Originally Posted by ok_commuter
This. Quit curb hugging and take your place in traffic when the situation warrants.
I move over when staying right allows drivers to consider squeezing past me in an unsafe way. The law usually says something about staying as far right as practicable. It's not practical to stay right if someone takes you out while squeezing past you.
However, sometimes there isn't much you can do.
I was riding pretty fast on the side of a wide open, 4 lane road (Pearl River, NY) with very few side streets or driveways, doing 30-32 mph, in a 40 mph speed limit zone (typical driving speed 45-50 mph). A car came up beside me - the passenger door was about even with me when suddenly the car turned right (i.e. into me). I slammed into the door while I jammed my bike right into the (playground) driveway. I briefly contemplated flipping myself over the hood since I could have done it without really hurting myself. But I decided that a less dramatic out would be sufficient.
I never actually went down because I used the car as a brace. The car stopped. The driver, a woman with what seemed to be paper with directions in her mouth, started yelling at me for getting in the way. Her kid, in a baby seat, was in the back seat, wide eyed. I figure they were looking for the playground.
I yelled at the driver, questioning why she thought turning right while I was next to her front door was acceptable. She claimed that she had already passed me, and I pointed out that her side view mirror hit my arm.
A few seconds later the car behind the mom pulled around us and drove into the playground area.
It was a police car, from that (very small) town, driven by a cop.
I realized that if a cop doesn't care if I get hit by a car, then it's up to me to try and protect myself.
However, assaulting someone (or their property) wouldn't be a good move. It's like the doctor in LA - I couldn't believe what the riders said to the doctor. Yes, he did something terrible, but their responses prior to the incident were indicative of how provocative such actions can be.
A long time ago a driver, an older woman, drove by, laying on her horn, waving a fist. My friend and I were riding single file so I thought her outburst was inappropriate. I sprinted after her, more to relieve frustration than anything else.
Only thing was, she didn't drive very fast, and I actually caught her a minute or so later. She pulled over and rolled down her window. I rode up to the window, prepared to be a good bike ambassador, but wanting to point out the error of her ways.
Woman: "What do you want?" (scared)
Me: "I just wanted to ask why you honked your horn so much? We were single file, riding to the right, and we couldn't have moved over more."
Woman: "Um.. I honked because I think it's great that you are doing something healthy like riding your bike."
Me: "Oh, okay. Have a nice day."
Woman: "You too." (relieved)
Obviously she didn't honk because she thought it was nice we were riding. But I have a feeling that if I'd laid into her, it would have been counterproductive.
Having related those two stories, sometimes you just know when things are bad news: