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  1. #1
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    Too old to ride plastic

  2. #2
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    One of my unfounded tenants is that anyone applying for a driver's license has to provide proof of 30 days cycling on roads in an urban environment. I guess my tenant has legs.

  3. #3
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    Duh, I think you could make the same argument for most motorcyclists. When driving around town I'm always conscious of motorcycles, cyclists, joggers, pedestrians, kids, etc.

  4. #4
    gazing from the shadows
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    Quote Originally Posted by exracer View Post
    Duh, I think you could make the same argument for most motorcyclists.
    The assumption that any car at any time could try to kill you does tend to make for more defensive navigation in traffic.
    .
    Stout beers under trees, please.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiQuaeQuod View Post
    The assumption that any car at any time could try to kill you does tend to make for more defensive navigation in traffic.
    No question. In my area at least two are killed every week almost. No way in hell would I ride one (street bike).

  6. #6
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    I wonder if this is a flawed study. People who do both may simply be spending more time on the bike and less behind the wheel. That could also account for fewer accidents while driving. I put more miles each year on my bike than on my car too.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    I wonder if this is a flawed study. People who do both may simply be spending more time on the bike and less behind the wheel. That could also account for fewer accidents while driving. I put more miles each year on my bike than on my car too.
    That's a good point and from the insurance co.'s perspective it still makes sense to offer lower rates to cyclists. I wish my insurance factored in the limited mileage I put on my car each year too.

    But the report did make reference to other studies that apparently measured response times, etc.

    In a lab setting Beanland and her associates found that cyclist-drivers responded to fresh information more quickly than motorists who did not cycle.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, the cyclist-drivers were significantly faster at detecting the appearance of fellow cyclists

  8. #8
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    Kind of chicken or egg support for the conclusion though. Anyone who lacked the responsiveness to be a decent driver would not be a cyclist to begin with.
    So the statistics for non-cyclists are skewed toward bad with containing people for which none of them cycle because they are unable to. Extreme example, but the 95 year old who always forgets his glasses might be a driver but would not be a cyclist. So the driver stats contain those sure to be horrible drivers and none of them are in the cycling group.
    To make it a fair study they'd have to look at, for example, only healthy 30-40 year olds and compare those who cycle with those who don't.

    The way they frame it it's almost like saying study shows that weight lifters have been found to be able to lift more weight. Of course cyclist are more alert and responsive then couch potatoes.

  9. #9
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    not chicken and egg but confounded by other variables

    what I cannot stand is the widespread ahole attitude that drivers feel annoyed by cyclists on the roads. Well I drive 90% of the time, a suburban car-culture dweller, and I am annoyed every 30 seconds by the behaviour of other automobile drivers, it's a constant irritant which drives me to wish for self-driving automobiles (for my own sanity). Yet I cannot recall ONE time in the last 5 YEARS I have felt inconvenienced by a cyclist/cyclist-group on the road. I mean I cannot even remember the last time I saw a group of cyclists on the road while driving. WTF are these drivers so whiny about?? When we encounter a cyclist the effort to pass them with a car is so infinitessimal, it's insignificant.
    Faith is pretending to know things you don't know

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    not chicken and egg but confounded by other variables
    I think it is. Are cyclist good drivers because they cycle or would only drivers who have what it takes to cycle become cyclists?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I think it is. Are cyclist good drivers because they cycle or would only drivers who have what it takes to cycle become cyclists?
    it's either 1/ the cycling experience which gives drivers better understanding of the traffic, a cause and effect relationship.

    or 2/ they were just smarter, better-understanding people before they began driving or cycling. Perhaps with a higher inclination to take part in cycling, which makes it a confounding variable.

    probably each apply to different individuals
    Faith is pretending to know things you don't know

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    I wonder if this is a flawed study. People who do both may simply be spending more time on the bike and less behind the wheel. That could also account for fewer accidents while driving. I put more miles each year on my bike than on my car too.
    That could very well be the case, but to an insurance company it's irrelevant because they only care about the bottom line. If their cycling customers present a statistically smaller liability, the financials will reflect that.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    I wonder if this is a flawed study.
    You can pick apart almost any study such as these with "what ifs" so sometimes you either Schlitz or get off the pot.

    I'm reminded of an ongoing "theme" from many a local cycling summit. Automobile drivers tend to be in an environment, passing thru an environment whereas cyclists tend to be IN the environment they're passing thru.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akirasho View Post
    One of my unfounded tenants is that anyone applying for a driver's license has to provide proof of 30 days cycling on roads in an urban environment. I guess my tenant has legs.
    Tenets?

  15. #15
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    I'm a much better driver since I started riding a bike in city traffic. It taught me to go with the flow, look further down the road and around me for other moving objects, a situational awareness that usefully transfers over to driving a car.

    One can ride very aggressively on a bike in traffic, but the chances of a collision are greatly reduced as the cyclist can maneuver around these heavy steel dinosaurs. They're surprisingly predictable, and when one of them makes a mistake, cyclist can react instantly.

    In city traffic and on the interstates, I drive my car just like I ride my bike, only quite a bit faster, so have to look further ahead and adjust my timings. Have a feeling you guys who ride mostly are driving the same way. If I'm taking 7 out of 8 trips on the bike, its automatic.

    That's the main thing for me anyway. Probably what the studiers are talking about. Driver ed classes called it "defensive driving."

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
    Tenets?

    … sorry, forgot the space, meant ten ants, an old family expression about Moses and the ten ants...

  17. #17
    gazing from the shadows
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Kind of chicken or egg support for the conclusion though. Anyone who lacked the responsiveness to be a decent driver would not be a cyclist to begin with.
    Selection bias? Maybe, but not on this factor I don't think.

    There are many athletes with very good reactions and reflexes who never rode a bike in traffic, but drive. Something like 40% of HS students are in athletics, for example.

    Also, I have NEVER found road cyclists to be all that good physically compared to others, except in the area of endurance. I say that as someone who wrestled and played tennis in HS at the varsity level, and played volleyball in college (club team representing the school, not official team). Some are good, no doubt, but in general I would say pretty average in terms of coordination. reaction time, and such.

    (MTB, with fast technical downhills, that's another story).

    I put this squarely on experience, not physio/psychological factors. The more people ride, the less likely they are to have an accident per mile. Someone with 100k miles under their belt will be better at avoiding accidents than someone with 1000 miles of riding. We all know this is true, though it can be hard to find research that controls for experience. The book Bike Cult, which I pulled off my shelf, says that a 25 year old cyclist has a 5x higher accident rate per mile than a "club cyclist". 2000 miles/accident compared to 10,000 miles/accident. I have to assume a club cyclist is doing more miles. That shows change by experience.

    Difference due to selection bias might happen. But I don't see it for "responsiveness" as a factor in any potential selection bias at all.
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  18. #18
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    My situational awareness as a driver has vastly improved because of my cycling over the years. When I'm on the road I'm significantly more aware of road traffic and particularly bike and bicycles, inherently that makes me a safer driver. I'm also better at managing traffic due to the way you have to ride a bike.

    It does annoy certain people when I start letting traffic flow by slowing down and not using my brakes unnecessarily and not speeding up to catch red lights. It annoys people even more when I slow down when there's not enough room to pass a cyclist but its doing the right thing and the inadvertent effect is that it forces other drivers to slow down also.

    I also tend to react quicker in dangerous situations.

  19. #19
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    Flawed study? Maybe. But keep in mind that insurance companies are only interested in the bottom line. Insurance works on the premise that the many pay for the few.

    Insurance companies base rates on actuarial data regarding risk as far as laws will allow. They will charge higher rates for young males, people with a DWI conviction and people with a poor credit rating (yes, statistically higher risk than people with a DWI conviction!) because actuarial data has shown these people have a higher rate of accidents. They will charge lower rates for people over 55 because actuarial data has shown these people have a lower rate of accidents.

    What is missing? Well, of course statistically speaking, the less miles you drive, the fewer accidents you will have. If you are 95 years old, chances are you are driving way less miles than the 35 year old traveling salesperson. Even if you are 95 years old and a danger to life and limb, you are probably only driving 2 miles to the grocery store and back.

    However, I do believe this study may have legs. Do cyclists have fewer car accidents because they drive their cars less? Probably not. Most cyclists drive their cars to work rather than using their bikes for commuting and other point A to point B tasks. I do agree that cycling gives you better reaction time and situational awareness. Any activity on the road that gives you a different perspective is grist for the mill IMO. And I do agree that if you are in better physical shape, you will be in better mental shape as well.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akirasho View Post
    Automobile drivers tend to be in an environment, passing thru an environment whereas cyclists tend to be IN the environment they're passing thru.
    Far out man. That's deep.

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