Advise me please, newbie here.

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Cameo, 1 Jun 2008.

  1. Cameo

    Cameo New Member

    OK, Im 56 and new'ish to all this biking malarky. Hubby has just bought us a bike each and whilst Im looking forward to getting on the sadle and getting out and about, Im very scared about being on the roads with cars, wagons and buses whizzing past me. I have seen how close some of these drivers get to cyclists, and its a bit scarey. What I was wondering is, is there some kind of device, that you can fit to your bike that makes drivers give you a wide berth. Im thinking of maybe a long 'flag on a stick' kind of thing that you could attach to your saddle in a horizontal fashion, so that it sticks out sideways, making drivers give you a wide berth so that they dont scratch their cars on it.

    If such a devise does exist, then can someone tell me what its called so that I can google it and buy one. If they dont exist, can anyone tell me if its legal for me to make one of these things myself and have it on my bike when Im on the roads.

  2. Moonchester

    Moonchester New Member

    I've just had a quick look round. These will do the job:
    You can probably get safety flags in most bike shops.
  3. Ride defensively and don't take crap off any one (lorrys included) stick to your line and forget about them , thats what I do, proberbaly will get me killed one day but I find it works best at stopping them trying to kill you on a daily basis , if a car is behind me mid corner I stick to my line and don't move , I only move to the side when I see it safe for them to pass, had to many close encounters on bends with people trying to overtake , Just make THEM wait, you have just as much right to be on the road as them.
    Works for me, some people might not like It but each to there own.
  4. Such devices used to be widely available but the trouble with such devices is that motorists see them as a target and so only give you as much room as the length of the pole. You'd need a blimmin long pole to make it actually work. Much better to get yourself some cycletraining. If you lived in the UK instead of Bulgaria you could approach your local authority, they may offer free or subsidised one on one adult training.
  5. byegad

    byegad Guru

    NE England
    A mirror is useful for keeping an eye on approaching traffic and learn to do the defensive wobble. You deliberately wobble (while the overtaking vehicle is still a good way away!), this makes you look 'not quiet in control' and so most drivers give you a slightly wider berth.
  6. PrettyboyTim

    PrettyboyTim New Member

    Hi Cameo, and welcome!

    You can get those little orange reflector things but as mickle says they don't tend to stick out far enough to really add a great deal to the width of your bike. However, it might be worth giving one a try and seeing if it makes any difference.

    I've found that I've been given the most space when I've had a fairly large load strapped to my bike rack with bungie chords. I think people behind you tend to be a bit nervous that it's about to fall off and dent their car ;-)
  7. RedBike

    RedBike New Member

    Beside the road
    Wish I knew!
    Perhaps you could discuise your bike as a horse. Drivers always seem to give horses loads of room?

    Panniers and riding away from the curb seem to work to a limited extent. But nothing seems to discourage that driver that has push past that very second even though there isn't room.
  8. OP

    Cameo New Member

    Well I have ordered one of those sticky out reflector things off ebay, so thanks for that. However I did notice that its not as long as I would like, so thought I would get out the old glue gun and stick a kids bendy flag to it to both lengthen it and also to draw attention to it as it flaps in the breeze.

    As for living in Bulgaria, well thats where we will be in 4 weeks time when we move out there lock stock and barrel, but right at this moment Im in Middlesbrough (the home of bad tempered drivers I think). I find them aggressive enough as it is, with me in my little Nissan Micra, so gawd knows what it will be like when I get on 'me bike'. Selling the car this week, so next week will be quite an experience for me I can tell you.

    I did do my cycling profficiency test when I was in school, but that was over 40 years ago. Times have changed and I dont think that drivers are as tollerant as they were in 'the old days'. Time will tell. Thanks for taking the time to reply.
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