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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

View Poll Results: What is your primary riding position when cycling (see opening post)?
Sidewalk. 0 0%
Side of the road opposing traffic. 0 0%
Side of the road with same-direction traffic. 48 65.75%
Center of "slow" lane. 17 23.29%
Other (specify in post below). 8 10.96%
Voters: 73. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-15-05, 06:41 PM   #1
Helmet Head
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What is your primary riding position when you're cycling? That is, where do you tend to ride unless you have a good reason to ride somewhere else?

If you choose "center of the 'slow' lane", for example, that means that's you tend to ride between the left and right tire tracks, inclusive, unless you have a good reason to ride somewhere else, like closer to the side of the road to allow faster traffic to pass.

If you choose "side of the road with same-direction traffic", that means you tend to keep to the side even if there is no reason not to be in the center of the slow lane.

Last edited by Helmet Head; 09-16-05 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 09-15-05, 07:05 PM   #2
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I put other because I can rarely think of a time when I'm dead in the center of the lane. I'm all over the map baby

But seriously you ride where you need to be or whatever is appropriate. There are roads back home with 65 mph traffic and huge shoulders and there I would ride confidently on the shoulder, risking flats over being rear ended. But here in the city I'll take the lane or hug the curb for a second if I've got a big backup and am feeling generous. I think the most important thing is to just be adaptable.
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Old 09-15-05, 07:11 PM   #3
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I ride in Bike lanes if they exist, or the far right side of the lane if it is wide enough, or in the lane on the right tire track. I never ride in the "center" of a lane... there is grease there that can cause me problems if I hit it wrong.

Even in the BL or far right side I am still a good 4 feet from the curb. But bottom line, road condition and traffic dictate more where I ride than anything else.
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Old 09-15-05, 08:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
If you choose "side of the road with same-direction traffic", that means you tend to keep to the side even if there is no reason not to be in the center of the slow lane.
--- Trick question. The poll asks what is -primary- riding position. That implies the respondents have secondary positions, like (for me) the middle of the slow lane when there is no traffic.
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Old 09-15-05, 09:01 PM   #5
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Lots of bike lanes around here, so in the bike lane when it's safe. Over toward the right side if the lane is wide, a couple of feet from the curb. In narrow lanes, somewhere near the right wheel track.
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Old 09-15-05, 11:34 PM   #6
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I love it when there's little traffic or slow traffic, I just ride in the lane like I'm a car. When the road's deserted, why not, and in some other situations like dense but slow city traffic, it's the safest place to be . When you can go as fast or faster than they can, and accelerate as well, why not.
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Old 09-16-05, 07:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 77Univega
--- Trick question. The poll asks what is -primary- riding position. That implies the respondents have secondary positions, like (for me) the middle of the slow lane when there is no traffic.
Or down lazy residential streets at noon on a quiet Sunday afternoon... or at midnight on a full moon, with no lights.

Then again there are some country roads I know where you can hear approaching cars from about a 1/2 mile away... those are fun to cruise in the middle too.
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Old 09-16-05, 09:44 AM   #8
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Depends very much on the road. If I have to pick one location it would be right tire track.

Very close to never on the side walk.
Never opposing traffic.
On shoulder of high speed collector roads when adequate shoulder is available (unless in/near intersection.)
Right side of lane when lane is wide enough to share and doing so will not put me in danger. (Texas law says 15')
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Old 09-16-05, 10:01 AM   #9
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Isn't it somewhat dependent upon the current condition? If I'm on a wide shouldered road, then I'm on the shoulder. If it's a two lane country road, I'm in the right hand tire track. If it's a really busy road with marginal shoulders, I'm on an alternative route.

So my response would be "I'm in the safest, most practical position for the current situation"
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Old 09-16-05, 10:03 AM   #10
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Spend a lot of time in the drops & on the brake hoods, occasionally the top of the bar.



Seriously, it all depends on the road I'm on. About 6" to a foot to the left of the white line if there's traffic. If I'm on a road with a nice wide clean shoulder I'll use that, too. That gives me the freedom to just hammer away without being concerned at all about cars.

If I can keep up with traffic speed I'll take the whole lane.

I'm fortunate to ride mostly on roads with little curb parking so door zones aren't a big issue to me.
Also, I don't often ride roads with heavy traffic and my biggest concern ends up being cross traffic, so I'll just make sure I'm in a good spot to be seen by crossing motorists.

Lane position just isn't something I spend a whole lot of time thinking about to be honest. I just ride and haven't had too many issues aside from the occasional idiots who throw stuff or want to make a statement that they're superior 'cause they're in a car.
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Old 09-16-05, 10:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treespeed
I put other because I can rarely think of a time when I'm dead in the center of the lane. I'm all over the map baby <snip>
+1
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Old 09-16-05, 10:16 AM   #12
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None of the above are primary. None of the choices seemed safe either.

I either ride in the center-right-center of the lane (between the right tire track and the center grease streak) or right-center (on the right tire track) or on the left most portion of the bike lane, depending on road, my experiences with it and the traffic conditions.

One would be a fool not to ride in the clean debris free and wide bike lane on 50mph arterial streets during rush hour when there is a constant stream of traffic. One would be a fool not to ride in between the center of lane and right tire track on 50mph arterial streets with very narrow outside lanes.

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Old 09-16-05, 10:20 AM   #13
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It all depends on the roads and traffic conditions. I do certain things in certain situations, but I have no overall "primary" position that is common for all roads and all riding conditions.
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Old 09-16-05, 11:40 AM   #14
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I put other because I can rarely think of a time when I'm dead in the center of the lane. I'm all over the map baby
Damn. Once again I forgot to clarify that by the "center" of the lane I mean between the left and right tire tracks. I updated the OP accordingly, but it's too late for all of you who have voted, and everyone who will vote without reading the OP.

With this clarification, would some of you "others" have chosen "center of slow lane"?
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Old 09-16-05, 11:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 77Univega
Trick question. The poll asks what is -primary- riding position. That implies the respondents have secondary positions, like (for me) the middle of the slow lane when there is no traffic.
I certainly did not intend a trick question.

Obviously, when there is faster traffic, and it's safe and reasonable to do so, almost all cyclists keep to the side. The point of my question is determine whether you think of that position as primary or secondary?

That is, do you keep to the side, your primary position, unless you notice that there is no traffic, at which time you move to your secondary position, further left?

Or, do you ride in the "center" (between the left and right tire tracks), which you consider to be your primary riding position, unless you notice that there is faster traffic approaching, in which case you temporarily move to your "secondary" position, off to the side, when it is safe and reasonable to do so, where you remain only until the faster traffic has passed?

The difference might be subtle, or "tricky", but I think it exposes an important distinction in attitude that has a significant effect on how one cycles in traffic.

Last edited by Helmet Head; 09-16-05 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 09-16-05, 11:55 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
With this clarification, would some of you "others" have chosen "center of slow lane"?
LOL... what's a lane?



I ride straight up the middle of this road and many like it every day, dodging doors and potholes.

"primary position" is an ideal situation that I don't have the luxury of experiencing.
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Old 09-16-05, 12:05 PM   #17
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A lane does not have to be marked to be a lane. In that respect, this appears to be a one lane road, where cars have to move aside when they pass one another.

If your primary position is on the side, you would ride near the curb until you reached the blue car, then moved left and continued in the door zone of the parked cars, moving right again after you pass that Amigo or whatever it is.

If you ride up the middle of this road, then your primary position, at least on this type of road, is in the center of the (single unmarked two-way) lane.
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Old 09-16-05, 08:36 PM   #18
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I voted "side of road with same-direction traffic", although I'm not always doing that.

I do take the entire lane when I am in an area where cut-offs are likely, as well as when the road is partially flooded, etc. Basically I stay as far right as is safe.

Drivers up in this part of the city are lunatics...and you have to ride accordingly, to deal with them....heck today on my way home, I got cut off once and almost cut off again, and I was extremely visible....just the first guy absolutely HAD to get into that bar ASAP (effing drunks), and the other guy just was paying attention, but apparently misjudged my speed....as annoying as it is, I'm cool with that, as he stopped and let me pass instead of cutting me off.

I was about to break into full-rant mode...I'll stop...I need some kool-aid anyways
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Old 09-16-05, 08:50 PM   #19
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I voted center of the lane, and that's usually where I am. This is an older city (Michigan cities had the first paved streets in the world) so the lanes are narrow. There is no safe room to share a lane, so it all belongs to me. I move over for cars as soon as I safely can. I guess I ride further to the right in a wide clean lane, but those are rare.
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Old 09-16-05, 08:54 PM   #20
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My primary riding position is recumbent. Sorry. I couldn't resist.
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Old 09-16-05, 10:00 PM   #21
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My primary riding position is recumbent. Sorry. I couldn't resist.
My favorite position? Sitting or reclining.
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