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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 07-25-07, 07:57 PM   #1
float
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First time scared on the road...

When I was riding yesterday I got scared pretty good. I had to take a left but i had to get over two lanes to the turn lane. It was a busy intersection right around GA 400 (anyone in the ATL knows how that can be). And with a car or two coming I just stopped on the side of the road through an entire light cycle before I was comfortable getting to the turn lane. I don't know why I froze up, but I did. Hopefully that's out of the way now.
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Old 07-25-07, 08:51 PM   #2
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was it not possible to just ride to the opposite curb, dismount and then wait for the lights to change so you can ride on in the direction you wanted to go?

I have to pull this trick occasionally because there's too much fast traffic to safely enter the center lane to make a left.

Also a google map link would be nice.
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Old 07-25-07, 08:58 PM   #3
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+1 on the ride thru in the right lane, stop, and then cross with the light. Kind of like being a pedestrian but a lot safer than getting across a 4 lane plus a turn lane.
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Old 07-25-07, 09:24 PM   #4
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+1
Nothing wrong with walking if you are in danger.
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Old 07-25-07, 11:45 PM   #5
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Traffic can be intimidating. I never realised how used to traffic I was until I had a ride partner with me a while back who was quite taken aback at my aplomb in moving through traffic (we had to snake through an underpass entrance/exit of I-5 (at Orillia, for the locals).

So, practice, and use a mirror if you don't already have one.

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Old 07-26-07, 03:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEO View Post
was it not possible to just ride to the opposite curb, dismount and then wait for the lights to change so you can ride on in the direction you wanted to go?

I have to pull this trick occasionally because there's too much fast traffic to safely enter the center lane to make a left.

Also a google map link would be nice.
It's called a 'hook turn', and yes, it can be a very useful technique.

And a bit of fear now and then is good - it stops you from getting cocky.
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Old 07-26-07, 08:35 AM   #7
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Despite the hardcore's who think riding in traffic is a contest that must be won, there is nothing wrong with doing things the more complicated way if conditions require it for safety. Turning onto the cross street and getting back around, or simply doing the walk across the intersection if it is needed to be safe would be the way to go.

I find myself doing this more often since I started riding a recumbent trike. The combination of recumbent position and some fused neck vertebra make it hard for me to look behind, so my days of darting through traffic are past. I find I often have to stop and wait for traffic now under circumstance where I would have jumped in.

Better safe to ride another day.
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Old 07-26-07, 01:54 PM   #8
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I do the Hook Turn thing all the time. When I'm heading home (and not taking a MUP) I have a very busy 4 lane road where I make a left to leave the for another that is quieter and has a bike lane. I do that move all the time, otherwise I'd be squashed on that road.
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Old 07-26-07, 06:07 PM   #9
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I resort to a two-part left turns frequently enroute home, instead of trying to cross 3 lanes of 55mph traffic (westbound Palomar Airport Rd. at College Bl. = Aviara Pkwy., in Carlsbad CA) into the setting sun. I proceed straight ahead in the intersection, slow and ease into the crosswalk area, then stop just before reaching the right-turn-only lane. I stand in place, pivoting the bike leftward by 90 degrees, and wait for a green light in my new direction. It's safe, easy, and unambiguous (and sometimes actually more time-effective than waiting for the left arrow), and it earns me nothing but criticism and condescension from the hard-core VC crowd.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:39 PM   #10
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Anyone who doesn't have a little bit of healthy fear while riding, is either a liar or stupid. But you should just get back on the horse, and keep riding. We all get scared in traffic. (car drivers are nuts!!)
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Old 07-27-07, 10:49 PM   #11
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I agree with all of the above. If traffic is relatively light and you have room, by all means, merge left and get in the turn lane. But if traffic volume makes this impractical, there's nothing wrong at all with what you did. It's just good common sense.
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