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Unread 03-07-2010, 07:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Deaf cyclist needs advice.

Hi folks, I hope I have placed this in the correct forum, my apologies if I did not.

I have recently taken up bike riding again and am loving it. However, when cars or other cyclists come up behind me, they expect that I am hearing them. I do not hear them, and am finding this dangerous for me. People get mad at me, and do not realize I cannot hear t6heir vehicles or bells. I am worried about getting hit.

What advice can you give me? I was thinking of a license plate that says "Deaf Rider" or something, I just don't know. I don't really want to draw attention to myself but and finding riding on the main roads too freaky.
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Unread 03-07-2010, 07:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moon-child View Post
Hi folks, I hope I have placed this in the correct forum, my apologies if I did not.

I have recently taken up bike riding again and am loving it. However, when cars or other cyclists come up behind me, they expect that I am hearing them. I do not hear them, and am finding this dangerous for me. People get mad at me, and do not realize I cannot hear t6heir vehicles or bells. I am worried about getting hit.

What advice can you give me? I was thinking of a license plate that says "Deaf Rider" or something, I just don't know. I don't really want to draw attention to myself but and finding riding on the main roads too freaky.
Are there any bike trails where you could go?

They do make mirrors for bicycles if not.
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Unread 03-07-2010, 08:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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x2 on getting a mirror, either for your helmet or handlebars.
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Unread 03-07-2010, 10:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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speaking from experience here. I used to ride on the "right" side of the road on bike. One day I was hit from a car from behind smashing my bike to a mangled mess, my leg caught on corner of hood and pulled muscle, hit the windsheild and my hearing aid got ripped off by the windsheild wiper and flew up in the air and came crashing down on the side of road halfway into the gravel ditch.

Ever since that accident, I always rode my bike agianst the traffic, so I can see the vehicles coming. Before you guys get started on my about the law saying I must ride with traffic, I will say that I will fight this in court if I ever get pulled over by a cop for riding the wrong direction or wrong side of road. right or wrong, its about MY safety agianst the 2 ton car hurtling towards me at speeds excess of 60 mph.

I have been riding this way for over 30 years and will still continue to do so.
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Unread 03-08-2010, 09:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Mirrors, yes, why didn't I think of that! Great idea! Bike trails are all good, but I also like to get from 'a' to 'b' on my bike which requires me to ride on the roads.

radioman, I have never thought of riding against the traffic either, strange as it feels to consider it, it does make sense.

I think I will start with mirrors. Thank you for your responses!
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Unread 03-08-2010, 10:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Riding against traffic is a bad idea. Not only is it illegal, you are also putting youself and others at greater risk.
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Unread 03-08-2010, 02:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Riding against traffic is a bad idea. Not only is it illegal, you are also putting youself and others at greater risk.
How can it put ME in risk ? I can SEE them. If I ride with traffic and don't hear them coming, I hate being startled. To me this is more dangerous. If I can SEE them coming, then they know I see them. this makes it safer for both of us. Can you state from a case or anything that riding with traffic is better for deaf/HOH ?!!
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Unread 03-08-2010, 04:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It will put you at risk because riding against traffic is not where drivers expect you to be coming from. And it decreases time to react because you are both coming at each other.

As for seeing cars, use a mirror.

Above all, give due consideration to where you ride. Some places are unsafe for bicycles no matter how careful everyone is.

When I am riding and a bicyclist is coming towards me against traffic, I never know which side he or she is going to pass. It's not the place to play a guessing game.
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Unread 03-08-2010, 06:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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hmmm well - try to work on your situational awareness. Be more aware of your surrounding at all time.
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Unread 03-08-2010, 09:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have been on roads and off roads since 1986 and i have been in triathlon races, road biking races (TT), and mountain biking races. Please Do Not ride on wrong side like radioman's suggestion. You can use a mirror on your helmet if you feel safe. i always keep eyeing over my shoulders every few minutes before i change the lanes or turn onto left or right. i was in serious car/bike accident in 1989 and it was a driver's fault, but i kept moving on.

If you want to ride on roads, be sure to drive around the area where you can find a better road where less traffic is before you start riding. That is what i do. Also research online to find a path around your home town where there are open for bikers, walkers, skaters only.

Share the roads and please dont ride against the traffic.

PM me if you have any questions relating with my cycling experiences. thanks.
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Unread 03-08-2010, 09:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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rule #1 - please learn the etiquette

rule #2 - wear your helmet

rule #3 - enjoy
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Unread 03-09-2010, 05:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
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hmmm well - try to work on your situational awareness. Be more aware of your surrounding at all time.
Yes and use your eyes to look around before you change your lanes. I rely on my eyes checking everywhere when I drive or ride. Relying on the sound won't help.
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Unread 03-10-2010, 02:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Hmmm this is an interesting topic for me. I am a design student looking for a design oppertunity relating to deaf or hard of hearing people. Is this a common problem? How willing would you be to buy something like a heads up display that would tell you if a car was coming? I'm trying to get a feel for the needs of the deaf community to focus my design. I have a Q&A thread going in the deaf culture forum. I'll check back on this thread, but I'd appreciate some feedback in the other thread.
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Unread 03-10-2010, 03:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I love bike riding. I have an old red cruiser. I got handle bar mirror that is very adjustible for very little money at Wally World. Since I ride legally (with traffic) I put it on my left handlebar. You can also get small "fish eye" lenses to place on the regular mirror that will give you a broader rear view. I do look around, over my shoulder, left and right.

Go to the shop, try out both the handle bar and helmet mirrors and see which you are most comfortable with. The mirrors come in different shapes and sizes to suit your needs. Try a quick online search and see the possibilities.

Have fun and as for the license plate, I dunno. Some folks out there are mean. Nuff said?
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Unread 03-11-2010, 07:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I have seen one deaf person riding a bike on the Cape Cod, Mass and he had a sign that he made that said deaf rider on the back of his bike. He cant drive but can ride bike. That help alot for the driver.
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Unread 03-11-2010, 08:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Got it guys, thank you all for your helpful posts and opinions. For now I will stick to an antique old bike license plate, looks awesome on my retro cruiser. I am however shopping for mirrors right now, pricing them out, etc.

Deaf climber, thankyou for your offer to pm you, I may take you up on that.

Once again All Deaf has helped me out immensely!
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Unread 02-19-2012, 08:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Deaf cycling is just as perilous in England too

We have identical problems in England with the added complication that roads are (I imagine) a lot narrower over here than yours in the USA. Also our roundabouts tend to be a big hazard.
Personally I find that although I am registered as a deaf person and rely on two hearing aids, I still have hearing for sounds so things like a motorbike or farmers tractor near to me can be terrifyingly loud when amplified through my two hearing aids. ANd the sirens on emergency vehicles actually cause me pain! I need to wear the aids because of understanding speech as my severe hearing loss is in the middle frequency range. Do you - and other readers of this thread - also have problems with wind noise amplified through your hearing aids?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Moon-child View Post
Hi folks, I hope I have placed this in the correct forum, my apologies if I did not.

I have recently taken up bike riding again and am loving it. However, when cars or other cyclists come up behind me, they expect that I am hearing them. I do not hear them, and am finding this dangerous for me. People get mad at me, and do not realize I cannot hear t6heir vehicles or bells. I am worried about getting hit.

What advice can you give me? I was thinking of a license plate that says "Deaf Rider" or something, I just don't know. I don't really want to draw attention to myself but and finding riding on the main roads too freaky.
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Unread 02-19-2012, 09:03 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Well, I didn't have any problem at all with cycling cuz I packed my bike with 12 Ga shot gun, UZI, 44 Magnum, Winchester 30 explitly exposed all around the bike. No one ever get near me. They really respect me.
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Unread 02-19-2012, 02:09 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Been there - done that, had a bad crash a few years ago - street hazard that took me down. The worst part was the people who helped didn't know I couldn't hear them. The crash knocked me out. So, I started looking for a solution.

I found a terrific sign option at DeafExpo when it came to Portland, OR. Here is the website so you can order online -- DeafBikeSigns.. I modified the one that says "DEAF" with velcro on the back, and then I have companion velcro pieces for various activities I do, so I can switch it onto clothing, coats, etc. I have an armband I made for running, etc. I have a permanent velcro strip for the back of my bike helmet.

Please be where drivers expect to see you - we have a lot of bikers here in Portland, and it always freaks me out when I find someone riding in a not safe fashion. I can handle narrow roads and the cars slow down to accommodate cyclists until they can pass safely, but when someone is coming towards an on-coming car there is just no time to react. If I have to go against traffic, I get off and become a pedestrian. That way everyone wins and I stay safe!
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