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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.

View Poll Results: What would you do next, and why?
Increase cycling speed to pass parked vehicle quicker 22 40.00%
Maintain cycling speed and pass parked vehicle 20 36.36%
Stop to allow following traffic to pass parked vehicle first 6 10.91%
Something else 7 12.73%
Voters: 55. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-01-09, 06:25 PM   #1
meeshu
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What Would You Do And Why?

There's a two lane road. With vehicles parked on both sides of the road, there is only just enough space within the lanes for opposing vehicular traffic to pass.

Road speed limit is 30 mph.

You're cycling along the road at ~ 15 mph near the edge of the road (2~3 feet out) as there are no vehicles parked along your the side of the road at this stage. However, about 40 feet ahead of you, a vehicle is parked on your side of the road. There are other vehicles parked on the opposite side of the road also.

You glance back to check for any following vehicular traffic. There are two or three vehicles following about 100~150 feet behind you. Another two or three vehicles are traveling in the opposite direction in the other lane.
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Old 08-01-09, 06:37 PM   #2
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I'd do a barrel roll.
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Old 08-01-09, 06:44 PM   #3
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I'd have to see the situation but I'd either slow down and let the motorized traffic do its thing, or speed up and pass the one parked vehicle on my side of the road.

It's best to get out of the way of motorized traffic and not antagonize them ... happier for everyone all around.
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Old 08-01-09, 06:55 PM   #4
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I'd do a barrel roll.


I would just maintain my speed with a slight increase if the people behind me decided to ride my ass.
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Old 08-01-09, 07:20 PM   #5
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Right down the middle of the road like I owned it baby.
F em all.
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Old 08-01-09, 07:24 PM   #6
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It sounds like you will likely pass the parked car before the traffic behind you catches up, in this case (or if it appears will be close) I will increase my speed and get out into the center of the lane so the cars behind me can see that I need the room.

I increase my speed to get past before the traffic and to avoid inconveniencing them any more than necessary. I also tend to stand up so the cars behind me can see I am trying to get past the obstruction quickly.

If it looks like the cars will have to jam on the breaks, I will wait, but I am not concerned if they have to slow down a bit.
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Old 08-01-09, 07:55 PM   #7
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Assert your position on the road. Go out into the lane far enough so that a door opening won't take you down.
If you hug the side of the road, you risk getting nailed by a door, and you tempt the drivers behind you to thread the needle which offers you NO margin for error.
It's your lane. You don't have to yield to people coming up from behind.

At that speed, if I sense that they're going to thread the needle anyway, I'll waggle my bike a bit to show them that I'm not as predictable as they'd like me to be.
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Old 08-01-09, 07:58 PM   #8
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I'd do a barrel roll.
I was thinking the same thing...
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Old 08-01-09, 08:03 PM   #9
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assert your position on the road. Go out into the lane far enough so that a door opening won't take you down.
If you hug the side of the road, you risk getting nailed by a door, and you tempt the drivers behind you to thread the needle which offers you no margin for error.
It's your lane. You don't have to yield to people coming up from behind.

At that speed, if i sense that they're going to thread the needle anyway, i'll waggle my bike a bit to show them that i'm not as predictable as they'd like me to be.
+1
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Old 08-01-09, 08:04 PM   #10
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Old 08-01-09, 08:08 PM   #11
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+1
+ another 1
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Old 08-01-09, 08:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Kai Winters View Post
Right down the middle of the road like I owned it baby.
F em all.

+1. They're expecting anyway. You don't want to confuse them with something like slowing down and waiting for them to pass.
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Old 08-01-09, 08:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
Assert your position on the road. Go out into the lane far enough so that a door opening won't take you down.
If you hug the side of the road, you risk getting nailed by a door, and you tempt the drivers behind you to thread the needle which offers you NO margin for error.
It's your lane. You don't have to yield to people coming up from behind.

At that speed, if I sense that they're going to thread the needle anyway, I'll waggle my bike a bit to show them that I'm not as predictable as they'd like me to be.
+1

signal early, and move into place and hold your position.
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Old 08-01-09, 08:20 PM   #14
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It all depends and I'd have to be in the moment to figure it out.

If it really looks close and traffic isn't moving quickly behind me-take the lane and get past, then back over towards the right.

If I am at a moment were my legs are starting to give-late in the ride or after getting up an incline-I might gear down and slow, move a bit and just let the cars get ahead.

I tend to ride in the right tire track, which seems to work well for our roads. On the wider roads it keeps me just clear of parked car doors and gives enough room for a car to pass. On the narrower roads it forces most of the drivers over-and if I start getting buzzed, I'll slowly inch over. Don't know how that would affect things in this situation.
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Old 08-01-09, 10:24 PM   #15
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I would control the lane and I would not look behind me. If the motorists don't like driving behind a bicycle, perhaps they should consider taking another route next time. (Please remember, when considering my snarky answer, that whatever conditions on the road make it appealing to cyclists will most likely also make the street appealing to motorists. For example, smooth surface, few stop signs, going to a popular area.)
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Old 08-01-09, 10:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meeshu View Post
There's a two lane road. With vehicles parked on both sides of the road, there is only just enough space within the lanes for opposing vehicular traffic to pass.

Road speed limit is 30 mph.

You're cycling along the road at ~ 15 mph near the edge of the road (2~3 feet out) as there are no vehicles parked along your the side of the road at this stage. However, about 40 feet ahead of you, a vehicle is parked on your side of the road. There are other vehicles parked on the opposite side of the road also.

You glance back to check for any following vehicular traffic. There are two or three vehicles following about 100~150 feet behind you. Another two or three vehicles are traveling in the opposite direction in the other lane.
I normally default to the center of the lane so there is no moving left to take the lane in a case like this, only moving right to give it up. I would not be opposed to allowing the overtaking car(s) to go through the choke point first, if I thought they would easily get there before me, and may even stop pedaling and move right (but not brake, and certainly not stop) if that's what it took to help facilitate it. I would have decided who was going to go through first long before 40 feet from the parked cars though.
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Old 08-01-09, 11:08 PM   #17
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I normally ride in the right tire track, but in this case I would take the center of the the lane or the left tire track. I would not change my pace based on a car behind me.
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Old 08-01-09, 11:20 PM   #18
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I'd likely do what other cars do. Increase speed so as to be ahead before others get there and take my right of way. Heck,( 40 ft,) I increase my speed to 23 mph, I might only hold them up 6 seconds. Big deal. All humans need learn patience and get over their dam 'me first,' gene.
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Old 08-01-09, 11:49 PM   #19
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I'd likely do what other cars do. Increase speed so as to be ahead before others get there and take my right of way. Heck,( 40 ft,) I increase my speed to 23 mph, I might only hold them up 6 seconds. Big deal. All humans need learn patience and get over their dam 'me first,' gene.
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Old 08-02-09, 12:48 AM   #20
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I usually just pass the parked car in such situations and if there are more parked cars ahead, I would stay in the lane without letting the cars behind me pass. I value my safety higher than other vehicles' convenience and swerving in and out of the lane like that is a really dangerous thing to do in a city.
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Old 08-02-09, 08:40 AM   #21
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I'd stop and wait. I've got a few seconds of time. If no car were coming at me from the other lane I'd take the lane though. I'd have the right of way. Correct?
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Old 08-02-09, 09:17 AM   #22
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First of all, I'm normally not 2 to 3 feet from the curb, I usually out in the lane anyway, or at least my left side of my bicycle is in alignment with the left side of a parked car. To me, motor vehicles that are approaching 100 to 150 feet behind me at 30 mph I would consider an ample distance and speed for me to signal and move left a few feet, if I happen to be riding in the latter mentioned position.

This type of scenario is something that plays out numerous times on my daily commutes.
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Old 08-02-09, 09:40 AM   #23
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I believe in sort of a universal karma if a motorists has to wait for me 5 seconds them I am obligated to wait for a motorist for 5 seconds. If the delay I have to endure is greater then the delay to motorists I'll generally assert my place in the road (i.e. I'll hold a door open for one person but not for a whole bunch of other people (like at a concert)) but the 100' noted in the op sounds too late to go jumping into the lane sounds easier just to slow down a bit and jump in at the end of the pack of cars.
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Old 08-02-09, 10:10 AM   #24
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Speed up a little to ~20mph and move to avoid an opening door. At this pace and assuming that the cars are doing the speed limit you should be past the parked car before the following cars are within 30ft of you. It is hard for me to envision this situation without actually running the numbers but when riding I think many just have a sense for these things. I generally try to avoid aggravating motorists but that being said, even if the cars were already on my tail, I would still generally move to block the lane and slightly increase my pace. I won't play chicken with a speeding or aggravated motorist but I would almost never stop in this situation and slowing would likely just increase my chance of being wedged too close to the parked car. As a side note, I'm a big fan of designated bicycle routes.
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Old 08-02-09, 10:13 AM   #25
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Motorists operate their vehicles differently depending on where cyclists position themselves in the roadway. Years ago, I tried to do like the OP and try to pull out into traffic while only a couple of feet from the curb, most generally, I'd either have to stop and wait for the freight train of cars to pass, or have an over courteous motorist stop in the roadway, delaying traffic anyway, in order to let me go around the one parked car. There was constant confusion or mixed signals on/from both parties when I rode in this matter.
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