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Old 10-05-06, 08:07 PM   #1
Turboem1
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How to properly ride in a lane?

I have some questions as I am having to ride on the roads more often. I am not talking about side streets or roads with a nice big shoulder. I am talking about a 2 lane in each direction, a shoulder on each side with a lot of cars parked in them, some turning lanes thrown in the mix and speed limit is 40.

When riding, should I be in the lane completely as to not have any one pass me on my left unless they go in another lane. So it would be one lane car, other lane bike

or

should I be in the right lane over to the right so if a car comes up they would be able to pass me while maybe moving over slightly but it would be possible to be car in one lane and car and bike in the other lane.


It seems that I should take the whole lane and not be swerving around parked cars but if I am not in the center or further left cars try to pass me and then cut right back in front with out ever really "switching lanes".

Any tips as it is quite scary being fairly new and having so many impatient drivers.

Thanks
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Old 10-05-06, 08:15 PM   #2
Bikepacker67
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Your premise is wrong.

How you position yourself in a lane has nothing to do with the cars behind you (I know... it's a scary concept, but you DO have the RIGHT to ALL of the lane)

It has everything to do with the conditions. If it is unsafe to be passed (cars parked, oncoming traffic, road debris, et al) then you better get your butt out there, and 'take the lane'.

Your safety trumps their impatience.
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Old 10-05-06, 08:20 PM   #3
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Ohh... and get a mirror, and learn how to use it.

The best way to deal with tight spaces and heavy traffic is to be able to anticipate situations.
You need a mirror to do that.

If you see oncoming traffic, as well as overtaking traffic, and you are on a narrow road, the only thing you can do is take the lane and make the overtaking traffic slow the F down.

Or bail, and ride on the sidewalk.
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Old 10-05-06, 08:59 PM   #4
AlmostTrick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turboem1
I have some questions as I am having to ride on the roads more often. I am not talking about side streets or roads with a nice big shoulder. I am talking about a 2 lane in each direction, a shoulder on each side with a lot of cars parked in them, some turning lanes thrown in the mix and speed limit is 40.

When riding, should I be in the lane completely as to not have any one pass me on my left unless they go in another lane. So it would be one lane car, other lane bike
Yes. Because you have parked cars to your right, you must stay far enough left that an opening door will not cause you to swerve into traffic. (or hit the door) Plus being centered in the lane gives you (and cross traffic) better sight lines at intersections to help avoid a collision.

Quote:
Any tips as it is quite scary being fairly new and having so many impatient drivers.
Ride assertively like you belong there... because you do! All newbie's feel the same fear that you are experiencing. Only experience will build your confidence. A mirror and hi vis clothing is a big help. Once you see car after car acknowledge your presence by slowing and/or changing lanes you will start to feel more comfortable with taking the whole lane. Let us know how things go.
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Old 10-05-06, 09:04 PM   #5
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If it is 2 lanes plus parked cars in each direction, you will not be holding up any cars, because they have a whole lane available for passing regardless of oncoming traffic. You have to ride out of the car door zone. However if there is a significant distance (you decide what is "significant") between parked cars, I move to the right so I am in line with the outside edge of the parked cars. This allows cars to see me as they approach, and I can move out again, when I reach the next parked car, without making a violent swerve.

+1 on the mirror (glasses mounted)
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