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We all, know people act differently when they get inside a car. Most feel more powerful, less inhibited and will act in ways they wouldn't usually dream of doing. Whether that's putting their own or other people's lives in danger, making obscene gestures to compete strangers over essentially nothing, or picking their nose at traffic lights and pretending everyone can't see them.
I think a similar phenomenon is at play with perception of cyclists. If we're dressed in sport specific lycra and helmet etc, we no longer register as human at a sub-conscious level. Psychologically, we're different from runners or a cyclist who's wearing normal clothing, and sitting more upright with visible hair and face.
I believe there have been studies done that showed use of a helmet can actually increase your risk of serious injury because although you get some protection in a crash, you're more likely to have one (It's a combination of de-humanisation to drivers and that the cyclist feels safer wearing a helmet and takes more risks).
I've the same reactions from cars back in my days of riding motorcycles, car driver's are for the most part a bunch of jerks when it comes to sharing a lane or anything to do with 2 wheel "things" cage drivers suck in my eyes!!!
Speed kills unless you have speed skills!!!
Think close overtaking is also more of an issue with faster cyclists. Probably 80-90% of the cyclists on the road are in the 10-18mph range on the flat, so that's what a driver's brain is programmed to deal with in terms of both the necessity of getting past and the distance they need to allow to make that pass. If you're in a good group, on a TT bike and/or doing intervals and therefore maintaining a flat speed that's more in the mid- to high 20s, then the relative speed difference decreases dramatically and the pass takes much longer, particularly if the car is at slower speeds e.g. a 40mph zone or below.
That, and some drivers are just dicks who don't like cyclists!
(This stereotype being reinforced by even one incident w/ a cyclist (and/or tri-cyclist particularly) refusing to move over and/or inability to hold a steady line while a car passes.)
Drivers can suck. I don't think it's an exaggeration that 20-25% of local drivers have a phone in their hand when passing by and some of those never even looked at you when passing. After being convinced that cars were treating me more respectfully with a bright taillight (Flare R), I thought I would try it on my running pack. I almost always run with a pack because it holds my dog doo bags, collapsible bowl, massive phone and now has a bright taillight on both the front and back....along with nutrition/fluids for long days. It's just always ready to go. I'm fairly sure now that cars are being a little nicer on the days I have a stupid bright light bouncing up and down behind and in front of me.
I did the "Horribly Hilly Hundreds" in WI on Saturday and some younger guy in a Honda SUV nearly squished us right at the finish line. He was done, driving home and had both hands on his phone on top of the steering wheel and drifted right into the other lane. Here's a guy that was depending on vehicles to drive safely around him for the last 8-9 hours and within minutes of strapping his bike to the back, he's endangering fellow cyclists. As soon as a human transitions into a 'driver' it seems like all bets are off. Being obnoxiously visible seems like the best bet whether you're a cyclist or runner because I don't think we're changing drivers anytime soon.
Only had one or 2 issue while riding with at least 1 other person, but last year on 1 ride I had a beer bottle thrown at me (hit the back tire exploded and caused a flat). Then near the end of my bike I stuck out my arm to turn left and a guy gassed it and just as I was part way through me turn passed me on the left causing me to have to bail to the and fall to the ground so as not to get run over. Bought a gopro after that.
On the running side I have had people actually swerve at me while I was running, and ran the shoulder so I had to go into the ditch not to get hit (I always run facing traffic, like you are supposed to). Had other instances just like that while running.
So other than the one time on the bike I have had many more issues while running than riding.
Agree. I do most of my long rides on a multiuse path, but on the stretch of suburban two-lane road I use to get to the path I try to look back multiple times at every driver approaching me from the rear and that seems to have worked as far as drivers giving me more room when they pass. I use a helmet-mounted mirror to see what's approaching.
I also read recently in the book Traffic that a study found that drivers pass more closely to a cyclist wearing a helmet than they do to a cyclist without a helmet. The authors of the study hypothesize that the drivers assume that a cyclist wearing a helmet is more skilled at keeping a straight line and thus they don't need to give the cyclist as much room. Drivers also tend to give more room to women then men when passing.