Anyone got a bicygnal indicator?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
ed_o_brain
Posts: 102
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 5:32pm

Re: Anyone got a bicygnal indicator?

Postby ed_o_brain » 3 Mar 2009, 1:50pm

essexman wrote:Well Ed my two needs are:
-For downhill turns (particularlry right), i have a tough one everyday on a busy road and its basically brake or signal. I tend to snatch a signal to pull out and then snatch a second signal to turn right. Its awkward and not very clear. An indicator would give signalling capability for the whole way down the hill.


1. In this situation assuming that I'm approaching the junction at speed (down hill) I would, on approach, be checking over my right shoulder. Then, starting from secondary position, about 400 metres before the junction, I will be either looking for a break in the traffic, a significant gap, or a slight gap.

2. If there is a break in the traffic (i.e. I can anticipate the road is going to be clear behind me) or there is a significant gap, I will signal right and move into primary position as soon as I need to. If not, then see step 5.

3. I'll continue to keep an eye on what is behind me. If a car does comes up behind me before I start braking ready for the turn, I will give a signal for long enough to indicate my intention to the driver of the vehicle behind, then start braking. If there is nothing behind me, I will start braking straight away, but more gradually so that if I become aware of any cars coming up behind me, I still have time to give a signal.

4. I'll continue braking until I reach the speed at which it is safe to make the turn, then give another briefer signal. Then I reach commit point. If there is no oncoming traffic, I stop signalling and make the turn. If there is oncoming traffic I'll stop and wait for a . I'll keep my arm out, to make myself as visible as possible. If in a filter lane or wide road, then this is cool, the traffic from behind me can continue to proceed passed me safely. If the road is narrow, I will maintain primary position occasionally keep making eye contact with the driver behind, still signalling right, poised in anticipation of a big enough gap in the oncoming flow of traffic. As soon as there is a gap, I'll make the turn. (Skip step 5).

5. If early on, whilst still in secondary (step 1) and the traffic flow is continuous or giving insignificant gaps at best (so I can't do step 2) then I need to negotiate my way into primary position. This means signalling right and checking whats behind me - usually a gap will open up when the signal is observed by a courteous driver. John Franklin covers negotiation in his book, Cyclecraft. I make a judgement on whether or not it's safe to move into primary. If a driver is going to impatient, they will ignore your signal and still try and squeeze or steam past you. If the road is wide enough, stay in secondary slow down, and let them go. Usually someone will let me in, then it's almost a case of resuming at step 2.

The key is to allow plenty of time/distance in order to get ready to make the right turn. If you have not got time to signal and brake, signal, then turn, you are doing it all too late. In the fast/downhill/turn right situation, so assuming some speed, I would aim to be in primary position ready to signal, brake, signal, turn at between 250-350 metres prior to the junction.

I would much rather rely on negotiatation than an electronic signal and my own judgement to determine whether it's safe to make the manoeuvre. If it doesn't work, I can always stop on the left and cross the road as a pedestrian, and although that is my fall back position, I've never had to employ it.

-Right turn in pitch black at a staggered crossroads. Lots of traffic is going from left to right. They cant tell i'm a bike becasue my headlamp gives no clues and there are no lights shining on me, they cant tell if i'm indicating because there are no lights on my right arm. An indicator would show them i was turning right.

If anyone has a good suggestion for these i'd love to know.

PS i'd also use it to supplement hand signals at various points.


With a single headlamp in primary position it should be clear you are a two wheeler. The traffic from the left should give way to you, irrespective of whether you are turning right or straight on, so I don't see a particular problem there. Your job is to position yourself so that you are clearly seen. If you are staying left, you will be in the drivers periphery and less likely to be seen. If you move into primary on approach to the junction, which you should do anyway because you are planning to make a right turn, drivers will more easily see you. It helps to have bright lights that are easily seen. Sometimes a headtorch is useful too.

Making yourself seen to be turning right could be a bit more tricky, only if the junction isn't very well staggered and drivers are literally driving straight across it. Otherwise, it should be treated as a normal right turn. If you insist, there are hi-viz wrist straps you can get with LEDs in which might make you signal clearer.

Another suggestion is having lights on you bike positioned so they light you up as a cyclist, as oppose to the road.
It's not what you ride... it's how you ride it

thirdcrank
Posts: 30531
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Anyone got a bicygnal indicator?

Postby thirdcrank » 3 Mar 2009, 2:35pm

Incredible as it may seem, I think there are some drivers who do not understand hand signals. I do not think it is taught as part of the test, motor cycles are now almost universally fitted with indicators, and many cyclists do not give them. I am a horizontal arm signaller (rather than elbow on hip, hand sticking out) but I find that if I clearly signal a left turn into a minor road, some drivers will wait to emerge till I turn. I know that indicators may be inadvertently left flashing, but it would be a strange cyclist who forgot to cancel an arm signal. (Of course, this is better than having somebody pull out carelessly when you are not signalling a turn.)

I don't advocate indicators on cycles, but if some drivers don't understand hand signals in daylight, you have to wonder what they make of them in the dark. :?

insanityideas
Posts: 161
Joined: 18 Aug 2008, 6:18pm
Location: Bristol
Contact:

Re: Anyone got a bicygnal indicator?

Postby insanityideas » 4 Mar 2009, 6:41pm

I prefer riding safely to making a hand signal, but will always give a signal if its possible (i.e. if I am not having to apply the front brake or hang on for dear life). But I also think that in city traffic actions speak louder than signals, so I tend to leave little doubt as to my intentions through road positioning and making the turn. This includes making vehicles follow me in a right turn lane etc (referred to as primary position, which I use quite extensively to stop stupid drivers behind me from being silly in slow traffic).

I also find that forcing my way into the traffic stream like a car works quite well, but obviously only in traffic going at the same speed or slower than you. Seems to get a bit of respect, and obviously you have to have a plan b.. just like in the car :) In fact in general the more like a car you behave the less trouble you have... its when you start using cycle lanes and riding near the curb that the verbal abuse and bad overtaking starts.

I am of course very careful when filtering through queues, on multi lane roads and keeping a good look out all around me. Good brakes and not riding beyond my abilities helps too.

User avatar
essexman
Posts: 641
Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 8:31am
Contact:

Re: Anyone got a bicygnal indicator?

Postby essexman » 5 Mar 2009, 8:39am

Hi Ed!

Good answers for the downhill and its exaclty what i do, but serioulsy have you read how complicated that is? It could be a lot easier.

I should have mentioned that the right turn at the crossroads comes after a tight bend. I cant move into primary until i make the turn as traffic coming from behind at ~60 mph wouldnt see me till they hit me. So theres no clue i'm turning right. I just want to provide that clue. Yes i could have flashing stuff on my wrists etc, but i cycle in normal clothes, all my visibility equipment is on the bike not on me. I do have 2 lights on the the bike that partially light the bike up but the front headlamp swamps them.

The same problem repeats itself through every part of my rural commute. Narrow roads plenty of potholes, floods and ice to maneauver around, plenty of hills to require both hands on the brakes ( i basically dont indicate on two of my turns because i'm doing controlled braking (and aero braking). Indicators would help. Not indicating just feels a little rude.
I hate snow.

ed_o_brain
Posts: 102
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 5:32pm

Re: Anyone got a bicygnal indicator?

Postby ed_o_brain » 21 Mar 2009, 10:27pm

I don't think their's a law that says you have to indicate. You should when you can, but if there's some genuine reason why you can't then don't sweat it.

Country roads a night just need good lighting. A couple of smart 1/2 watt LEDs on the rear and a dyno/rechargable battery pack system on the front. Drivers should see you and take care, no matter what direction you are turning in.

Also, I understand there are addional lights that will fit into the ends of both straight and dropped handle bars. Using a couple of electron backupz style lights front and rear is also good for visility and these have the advantage that they can be straped onto nearly anything.

In fact, a night I reckon it's easier to pick out a cyclist with good lights then it is a cyclist during the day, no matter what they are wearing. In fact, good lights tend to command respect from motorists on country roads, in my experience.

I used to live at the heart of a very rural county, I got quite familiary with night time cycling on all kinds of roads.
It's not what you ride... it's how you ride it