Sunday, March 18

The Price of Stopping

Has anyone out there really added up the time cost of stopping at a stop sign compared to nonchalantly riding through same? Five seconds? Less or more? I have an ulterior motive for asking.

In the meantime, do a little investigation and ponder why a five second delay is unacceptable to most people that ride bikes...


Pondero said...

Hypothetically speaking, of course...

If I were to nonchalantly roll through a stop signed intersection, instead of stopping and losing that 5-15 seconds, it would not be a matter of lost time. It would be the matter of lost momentum. Bicycles give their riders a wonderful feeling of flow, and stop signs interfere with that delightful sensation.

cycler said...

Although I am a stickler about obeying traffic laws, and come to a near stop at every stop sign, and a full stop at every stop light, I do not see the need to put a foot down and make a 100% complete and full stop if there is no oncoming traffic.
I do more of what I'd call a long hesistate- not quite a trackstand because I'm not that cool.

It's not about the time, it just doesn't make sense to come to a dead halt on a bike when the way is obviously clear.

Everything is different if there's someone else at the intersection of course.

cafiend said...

I agree with cycler. I try to set a good example for motorists by playing along without giving up too many of my advantages. At certain intersections my hesitation at the stop sign is virtually undetectable because I can use the speed to get clear of the motor vehicles that are usually behind me. Those that make the turn after me will be able to pass me more safely on the street we have now entered. Those that went the other way no longer have to bother with me. No one ever yips at me about running this particular sign. I don't do it when other road users require more strict observance of regulations.

At other stop signs I hover a bit more to be sure I don't do anything that would embarrass cyclists or endanger myself or anyone else.

Janice in GA said...

Another vote for "It's not the time lost, it's the momentum lost." I'm really slow, and not likely to get much faster at my age and state of health. Stopping at a stop sign with no traffic in sight just makes me even slower. :(

OTOH, I do stop at all red lights and at any stop sign where there is traffic. I'm slow, but I'm not stupid. :/

Khal said...

Maybe all those stop sign running cyclists are trying to get to their destinations before the next bike ban hits ;-)

Seriously, I don't think the small amount of energy I would save by not stopping (at least a momentary stop or track stand) is sufficient to make up for the amount of grief we all get from whiney motorists complaining about lawless cycling. One set of roads, one set of rules. Sadly, that idea seems out of fashion these days.

Besides, track stands ARE cool!

Steve A said...

You will all note I asked not about energy loss, nor about momentum loss, but specifically about time loss. In my next post, you will see why. I will now have to rewrite it a little because motorists DO whine - in a nice way mostly.

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