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Old 04-02-13, 04:20 PM   #26
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The issue with the slice zone from my perspective is how to best let traffic by you. It may be that there is no shoulder to the right so you can't pull over so keeping the lane blocked is the only real option but that can't be done forever if there is a lot of traffic. Typically I'll ride in the right tire track area to stop/slow down traffic but if nobody is coming towards me I'll then pull over to the slice zone as the car passes me. Sometimes they will pass really, really close, but by me pulling right just as they get to me I have extra space. If cars are approaching that make it unsafe for them to pass at all then I just keep the lane. I think one of the more dangerous times is when you are on a curve. They don't see you early and they may try to pass and then be forced to move back into you, but taking the lane is scary then because just a moment of inattentiveness on their part is all kinds of trouble. I am hyper careful on blind curves and keep the middle of the road then so I am smack dab in their field of vision and I remain ready to pull to the right hard. If traffic is doing 60mph that can be a very fast problem indeed.
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Old 04-02-13, 04:40 PM   #27
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On roads where heavy vehicle traffic is moving at speeds in excess of 25-mph and especially if speeds are 45+ mph I would much prefer a road that has a beautiful wide shoulder edge like this to ride on in the "Out" position:






For in town traffic where speed limits do not exceed 25mph I find it much easier and safer to always ride "IN" or as I call it "ALL IN" and take a center lane position and ride as if I were a motorcycle:

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Old 04-02-13, 04:53 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by digibud View Post
The issue with the slice zone from my perspective is how to best let traffic by you. It may be that there is no shoulder to the right so you can't pull over so keeping the lane blocked is the only real option but that can't be done forever if there is a lot of traffic. Typically I'll ride in the right tire track area to stop/slow down traffic but if nobody is coming towards me I'll then pull over to the slice zone as the car passes me. Sometimes they will pass really, really close, but by me pulling right just as they get to me I have extra space. If cars are approaching that make it unsafe for them to pass at all then I just keep the lane. I think one of the more dangerous times is when you are on a curve. They don't see you early and they may try to pass and then be forced to move back into you, but taking the lane is scary then because just a moment of inattentiveness on their part is all kinds of trouble. I am hyper careful on blind curves and keep the middle of the road then so I am smack dab in their field of vision and I remain ready to pull to the right hard. If traffic is doing 60mph that can be a very fast problem indeed.
Yes, I understand all that. Point is Don't Make a Habit of Continuously Riding in the Slice Zone. Yes, there are times where someone passes you too closely where you have to slip over into it but you shouldn't be there in the first place and it is only to be used as an escape zone of last resort. Get "IN" or get "OUT" and only slip over to the side if you have to and when you do watch out for the guy right behind the guy who forced you over because he may try to force you over even further possibly right off the road and make you take a spill (been there). If you are riding in the "Slice Zone" and your not "OUT" but your not "IN" far enough then the close passes you get and potentially injury and death is partially your fault because your lane position is about the same as wearing a big sign on your back saying "Please pass me too closely, I'm begging you to do so."


In my mind, in a perfect world every road with heavy vehicle traffic moving at speeds over 45-mph would at the very least have a nice wide clean shoulder edge with equal quality pavement for us cyclist to ride in the "OUT" position because we don't have a chance of being able to keep up with traffic. And in all 25-mph or less speed (mainly in town) roads full integration "ALL IN" would be considered the norm since we can keep up and I have found that is the safest way to ride in that kind of low speed traffic.

It is not, however, a perfect world and there are a whole lot of numb skulls out there who always everywhere want all bicycles "OUT of their way" and do really dumb stuff like making bike lanes in door zones on in-town low speed roads where a cyclist has no trouble keeping up with heavy vehicle traffic and in truth is more often then not the traffic that is being impeded by all those big vehicles that take up so much space when they start backing up bumper to bumper. And on the other end of the spectrum there are a few nuts out there that will ride "ALL IN" center of lane never giving anything on a 65+ mph speed limit two lane road with a beautiful shoulder edge like in the picture above in heavy traffic backing people up for miles because they can't pass because of a steady stream of traffic coming the other way as well. Granted they are far less common then all the people that want bicyclists off the road and out of their way and better yet out of their sight but they do exist I've seen a couple of them in action over the years. It's a simple matter of speed differential, when there is little or no speed differential then traffic can fully integrate. When there is a large speed differential then it would be preferable for us to be able to ride out of the main flow, but on many roads that isn't possible so we have to do what we have to do to stay alive and not get "Sliced" to ribbons by high speed vehicles passing too closely.

And, yes, until you get used to it and people around your area get used to you. You will run into this kind of response from a number of motorists:

http://www.beezodogsplace.com/wp-con...76fa04df_c.jpg

It will die down after a while once people get used to you on your daily commute but it never completely goes away.

Last edited by turbo1889; 04-02-13 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 04-02-13, 08:21 PM   #29
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Excellent picture collage of how to ride with traffic, thank-you very much for that post! My questions are, wtf is that guy riding in the final picture? ? Also I dont understand the anti salmon riding, I understand laws are laws but it dosent make sense imho, I think I'd rather see a psycho driver coming then them coming up on my rear, wouldn't it be easier to avoid a collison if you see it coming? Thanks
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Old 04-02-13, 08:54 PM   #30
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the problem is they don't expect to see YOU there, and of course if you are riding at 18mph and they are going 40, if you impact it's your speed PLUS their speed, 58mhp. If you are NOT a salmon the relative speed is 22mph. Obviously most impacts are not at full speed for each but it illustrates an important point. Salmon riders ADD to the impact speed. non-salmon riders decrease the speed of impact by virtual of the direction of their travel. Cars coming out of a driveway look left for oncoming traffic. They are looking at the road...not at a salmon rider coming from their right. And that's the most basic problem, salmon riders are in a position that people do NOT expect to see them. you may see oncoming traffic better which is why salmon riding is intuitively better, but it's all the other cumulative factors that make it much less safe than cycling within the normal rules of traffic where you are seen better. It's much more important for the car to see you early than for you to see the car early.
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Old 04-02-13, 09:18 PM   #31
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I have been riding in traffic since i was 11,,,it is nothing for me, If you have to think about it that hard, I think you shouldnt be riding in traffic. Just my opinion, get a mountain bike and stay off the streets.
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Old 04-02-13, 09:30 PM   #32
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Well my math has never been my strong suit. I never looked at it as a impact vs resistance scenerio just the smaller picture of avoiding a accident. That makes so much sense, enough said. And I guess you can always get a mirror if you must watch aproaching vehicles. Thank-you @digibud. Time to make a changes!
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Old 04-02-13, 09:54 PM   #33
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turbo1889, thanks a ton for the wonderful, clear pictures with explanations! Thanks another ton for the big-size font! So very helpful! I see I make the mistake of often riding in the slice zone on narrow streets. Sometimes the car mirrors almost clipped me (occasionally they did). Also, the importance of riding along the right wheel track: I had always thought the farther from the cars, the better. Since I don't drive, it doesn't occur much to me that the right wheel track is better than the slice zone. Truly appreciate your taking the time to get all the pictures together!
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Old 04-03-13, 12:59 AM   #34
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Excellent picture collage of how to ride with traffic, thank-you very much for that post! My questions are, wtf is that guy riding in the final picture? ? Also I dont understand the anti salmon riding, I understand laws are laws but it dosent make sense imho, I think I'd rather see a psycho driver coming then them coming up on my rear, wouldn't it be easier to avoid a collison if you see it coming? Thanks
In addition to digibud's excellent points (it's closing speed rather than impact speed that is important, the driver has less time to react to your presence) you should know that being hit from behind is quite rare. It is much more common to be hit from the front, by drivers emerging from or turning into intersections without looking properly. This would become even more common were you to be approaching from a direction they would not normally expect.

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Old 04-03-13, 06:24 AM   #35
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the problem is they don't expect to see YOU there, and of course if you are riding at 18mph and they are going 40, if you impact it's your speed PLUS their speed, 58mhp. If you are NOT a salmon the relative speed is 22mph. Obviously most impacts are not at full speed for each but it illustrates an important point. Salmon riders ADD to the impact speed. non-salmon riders decrease the speed of impact by virtual of the direction of their travel. Cars coming out of a driveway look left for oncoming traffic. They are looking at the road...not at a salmon rider coming from their right. And that's the most basic problem, salmon riders are in a position that people do NOT expect to see them. you may see oncoming traffic better which is why salmon riding is intuitively better, but it's all the other cumulative factors that make it much less safe than cycling within the normal rules of traffic where you are seen better. It's much more important for the car to see you early than for you to see the car early.
Salmons also get in the way of other cyclists who are trying to ride with traffic in that same lane position. It's harder to figure out how to safely pass a cyclist that's coming towards you than one who's heading in the same direction.
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Old 04-03-13, 08:26 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
..An inexperienced cyclist, channeling his/her motorist tendencies, will then ride too far right in a situation where the lane is not wide enough to share which is likely to result in an overly-close pass (or actual contact).

Cyclists should do what is safe, which does not always coincide with what other road users want.. Taking the lane when necessary isn't rude, it's the proper lane position.
I have to concur, that describes my early tendencies perfectly. I started commuting to work via bicycle last May (2012) and right out of the gate I was hugging the white line and getting both the angry shouts/gestures as well as the close passes. In the first three weeks my mirror (yes I use a mirror) was hit twice by passing cars going 40-45MPH.
Now I have learned that on that road, or that type of road, that I need to be out into the roadway further. I still get the occasional yell or honk but the close passes are much fewer.
The illustrations and descriptions of being IN, OUT, and avoiding the slice zone would hold true in my limited experience.
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Old 04-03-13, 09:39 AM   #37
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Okay after scowering the net for diagrams and photo's and doing some work in MS-paint this is the best way I can explain it:
Excellent!

For years I rode in traffic some but was clueless and thus uncomfortable. Posts like this changed everything. Yes, amidst all the garbage posted here there is really good stuff.

BicycleSafe.com, with simple diagrams and explanations of good practice, is also very useful.
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Old 04-03-13, 03:32 PM   #38
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Another Good Explanation:


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Old 04-03-13, 03:47 PM   #39
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And don't get me wrong, on roads where both the posted speed limit and the speed of traffic is more then 25mph and especially if it is 45+mph I would much prefer to ride in the "Out" position and would much prefer that there exist a sufficient width of sufficiently clean pavement of sufficient quality to safely ride in that position. I don't like making people wait to pass and I do want to be courteous and not unduly inconvenience other road users. But if the shoulder is not sufficient to safely and effectively ride in the "Out" position then I'm going to ride in the "In" position on such roads.

On roads with 25-mph or less speed limit I always ride "ALL IN" except for when ascending a long steep hill that really slows me down and there is a place to safely and effectively ride in the "Out" position while I'm slowed down climbing that hill but as soon as I've conquered the hill I'm back to riding "ALL IN" as soon as I can safely merge back into the main traffic flow. I feel absolutely NO guilt doing this and as far as I'm concerned on such roads I'm actually performing a public service by helping traffic immediately around me move at a smoother pace just under or at the speed limit with no racing at 35+mph and breaking the speed limit in the process and endangering others especially pedestrians up to the next red light to hurry up and wait in boxed up clumps like a lot of cagers like to drive on such roads.

For narrow roads with a high traffic density that are 45+mph roads that have no place to safely an effectively ride in the "Out" position I certainly prefer an alternate route and will certainly take it if a better one is available. But if I have to use them I will, just try to limit that situation if possible and look for a better option.

Anyway, that is what works best for me ~ YMMV.
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Old 04-03-13, 04:05 PM   #40
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I don't want to start any wars, but I can't suggest a mirror, highly enough.
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Old 04-03-13, 05:27 PM   #41
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Another Good Explanation:


Great. Can you get that on every billboard in the country?
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Old 04-03-13, 06:02 PM   #42
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OP, I didn't read all the posts - but I would highly advise finding someone to ride with for a while - someone who is comfortable riding on the road, and seems prudent and responsible. That will be the quickest way to feel comfortable.

I would also highly recommend a helmet mirror, but only after you are comfortable with your riding skills. The mirror will take 3-4 weeks to get used to, but it is very important for awareness. I actually find myself looking in the phantom mirror when I'm walking around - LOL.

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Old 04-03-13, 06:49 PM   #43
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. . . wtf is that guy riding in the final picture? . . .
Your Salmon question was already answered but I'll cover this one because it is one of the most useful types of "working bikes" and one of my favorites.

That is a "bakfiets" style or "front loading" cargo bike. Kind of like the pick-up truck version of a bike only the load bed is up front instead of in the rear (they make cargo bikes with load racks in the rear as well). Putting the load up front improves the handling of the bike compared to putting it in back and if the cargo happens to be young kids too small to ride on their own it also allows the adult to be behind them and keep an eye on them rather then have the kids in back where you can't keep an eye on them.

Here is a link for a google image search with more and better pictures of that kind of bike:

http://www.google.com/search?q=bakfi...ch&source=univ
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Old 04-03-13, 06:57 PM   #44
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Great. Can you get that on every billboard in the country?
I don't think even The President's super-PAC could accomplish that (and I'm not saying he/they would be of the mind to anyway). I view it more as a good way to explain how riding in the "Slicing Zone" is just about the same as asking people to pass you too closely and if you make that a habit it is a matter of when not if you are going to get sliced (actual physical contact causing you injury in the form of a high speed sliding contact between you and the left side of the automobile). It explains to the cyclist who makes of habit of riding in the "Slicing Zone" what kind of a message they are sending to other traffic.
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Old 04-03-13, 08:41 PM   #45
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Your Salmon question was already answered but I'll cover this one because it is one of the most useful types of "working bikes" and one of my favorites.

That is a "bakfiets" style or "front loading" cargo bike. Kind of like the pick-up truck version of a bike only the load bed is up front instead of in the rear (they make cargo bikes with load racks in the rear as well). Putting the load up front improves the handling of the bike compared to putting it in back and if the cargo happens to be young kids too small to ride on their own it also allows the adult to be behind them and keep an eye on them rather then have the kids in back where you can't keep an eye on them.

Here is a link for a google image search with more and better pictures of that kind of bike:

http://www.google.com/search?q=bakfi...ch&source=univ
Thank-you very much for that, I've never seen something like that before lol I figured it to be a custom, I like your idea of it being used as a kid hauler, much better then the rear trailers!

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Old 04-03-13, 10:42 PM   #46
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Another Good Explanation:


Thanks again! This is so highly relevant. Who knows, it could be the reason of the many close passings I had. The lesson is that we have to take into account not only the lane next to us, but also the lane next to the next lane. It may seem there is no excuse for a car to drive too close to me, but had I known there is a wide vehicle on the other side of that car, I should realize the risk of riding in the slice zone.
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Old 04-04-13, 04:23 AM   #47
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I have been riding in traffic since i was 11,,,it is nothing for me, If you have to think about it that hard, I think you shouldn't be riding in traffic. Just my opinion, get a mountain bike and stay off the streets.
I am almost inclined to agree. Because, A lot of the cyclists' I see, are only riding on trails and/or side streets. I normally ride in 40mph traffic. That isn't for the 'faint of heart'. You have to understand you skill level, the law pursuant to cyclists', and the law pursuant to motorized road users.
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Old 04-04-13, 04:27 AM   #48
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Thanks again! This is so highly relevant. Who knows, it could be the reason of the many close passings I had. The lesson is that we have to take into account not only the lane next to us, but also the lane next to the next lane. It may seem there is no excuse for a car to drive too close to me, but had I known there is a wide vehicle on the other side of that car, I should realize the risk of riding in the slice zone.
I do this all the time. I make it clear to the motorist behind me, that I won't them do something stupid.
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Old 04-04-13, 07:47 PM   #49
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I just started riding and im only willing to ride on neighborhood roads and bike trails. Im lucky and have a neighborhood that connects with other neighborhoods that make a nice ride.

Also have a paved greenway system down the street that covers 12 miles of the town along the river.

I have no reason to ride on a main road with flying traffic. Most drivers are not a problem, but the ones texting or the hotheads that fly by you close on purpose are the ones I dont trust.
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Old 04-26-13, 03:53 AM   #50
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Just started riding again myself from 1991 to 1998 rode nothing but bike or bus in Tampa now I live in the country off a winding road. This info was real help full, at 60 years old I have found broken bones are a real pain to get over. Thanks
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