Venturing Out.....Safely....

DIscuss anything relating to non-standard cycles and their equipment.
kingrollo
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Venturing Out.....Safely....

Postby kingrollo » 19 Mar 2014, 10:35pm

Ive been getting to grips with my Giro 20 for almost 2 weeks - My starting ability has come on leaps and bounds, and my general confidence has improved - although still more practice, time in the saddle (seat !) needed.

I live in in heavy urban area - and need to cycle 3-4 miles on dual carriageways - before I can get to the country lanes - a thought struck me, are country lanes ok for recumbent cyclists....? - or am I better sticker to the straighter - but but more traffic intense roads ?

Any thoughts.....

Loomis
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Joined: 14 Jun 2009, 3:47pm

Re: Venturing Out.....Safely....

Postby Loomis » 20 Mar 2014, 8:23am

Hi kingrollo,
I have had my Giro 20 for nearly three years now. You might want to take a look at the postings of my experiences on it, if they are still on here somewhere. When I started I found somewhere really quiet and set off with a leap of faith, careering almost from one side of the road to another. There is no substitute for miles though and it gets better every time. It will take you several hundred miles to feel really comfortable, but when you do, it can be pure joy. My favourite roads are small lanes. I don't think I will ever be able to ride no hands, due to the geometry of the bike, but I am certainly very relaxed now. I have the recurve seat on mine and it is supremely comfortable, if a little bulky and heavy. I have found that I have naturally reclined the seat more and more as time has gone by, from the most upright position to star with, as confidence increased. All the best to you, and keep up the good work.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Venturing Out.....Safely....

Postby [XAP]Bob » 20 Mar 2014, 9:23am

For the original question.... I've not got too many properly narrow and twisty roads round me, but I don't anticipate problems on those I visit. After all motorists have to be aware that there could be a tractor coming the other way at any point.

I don't think that there is much difference between an upright bike and a 'bent in terms of visible distance on most lanes - you might have local knowledge which disputes that.

IF you feel that the hedges etc are encouraging motorists to drive at excessive speed, confident that they can see oncoming cars (and probably upwrong riders by implication even if not in thought) then one possible solution is to whack up a decent flagpole (to about 7' or so and put several feet of kite streamers on top - they cause minimal drag, but are bright and fluttery, making them very visible over hedges etc...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Loomis
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Re: Venturing Out.....Safely....

Postby Loomis » 20 Mar 2014, 9:43am

I must say that I have felt no more threatened on the country lanes I use than on my previous upright. The Giro 20 has a relatively high and upright riding position though compared with most, which does give more sense of security I have found. For faster roads I have bought an orange lollipop device I can swing out from the rear, which really gets you noticed; and a lot of space.

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tank
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Re: Venturing Out.....Safely....

Postby tank » 20 Mar 2014, 12:22pm

Loomis wrote:For faster roads I have bought an orange lollipop device I can swing out from the rear, which really gets you noticed; and a lot of space.


Do you have any photos of your "lollipop device?
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Stradageek
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Re: Venturing Out.....Safely....

Postby Stradageek » 20 Mar 2014, 1:00pm

Country lanes for relaxed, long distance cruising, cloud watching, bird watching etc. and remembering not to cycle with the eyes shut - yup I've been so relaxed a couple of times that I have done this.

Fast smooth A-roads and dual carriageways for those moments when you want to remind yourself that a recumbent is not only comfortable but also very fast!

Safety is covered in another thread. I return to my one remaining upright (and old folder) very rarely but when I do the disdain shown by motorists (compared to when cycling 'laid back') is astonishing and not a little scary.

Basically this is a long way of saying that on a recumbent you're miles safer wherever you ride - it is a myth that you wont be seen because you're riding lower down - recumbents make drivers wake up in a way nothing else can.

Loomis
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Re: Venturing Out.....Safely....

Postby Loomis » 20 Mar 2014, 2:11pm

tank; I have just had a look on ebay and there are a few places on there you can view. I googled bicycle safety lollipop. No picture I am afraid, but will take one with it deployed and post here (if the wind ever stops). With the device protruding out I think there is a psychological effoct on drivers; something poking towards the car; that really gets their attention.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Venturing Out.....Safely....

Postby [XAP]Bob » 20 Mar 2014, 2:15pm

tank wrote:
Loomis wrote:For faster roads I have bought an orange lollipop device I can swing out from the rear, which really gets you noticed; and a lot of space.


Do you have any photos of your "lollipop device?

They used to be common... my mother had one when I was a kid...


https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=bike+ ... p&tbm=isch
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Loomis
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Joined: 14 Jun 2009, 3:47pm

Re: Venturing Out.....Safely....

Postby Loomis » 20 Mar 2014, 2:50pm

Voila! I hope. Sorry about the orientation, but you get the picture.


Image Image

Loomis
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Re: Venturing Out.....Safely....

Postby Loomis » 20 Mar 2014, 3:20pm

This should be the right way round



Image

kingrollo
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Re: Venturing Out.....Safely....

Postby kingrollo » 20 Mar 2014, 4:01pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:For the original question.... I've not got too many properly narrow and twisty roads round me, but I don't anticipate problems on those I visit. After all motorists have to be aware that there could be a tractor coming the other way at any point.

I don't think that there is much difference between an upright bike and a 'bent in terms of visible distance on most lanes - you might have local knowledge which disputes that.

IF you feel that the hedges etc are encouraging motorists to drive at excessive speed, confident that they can see oncoming cars (and probably upwrong riders by implication even if not in thought) then one possible solution is to whack up a decent flagpole (to about 7' or so and put several feet of kite streamers on top - they cause minimal drag, but are bright and fluttery, making them very visible over hedges etc...


Where do I find such a pole ? - The only ones I can find are for kids bikes and the feedback is they are easily breakable ?

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Venturing Out.....Safely....

Postby [XAP]Bob » 20 Mar 2014, 4:49pm

For a while I had a fishing whip...

Else phone the guys and gals at ICE, and they'll sell you a fibreglass pole..
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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pjclinch
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Re: Venturing Out.....Safely....

Postby pjclinch » 21 Mar 2014, 9:14am

kingrollo wrote:Ive been getting to grips with my Giro 20 for almost 2 weeks - My starting ability has come on leaps and bounds, and my general confidence has improved - although still more practice, time in the saddle (seat !) needed.

I live in in heavy urban area - and need to cycle 3-4 miles on dual carriageways - before I can get to the country lanes - a thought struck me, are country lanes ok for recumbent cyclists....? - or am I better sticker to the straighter - but but more traffic intense roads ?

Any thoughts.....


I think it's actually a bit of a non-issue.

The dualies are easy: sit smack in Primary in the left lane and the motors have a whole extra lane to go around you, which IME they generally will do, making sure you get lots of room because they don't know quite what you are (c.f. the "astonishing? Factor").

And on to the country lanes, which I've never thought to treat any differently on my 'bent than I do on the uprights. On something like a G20 your head isn't that much (if any) lower than a roadie with their nose on the bars for an aero descent or in TT mode. The practical difference for you is that on the 'bent you can actually see where you're going at the same time! TT riders don't use flags or lollipops, no reason you need them either (but if they make you feel better, then feeling better is the way to go).

Look at Loomis' picture. Photoshop out (or just stick your thumb over) the lollipop and look again. Has the bike (even without the rider) suddenly got significantly harder to see?

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

kingrollo
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Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 7:45pm

Re: Venturing Out.....Safely....

Postby kingrollo » 21 Mar 2014, 10:41am

I do actually own a lolipop ! - I used it on my upright when commuting - I thought it helped

Loomis - Im confused ! - I read your earlier posts - one of which said - youyr about to throw in the towwl due to near misses ?

Loomis
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Re: Venturing Out.....Safely....

Postby Loomis » 21 Mar 2014, 12:33pm

Hi, I think my considering stopping is more of a personal issue than regular and real danger. Over the years I have found I am just getting more anxious about being on the road cycling per se. All similar activities are a mental balance between risk and reward, and I just think that I sometimes see more risk than reward now. Too much reading about the tragedies and potential tragedies is perhaps getting to me. I still come back from a good ride feeling on top of the world though, so for now I am keeping on keeping on.