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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.

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Old 12-18-02, 10:33 PM   #1
Pete Clark
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Why shouldn't I ride 1 or 2 feet inside the lane, instead of on the white line?

Do I become less human when I get out of my motorcar?

?
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Old 12-18-02, 10:45 PM   #2
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I have found that on the 2 lane roads around here that folks will pass you wider if your in the grove that the right hand tire of the autos usually run in. I just watch in my mirror and when they swing out I swing in twards the white line a little more for more clearence.
If I hang on the white line they will try to pass with out ever getting out of the lane themselves and making for a very tight squeez.
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Old 12-18-02, 11:09 PM   #3
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When I ride a few feet from the white line I have the ability to graciously move over and let the cars pass.

And I I get one of THOSE car that are going to force me over anyway, I have somewhere to go before I have to go to the ditch.
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Old 12-18-02, 11:57 PM   #4
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I ride enough inside the line to give myself room to get out of the way if I have to. Many roads around here have no shoulder, only an inch or two outside the line. It's true that when I hug the line cars pass closer than when I take more of the lane. At the same time, when I'm climbing winding hills and moving much more slowly than the cars I will pull over in a driveway when a driver has been patiently following me. Just common courtesy.
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Old 12-19-02, 04:17 AM   #5
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If the road has a decent shoulder I'll use it. If not, I'll ride as far inside the lane as I need to in order to feel safe. And I don't give a flying **** what anybody else thinks of me.
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Old 12-19-02, 08:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris L
If the road has a decent shoulder I'll use it. If not, I'll ride as far inside the lane as I need to in order to feel safe. And I don't give a flying **** what anybody else thinks of me.
The issue that I have with the shoulder is that it's full of debris. This really comes into play @ speed when cars are passing. My philosophy is that I'm not going to kill myself by crashing on the shoulder and rolling out in front of a car.

However, this philosophy also leads to a bunch of close calls with passenger-side mirrors.
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Old 12-19-02, 08:17 AM   #7
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Where I ride depends upon how wide the lane is. If its substandand meaning there is not enough room for a car to safely pass me in the lane (and that's mostly the case around here), then I ride the in right hand tire track essentially taking the lane. This forces cars to at least go partially into the other lane to pass me and keeps them from squeezing me off the road.

Of course, they occassionally still try to illegally pass when another car is coming over the hill or around the curve. The advantage is that I can usually hear the car that they cannot see. Being further into the lane gives me some maneuvering room when the passer suddenly decides he'd rather hit me than the oncoming car.

If the lane is wide enough, then I'll ride closer to the white line unless there is some type of hazard like a curb.

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Old 12-19-02, 12:16 PM   #8
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On my training ride there is no white line only a curb. I ride about two to three feet to the left of it. On blind corners I will take the entire lane in order to avoid someone passing me and not being able to see into the turn. I've found folks in cars/SUVs to be all different; some will wait to turn left in front of me others will pull out like I'm not even there. Yesterday a Surburban passed too close on a four lane road just so he could "hook" me by turning right in front of me.

Ride safe and return safely to those who love you.

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Old 12-19-02, 12:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pete Clark
Do I become less human when I get out of my motorcar?

?
Quite the opposite. We all become more human when we step out of the car.

And, yeah, I'll take as much of the lane as I need to feel safe.
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Old 12-19-02, 01:10 PM   #10
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The key to ensuring one's safety irrespective of where ever you ride is to hold a consistent line. Of course, the factor we haven't mentioned about riding inside the white line is the avoidance of the dreaded opening door from parked cars. Again, if you're going past a heap of parked cars, the safest thing to do is to ride far enough from the doors so that being hit is impossible and to hold a consistent line while doing so.
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Old 12-19-02, 02:44 PM   #11
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On several of the streets of my usual commute route cars are allowed to park along the curb inside the bike lane. In those cases I usually ride on the extreme left of the bike lane so that my wheel is just inside the stripe. This gives me door clearance and an extra margin for maneuevering out of the way of cars exiting driveways. That portion of the bikelane also tends to be cleaner since debris tends to migrate towards the gutter. Finally, it makes me more visible.

Also, I don't hesitate to take the lane when, in my judgment, safety requires. In California, you have to ride in the bikelane if there is one and you are traveling slower than the prevailing speed of traffic, except "when reasonably necessary to leave the bicycle lane to avoid debris or other hazardous conditions" (Sec. 21208, Veh. C.) I always construe that exception very liberally.

Nobody has ever hassled me for riding this way. On the other hand, there seems to be a misconception among Sacramento motorists that the bike lane is a lane for passing people on the right. That's a topic for another thread.:irritated
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Old 12-19-02, 05:28 PM   #12
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I always ride clear left (a couple of feet) of the line. The reasons are multitude:
1) Car doors
2) Junk in the gutter
3) Visibility (for car drivers, not the cyclist). If you're a bit wide of the edge, cars behind the car passing you are likely to have a better view of you-- because the car passing you has to move slightly to the left, opening a better line of sight for the following driver. Plus the movement of the lead car can tip the following driver that there is an "obstacle" (i.e. ME) in the road.
Likewise, there's a spot on my commute home where I go under a bridge, and on the other side of the bridge is a freeway off ramp emptying onto the street I'm on. I'll ride in the extreme left of the car lane, because otherwise, the drivers are unlikely to see me due to the bridge's pillars obstructing their view. And most of them don't stop at the "stop" sign, just coast thru. One near collision with a Greyhound bus cured me of any desire to stay to the right at this particular intersection. Moving left also gives me a bit more reaction time in this situation.
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Old 12-20-02, 09:56 AM   #13
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If there is a decent shoulder I'll use otherwise......
http://www.fhp.state.fl.us/html/BST.htm
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