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Old 04-25-12, 08:03 AM   #26
phoebeisis
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But But- HE is writing this post because -THEY ARE ALREADY PASSING-
"Taking the lane" ISN'T WORKING in rural Illinois.
IT NEVER NEVER NEVER works in rural areas-or small non college towns.
It only works in bike savvy cities/towns where drivers are shamed into not passing- or they are too scared to get caught because of all the cameras.
Cars ALWAYS ALWAYS pass slow moving bikes in most parts of the USA.
Taking a lane only works in places where drivers are predisposed to be polite-places where you probably don't need it anyway.Everywhere else it just pisses them off-so they give you a close shave.
Now if more people rode-bike lanes-drivers would be more polite (safe)

OP is telling us "Taking a lane" doesn't work!! Not really news to anyone but the VCers-(who generally are in bike friendly/bike aware cities/towns)
It-"Taking a lane" only works where you don't really need it.

Might be interesting to poll VCers-see where they live ride.They are convinced it works-but the rest of the bike riding public are convinced it doesn't.
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Old 04-25-12, 12:21 PM   #27
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I agree, taking the lane does not change behaviors in any significant number of cases for me.

I encounter two kinds of people. One will hang behind me until they are able to fully change lanes to pass, even if I'm in a shoulder and the lane is wide, sometimes even if I'm trying to wave them around me.

The other kind will pass regardless of where I am, even with oncoming traffic. I have been center lane and had cars pass me without slowing, with a foot to spare, driving oncoming traffic far out into the gravel beyond the shoulder. Usually honking their horn too.

There are some people who may change their behavior based on lane position, but I certainly wouldn't bet my life on it. I generally hang in the right tire track. I do take the lane entirely if it's an absolutely blind corner or something like that, but I fade to the right as soon as I can.
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Old 04-25-12, 12:23 PM   #28
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getting right just encourages people to pass. The only thing you can do is to stay left far enough that the merely dim-witted see that they are going to have to do something dangerous to pass and slow down. In fact, I get further left in this situation than I usually ride. The real wackos are going to pass no matter what, and you can always dive right if they hit something. If you are already all the way right when they hit something, you have left yourself nowhere to go.
If you are going to move left, you better do it well before they are close to you or you will be yet another of the ubiquitous suicide swervers.
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Old 04-25-12, 12:30 PM   #29
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I generally hang in the right tire track. I do take the lane entirely if it's an absolutely blind corner or something like that, but I fade to the right as soon as I can.
That's what I do. Most people will wait until they can see around me before they pass. Twice somebody squeezed by in between me and an on-coming car which really pissed off the driver of the other car. For now I'm not willing to let the risk keep me from riding.
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Old 04-25-12, 12:40 PM   #30
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this usually doesn't work. I think it's the "you aren't the bossa me" 10 y.o. boy still left in the average driver.
Huh. Works for me.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 04-25-12, 02:34 PM   #31
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part of my ride today brought me thru over a mile long section of 4 lane, 55 mph state highway that had been reduced to two lanes because of construction. I was observing traffic in my rear view mirror, was visible, running a superflash, and riding in the right tire track.

every vehicle passed with a good amount of clearance. It was nice to be able to observe the passing clearance in my mirror.

to the OP- do you use a mirror? On country roads as traffic overtakes, its nice to keep appraised of overtaking traffic's road position and to leave yourself a little buffer to the right to move into as they pass.
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Old 04-25-12, 03:46 PM   #32
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to the OP- do you use a mirror? On country roads as traffic overtakes, its nice to keep appraised of overtaking traffic's road position and to leave yourself a little buffer to the right to move into as they pass.
Very, very, very true!
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Old 04-25-12, 04:32 PM   #33
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Is the little mirror that can be clipped onto glasses still sold?
I had one 30 years ago-not sure why I quit using it/lost it??
Maybe it was potentially dangerous- poke you in the eye in a crash??
Definitely need to get a rear view mirror.
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Old 04-25-12, 06:31 PM   #34
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Is the little mirror that can be clipped onto glasses still sold?
That would be probably the Take-A-Look mirror from Bike Peddler
http://www.amazon.com/Bike-Peddler-C.../dp/B001VTQNVO
I'm less of a fan of that particular mirror since the exposed edges of the mirror sliced my face open to the tune of about 12 stitches in a wipeout that jammed them up against my face. I now use a helmet mounted Cycleaware Reflex which is extremely safe in that regard, no edges, no stiff wire, everything rubber or plastic coated.

However, the Take-A-Look has thousands of fans, and my experience is very rare.
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Old 04-26-12, 03:56 PM   #35
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First, a question - You have hills in Illinois?

Secondly, I ride roads like that all the time. In Missouri, where we have real hills and real twisty roads. Don't take the lane when riding roads like that. It is more dangerous due to the speed differential between you (8 mph on a steep hill) and the car (60 mph). Ride in the right tire track all the time unless you are zipping down a hill at a high rate of speed (say 25+ mph), then you can take the lane safely. If you are slowly climbing and hear a car approaching from the rear, move about as far to the right as you can get. Then they'll only have to swing a few feet out into the other lane to approach. Not only is that a bit safer for you, the passing vehicle, and the possible oncoming motorist, but it is courteous. If worse comes to worst, bail for the ditch. They are usually farily grassy and soft so you might not get hurt bad unless you are going really fast.

Normally I'm a proponent of taking the lane in urban riding. I do it all the time. But it does not work riding rural, high-speed, low-traffic roads. On those roads getting hit from behind is more of a danger than getting pushed off the road or having problems merging.
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Old 04-26-12, 05:17 PM   #36
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ItJustMe-thanks-I'll track one down-
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Old 10-30-12, 09:10 PM   #37
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I started riding a tadpole trike a couple of weeks ago on a similar road. I time my rides for the least amount of traffic. So far, the people who have passed me have done so when I was not climbing a rise. There was one exception and he slowed to a crawl until he could see past me. Obviously, with a trike I cannot ride in the right tire track, so I am even more vulnerable than a DF rider. Possibly, the novelty of the trike and dumb luck have resulted in the passing cars giving me a very wide berth, but I worry which is why I have a 5' whip, a 15" horizontal flag, a Dinotte 300R steady taillight on the rack, a Vis360 flashing on my helmet, and a slow vehicle triangle on the back of the seat. If any other trike riders facing a similar situation have any helpful hints, I'd be grateful to hear them.
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Old 10-30-12, 09:41 PM   #38
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I just pull a little to the left, like a foot or two and let them pass however they want. People just veer into the lane like there's no way a car could be there. I figure I'm like 3-4 feet off the side of the road and it gives me enough room to swerve/slow down if I need to but not too far into it that they'd rear end me. If you hug to close to the right, they'll pass you super close or hit you if a car is coming the other way.

People are just dumb though. When I used to ride my motorcycle a lot, people would often try to pull over and wave me by (on one lane roads) into a blind corner. I'd just motion for them to keep going. It's like people don't think there could possibly be a car coming in the other direction.
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Old 10-31-12, 05:24 AM   #39
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Don't take the lane when riding roads like that. It is more dangerous due to the speed differential between you (8 mph on a steep hill) and the car (60 mph). Ride in the right tire track all the time unless you are zipping down a hill at a high rate of speed (say 25+ mph), then you can take the lane safely. If you are slowly climbing and hear a car approaching from the rear, move about as far to the right as you can get. Then they'll only have to swing a few feet out into the other lane to approach. Not only is that a bit safer for you, the passing vehicle, and the possible oncoming motorist, but it is courteous. If worse comes to worst, bail for the ditch. They are usually farily grassy and soft so you might not get hurt bad unless you are going really fast.

Normally I'm a proponent of taking the lane in urban riding. I do it all the time. But it does not work riding rural, high-speed, low-traffic roads. On those roads getting hit from behind is more of a danger than getting pushed off the road or having problems merging.


Likely many of you saw my post regarding the fifth wheel trailor that passed me very closely. I am uncertain if taking the lane would have forced him to slow and wait. There was enough witnesses that should have given him pause. But I have the impression that he would not have slowed to wait.

In that situation, I was riding about 1 foot from the inside edge of the fog line (the edge near centre line). This positions me in the right tire track. This is my default position in most cases. I typically pull over for these large vehicles to allow them to pass, but in this case there was nothing immediate.

Although I am an advocate for positioning oneself centre lane when the lane is too narrow to share, I find that it does not work all the time in these types of rural situations; high(er) speed traffic and narrow lanes. In the situation of blind hills or curves, if you are centre lane, there are some motorists who will wait, and some who will not.

However, taking centre lane does offer buffer room to the right so that you can mitigate getting struck, by moving right, when the motorist decides to risk a pass.

After reading the past two dozen threads, it seems that the consensues is pretty much tied on taking the lane or keeping right (FRAP), with regard to blind hills and curves. I do not think that either method is incorrect, but each method is better applied in certain situations.

In June 2006 I started a thread on just this subject and through the discussion I made a list. Perhaps we can revisit that list and add, delete or modify it some more.

Here is the original list and I would be interested in your thoughts. I'd be interested in expanding out point number 1 to differant parts on where lane taking is best and where riding FRAP is best likely very specific to blind hills or curves.

I want to emphasize that all of us will have to give and take on our theories a bit, I ask for an open mind and perhaps we can tease out best practices.

1) Lane positioning is a grey area, many people have different ideas about it. I think we can agree though that taking the lane or staying 1/4m from the edge will depend on the situation - blind curves or hills Vs. straight road Vs busy road Vs. poor edge condition, etc. It'll be a judgment call.

2) Listen for traffic, either behind or on the other side of blind hills or curves

3) Watch for approaching traffic that may be passing in your lane, be prepared to move yourself off the road. Be mindful of the gravel shoulder!

4) Mirrors are helpful but DO NOT replace a shoulder check.

5) Visibility is key - bright clothing, vests, etc.

6) Know your route, plan your route - stores, tough spots, etc.

7) Rural means more isolated, wise to be self sufficient - repairs, tools, etc.

8) Watch for rocks/gravel on the outside of a curve, the sweeping action of cars will dump them there

9) Indicating to motorists to pass or stay back can be useful, but may not work, be prepared for this.

10) Speeding up or slowing down to avoid 2 vehicles, in opposing lanes, from passing adjacent to you. This will (hopefully) stagger their pass points so as not to be in line with you when they pass (that make sense?)

11) Watch for dogs, there typically loose in rural areas.

12) Watch for motorists cutting the inside corner close with there tires on the fog line - blind corners/sharp corners are especially dangerous. Similarly, motorists on outside corners can drift over the centre lane.

13) Nothing wrong with pulling off the road for large trucks, if the dirt shoulder warrants it - not soft. Otherwise, if you deem it necessary to pull off, stop and wait for them to pass.

14) Be aware of the sun position when the evenings get short. Riding into the sun, will make you almost invisible.
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Old 10-31-12, 05:27 AM   #40
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I should add that I will try my best to compose all comments into a list as above.

All I ask is to keep verbiage down, to reduce noise, as it will be alot to read. Let's focus on the issue rather than a too detailed examination and criticism of each others posts.

If you have a particula rpoint you want to comment on, perhaps you could format it like:

Point 1:
Default lane position of FRAP is best (approximately right tire track) for straight roads. For blind hills (BH) and curves (BC) then
position centre lane if traffic is light but:
a) if a vehicle is overtaking and you deem it will pass you on BH or BC then indicating a "slow down" motion with arm outstretched may work
b) move right if you deem the overtaking vehicle will pass regardless, which will allow lateral distance for the passing vehicle to move into should there be an oncoming car.
b) stop and pull over for larger vehicles (logging trucks, dump trucks, garbage trucks, oil trucks, pickups towing trailers, etc)

Last edited by digger; 10-31-12 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 10-31-12, 06:06 AM   #41
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I think 2-lane rural roads is what scares me the most. That's what most roads in my areas are, and we have endless hills to boot. I was riding on 40-45 MPH 4 and 5-lane urban roads in the city the other day, no sweat. Keep right, and move left if going straight or turning left to avoid right hooks and such. But 2-lane rural roads (even with 35 MPH speed limit) with hills and curves, man I hate those.
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Old 10-31-12, 06:23 AM   #42
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One thing I have done is to hold out my palm in a "please wait" manner. This alerts the driver that I am aware he is there and I am not ignoring them, but please hold on. Then when I feel it is safe, I wave them to pass me. If they think you are oblivious to their presence, they will be more tempted to just blow past you impatiently. This doesn't work for everyone of course, but I think it helps with many.
I do the same and hope/pray they will notice my signaling and slow down.
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Old 10-31-12, 07:22 AM   #43
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Hi,

A couple of comments:

* As have been pointed out, no matter what you do, some drivers will do the wrong thing. You need to protect yourself.

* One additional reason to take the lane in this case. If the driver passes too close to you and you've taken the lane, you have some room to get out of his way. If you don't take the lane and this happens, then you've got no where to go.

* I highly recommend mirrors so you can see what's coming. I don't disagree about the comment about also doing a shoulder check (except on recumbents where it's often just not feasible).

* I do recommend an air-zound or something similar. Again, it is often the case that no matter what you do, the driver will do something similar. But the blast of an air horn will often cause drivers to stop whatever stupid thing they are doing.

Cheers,
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Old 10-31-12, 08:42 AM   #44
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Hi,

A couple of comments:

* As have been pointed out, no matter what you do, some drivers will do the wrong thing. You need to protect yourself.

* One additional reason to take the lane in this case. If the driver passes too close to you and you've taken the lane, you have some room to get out of his way. If you don't take the lane and this happens, then you've got no where to go.

* I highly recommend mirrors so you can see what's coming. I don't disagree about the comment about also doing a shoulder check (except on recumbents where it's often just not feasible).

* I do recommend an air-zound or something similar. Again, it is often the case that no matter what you do, the driver will do something similar. But the blast of an air horn will often cause drivers to stop whatever stupid thing they are doing.

Cheers,
Charles
Hi Charles,

Excellent points.

Just to add to this, the mirror is used to monitor traffic behind. So that when you're centre lane and you hear, then see a car in your rearview, you can judge the location of the driver side wheels; whether or not they are near the centre line. At this point you can determine if you need to move right into that buffer you have.

If all is well with regard to the overtaking vehicle. Then a shoulder check is used to show the driver that you are aware that they are there and about to pass.

I find the air zound ok when warning traffic ahead or adjacent to you. But I do not see how they would have any affect on traffic overtaking you...until they have passed. By that time, the (stupid) manouver is done.
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Old 10-31-12, 10:29 AM   #45
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I don't use my hand to signal traffic to slow down, because of a balance issue. I shake my head and, ride on the line/median, when I am on a BC. I don't encounter many BH's in the region.
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Old 10-31-12, 10:48 AM   #46
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If all is well with regard to the overtaking vehicle. Then a shoulder check is used to show the driver that you are aware that they are there and about to pass.

I find the air zound ok when warning traffic ahead or adjacent to you. But I do not see how they would have any affect on traffic overtaking you...until they have passed. By that time, the (stupid) manouver is done.
I ride a recumbent and can't easily do a shoulder check. I do find that a big nod of the head or a wave works well for letting the driver know that I know they are there. Regardless of how you do it, communicating with drivers is extremely important (I often give them a thumbs up when they pass me in a reasonable manner).

As far as the horn, you're basically right. I'd use it when I saw the car moving to pass me if I thought it really wasn't safe so that he could pull back. Not at all guaranteed to work.

Cheers,
Charles
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Old 10-31-12, 10:49 AM   #47
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I don't use my hand to signal traffic to slow down, because of a balance issue. I shake my head and, ride on the line/median, when I am on a BC. I don't encounter many BH's in the region.
I'm sure I'm just being slow, but... BC? BH?

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Old 10-31-12, 05:31 PM   #48
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I'm sure I'm just being slow, but... BC? BH?

Thanks,
Charles

See post # 40.

BC = blind curve
BH = blind hill
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Old 10-31-12, 08:52 PM   #49
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@berchman, I'm also a tadpole trike rider with flags and three PB superflash rear lights, always on. Also most of the time, pulling a trailer with a big triangle on the back.
Most people give me enough space, but some do not. I figure safety wise, we do better with close passes, because we don't wobble while climbing, like a DF bike might.
There was one road that was all hill for 2 miles, narrow, and no shoulder at all. I had to stop a couple of times, and catch my breath, lots of traffic at that time of day, (I was coming back from a 9 hour ride), quite unpleasant.
It does get easier when you get into shape, you can get through the bad spots faster, and not get stuck somewhere out of breath, unable to go on.
I find having an earbud in the right ear and listening to music keeps my mind off of obsessing over the traffic, as in not letting the noise get to me...
Also a mirror does help you keep an eye on folks, and if I see someone coming over too close, I will slowly move my arm back and forth over my head to get their attention, and then wave as they pass. Sometimes I will play traffic cop, but one day I waved a guy past me, and I didn't see the oncoming car, it was dark gray, in shadow. Oops... so I just wave as they pass. If they pass way too close, I will tap my horn, but it is without rancor, just to say, "Hey, I hope you know there's a human down here!"
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Old 11-01-12, 01:18 PM   #50
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I agree with digger. In situations like this I take the lane until the driver is about to pass, then slide over to the side as the car pulls along side me. This does a couple of things in my experience. First it tends to slow the car down a bit, always riding on the edge encourages drivers to blow by you without lifting their foot off the gas. If they see you in the lane, they tend to slow down a bit and think about what to do next. Sliding over just as the pass puts some room between you and the car. If an unseen car suddenly appears in the oncoming lane, the passing car can still duck back into your lane and hopefully get by without contacting you (provided he/she doesn't overreact and swerve into you anyway). The downside is the pavement is often crap towards the edge and having a car alongside you is the worst time to have to deal with potholes and obstacles.

Last edited by reshp1; 11-01-12 at 01:30 PM.
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