[at-l] Sigh, co-list
lthompson at hollins.edu
Fri Mar 5 14:41:27 CST 2010
Perhaps then, the right-hand rear brake was created because of the already existing right-hand signaling convention, and not the other way around...
Fm: at-l-bounces at backcountry.net [mailto:at-l-bounces at backcountry.net] On Behalf Of Art Cloutman
Sent: Friday, March 05, 2010 3:35 PM
To: Felix J; at-l at backcountry.net
Subject: Re: [at-l] Sigh, co-list
One argument against your reason b) is that this rule was adopted long before hand brakes were common on American bikes. 50 years ago 99 out of 100 bikes in the US had coaster brakes. You just pedalled backward to slow the bike down or make it stop. When the 3 speed "English Bikes" started to become popular during the mid 1950's we started to see hand brakes on bikes. I still have my Raleigh Sports Gent from 1950. Hardly ever ride it but it was top of the line back then. Must have paid $35 for it second hand. Went for $100 brand new.
(this from kay k. harvey)
I'm not sure where the convention started, or if it has any bearing on modern traffic laws, but my assumption is that lefthanded signals are used for two reasons:
a) If you're riding on the right side of the road, you left hand may be more visible to traffic, which is to the left of you;
b) Your right hand, the one still controlling the bike, uses the REAR brake, which is MUCH safer than using the front brake only, if you have to stop quickly.
That second point is the one that crops up most frequently in my commuting - I'm almost always on the brake at some point during the turn when I am signaling.
Felix J. McGillicuddy
ALT '03 KT '03
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