Wednesday, July 8

Commuter Advantage - Reference Point

If you ride a route regularly, you have a chance to take advantage of things "visiting" cyclists and motorists don't know.

The reference point is one such advantage. The photo is Old Denton Road, Looking West along the Alliance Gateway Freeway (AGF), in the furthest northern reaches of Fort Worth.

By timing, I've learned it takes a minimum of six seconds for a motor vehicle to make it from the circled sign to Old Denton Highway. It takes a hair less than five seconds (a half second less if I downshifted while stopping for the stop sign) for me to cross that same road. I don't go if cars are past the reference point, unless it's clear they're not going to be in that LH lane when I'm crossing it. As a result, I've been able to safely go many times when motorists were unsure. Lots of times, those motorists will be waiting minutes after I've crossed and even when I make my left turn onto AGF. From this post, I learned my lesson and I'm not going to do a lot of red and green arrows on this post.

It really pays to know how much time you've got to do a maneuver. Knowing such trivia has resulted in an average reduction in my commute time of well over a minute. Lower stress, too (no humorous comments about "a-r" engineers allowed for this post).

Thinking about this, I'll have to add a third future "parking lot" post to the "to do" list. The third one will have you green with envy. Think Cabela's, the World's Foremost Outfitter.


Rantwick said...

Knowing from previous, repeated, experience. I think that may well be what makes bike commuting so mystifying to some... they don't know how easy riding to work becomes when you know the patterns. They imagine the first ride only, not the 100th.

Steve A said...

Not only easier, but safer - and quicker, too. We'll keep it our little secret since I don't see stuff like this many places.

BTW, LBS HOT PINK cable is $33. I think Frankenbike will do without for the time being...

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