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  1. #1
    Senior Member degnaw's Avatar
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    Was the three-foot law violated?

    Seems like a pretty unnecessarily close pass (left lane was completely empty), but it looks like it's marginally over three feet. The law really should be graduated based on speed differential, so someone going 50mph can't legally pass three feet away.

    Video (pass in question is at 0:16s): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKthHEsfKlI

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    That's just the kind of road I hate. There is an inadequate shoulder where the guardrail is, so you can't ride on the shoulder until you clear that rail. But, if you take the lane the carcissists are going to have a conniption. There is a temptation to ride the fog line, which is what it looks like you are doing, but that is going to get you buzzed. I figure in for a penny, in for a pound. The distracted driver will hit you whether you hug the white line or take the lane and I consider it unlikely that the folks who will give you room when you line-hug will become demons if you take the lane, so I take the lane. Of course, I do treat those places as sprint intervals, at least to the extent that this old dog really sprints at all. By the way, that was some pretty looking pavement. We don't have anything that smooth where I live.

  3. #3
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    I didn't see any cases of two cars trying to pass you at the same time, so I'd say, take the lane. They've got a whole lane to pass you with, even where there is the center turn lane.

    At 0:30, there was a 2x4 or some wood debris on the shoulder. If you're just riding on the shoulder only, and the cars are in the lane next to you, where are you going to bail out to?

  4. #4
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moleman76 View Post
    I didn't see any cases of two cars trying to pass you at the same time, so I'd say, take the lane. They've got a whole lane to pass you with, even where there is the center turn lane.

    At 0:30, there was a 2x4 or some wood debris on the shoulder. If you're just riding on the shoulder only, and the cars are in the lane next to you, where are you going to bail out to?
    I agree. Not 'taking the lane', is potential suicide.

  5. #5
    Conservative Hippie
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    What I had in mind has already been said. I don't like to ride the line on a road with a paved shoulder for just this reason. I get either out in the lane or over on the shoulder. Obviously, if I see a reason the shoulder is unacceptable, I'm out in the lane at least as far left as the right tire track.

  6. #6
    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    Unless there is a line where the 3 feet is. It is very hard to determine.

    I would evaluate with my mirror to which position was better.
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  7. #7
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    That's just the kind of road I hate. There is an inadequate shoulder where the guardrail is, so you can't ride on the shoulder until you clear that rail.
    debatable.


    i'm surprised this shoulder isn't acceptable among those of us that ride higher speed roads.

  8. #8
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    I agree. Not 'taking the lane', is potential suicide.
    Chris, but you wouldn't attempt riding here, would you? the speed limit is too high for you to even take the lane, isn't it?

  9. #9
    Senior Member degnaw's Avatar
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    I've considered taking the lane, but with cars going 55+mph and me going marginally 6mph (it's a 10% grade, hence the passing lane), the speed differential is a bit much for my liking. I'm sure taking the lane would result in wider passes, but I'm not sure if it'll increase my safety.

  10. #10
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    I am either sharing a lane or taking it.

    When sharing, I except drivers to stay in their lane and pass without hitting me. Three three, two feet, one foot, it's all good. If the lane is too narrow to safely share, I accept responsibility for taking the lane, riding the shoulder, finding an alternative route and/or working with other cyclists to improve conditions.

    Near as I can tell from the video your position made it clear you were choosing to share the lane. A pass as close as the white truck is to be expected. The driver moved over to the left of the lane.

    With the speeds seen on your video I'd either be riding about one inch left of the fog line or using the shoulder.
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  11. #11
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    Take the lane at 6 mph ???????? Get fn serious. I can't see the pavement too well, but I don't see a rumble strip.
    If so, then a 3 ft. shoulder is plenty, guardrail or not.
    Why didn't you stop and move the 2x4 off the road ??? You want it still there in the dark ??

  12. #12
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
    Take the lane at 6 mph ???????? Get fn serious. I can't see the pavement too well, but I don't see a rumble strip.
    If so, then a 3 ft. shoulder is plenty, guardrail or not.
    Why didn't you stop and move the 2x4 off the road ??? You want it still there in the dark ??
    It's not a 3 foot shoulder... I almost made the same mistake... there is some low curb around the base of the rail that takes up about 1/3 or so of what appears to be space on the right of the white line.

    I have to agree with the take the lane mentality here... but what about on the otherside of the "bridge" coming back the other way... are you going to take the lane in the single lane coming back?

    This is one of those damned if you do damned if you don't situations. You take the lane for more visibility and whoosh along comes the distracted motorist that merely glanced ahead and "didn't see a car..." while you were momentarily in a shadow... that motorist is now texting at 50MPH and closing on you. Can you "jump" out of the way now with that guard rail in the way, as you look at your mirror and notice that car just 100 feet back doesn't seem to be slowing... ?

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  13. #13
    Senior Member degnaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
    Why didn't you stop and move the 2x4 off the road ??? You want it still there in the dark ??
    I wouldn't be surprised if no cyclist has ever ridden this road in the dark. It's a mountain pass in pretty much the middle of nowhere.

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