Saturday, February 11

Myth or Method?

Amazingly often, I hear people advocate riding against traffic. Almost invariably, their stated reason is to see oncoming traffic in case they need to jump off their bike.

Well, in the one recent time I had an "oncoming car" experience, I didn't have any time to take evasive action or to jump off my bike. Which brings up the question of whether it is actually possible to actually jump off a moving bike. For that matter, might my loyal reader know how such a feat might be accomplished even from a stationary bike. It MIGHT be possible with a step-through frame, but even then it seems much more just a theoretical possibility than anything realistic when riding. Am I somehow confused? Are my bike handling skills simply dramatically inferior to those that favor the "against traffic" mode?

I'm not talking about safety here. I'm wondering about simple physics and human motion mechanics. People are not fleas!


John Romeo Alpha said...

There's a slick hop off the back dismount where you catch the back of the seat and end up behind the bike, but that's at dismount (slow) speed, not while you're riding along. If you did that while you are riding along, you better hit the ground running, or no, I don't really think so. BTW any idea why the law here in AZ and I suspect other states as well says pedestrians MUST walk AGAINST traffic when they have to walk on the roadway, for example when there's no sidewalk? Perhaps that's where the notion that cyclists should, too, comes from.

limom said...

I think it comes from the recommendation that folks run/jog against traffic.
Makes the paths more funner.
The only time I saw someone leave the seat vertically, was when some guy going against traffice hit a car coming out of a driveway.
I think he made it all the way across the hood.

limom said...

Oh, and I can stand on my seat going like 47mph and do a forward pike double back flip with a half twist and stick the landing.

Okay, not really.

Opus the Poet said...

You need some cyclocross experience. They jump off a moving bike and break into a full run while carrying the bike and jumping over obstacles too tall to bunnyhop over, then jump back onto the bike without losing a step or missing a turn on the pedals

Steve A said...

Opus, I have done cyclocross and have practiced dismounts, but they did not even occur to me as a means to deal with an unexpected traffic emergency.

JRA, I have done the bck dismount as part of practicing quick stops, but it never even occurred to me that it was a practical way to depart from a rapidly moving bike. At least not on purpose.

Limom and JRA both note why this notion originate, but pedestrians CAN jump to the side, unlike a person on a wheeled conveyance.

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