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  #81  
Old 25.04.2009, 09:25
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

I'm glad to hear that you weren't too badly injured, Eire. I thought about mentioning in my little rant above that bike lanes that cause you to ride on the wrong side of the road are the worst of the lot. They intensify all of the problems that I described above.

Patrick said above that he "feels very safe" cycling on the bike paths (EDIT: see his clarification of this point below). This is why the engineers build them I think - because it makes people feel safer. Whether or not they are safer is an entirely separate matter, and I'm far from being convinced. Part of the research that I do (I'm a post-doc researcher at a university) is related to risk perception and the inherent biases people have in their judgments of risk. Maybe I should start a new research project on bike path risk perception versus objective risk levels.
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  #82  
Old 25.04.2009, 10:01
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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I'm glad to hear that you weren't too badly injured, Eire. I thought about mentioning in my little rant above that bike lanes that cause you to ride on the wrong side of the road are the worst of the lot. They intensify all of the problems that I described above.

Patrick said above that he "feels very safe" cycling on the bike paths. This is why the engineers build them I think - because it makes people feel safer. Whether or not they are safer is an entirely separate matter, and I'm far from being convinced. Part of the research that I do (I'm a post-doc researcher at a university) is related to risk perception and the inherent biases people have in their judgments of risk. Maybe I should start a new research project on bike path risk perception versus objective risk levels.
I find the whole risk perception thing quite interesting. I have always perceived the risk of road biking to be higher then mountain biking, simply because you have to factor in higher speeds and other road users. Asphalt is much harder then dirt or grass too if you fall on it, and usually on a mountain bike you have some time to control your fall a little bit (not always though). I have always dreaded the thought of crashing on a road bike. All things considered I think I am very lucky with the outcome of this one.
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  #83  
Old 25.04.2009, 10:17
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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I'm glad to hear that you weren't too badly injured, Eire. I thought about mentioning in my little rant above that bike lanes that cause you to ride on the wrong side of the road are the worst of the lot. They intensify all of the problems that I described above.

Patrick said above that he "feels very safe" cycling on the bike paths. This is why the engineers build them I think - because it makes people feel safer. Whether or not they are safer is an entirely separate matter, and I'm far from being convinced. Part of the research that I do (I'm a post-doc researcher at a university) is related to risk perception and the inherent biases people have in their judgments of risk. Maybe I should start a new research project on bike path risk perception versus objective risk levels.
Hmmm…now just for the sake of argument:
Consider this anecdote. With mounting causalities of fighter aircraft in WW 2, the Allies undertook a major study to identify the weak spots in their aircraft. They analyzsed thousands of damaged aircraft, and found that it was a particular section of fuselage that had taken the most hits. So they decided that was the vulnerable section and needs to be strengthened in future.

Think before you skip to the next post, what was the flaw in their thinking….

Last edited by Niranjan; 25.04.2009 at 15:39. Reason: Becomes less applicable in light of Patrick's clarification below...
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  #84  
Old 25.04.2009, 10:21
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

The flaw was, their sample was flawed; they had analysed only the surviving/retrieved aircraft. The ones which were perhaps hit on other sections were down under sea or blown beyond retrieval.

Most of us who are narrating our experiences have had brushes in the bike path…those who had brushes in the main roads perhaps aren’t alive to narrate their stories? So the hypothesis is, bike paths are high probability low intensity risk, whereas main roads are low probability but high intensity risk…Perhaps to an experienced biker like Patrick this insight is embedded in his intuition, that’s why he “feels” bike paths are safer, although he might have had several close calls on bike paths…

I personally have insufficient experience here to take a position on which one is safer...just trying to make the discussion interesting and balanced.
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  #85  
Old 25.04.2009, 10:25
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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Patrick said above that he "feels very safe" cycling on the bike paths.
Let me clarify -- I feel very safe in the bike lanes (the ones on the actual road, but designated for cyclists). In this case the roads are nice and wide, essentially there is just an extra lane for bicyclists. I feel unsafe on some of the paths -- in particular the ones in urban/suburban areas where the path crosses a lot of intersections and parking lots. The paths out in the country are fine.
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Old 25.04.2009, 14:22
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Very happy that you are ok Eire and that you are right back on the bike. I got nicked once a few years ago (similar situation) and I was shaken up for a day or two. I guess one time in almost 10 years of road cycling isn't too bad of odds
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  #87  
Old 25.04.2009, 17:12
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Thanks goodness it didnt end up badly Eire! I was cycling today about 50km distance in my area at 25-40kmh on the roads and had a few situations that the cars were coming to close on the side of yellow lane and this was quite a scary experience. I also prefer offroads and forest paths for leisurely rides at controlled speed. Although I cycle everyday 25km to work I always stay alert. Speedy recovery to your bruised hip and take care.
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  #88  
Old 27.04.2009, 20:26
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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I'm glad to hear that you weren't too badly injured, Eire. I thought about mentioning in my little rant above that bike lanes that cause you to ride on the wrong side of the road are the worst of the lot. They intensify all of the problems that I described above.

Patrick said above that he "feels very safe" cycling on the bike paths (EDIT: see his clarification of this point below). This is why the engineers build them I think - because it makes people feel safer. Whether or not they are safer is an entirely separate matter, and I'm far from being convinced. Part of the research that I do (I'm a post-doc researcher at a university) is related to risk perception and the inherent biases people have in their judgments of risk. Maybe I should start a new research project on bike path risk perception versus objective risk levels.
This would be an interesting study...I like your area of study, sounds interesting.. anyhow, based on a rough reading of this, I have no conclusions except that crossing intersections is more dangerous than riding parallel, but that is quite obvious result.
http://www.massbike.org/info/statistics.htm
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  #89  
Old 27.04.2009, 20:42
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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Let me clarify -- I feel very safe in the bike lanes (the ones on the actual road, but designated for cyclists). In this case the roads are nice and wide, essentially there is just an extra lane for bicyclists. I feel unsafe on some of the paths -- in particular the ones in urban/suburban areas where the path crosses a lot of intersections and parking lots. The paths out in the country are fine.
Agree with that.

Those bike paths on the road from Wetzikon to Uster and other places, are indeed a good idea, but there is not adequate signalisation, it simply looks like a flat sidewalk, there are not clear entry/exit point for the bikes, no yield or stop signalisation for the cars when they can cross the path, not red signalisation on the bike path when there is a high probability of cars invading the bike lane.

In that sense the "just painted yellow" bike lanes in the city are better implemented and safer.
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Old 28.04.2009, 14:20
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Thanks for the great info... its great to see so many people cycling and that its relatively safe.
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  #91  
Old 28.04.2009, 14:25
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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Thanks for the great info... its great to see so many people cycling and that its relatively safe.
Well, chances of getting ridden over by furious mini-bus taxi driver are infinitesimally lower here than in SA and being hooted at are very low in CH.
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  #92  
Old 28.04.2009, 14:53
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

I see you have now a cycling avatar jacek.

When do we organise a cyclo-touring event ?
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  #93  
Old 28.04.2009, 16:55
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

I am so amped up to get back into the cycling or mountain biking. I will keep you all posted. But first I need to setup home and hope there are some CHF left for a nice duel suspension beauty
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  #94  
Old 28.04.2009, 17:04
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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I see you have now a cycling avatar jacek.

When do we organise a cyclo-touring event ?
It was about the time to have it changed

I will be playing Interclub for the next three consecutive weeks but I still keep in touch with cycling spirit and bear in mind many useful advices from fellow cyclists on the EF.

Successfully, I have already clocked up the first 550km in Switzerland and to give some idea it is equivalent to distance between e.g. (JHB and DBN)

Lets keep in mind to organize such a leiseurly cyclo-touring event then
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  #95  
Old 28.04.2009, 18:00
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

I'm keen for it when the spring gets a little warmer,

something along the Côte d'Azur or maybe the Nordsee would be great !
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  #96  
Old 18.10.2009, 13:52
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Thanks for great information ....superb thread .

Bad Hare Day.
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  #97  
Old 19.11.2009, 21:08
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

Hi Everyone...now that winter is here in ZH, you're probably starting to think about the turbo trainer and indoor cycling sessions. I thought you might like to check out my site/blog on indoor cycling resources, as well as my own indoor cycling workout videos: http//:www.thesufferfest.com. Should be able to help you get through the long winter here... David M.
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  #98  
Old 01.12.2009, 23:22
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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The other regulations for bicycles are the standard ones in that you must have a front and rear reflector and if riding at night you must have a front (white) and rear (red) light.
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In der Schweiz finden sich die Betriebsvorschriften für Fahrräder in der „Verordnung über die technischen Anforderungen an Strassenfahrzeugen“ (VTS).
Als Beleuchtung sind ein weißer Scheinwerfer und eine rote Schlussleuchte vorgeschrieben, die auf mindestens 100 m sichtbar sind. Die Ausrüstung kann fest angebracht oder abnehmbar sein.
Zur passiven Beleuchtung muss vorne ein weißer, hinten ein roter Rückstrahler mit je 10 cm² Leuchtfläche befestigt sein. Darüber hinaus sind gelbe Reflektoren an den Pedalen anzubringen.
Hi all, I do enjoy cycling, especially when the weather is good in summer, but i'm not really an expert in the in's and out's of regulations in CH. However, when I started cycling last summer, I had some really good advice from a colleague (apologies, if already mentioned in this 5-pg thread), which I'd like to share.

Especially since I noticed a cyclist at Bhf Baden West roundabout 1830H today, conspicuously clad in blue. I have good reason to suspect that this self same cyclist lurks on EF

anyway, to cut a long story short, for night cycling, one needs a front and back light, as mentioned by ChrisW above. I did some research and came up with the 2nd quotation above (sorry, only found german ver). there're 2 points which my colleague mentioned to me, as regards to night cycling:

1. the lights should be fixed on the bike (befestigt)
2. the lights should not be blinking (passiven)

The reason i'm mentioning this is, the cyclist whom i noticed, had his rear light attached on the back of his helmet, which was then obscured by his backpack when he leaned forward during cycling.

As I understand, this would complicate matters should (touch wood) a legal dispute arise for any reason. I believe this is a good point to take note of, please correct me if I'm wrong
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  #99  
Old 02.12.2009, 10:13
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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there're 2 points which my colleague mentioned to me, as regards to night cycling:

1. the lights should be fixed on the bike (befestigt)
2. the lights should not be blinking (passiven)

The reason i'm mentioning this is, the cyclist whom i noticed, had his rear light attached on the back of his helmet, which was then obscured by his backpack when he leaned forward during cycling.

As I understand, this would complicate matters should (touch wood) a legal dispute arise for any reason. I believe this is a good point to take note of, please correct me if I'm wrong
Both good points. I also use small helmet-mounted lights, but I would not use them as my only lights - they are in addition to my larger bike-mounted lights, not instead of. Depending on the bike and set-up, I ride with between 2 and 4 rear lights (normally 3), and 2 or 3 front lights (normally 2). Helmet mounted lights can be very useful because they are much higher up than bike-mounted lights, so are less likely to be obscured by other traffic, and if you are trying to make sure that a car coming from the side of you sees you, then you can look straight at him and your helmet-mounted blinking light then flashes right into his eyes, whilst he might not see your bike mounted light because it is directed forwards.

When on city streets that are illuminated by street lights, I have all of my lights set to blinking mode. In this situation, I use lights to make people see me and not so that I can see the road, and the blinking mode is the best at getting people's attention. If I'm in an area without street lights, I'll have at least one high-power front light on constant mode, and may also turn one of my rear lights to constant, but will always keep at least one flashing.

The law about needing to have at least one front and one rear light that is constant (and not just blinking) is out of date, it probably has not been updated since the modern blinking LED lights were developed. Some countries have recently updated their laws so that riding with only blinking lights is legal; I believe that the UK did this several years ago, but I would not be surprised if Switzerland has not done this yet. Therefore, what is legal and what is most safe do not currently match. If I only had one light, I would go with what is safest, which is to have it on blinking mode, and would not worry about what is legal. Fortunately, the police do not seem to be aware of or are in disagreement with the law, and so I have never heard of anyone being stopped because they had their lights on blinking instead of constant. The police officers seem to be more sensible and only ticket people for riding without any lights (of which there are many) rather than worrying which setting the people who do have lights are using.

In addition, all of my bikes have at least a small amount of reflective tape, with my commuting bike getting a rather large dose of it. Plus, I have a fluorescent-yellow jacket. I think it's great that I'm one of the most visible cyclists in the city, and yet I'm officially not within the law when none of my lights are on constant mode.

Other tips: I recommend against attaching your light to your backpack when cycling. This makes sense if you want to use it when walking, in which case you probably have nowhere else to mount it. However, the lights I see attached to backpacks are almost always facing in completely the wrong direction (straight up, straight down, or to the side) and so the person is effectively riding without lights. One more thing to make sure of is to make sure that if your lights are not dynamo-powered, then make sure that you change/recharge your batteries often. I see a lot of cyclists who have lights that are so weak as to be useless, but if they used some new batteries then it would have a huge effect.
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  #100  
Old 02.12.2009, 10:25
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Re: Cycling in Switzerland

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The law about needing to have at least one front and one rear light that is constant (and not just blinking) is out of date
I always thought that the law said you're not allowed to have any blinking light on your bike; and I assumed that it was because blinking lights were judged too annoying or too distracting to other road users. I may well be wrong, and the law may also have updated.

But it doesn't really matter, since I don't like this law anyway I prefer to be as visible as possible...
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