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Thread: What is DLLP?

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    What is DLLP?

    What is DLLP? Sounds unpredictable to motorists

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    DLLP stands for Dynamic Lateral Lane Positioning. I made it up. The name is to contrast with what most cyclists seem to practice: "static lateral lane positioning". In particular, they seem to ride a fixed distance from the edge of the road, no matter what the factors or conditions (with some exceptions of course, but that's the basic description of what they do).

    DLLP is simply my take on John Franklin's (author of the book Cyclecraft, see http://cyclecraft.co.ok) "primary riding position" methodology. He recommends cyclists ride in the center of the lane, unless they have a good reason to temporarily move into the "secondary riding position" (off to the side to allow faster traffic to pass), rather than vice versa.

    That's all I have time to explain for now. There is a detailed discussion about it here:

    Logging trucks, one bike, and a twelve foot shoulder.

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    It's the antidote for DZC (Danger Zone Cycling).

    Making up silly terms is one of the complications of the cycling safety know-it-all BS artist syndrome.
    "It may even be that motoring is more healthful than not motoring; death rates were certainly higher in the pre-motoring age."- John Forester
    "Laws cannot be properly understood as if written in plain English..."- Forester defending obfuscation.
    "Motorist propaganda, continued for sixty years, is what has put cyclists on sidewalks." - Forester, sociologist in his own mind
    "'There are no rules of the road on MUPs.' -John Forester" - Helmet Head quoting 'The Great One'

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    Dllp=bs(hh+vc)
    There are 10 types of people in the world - the ones that can count in base 2, the ones that can't count in base 2, and the ones that didn't expect this to be in base 3.

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    Ya know... it is too bad HH responded so quickly... this discussion is now going to go quickly downhill just to taunt HH and others.

    And I have a feeling that vrkelley is just baiting us all.

    But what DLLP and Powerweave both are is simply riding on a road further to the left when there is no other same direction traffic present. The idea is go move further out and use that as a default position while riding... to give you a better view of the conditions ahead, to give you more bail out room if the road itself is less than perfect, and to give others (especially at intersections) a better chance to see you. This riding position may also increase your visibility to motorists approaching from behind (that same direction traffic) when they do eventually arrive on the scene. You are supposed to glance in your mirror from time to time to see if any same direction traffic is on the way... if so, you move out of the way and it appears as if you are yielding the lane to them. It appears to be a very courteous thing.

    There is no actual "weaving" going on... you should be in a centerish position long before any traffic can see you... and you should move before you impede any approaching traffic.

    This technique is especially useful on long tours, and on isolated roads where motorists may not be paying great attention to all of the road (just cruising along)... your appearance and then movement is supposed to help you become recognized as "something." Just like a deer standing still can be invisible, but if they make a slight movement, they become noticed.

    This technique is also useful in the city when there are large gaps in traffic.

    Beyond that, a centerish riding position or at least right tire track position is what experienced urban cyclists tend to ride anyway... to stay out of door zones of parked cars... with a secondary benefit that you are also better seen by drivers at intersections... rather than hugging the parked cars and suddenly popping out at intersections.

    Actually done right... DLLP looks very courteous to a motorist. "Oh look that cyclist just moved out of the way for us, Doris... " "Yeah babe... let's put the hammer down." (or something to that effect)

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    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    ...[John Franklin] (author of cyclecraft, see http://cyclecraft.co.uk) ...recommends cyclists ride in the center of the lane, unless they have a good reason to temporarily move into the "secondary riding position" (off to the side to allow faster traffic to pass), rather than vice versa.
    I often ride in the center of the lane in given circumstances, such as when riding in a narrow lane.

    I'm wondering about John Franklin's advise to ride in the center, though. Could it be that his advise is based on typically narrow roads in the U.K.? If so, would it apply when riding on wider roads such as we often find in the U.S.?

    I ask because as I said, if the lane is narrow, I tend to ride in the center of the lane. But if the lane is wide enough, it doesn't make as much sense to me, especially because wider lanes often mean high-speed traffic. I'd spend too much time watching my mirror.
    No worries

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    A quote from Cyclecraft by John Franklin...

    "We have alaredy establishe dthat positioning is one of the most important traffic skills for a cyclist to acquire, yet is is precisely here that most cyclists perform badly. Many cyclists fail to position themselves peroperly because of their fear of traffic, yet ironically, it is this very fear that probably puts them most at risk." pp 56-57

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    I often ride in the center of the lane in given circumstances, such as when riding in a narrow lane.

    I'm wondering about John Franklin's advise to ride in the center, though. Could it be that his advise is based on typically narrow roads in the U.K.? If so, would it apply when riding on wider roads such as we often find in the U.S.?

    I ask because as I said, if the lane is narrow, I tend to ride in the center of the lane. But if the lane is wide enough, it doesn't make as much sense to me.
    It really depends on where and how wide is wide.

    I ride a bike lane on a 50MPH road... that road has signs on it to warn motorists that driveways are ahead in 200 yards... wonder why that sign is there? Motorists coming out may not see motorists approaching... and vice versa. Well gee, if they cannot see a huge darn car... can they see me on a bike hiding in the bike lane... probably not.

    So I tend to ride out of the BL and just to the left of the stripe... where everyone can see what is happening just a bit better.

    Now if there is auto traffic on the road with me... well they are my "cover" and it is not likely that anyone is going to pull out just as a car comes by... so I am in the BL at the times that same direction traffic is moving with me.

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    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    A quote from Cyclecraft by John Franklin...

    "We have alaredy establishe dthat positioning is one of the most important traffic skills for a cyclist to acquire, yet is is precisely here that most cyclists perform badly. Many cyclists fail to position themselves peroperly because of their fear of traffic, yet ironically, it is this very fear that probably puts them most at risk." pp 56-57
    This is, of course, a very widely-accepted principle, that fear of motor traffic can put one more at risk by the tendency to ride near the pavement edge.

    But what has not been discussed is whether John Franklin recommends commanding a centerish position in a lane wide enough to safely share with overtaking traffic.
    No worries

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    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Here is an excerpt from John S. Allen's Bicycling Street Smarts:

    "If the road has a paved shoulder or an extra-wide right lane, don't ride all the way over at the right edge. Instead, keep riding in a straight line 3 or 4 feet to the right of the cars. Stay at a steady distance from the left side of the right lane."

    This is what I instinctively do in a wide outside lane. I guage my riding position based on how close I am to the left side of the lane, not the right. This keeps me more or less parallel to the cars in that lane, but not in the center of the lane.

    I also find it safer and more convenient to maintain my basic position in a straight line, rather than move right and left again based on overtaking traffic. In my mind, a straight line position communicates to passing motorists that I am staying put, and they must pass me when it's safe. If I'm moving right and left based on motorists overtaking me from the rear, I think that communicates to them that I'm going to move over for them to help them pass, which is not something I want them to think.
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 09-20-06 at 12:17 PM.
    No worries

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    Try judging your lateral position from the left rather than the right. In a WOL, look at the lane stripe to your left, then position yourself slightly more than one car lane to the right of it. In a NOL, look at the left-hand lane line, and position yourself far enough to the right of it that cagers will want to go into the inner lane to pass you.

    This is similar to the way motorists look at the road. They judge their position in the lane from the left, not the right, and that's why the driver's seat is on the left side of the car.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Try judging your lateral position from the left rather than the right. In a WOL, look at the lane stripe to your left, then position yourself slightly more than one car lane to the right of it. In a NOL, look at the left-hand lane line, and position yourself far enough to the right of it that cagers will want to go into the inner lane to pass you.

    This is similar to the way motorists look at the road. They judge their position in the lane from the left, not the right, and that's why the driver's seat is on the left side of the car.
    For what it's worth, if you're choosing your position relative to something static , like either the edge of the road, or the stripe on the left, or the distance from the cars, that's SLLP, not DLLP. DLLP is choosing lane postion based on current dynamically changing factors and conditions (primarily where other traffic is).

    Now, while cars are present, choosing a static position relative to where they are is consistent with DLLP. But, after they've passed you, and there is no same-direction traffic present, staying in that position is SLLP, not DLLP.

    The difference between DLLP VC and SLLP VC is only pertinent when:
    • The lane is wide enough to be safely shared, or there is a shoulder or a bike lane, AND
    • There is no same-direction faster traffic present.


    Another reason I favor DLLP VC over SLLP VC is because a cyclist using SLLP VC is more susceptible to paying less attention to traffic. I certainly am. I caught myself today thinking about something while riding in a bike lane on a quiet empty road - when I suddenly realized that the big proponent of DLLP was not practicing it himself! So I looked back to verify all was clear, and moved out of the bike lane into the traffic lane. This on a road with 50 mph traffic (when it's there) on an uphill grade where I'm going 8-10 mph. So I moved left and started scanning my mirror, soon enough I saw a car approaching, and when it was still about 10 seconds back it changed lanes, so I just stayed in the right lane. A bit later another car came, I moved over for this one. No problems, except I was confident in both cases that both overtaking drivers were aware of my presence. That's the goal. Later a whole "platoon" came by, for which I stayed in the bike lane the entire time, of course. But as soon as they passed, I moved back into the lane, and was properly positioned at the intersection where I go straight across at the top of the climb. DLLP helps keep the cyclist alert.

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    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Another reason I favor DLLP VC over SLLP VC is because a cyclist using SLLP VC is more susceptible to paying less attention to traffic...I looked back to verify all was clear, and moved out of the bike lane into the traffic lane....I moved left and started scanning my mirror, soon enough I saw a car approaching, and when it was still about 10 seconds back it changed lanes, so I just stayed in the right lane. A bit later another car came, I moved over for this one. No problems, except I was confident in both cases that both overtaking drivers were aware of my presence. That's the goal. Later a whole "platoon" came by, for which I stayed in the bike lane the entire time, of course. But as soon as they passed, I moved back into the lane, and was properly positioned at the intersection where I go straight across at the top of the climb. DLLP helps keep the cyclist alert.
    So "DLLP" is basically an attempt to get the attention of passing motorists by riding in directly in their field of vision?
    No worries

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    Where'd this extra "L" come from? When did it get here? Wasn't it just "DLP" just yesterday?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Later a whole "platoon" came by, for which I stayed in the bike lane the entire time, of course. .
    I'd bet ya that a few of the 2nd thru end of platoon drivers didn't even know you were there. Even if they were paying attention their view was likely obstructed by the vehicles ahead of them.
    Does that cause concern?
    Al

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    So "DLLP" is basically an attempt to get the attention of passing motorists by riding in directly in their field of vision?
    Not their field of "vision" (because the bike lane and shoulder are usually well within their field of vision as well). It's to more likely be within their vield of "cognitive attention" as they are approaching from behind. Once it is likely to have grabbed their attention, then I move aside to let them overtake me.

    See the "bike lane deaths" thread for more details (at least the first few and last few posts).

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    DLP and DLLP refer to the same concept. Dynamica Lateral Lane Positioning or Dynamic Lateral Positioning.

    I prefer DLLP - that was the original - but when others start using DLP, I do too, to avoid semantic squabbling. Heck, I even use Powerweave (which I detest) sometimes for that reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    I'd bet ya that a few of the 2nd thru end of platoon drivers didn't even know you were there. Even if they were paying attention their view was likely obstructed by the vehicles ahead of them.
    Does that cause concern?
    Al
    Some, but it's concern that I can't do anything about it. My philosphy is to do what you can, and not worry about what you can't.

    But, more importantly, I find that drivers following other cars are much less likely to look away long enough to drift very far.

    The most likely to drift are those "solo" drivers who perceive that they are driving on an empty (low threat) road where they can afford to take their eyes off the road for a relatively extended period.

    I want to be in front of those guys for an even longer period, so that they are aware I'm there before they decide to look away while they're overtaking me. I want to eliminate their perception that they are on an empty road. I feel riding up ahead in their lane in their intended path I am much more likely to do that than if I'm off to the side in the shoulder which is much more likely to be perceived as irrelevant to them. And they are much more likely to notice something if it is relevant to them.

    Does that make sense?

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    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Not their field of "vision" (because the bike lane and shoulder are usually well within their field of vision as well). It's to more likely be within their vield of "cognitive attention" as they are approaching from behind. Once it is likely to have grabbed their attention, then I move aside to let them overtake me.
    Is "DLLP" an adaptation to the presence of a bike lane? I don't use this technique on wide outside lanes (WOL,) but I have been known to leave the bike lane for many good reasons.

    I have an outside lane on my commute that varies in width from wide to narrow and visa-versa. I often ride the center of the lane, but when it's wide, I can't because I've literally had people pass me on the right when I tried it. You might wonder why I would take the center of the WOL, but when it changes to narrow again, I want to be in the center.

    So that's one reason I don't move center in a WOL. If a bike lane is present, I suppose moving out of the bike lane is similar to DLLP, but I do it for reasons that lie ahead of me (debris, etc.,) not behind me (traffic.)
    No worries

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    What state do you live in? I would love to know, I can't make a straight line on any road with out having to avoid pot holes or road debris in west michigan. I have never ridden in a designated bike lane. There is none in west michigan at alll !!!!
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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Is "DLLP" an adaptation to the presence of a bike lane?
    Not only.

    I don't use this technique on wide outside lanes (WOL,) but I have been known to leave the bike lane for many good reasons.

    I have an outside lane on my commute that varies in width from wide to narrow and visa-versa. I often ride the center of the lane, but when it's wide, I can't because I've literally had people pass me on the right when I tried it.
    If someone is passing you on the right, that means faster same-direction is present, in which case DLLP indicates being further right anyway.

    You might wonder why I would take the center of the WOL, but when it changes to narrow again, I want to be in the center.

    So that's one reason I don't move center in a WOL. If a bike lane is present, I suppose moving out of the bike lane is similar to DLLP, but I do it for reasons that lie ahead of me (debris, etc.,) not behind me (traffic.)
    Oh, DLLP is about choosing lane position for all kinds of reasons. Among those reasons, moving left to increase cognitive conspicuity to those approaching from behind before they overtake you is only one of those reasons.

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    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    So, in essence, DLLP/DLP is just your brand of lane positioning? Woo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

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    I believe it stands for Dynamic Lateral Lane Positioning or Dynamic Lane Positioning.

    In some ways we all do this, even those of use who like to use bike lanes, because probably all cyclists who use bike lanes have a few places where it's better to pull out of the bike lane and into the main traffic lane for some reason or another.

    For instance, I have a spot on my route where people who are getting off the freeway stop way way over the stop line and way over the bike lane line and practically half into the main travel lane. Rather than risk being run down I move into the travel lane until I'm past that spot. I would consider that to be dynamic lateral lane positioning.
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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    I believe it stands for Dynamic Lateral Lane Positioning or Dynamic Lane Positioning.

    In some ways we all do this, even those of use who like to use bike lanes, because probably all cyclists who use bike lanes have a few places where it's better to pull out of the bike lane and into the main traffic lane for some reason or another.

    For instance, I have a spot on my route where people who are getting off the freeway stop way way over the stop line and way over the bike lane line and practically half into the main travel lane. Rather than risk being run down I move into the travel lane until I'm past that spot. I would consider that to be dynamic lateral lane positioning.

    Well it's a form of it... and I do that too... but true DLP or DLLP or Powerweave or whatever we call it... is default positioning away from the right hand side of the road... it is NOT falling back to the right whenever no other traffic exists.

    What I still don't know or cannot verify, is whether it really works as far as catching attention of motorists approaching from behind. There is a lot of discussion going on right now on the logging road thread as to whether even this technique can catch a motorists eye when that motorist is otherwise distracted.

    But even if that aspect is not a redeeming factor... being more visible on the approach to an intersection IS a darn good reason for doing this. Intersections are our worst enemy... and riding further left makes you more visible as you approach an intersection.

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    Maybe we could do a blend of DLP and SAWMAWTF sorry about the technical lingo what SAWMAWTF tries to do is alert the motorist in a harmlessm but abrasive fashion. SAWMATF stands for Sound Airzound When Motorist Approches Within Twenty Feet. This constant Airzound ringing will imeaditly call attention to the road. I save lives I use the SAWMAWTF method all the time
    The Ferrari ('05 Bianchi Forza) had a flat (Stupid Glass) the Japanese wagon ('77 Nishiki with Arkel Utility Basket) was in the body shop (On my bench being repainted...repent ye rust)
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