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Road Riding on Handcycles safely, from Handcycles e groups, good post

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    Road Riding on Handcycles safely, from Handcycles e groups, good post

    Message: 1
    Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2002 15:59:39 -0000
    From: "goneridn" <>
    Subject: Re: Cycling and cars

    I have been thinking about this message since it came this morning
    and wanted to respond, but haven't been quite sure how to approach I will just say what I have to say...

    I have been riding a handcycle for over 10 years, and wheelchair
    raced nearly a dozen...I have been on roads for a long time...I love
    riding and do have to deal with traffic nearly everyday that I
    ride. I do think that I have a lot of experience with this issue...

    I think the main deal is common sense in riding and always, I mean
    always watching what si going on around you and making wise choices
    about where and how to ride...I have riden with lots of other cycist
    and handcyclist and frankly, most or many don't use good judgement.
    I find that most, not all, of the problems are of their own
    making...they ride way too far out in the roads, thinking they have
    just as much right as anyone to be there, but it does nothing but
    causes trouble and possibly a dangerous situtation. There are
    people that I won't even ride with, for I know their days are
    numbered with that kind of riding and it is way too stressful and
    dangerous to ride with them.

    I had one old wheelchair racing buddy killed on the road while out
    training by getting hit by a cement truck...It wasn't his faught,
    but when it goes bad, it goes bad not in your favor.

    I have found that even on busy roads, time of day really plays a key
    role. I won't even head out during rush hour times. You my find
    that a road that was once full of cars, to be near abondand at the
    right hours. I woudl say use these times to ride, and it probably
    won't be on a Saturday in the area that you describe.

    I have found that handcyclist seem to catch the attention of drivers
    more than regualr cyclist. I think it is dure mainly to us just
    looking so different. This works in our favor, but never think that
    you are always seen. I use a mirror and never ride without it. I
    woudl never ride a road without a good area to ride in 50 mph
    traffic...I don't care how much rights you think you have, one bad
    driver and your rights are trival. I tend to not ride where I will
    hold up traffic much. I do ride on some busy type roads, but time
    of day and good riding usually keeps the encounters to a minimums.
    Don't run lights and don't take more room than you need. Always
    think that they don't see you. Even when making eye contact, it
    might not really register with the driver what is happening. Don't
    play mind reader with your life and think they saw you or that they
    will stop or will give you room...they may not.

    So, in short, ride with a helmet, ride with a mirror, ride at good
    times of days, ride off main roads if possible, be extremely
    visible, ride with a group if you can, and never stir up trouble
    with drivers. That means no insults and no hand
    It will never go in your favor.

    I have found that many times, with a a little adventure and a good
    mapo, you can find other ways to get there. If it is a specail
    place that can only be reached by a super busy road, load your bike
    up and drive there then ride a few loops. I tend to like to ride
    out of my house. So, I pick ways that can get me there on
    neighborhood roads. Maybe riding with a bike club will give you
    some ideas. I am always amazed at how they seem to find new ways to
    places that I never though I would be able to ride. And it is
    always on safe roads. You may add some miles to go out of the way,
    but isn't that part of the fun of cycling. Take a area map and
    drive out a new route. You can almost always find new routes. I
    can leave my house and do a 10 miler, a 14 miler, a 22 miler and a
    25 miler. I could even tag them all together and get nearly a 50
    mile ride if I wanted ...All from my home. I do cross some busy
    roads, but never need to challange the traffic that is risky.

    I agree with the advocate route...get involved and you can help make
    your cycling community a safe place to ride...

    Be smare and safe...Ride On..Greg

    __________________________________________________ ______________________
    __________________________________________________ ______________________
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

    hmm not here I can do easy five but its always the same I get on road to go to shell point the sand roads to hard they uneaven but after 6 miles I am tired


      I was a 10,000+ miles/year cyclist when I was injured while cycling. I think Curt's post is great and full of good advice but I would also point out that you can do everything right and still get hit. In hindsight I would eliminate my after-work, solo rides on a bicycle (what I was doing when I was injured). While any of us can get hit just crossing the street, after-work roads are chaotic and full of angry people rushing places while thinking about everything other than driving.
      T3 complete since Sept 2015.


        I've been riding handcycles for over 42 years now. I make sure I am visible with flashing lights and a flag. I have no trouble pulling over snd stopping to let cars pass me on a narrow road or let cars turning onto a bridge I ride over go first.

        We've lost quite a few handcyclists and wheelers out on the road training. It's all about being visible and riding with safety and courtesy.

        Great points Curt and Mize.


          i see alot of ppl using the garmin radar on the back of their handcycles, supposed to work well.

          c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
          sponsored handcycle racer


            Nice post. Thanks for sharing! I got hit on my first outing on a new Force 3 a couple years back.

            (I was riding through my residential area, thinking it would be safest, but no. Many of my neighbors have "walled compounds", and our city code is 6' height max. That's plenty high to obscure a flag, and one of my neighbors pulled out of his gated driveway, with walls too high to see me, and crunched right into me. Minor injuries to my right leg, torn ACL and MCL - I say 'minor' because what good are they doing me - but it was frightening to be sure. My eldest son was riding behind me and it scarred him bad to see it happen )
            "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

            "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty


              Good post. I have been handcycling since 1993 was injured end of 1991. I would never ride without a mirror but it is surprising to me to see how many cyclist do not use a mirror. When I am on busy roads I like to see the upcoming traffic moving over. On a four-lane road, I like to see them getting into the other lane and I sometimes make a move from side to side to make sure they see me. Also on a four-lane road if I get a few cars getting too close to me as soon as I can I ride in the center of the lane to make myself more visible and they have a whole other lane to pass in. I do not spend much time on four-lane roads for obvious reasons and while I do all I can to increase my visibility(and I am on the equivalent of an upright cycle) there is not a whole lot you can do about distracted drivers or drivers that are only looking for other cars. I have been tipped over by a car that was stopped at a stop sign whom I would have sworn made eye contact with me but as I was almost by him he pulled out and caught my back wheel and tipped me over. I had another car not see me, my wife and my dog that clipped my shoulder with their side view mirror and then they moved over stopped for a few seconds and kept on going. I use cycling as a mode of transportation as well as cycle just for the enjoyment and rack up 7000 miles a year here lately and for the most part, people are great and I live in a small city(35000.) People that are not paying attention are a problem to everyone.


                Call me chicken but when we were roadracing we went to a big park half hour away that had an 8 mile paved trail connected to a 3 mile loop. We'd train for marathon by doing this trail and more added loops. This was an inside the park trail with cars prohibited. Only one place to cross road at beginning of trail, and fortunately little traffic.
                This was a little know huge park that we were fortunate to find when my father mentioned that he once went to a golf course there and that the park looked pretty big. We checked it out and it was perfect, even had handicapped parking. Bike racers had found it too as we often encountered them biking fast wearing their racing duds.


                  The Garmin radar device is nifty and I considered getting one in my able days, but it's more like a warning of impending doom with no escape. At least until they come out with one that includes a force field.
                  T3 complete since Sept 2015.