


Oh, that's interesting, because I often do...


That seems like an error-prone assumption. Please tell us more - how can you know?

I'm especially interested because sometimes I'd like to communicate to bikers that I have seen them. One thing that sometimes works is causing a front suspension bounce by stopping in a definite way and forgoing the usual 'feathering off'.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 15:25 
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Sixy_the_red wrote:
I never reach the point where I know I've been seen, but I reach the point where I know it doesn't matter - through positioning and speed and the fact that I know if I need to I can get out of the way.


Ah, you too?

How come I think I intuitively know when I've been seen? (not that it effects my ride, of course).

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 15:28 
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Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
BottyBurp wrote:
Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
BottyBurp wrote:
COAST, experience, positioning, engine revs to name the first few that come to mind...


And do you ever reach that point when you know you've been seen?

Nope.


Oh, that's interesting, because I often do...


I think that should be expanded more.
T-Junction - yes
Roundabout - mostly
Traffic lights - when I'm at the front of the queue
Filtering - hardly

As Sixy said, as long as you are correctly positioned and have planned your escape then there does come a point where it no longer matters.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 15:30 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
BottyBurp wrote:
Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
BottyBurp wrote:
COAST, experience, positioning, engine revs to name the first few that come to mind...


And do you ever reach that point when you know you've been seen?

Nope.


Oh, that's interesting, because I often do...


That seems like an error-prone assumption. Please tell us more - how can you know?

I'm especially interested because sometimes I'd like to communicate to bikers that I have seen them. One thing that sometimes works is causing a front suspension bounce by stopping in a definite way and forgoing the usual 'feathering off'.


Your bounce would alert me to you but only because I would think that you had braked inadequately. If you wanted to get my attention then I suppose it worked.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 15:34 
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R1Nut wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
I'm especially interested because sometimes I'd like to communicate to bikers that I have seen them. One thing that sometimes works is causing a front suspension bounce by stopping in a definite way and forgoing the usual 'feathering off'.


Your bounce would alert me to you but only because I would think that you had braked inadequately. If you wanted to get my attention then I suppose it worked.


It's not a general case, but something I do for approaching traffic if I've been creeping forward for better vision.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 15:37 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
That seems like an error-prone assumption. Please tell us more - how can you know?


Well, it's not prone to error because, like Sixy, I don't change my riding plan on any assumption that I have been seen.

And I'd love to tell you more - but, the truth is, I can't really explain it. I do believe we (people in general) can communicate in extremely subtle ways.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 15:51 
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I agree with you there Grumpy - its almost impossible to explain.

Thinking about it a bit more I suppose there does come a point when I know that the waiting traffic isn't going to pull out, but I would never assume that its because they've actually seen me. Its impossible to explain, you just get that feeling...

Paul - as for causing the front of the car to dive - I would be more worried if you did that than if you just stopped. I'd assume that you hadn't seen me and were surprised by me to the point where you had to panic brake.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 15:53 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
I'm especially interested because sometimes I'd like to communicate to bikers that I have seen them. One thing that sometimes works is causing a front suspension bounce by stopping in a definite way and forgoing the usual 'feathering off'.


To me, I would accept some reassurance from the fact that your foot was on the brake, but I suspect your body language and eye contact would tell me more.

Even dressed like a spaceman, I find I can ‘communicate’ quite successfully with other roadusers.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 16:00 
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Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
BottyBurp wrote:
Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
BottyBurp wrote:
COAST, experience, positioning, engine revs to name the first few that come to mind...


And do you ever reach that point when you know you've been seen?

Nope.


Oh, that's interesting, because I often do...

I may think I know I've been seen, but I can never be 100% certain. The driver might be blind! (remember that case not so long ago?)

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 16:10 
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Sixy_the_red wrote:
I agree with you there Grumpy - its almost impossible to explain.

Thinking about it a bit more I suppose there does come a point when I know that the waiting traffic isn't going to pull out, but I would never assume that its because they've actually seen me. Its impossible to explain, you just get that feeling...

I do agree, we seem (as road users generally - not just bikers) to develop a 6th sense, i.e. you just know when someone's going to pull out (or not), but I don't think you can ever know 100%...

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 16:21 
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I copied this some time ago from somewhere on the 'net. I don't remember where it was from originally but seems apposite to this discussion.
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You ever wondered why so many car drivers actually hate bikers? It's down to the traditional way we have of dealing with motor-cars, probably originated in the days when cars were fewer and slower. I guess the phrase "arrogant contempt" sums up this approach. I don't know what it did for our reputation, but it sure got the car drivers uptight. I saw it all one night following this loony on a clean Velo while we traversed a large town near Bath ever so fast. He didn't actually cause any accidents in his wake, but it was close. He worked on the principle that the cars can't see you, so getting past before they can move takes a bike across town fast — until your luck runs out, that is.

It also gets a lot more car drivers uptight than it used to. They seem to be meaner these days, too. When I told the Velo kid about it he told me I was as bad. This explained the feeling of mild paranoia I got in the back of the neck at traffic lights, so I started to think about it. After a suitable period had passed I noticed that some people were not as bad at frightening the cars as others, yet they were no slower. A further period passed and it became clear. Instead of being afraid of the cars in the true defensive mode, or making the cars afraid of them, in the offensive mode, they were controlling the cars. It's a question of balance between being unnecessarily dangerous and unnecessarily safe. Subconsciously I had been using this technique myself occasionally.

Consider Car-Borne Man. Moving a bike amongst a group of them is analogous to riding a bicycle through a herd of cows. Cars are large, angular and dangerously heavy in a collision. They tend to move only forwards and backwards, rarely sideways, and they can be stampeded quite easily, In addition, car-borne man is trained to obey (a cow probably enjoys it). So, without arousing his ire, causing damage or obstruction, he can be herded. As you will normally be going in more or less the same direction this herding can be very subtle, and if used in (he true co-operative spirit can even speed the car as well. Most people, let alone car drivers, are willing to have decisions made for them, so a bit of judicious herding will probably make you friends, too — after all it's pretty difficult to manoeuvre a car round town without making a mistake.

There seems to be a very simple technique for this procedure of controlling traffic — hand signals. Everyone uses indicators nowadays ('cept the ones who don't) so most times a car driver sees a biker give a hand signal it's a Fed. When the driver sees this hand signal he knows the bike is going to turn, slow down or make some sort of positive manoeuvre. Thus he knows what is going to happen next. This makes him feel good. In gratitude he makes it easier for the bike to do its thing.

Judgement is naturally required in applying this technique, however, as giving hand signals that are instructions rather than indications carries its own responsibility. It's very tempting to wave some dumbo into action, but if he blows it you're the cause of the resulting accident. Quite often as you arrive at a junction which is a bit jammed, with no one sure where to go, you'll note that they all look towards you as the newest arrival. A clear signal at this point convinces them that you're in charge, and you can usually pass through unhindered; this sometimes gives the cars the idea and they can get going too. People who find themselves stopping and directing the traffic should stop pretending and wear bone white helmets and sunglasses.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 16:39 
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Icandoit wrote:
I copied this some time ago ....


Recently, I announced around here somewhere, that I frequently 'controlled' other roadusers, but the secret was to do it without their knowing.
Not sure that went down too well, but I still maintain it's a good practice.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 16:44 
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Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
Icandoit wrote:
I copied this some time ago ....


Recently, I announced around here somewhere, that I frequently 'controlled' other roadusers, but the secret was to do it without their knowing.
Not sure that went down too well, but I still maintain it's a good practice.


With a Vulcan mind meld? :lol:

I would like to hear how you do this GOB.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 16:55 
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Its easy - you don't allow them a chance to dither. Its basically about taking a road position and speed that a) leaves no doubt as to your intentions and b) doesn't give the sheep-minded driver a chance to 'herd' into your path.

As Icandoit's quote rightly said, most drivers are herd animals who don't think. So you tell them what they're going to do by removing all but one choice.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 17:05 
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Sixy_the_red wrote:
Its easy - you don't allow them a chance to dither. Its basically about taking a road position and speed that a) leaves no doubt as to your intentions and b) doesn't give the sheep-minded driver a chance to 'herd' into your path.

As Icandoit's quote rightly said, most drivers are herd animals who don't think. So you tell them what they're going to do by removing all but one choice.


Absolutely. Dominant positioning can often lead to a subservient reaction from other road users. That's one way that doesn't involve Vulcan mind games. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 18:58 
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R1Nut wrote:
Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
R1nut wrote:
I have ridden with the lights on and off and have discovered that when filtering through traffic I tend to get seen better if I have my lights on.


But do you ride any differently whether or not you have your lights on?


When filtering? No. My method is to sway the bike from side to side while maintaining a straight (as possible through bunched motorway/dual traffic) line. I have discovered, by trial and error, that if my headlights are on then they tend to light up the side or rear mirrors thus improving my visibility. With headlights on I can see cars up to 20ft ahead moving over, with them off 20 inches.


You have obviously perfected your filtering technique – but, if your ‘sway’ picks-up mirrors ahead, would you still use the same ‘sway’ with lights off?

Apart from seeing reflections, I’m not sure I would actually know if my lights were working or not. I certainly don’t believe I ride any differently either way.

At certain times, I use lights because I believe they give me an advantage (and I’m always up for those), but that’s where it ends for me. My ride remains unchanged.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 22:26 
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Because of the 'grey area' of bikers being had off when filtering, I always have my lights on.

When I was had off a few years ago, the copper asked me if I had lights on and noted that I had a hi-vis jacket on.

I won the case 100%, but the implication (and case law, I believe) is that bikers are generally held 50-50 in filtering accidents...

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