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Old 04-23-09, 10:03 PM   #1
MnHillBilly
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Witnessed pure insanity - need confirmation

We had extremely high winds here today, so I was off my bike and in my car on the way home today. In the lane next to me was a roadie in full kit, even a nice sleeveless Colorado state flag jersey. I was impressed at this person's resolve to bike despite the winds at 35 mph.

No sooner than I had that thought, I watched this person do the following as we both approached an intersection:

We had the green light. I continued forward. The roadie went forward and then STOPPED abruptly in the dead center of the intersection, turns the bike, and plants themselves in FRONT of the lane of waiting traffic in the opposite direction currently under the red light. Positions themselves as though they're now the head of the line waiting for the light to change going the other way.

And to be clear - there were 2 lanes and a 3rd turn lane. This person put themselves in front of the car waiting at the middle lane. They weren't beside or next to a car, they were dead center in front.

What would you do if you were the head car waiting at the light? Would it be any different if a motorcycle or sedan passing by on a green light just suddenly skidded their tires and did a 180 and parked in front of you if they realized they needed to cross?

Are there cyclists out there who do this routinely and I'm just not used to seeing it, or was this truly as nutty a thing for them to do as it appeared????
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Old 04-23-09, 10:07 PM   #2
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In this situation, a driver could rightfully claim, upon police questioning, that the cyclist-turned-speedbump "came out of nowhere."
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Old 04-23-09, 10:09 PM   #3
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flame on!

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Old 04-23-09, 10:11 PM   #4
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flame on!

Burning him alive is a bit harsh. I'd say just break his legs and wrap the top-tube around his head.
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Old 04-23-09, 10:21 PM   #5
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do you mean instead of changing lanes and making a u turn from the left lane he did that?
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Old 04-23-09, 10:27 PM   #6
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I assume he did this instead of making the usual vehicular left turn? Don't know what to think, but it doesn't seem all that bad if he was not in the way of moving traffic. I have run into similar situations when exiting a bike path, but I usually don't put myself in front.

I guess the way he looks at it is that he had the right of way and just asserted it in a non-traditional manner. I have been known to hesitate to cross two lanes of traffic to get to a left turn lane. I'm a procrastinator.

He probably crossed the intersection faster than the cars anyway, and then got over to the side when they caught up to pass him.

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Old 04-24-09, 02:15 AM   #7
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Sounds to me like a variation of the two step left. I won't try to guess why he decided to not make a vehicular left turn.
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He probably crossed the intersection faster than the cars anyway, and then got over to the side when they caught up to pass him.
+1
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Old 04-24-09, 04:05 AM   #8
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A bit strange, but not pure insanity as you put it.
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Old 04-24-09, 04:33 AM   #9
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Sounds like a two step direction change, which is the safest way to change direction at an intersection, but the whole stopping in the middle of the intersection thing sounds a bit wierd...

(This two step thing is actually recommended in government educational brochures and the like, for when you don't feel confident enough to do it the usual way.)
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Old 04-24-09, 05:15 AM   #10
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I'll sometimes do a two step left turn on busy roads with no dedicated left turn lane. Sometimes people freak out over this but then again sometimes the freak out of me doing a normal left turn or even riding in the road so no no big deal.
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Old 04-24-09, 05:23 AM   #11
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do you mean instead of changing lanes and making a u turn from the left lane he did that?
To clarify: As we were going forward (North) on the green light, the biker is in the right-hand lane, I'm in the left. They're riding just like any other vehicle, and the right side of the intersection is where this happened. At no point was this bike competing with me for space or trying to turn left.

A car would have had to turn right at the light, then make a U-turn and get behind the other waiting cars to cross (facing West) when their light turned green. Instead of doing that, this biker stopped in their right-hand lane, turned 180, and placed themselves in front of the first car in the middle lane.
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Old 04-24-09, 05:25 AM   #12
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ETA: see above. Left turn in the overall sense, but not in the sense that they were in the left lane.

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Old 04-24-09, 05:26 AM   #13
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o
that's normal
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Old 04-24-09, 05:34 AM   #14
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Just being clear - this was NOT a left turn. And it was a stop in the middle of a 4-lane, 4-way intersection. They were riding North, in the right lane, then stopped in the right lane, backed up and turned 180 degrees to face West in front of the other cars waiting to cross West when the light changed.
That's 90 degrees not 180. No wonder I was having trouble understanding this thread

And I've done this. Not a big deal.
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Old 04-24-09, 05:46 AM   #15
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Normal in which sense? To place yourself in front of waiting traffic that's going to be infinitely faster in their takeoff than you will as you start pedaling? Had this person placed themselves in the far lane, where they could take the shoulder initially and take the lane as they get up to speed, I wouldn't see it being as much of a concern. But this is a 50 mph main drag at the foot of an incline during rush hour.
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Old 04-24-09, 05:55 AM   #16
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That's 90 degrees not 180. No wonder I was having trouble understanding this thread

And I've done this. Not a big deal.
Sorry - 90 is right. How is it not a big deal? In all humility - why would you place yourself directly in front of a line of waiting traffic like that? Would you try this if you were in your own car?

I guess my bigger picture question is - if we want cars to see us as cars, why is it then ok to make these kind of exceptions and behave as though we're not bound by the same rules? It's like cutting in line at the grocery store when you have 2 cartloads of items to scan and the guy you cut off just needs to pay for a gallon of milk.

What would be the big deal in turning right, coming back to face west, and getting in the lane just like any other vehicle?

Wouldn't have made such an impression on me except there's already been someone killed on this same road this year. Cars aren't looking for people to begin with, and then to see some bikers cutting corners so-to-speak, just makes me cringe when we're still so new into the season yet.
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Old 04-24-09, 05:55 AM   #17
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The guy in the first car was certainly muttering "f***ing cyclists shouldn't be on the road". I know a lot of people have ill will towards people in cars and vice versa but imho this does not make the public think very highly of cyclists. I ride a lot but if I was in the first car I'd have said something to him.

I'd have made the right turn and then done a u-turn and gotten in line and waited.
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Old 04-24-09, 05:57 AM   #18
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Normal in which sense? To place yourself in front of waiting traffic that's going to be infinitely faster in their takeoff than you will as you start pedaling?
speak for yourself. While personally I would take my place in line, when I am in the front I am usually through the intersection well before the traffic behind me...unless there is some impatient wannabe Garlits on my six.
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Old 04-24-09, 05:58 AM   #19
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This turned out safe for everyone.
What's the problem.

Ride to be safe not legal.
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Old 04-24-09, 06:49 AM   #20
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We had extremely high winds here today, so I was off my bike and in my car on the way home today. In the lane next to me was a roadie in full kit, even a nice sleeveless Colorado state flag jersey. I was impressed at this person's resolve to bike despite the winds at 35 mph.

No sooner than I had that thought, I watched this person do the following as we both approached an intersection:

We had the green light. I continued forward. The roadie went forward and then STOPPED abruptly in the dead center of the intersection, turns the bike, and plants themselves in FRONT of the lane of waiting traffic in the opposite direction currently under the red light. Positions themselves as though they're now the head of the line waiting for the light to change going the other way.

And to be clear - there were 2 lanes and a 3rd turn lane. This person put themselves in front of the car waiting at the middle lane. They weren't beside or next to a car, they were dead center in front.

What would you do if you were the head car waiting at the light? Would it be any different if a motorcycle or sedan passing by on a green light just suddenly skidded their tires and did a 180 and parked in front of you if they realized they needed to cross?

Are there cyclists out there who do this routinely and I'm just not used to seeing it, or was this truly as nutty a thing for them to do as it appeared????
How is this different from someone filtering forward at a stop, and then planting themselves right in front of the cars already stopped? Lots of cyclists do that, lots of scooter riders do that.
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Old 04-24-09, 06:54 AM   #21
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How is this different from someone filtering forward at a stop, and then planting themselves right in front of the cars already stopped? Lots of cyclists do that, lots of scooter riders do that.
Every one of my hood ornaments did that.
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Old 04-24-09, 07:01 AM   #22
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How is this different from someone filtering forward at a stop, and then planting themselves right in front of the cars already stopped? Lots of cyclists do that, lots of scooter riders do that.
That's also a bad idea.
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Old 04-24-09, 07:22 AM   #23
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That's also a bad idea.
Really? I do it all the time when I want to ensure that motorists know I am there.

I don't always filter forward, but there are times when I am about to enter a flow of traffic that may have different lane choices, and I want motorists to not make assumptions about what I might do, so I move forward and plant myself in the lane in a way to show and control where traffic is about to go. Everyone is at stop, so it is hardly a dangerous thing to do.

In Europe it is highly expected for cyclists and scooters to filter forward.

The new bike boxes in Portland are designed exactly for this sort of forward position.

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Old 04-24-09, 07:26 AM   #24
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Really? I do it all the time when I want to ensure that motorists know I am there.

I don't always filter forward, but there are times when I am about to enter a flow of traffic that may have different lane choices, and I want motorists to not make assumptions about what I might do, so I move forward and plant myself in the lane in a way to show and control where traffic is about to go. Everyone is at stop, so it is hardly a dangerous thing to do.

In Europe it is highly expected for cyclists and scooters to filter forward.

The new bike boxes in Portland are designed exactly for this sort of forward position.

In locations where the infrastructure is designed for 2-wheeled vehicles to filter (e.g., the above photo), there's nothing wrong with it. In most places in the US, where such infrastructure doesn't exist, it looks like a good way to antagonize drivers. My approach is simply to get in line at an intersection.
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Old 04-24-09, 07:28 AM   #25
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Sorry - 90 is right. How is it not a big deal? In all humility - why would you place yourself directly in front of a line of waiting traffic like that? Would you try this if you were in your own car?

I guess my bigger picture question is - if we want cars to see us as cars, why is it then ok to make these kind of exceptions and behave as though we're not bound by the same rules? It's like cutting in line at the grocery store when you have 2 cartloads of items to scan and the guy you cut off just needs to pay for a gallon of milk.

What would be the big deal in turning right, coming back to face west, and getting in the lane just like any other vehicle?

Wouldn't have made such an impression on me except there's already been someone killed on this same road this year. Cars aren't looking for people to begin with, and then to see some bikers cutting corners so-to-speak, just makes me cringe when we're still so new into the season yet.
You obviously know this intersection far better than I do, so I suppose I'm not really qualified to say whether this was a bonehead move or not.

But I think that this move can sometimes be okay, given the dynamics of the particular intersection. Like others have already said, if I know I can be out of the way of the line of cars in a reasonable amount of time after the light turns green, I might consider it if the other options available to me are undesirable.

While not really the same thing, there's this one intersection that I ride through frequently where I always filter through and park my butt directly in front of the first car waiting in line. This may be considered rude, but it's the safest thing for me to do there. The intersection has cars coming in from several odd angles, and it's a complete mess for all involved. Motorist have a hard time with the intersection too and often use their size advantage to bully the poor cyclist. It's every man for himself, everyone cutting everyone else off. Getting in the front of the line lets me clear the intersection as quick as possible, and actually minimizes my interaction with motorists, which is to their benefit too. </tangent>
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