Thursday, November 17, 2011

To See and Be Seen

The worry for new shoppers of recumbent bicycles is if while riding on roads, "Can you be seen?"
The question with today's drivers is , Are they watching the road?
Cell phones and now texting has drivers looking less at the roads for anything else then a car. The chance of getting hit and hurt by another car has divers more aware of automobiles then pedestrians and cyclists alike.
Bicycles for the most part slow traffic down. Cars when aware take their time passing and in most cases pass at a safe distance. Once in a while I have been passed too close for comfort. I'm never sure if the driver ever saw me or they were passing at a distance that they felt safe at.
Oddity's on the road have drivers watching. Not sure of what there looking at, has drivers at times not wanting to pass. You see them in your rear view mirror causing other drivers to stack up in back of them. Somewhat awkward, I wave them on letting them know that I can see them fine and it is safe to pass. Always afterwards, I see their eyes in their rear view mirror. I love to wave and then have them wave back.
Its hard to notice how much you are acutely seen and if drivers are letting you pass by being polite. Its not until I find myself back on an upright style bike that I get cut off, sometimes as much as 3 times a ride, and realize that while on a recumbent, drivers not sure of what their seeing, will wait and not come out in front of you.
With a rear view mirror and the "Heads Up" style of riding, on a recumbent, you see everything!


  1. I *absolutely* agree. 99.9% of the "near misses" I've had riding my bike have been when I was riding my upright. I guess upright bikes are so familiar that people subconsciously filter them out of the scenery... Different story when you look like you're riding in a "unicycle wheelchair" from behind!

    So Scott speaks true: you *are* seen when you're on a recumbent. And you really don't need one of those kooky flags unless you're riding a low-racer... If I ever put a flag on my bike, damn skippy it'd be a jolly roger. :-)


  2. It does make difference on a recumbent. Drivers really seem to pay more attention to you compared to my friends that ride diamond frame bikes.

  3. I notice that cars seem to go more to the left and pass me giving themselves much more room when I'm on the bent


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