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Old 12-17-04, 11:12 PM   #1
Jeffery
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Can you take up one of the whole lanes when ridding a bike ?

I didn't think you could. Seems dangerous. Anyone know?
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Old 12-17-04, 11:14 PM   #2
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Serge?
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Old 12-17-04, 11:21 PM   #3
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Sure, if necessary, safe and legal. In my limited experience on the road, I ride in the right third of the right lane or on the shoulder if it's good surface and clean. Take the lane at lights, left turn lanes and other ares where it's necessary to go with the flow of traffic. Motorists are usually a little puzzled/amused when I pull up behind them at a light.. You've got to make the decision if you can safely take the lane taking into account traffic speed, etc.
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Old 12-17-04, 11:25 PM   #4
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The law in FL is:
Quote:
316.2065 Bicycle regulations.-
(5)(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:

1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

3. When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition, including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, or substandard-width lane, that makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge. For the purposes of this subsection, a "substandard-width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a one-way highway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as practicable.
Key words "as practicable" and which means if you don't want to be sharing a lane because you don't feel safe, are avoiding an obstacle, or you feel the lane is too small for you and a car then you are allowed to take the lane. Most (if not all I haven't checked everyone) states have similar wording in regards to bicycles in traffic.
I figured you didn't actually ride (much less in traffic) due to how much you obsess about flats. <shrug>
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Old 12-17-04, 11:32 PM   #5
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Raiyn I obsess about everything. Heck I even drive myself crazy. Its a horrible habit I have that is because of school. I don't like it but I can't get rid of it. I have tried.
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Old 12-17-04, 11:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jeffery
I didn't think you could. Seems dangerous. Anyone know?
Yes, you could do it. Yes it is dangerous.

Please educate yourself first. You can start here: http://www.bicyclesafe.com/

Tom
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Old 12-18-04, 12:03 AM   #7
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Thanks. I don't really like ridding in the street much though because the cars passing me by scare me. I can't see them coming behind me really with my own eyes and how close they will be. Like hummers, buses, Trucks, etc. There so wide. Cars as well but they don't scare me as much.

Though I guess I should say the heck with it and still ride on the right hand side of the street even if it does scare me sense its legal and I should not like them scare me away. I just wish all bike lanes were as wide as the shoulder on the interstate or at least half as wide. That would make me feel so much safer.

Why did they make the right side of bike lanes so skinner ? Its dangerous in my opinion. Very dangerous.
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Old 12-18-04, 02:47 AM   #8
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What state are you in?
In Texas, a bicyclist may take the lane if the lane is less than 14 ft. wide.
Taking the lane is not dangerous. Riding squeezed against the curb is.
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Old 12-18-04, 03:37 AM   #9
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Louisiana.

what about the cars, huge trucks, hummers, SUVs, etc behind me honking (maybe) that want to get pass because I am going so slow then?

They could run me over if they wanted to. I know most people won't do that but still you never know.
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Old 12-18-04, 07:14 AM   #10
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You are right, people could run over you if they wanted. It would be just as easy or easier than someone pointing a gun at you and firing. Nothing is 100% safe. People get killed riding in cars and tanks. You choose your method of motion and do as safely as possible. But there's always some element of risk that you cannot control. I do realize that when riding my bicycle on the streets I am placing myself more at the mercy of other road users than I am when in a cage, but as you pointed out, most people aren't that cruel. I hope I don't meet one of the cruel or stupid ones, but I am not going to ride around in morbid fear of what could be. There are many opportunities for me to get seriously hurt or die even when I am off the bike.
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Old 12-18-04, 08:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffery
Louisiana.

what about the cars, huge trucks, hummers, SUVs, etc behind me honking (maybe) that want to get pass because I am going so slow then?

They could run me over if they wanted to. I know most people won't do that but still you never know.
Louisiana laws are rather civilized on this point. A bicycle is defined as a vehicle, with full lane rights. They do have the usual bike inferiority clause, saying that you should ride as far to the right as safe & practicable (practice & practical), although the law allows you to take the full lane as needed.

Which would you rather have: honking trucks behind you while you take the lane (since they are honking, they do see you), or have the same road whales squeeze past you in the face of oncoming traffic.

By taking the lane, you force other drivers to acknowledge you presence & rights on the road, and to pass safely, using the other lane. If you cower in the gutter, you enable unsafe passing by other drivers, encouraging them to squeeze by without adequate clearance. You also train them to expect the same behavior from other cyclists.

As far as being run over, there are very, very few drivers who actually want to kill you, much less in front of witnesses. Or risk damage to their precious cage.
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Old 12-18-04, 11:13 AM   #12
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Legally, a cyclist is allowed to use the entire lane in many situations.

Most importantly, a cyclist is always allowed to use the entire lane if the lane is not wide enough to be safely shared side-by-side by a car and a bike.

Cyclists behind hit from behind by a motorist while riding in a regular lane during the day in an urban or suburban setting is an extremely rare type of collision, particularly if you also rule out early morning and near dusk when sun-in-the-eyes can also be factor.

The most important principle in cycliing safety is to be visible and predictable: riding in the lane, somewhere between the left and right tracks, is doing exactly that. Out of courtesy, and if there is room to do so without compromising safety (in terms of visibility and predictability), riding towards the the right side of the lane is fine, and the law in most states requires as much.

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Old 12-18-04, 02:48 PM   #13
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I think it depends on the state. I take the lane if I feel that a situation is out of hand and there's no way around it. I do believe that if it's one lane, and you are obstructing traffic for more than something like 5 cars, you have to pull over. Otherwise, you should stay to the right, but if you feel like you have to take the lane, then take the lane. I only take the lane if things look like they're getting out of control, like when I feel like cars are trying to squeeze me off the road. Then I take the lane and just ride it until they get the point. There is always plenty of room for the both of us if I stick to the right, and until they figure it out, my frame of mind is to take the lane if they try to crowd me out of it.


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Old 12-18-04, 06:54 PM   #14
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I've found the key to angry drivers in visibility. People don't honk because I'm taking the lane, people honk because they don't see earilier enough not to have to slow down. When I have on my yellow jacket or my blinkie is on, I find that magically, there are no cars who want to honk at me. This is because they see me early enough to switch lanes and go around me.

If someone wants to run over you, they can easily do so while you are hugging the curb as well (just a quick flick of the wheel). In addition, while hugging the curb, you are much more likely to be hit unintentionally. At least if you're taking the lane you'll know the bastard's intention.
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Old 12-18-04, 08:27 PM   #15
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Around here, your allowed 1 meter from the EDGE of the curve, I dont think your allowed to take up a whole lane unless nessesary, I wouldn't anyway.
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Old 12-18-04, 08:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffery
I didn't think you could. Seems dangerous. Anyone know?
I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the Uptown (aka "downtown" to everyone else) area. When I'm out riding, I almost always take a lane. It lets the cagers know I'm there. Too many times when I tried to be "nice" and ride to the edge, I'd come close to getting blown off the road or nailed by a idiot making a right. If I own the lane, they see me better.

Do what makes you safe *AND* comfortable.
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Old 12-18-04, 09:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffery
I didn't think you could. Seems dangerous. Anyone know?
Many towns and states have all the vehicle laws on line. Mine did, look them up and just read them, many are the same but some vary. As far as dangerous goes, Find a good cycling book and read up on riding in traffic. Most of the time taking a lane is pretty safe, provided you know how to do it correctly. There are times when it is safe to give the lane to faster traffic, if it is not unsafe for you to move over.
For example: If the lane is so narrow that the cars will try and squeeze by, they might not judge well and they might hit you, take the lane. But , Signal first, get acknowledgement from the driver and be deliberate and predictable.

Try "Effective Cycling" by John Forrester Try "Urban Bikers tips and tricks", but ignore the stupid "sly biker" tricks.
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Old 12-18-04, 10:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
what about the cars, huge trucks, hummers, SUVs, etc behind me honking (maybe) that want to get pass because I am going so slow then?

They could run me over if they wanted to. I know most people won't do that but still you never know.
Exactly what happened to me 1.5 weeks ago on my training ride. I was taking the right 1/3 of the lane, legal in California, 4 lane (2 on each side) road. Guy starts getting mad at me then runs into my back wheel sending me onto the sidewalk, into a pole and to the ER for 8 hours and off the bike for 9 days and still recovering.

Lesson is, take the lane if you feel safe doing so, if the cars have to wait make them. If someone starts honking, yelling, etc then find the nearest exit to move to and let the car go. In my case I was doing 24 - 27 MPH, not exactly slow in a 35 zone. Certian people can be jerks..., if you really want get their licence and report them...

Be safe
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Old 12-18-04, 10:56 PM   #19
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I find a need to use the whole lane when I have to merge left so as to not get cornered into a on ramp for a freeway. Cars are just rushing to a red light and when I get to the on ramp they will not stop,even when I have the crossing walk signal for pedestrans...
Yes, I believe in taking the amount of lane that one needs', but then roads are normally free enough that cars can pass me w/o any hassle; since they are rarely blocked in...
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Old 12-19-04, 01:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue_neon
Around here, your allowed 1 meter from the EDGE of the curve, I dont think your allowed to take up a whole lane unless nessesary, I wouldn't anyway.
As far as I'm aware, that law was repealed with the issue of the "National Road Rules" in 1999. Now it's just "as far to the left as practicable". There is a 3km stretch of my ride home from work every evening where "as far to the left as practicable" means "centre of the lane". I've never had a problem doing it, and I've done so right in front of the police on numerous occasions.
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Old 12-19-04, 04:36 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca
I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the Uptown (aka "downtown" to everyone else) area. When I'm out riding, I almost always take a lane. It lets the cagers know I'm there. Too many times when I tried to be "nice" and ride to the edge, I'd come close to getting blown off the road or nailed by a idiot making a right. If I own the lane, they see me better.

Do what makes you safe *AND* comfortable.
Espically those big trucks, buses, hummers, SUVs, etc Those come way to close and I never have been on the right hand side when they did that because I felt it was way to dangerous. I always go to the sidewalk with one of those things. There so wide and big.

Thats why I feel taking the whole lane would be maybe safer with these though. Espically the big trucks and buses.
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Old 12-19-04, 04:39 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my58vw
Exactly what happened to me 1.5 weeks ago on my training ride. I was taking the right 1/3 of the lane, legal in California, 4 lane (2 on each side) road. Guy starts getting mad at me then runs into my back wheel sending me onto the sidewalk, into a pole and to the ER for 8 hours and off the bike for 9 days and still recovering.

Lesson is, take the lane if you feel safe doing so, if the cars have to wait make them. If someone starts honking, yelling, etc then find the nearest exit to move to and let the car go. In my case I was doing 24 - 27 MPH, not exactly slow in a 35 zone. Certian people can be jerks..., if you really want get their licence and report them...

Be safe
Did anyone else see it happen ?
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Old 12-19-04, 12:19 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffery
I always go to the sidewalk with one of those things. There so wide and big.

.
Riding on the sidewalk is illegal in many places.


And yes, I take the lane when I feel I need to...threatened or turning. I have no problem making someone wait another 15 seconds so I don't get hit- AGAIN!

PJ
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Old 12-19-04, 03:24 PM   #24
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My opinion. Ride always on right side, out from edge. This leaves you a little room to move over AND it make you more visible to oncoming cars. I wear a rear view mirror and watch on busy rodes for approaching cars. I move over slightly when I know someone wants to pass. As for turn lanes and stop lights. I take the center of the road. When traffic moves, I move and take my "respectable position" In my state (Indiana) bicycles have a right to be on the road.
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Old 12-19-04, 11:17 PM   #25
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Down in NZ you can take up the whole lane if you dare.Legal but man do you become a target.Best to use what you need and leave the rest to others.
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