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  1. #1
    Hair Free bike756's Avatar
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    Reclaiming the lane

    Since my "accident" I have taken up vehicular cycling with great results. The only problem is when I yeild the lane to passing cars and ride on the side. By the time the cars I meant to let pass are gone, new cars are coming up much faster.

    This also happens when a car tries to squeeze past me and forces me to the side, and the cars behind him just keep going.

    How should I regain control of the lane?

  2. #2
    Conservative Hippie
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    I posted this in reply to another thread, but it seems to fit here. Our riding situations may be different, but this is what I do:

    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterRun
    Around here, if you don't ride as a vehicle, you're not riding.

    There are only two highways, that I'm aware of, that have bike lanes. Both are on short stretches of a few of my regular routes. One of these highways has no bike lanes across bridges. No highways around here have more than two lanes. Out of towns, speed limits are 45-60 MPH. With the exception of the two highways with bike lanes, the rest are substandardly narrow by DOT standards. None of the highways here have paved shoulders. Most of the residential roads are unpaved sand.

    The best way I have found to get around is to dress in bright colors, use flashing taillights during the day, steady on at night, get in the right tire wear path of the right lane and never yield to vehicles approaching from behind. Force them to either slow down or move over into the on-coming lane. Approaching intersections, blind curves with no passing zones and crossing bridges with no bike lane, take the center or a little left of center of the right lane.

    The drivers here are very good about slowing when necessary and completely changing lanes when passing.
    One thing I left out is that if a car is able to squeeze in forcing me to the side, it's a clear indication to me that my line needs to be at least another foot to the left.
    Last edited by CommuterRun; 10-13-05 at 06:57 PM.

  3. #3
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterRun
    I posted this in reply to another thread, but it seems to fit here. Our riding situations may be different, but this is what I do:



    One thing I left out is that if a car is able to squeeze in forcing me to the side, it's a clear indication to me that my line needs to be at least another foot to the left.
    Then they try to pass you on the right..... Seen it have also experianced it.

    Once your squeezed over its hard to get back in the lane. I hate getting stuck in the parking lane. Its like sheesh let me out of the damn thing already. I aoid it when i can but use it like the run out on a high way on ramp. Pull off the side street or out of parking lot driveway what ever and merge over a distance. Generaly most motorists understand my intent and give me space. Even had plesent suprises and had them stop and wave me in.

    P.S if the motorist from day bef yesterday in the red toyota celica is reading this thanks for leting me cross the road on wooster road its much apreciated.

  4. #4
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike756
    Since my "accident" I have taken up vehicular cycling with great results. The only problem is when I yeild the lane to passing cars and ride on the side. By the time the cars I meant to let pass are gone, new cars are coming up much faster.

    This also happens when a car tries to squeeze past me and forces me to the side, and the cars behind him just keep going.

    How should I regain control of the lane?
    Same thing happens to motorists who move to the right lane to allow faster traffic to pass, you end up getting stuck there until you get a big enough gap to change lanes again safely. That's about all you can do on a bike as well, you don't have the mass to force a car over, nor should you have the rudeness to cut them off, putting you both at risk. The drivers that piss me off the most, behind the wheel or on my bike, are the ones that bounce from lane to lane, cutting people off so they can gain a few inches. Patience is a virtue.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    The drivers that piss me off the most, behind the wheel or on my bike, are the ones that bounce from lane to lane, cutting people off so they can gain a few inches. Patience is a virtue.
    Lol chip my friend had many ways of dealing we these idiots. A push button that turned his break light on great for tail gaters esp on the highway. A radar imiter to trigger peoples radar detectors both worked like a charm.

    3rd was a driving meathod for lane weaving idiots. Hed drive down the middle of 2 lanes then slow to like 10 mph. We was up in akron home of the worlds most confuseing street system (all those lovely 2 lane 1 way streets.) Guy was doign the weving bs he took the center of each lane and slowed to 10 miles a hour. We could hear the other drivers behind him many of whom were lauging extreamly hard some took up postions between lanes to.

    For a while it looked like some parade with a drunk driver caught in the middle....
    It was quite funny as there was like 10 or so other drivers caught behind us and only one was pissed. I thnk the others were having as much fun as we were. Some times you just got to teach these guys a leason thy want to gain a few secound you make them loose much more. Tends to get the point across some times better than cops do.
    Esp. when you and they both travel the same strech every day about the same time.

  6. #6
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    If you signal and look over your shoulder frequently, you may be able to negotiate a spot in the lane.

  7. #7
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    if you can't mergeback to the left, pull over, stop and wait for clearing.
    go more faster

  8. #8
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Same thing happens to motorists who move to the right lane to allow faster traffic to pass, you end up getting stuck there until you get a big enough gap to change lanes again safely. That's about all you can do on a bike as well, you don't have the mass to force a car over, nor should you have the rudeness to cut them off, putting you both at risk. The drivers that piss me off the most, behind the wheel or on my bike, are the ones that bounce from lane to lane, cutting people off so they can gain a few inches. Patience is a virtue.
    The good news it's easier to deal with this situation on bike than in car.

    In a car you turn on your left turn signal and everyone ignores you.

    On bike, do what Hawkear suggests... look back and signal. Someone will be quick to slow down and let you in. Usually it's the first driver, but sometimes you have to wait one or two cars.

    The trick is not to just glance back, but look back for a second or two. Practice this in an empty parking lot if you can't keep a straight line while looking back.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike756
    Since my "accident" I have taken up vehicular cycling with great results. The only problem is when I yeild the lane to passing cars and ride on the side. By the time the cars I meant to let pass are gone, new cars are coming up much faster.

    This also happens when a car tries to squeeze past me and forces me to the side, and the cars behind him just keep going.

    How should I regain control of the lane?
    This is why I don't move over. You don't have to worry about retaking the lane if you never give it up.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    I've had this problem. I try not to make it impossible to pass me where it's safe; that is where the lane is wide enough. When I have to cross three lanes to make a left, I start early, and do as Helmet says, just make it very clear that you're moving over, while not expecting drivers to have lightning fast reflexes and racing brakes, you may have to wait a minute to make sure they see you and/or intend to slow.
    My caveat, I live in a big town, which means more traffic, but it also means there are rarely less than two lanes in every direction, so I never feel bad about taking an entire lane, and it never creates a traffic jam behind me creating a situation where I may be required to pull over to avoid breaking the "impeding the flow of traffic" law. I actually got a ticket for that once while participating in a severely under-attended critical mass ride in college.
    Adam

  11. #11
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArizonaAdam
    When I have to cross three lanes to make a left, I start early, and do as Helmet says, just make it very clear that you're moving over, while not expecting drivers to have lightning fast reflexes and racing brakes, you may have to wait a minute to make sure they see you and/or intend to slow.
    Exactly. My only comment is that while waiting for someone to slow down, it might seem like a minute, but I bet that if you actually timed it it would be much closer to ten or twenty seconds of waiting, rather than sixty.

  12. #12
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony King
    This is why I don't move over. You don't have to worry about retaking the lane if you never give it up.
    Fair enough. But if you learn to effectively reclaim the lane through negotiation, why not pull aside to let a few motorists pass by? It's a gesture of good will.

  13. #13
    Conservative Hippie
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    Quote Originally Posted by nova
    Then they try to pass you on the right..... Seen it have also experianced it.
    Here, the roads are narrow enough, with no paved shoulder, that for a car passing on the right he would have to be driving in the grass.

    But, Helmet Head and others are right. A look over your left shoulder and signal of intent to move left will get you back over. It may not be the first car that lets you in, but, in my experience, it will almost always be one of the first three cars.

  14. #14
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    I too get frustrated when I experience this type of situation. Looking back and signaling is the best approach to merge back in, but I know that this can be stressfull if the surface conditions are poor and you have to have to keep an eye on the pavement edge nearby. What frustates me the most is when I move over to let a VW Golf go by, and the train of vehicles that follows includes a U-Haul truck driven with a guy who's never operated anything that wide before - oh, and he's pulling a trailer, too.

    If it looks like several cars are going to back up if I don't move over soon, I start looking for a pleasant commercial driveway to exit the road. I like this better than trying to share a narrow lane with a train of vehicles. I'm more likely to share the lane if the lane seems wide enough and I don't notice any trucks coming. I'm less likely if there are multiple lanes in my direction, the lane seems tight, or I see a truck.

    -Steve Goodridge

  15. #15
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    I have a similar situation where I need to make a right turn onto a very busy road that is fast and close spaced. I can never get a big enough gap to make the right turn, sometimes I hold up my hand in stop fashion, this gets ignored, or I fake pulling into traffic hoping it gets someone to slow. In a car you just use your mass, intimdation and very fast accerlation to get into the flow, but I can't do it on a bike.

    Al

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