Final exams are over. Time now to say thanks for all your comments and
respond to a few.
A short time ago I wrote;
> Should one ride with traffic, as on a bicycle, or facing traffic as a
Beirne Konarski replied
BK I’d say ride with the traffic, like a bicycle. A unicycle is just like a BK
slow bicycle, and the common wisdom there seems to be riding BK with traffic is
best for a bike, although I don’t remember the exact BK logic, except that it
may spook drivers less.
The “logic” is based on the relative velocities of a bicycle and a car. If a car
and a bike were to collide, and they are both traveling in the same direction,
then the force of the impact is a function of the difference of the two vehicle
speeds. However, if the two vehicles are traveling in opposite directions, and a
collision occurs, then the force of the impact is a function of the sum of the
vehicle speeds. For example: Imagine a car traveling at 30 and a bicycle at 10.
If the two vehicles are traveling in the same direction, the relative difference
in their speeds is 30 - 10 = 20. If the two vehicles collided then the force of
the impact would be based on 20. but if the bike and the car are traveling in
opposite directions, and they have a head on collision, the force of the impact
is then based on 40, (30 +
10). The same dynamics apply to pedestrians as well as bicycles, but supposedly
the pedestrian has a better chance of avoiding being struck by a car if he
walks facing the traffic. Also a pedestrian’s speed is slow enough that a car
passing at 30 has a speed relative to the pedestrian of approximately 30,
regardless of the pedestrian’s direction. (Whew, I’m supposed to be on
Myself I like the idea of avoiding being struck by a car altogether.
Maybe I could have phased the question; which side of the street to ride on to
avoid getting run over, cause an accident, or otherwise disrupt the flow of
traffic. Most everyone mentioned driver response to seeing a unicycle, for that
I’m am grateful. I wish to add an addition comment. When I used to ride a
bicycle regularily, I had a small rear-view mirror to watch for traffic from
behind. I would know when a car was approaching from behind me without having to
turn my head to look back, but I found that most drivers would be hesitant to
pass, unless I acknowledged the driver by turning my head to look back at the
car. I’m not sure yet how this experience translates into unicycling, but it
seems to be worth consideration.