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  1. #1
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    An interesting observation about taking the lane

    There's a road with 3 lanes in each direction and no shoulder for a few miles. The speed limit is 40 and there are plenty of lights. I take the right lane on my bike and go 15 mph. Most people just choose one of the other two lanes to pass me well in advance. But there are almost always a few idiots who honk. One time there was someone who leaned on his horn and followed me even though the middle lane was clear. I just laughed when he cursed at me.

    So I tried an experiment. I drove my car at a maximum of 15 mph in the right lane. No one honked, and everyone changed lanes. That was the case for three different trials in my car.

    Why do people get angry about a bike going "slow" in the right lane, but not a car going slow (or sometimes even a bus stopped in the right lane to pick up passengers). At least on a bike I can keep a higher average speed than a bus in the right lane or my slow moving car, since I can filter forward at red lights but a car or bus can't do that.

  2. #2
    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by nd2010 View Post
    Why do people get angry about a bike going "slow" in the right lane, but not a car going slow
    Because when you drive a car you are their equal. Also the thin body of the bicycle may (unlike a car) tempt them to pass you in the same lane, I think.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tandem427's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nd2010 View Post
    ...since I can filter forward at red lights but a car or bus can't do that.
    If you mean you pass cars at the red light that had previously changed lanes to pass you, then I think you have your answer. I'd be pissed off, too, if I were driving and you did that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tandem427 View Post
    If you mean you pass cars at the red light that had previously changed lanes to pass you, then I think you have your answer. I'd be pissed off, too, if I were driving and you did that.
    I can't imagine why. I do believe in NYS that's the law, for how cyclists are to proceed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UberGeek View Post
    I can't imagine why. I do believe in NYS that's the law, for how cyclists are to proceed.
    "In most US states, lane splitting is illegal with one notable exception being California. Additionally, the legal restrictions for lane splitting in each US state for motorcycles generally apply to bicycles as well.[7] However, in some states such as Nebraska and Utah, lane splitting is prohibited specifically and only for motorcycles and is therefore legal for bicycles.[8]" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lane_splitting

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nd2010 View Post

    Why do people get angry about a bike going "slow" in the right lane, but not a car going slow......
    The motorists that tend to get angry are considering that the cyclist is either being arrogant or militant in their actions of taking the lane, and feel that the cyclist deserves to be treated as such. I had one motorist some years making vulgar comments, excessively sounding their horn, and then they kept pointing out to their "facts" of my not being allowed in the middle of the lane since I had no license plates/registration, stop or turn signal lights, engine, unable to do the speed limit, etc. This one particular incident took place on a three lane one way street, with two adjacent lanes available at the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    The motorists that tend to get angry are considering that the cyclist is either being arrogant or militant in their actions of taking the lane, and feel that the cyclist deserves to be treated as such. I had one motorist some years making vulgar comments, excessively sounding their horn, and then they kept pointing out to their "facts" of my not being allowed in the middle of the lane since I had no license plates/registration, stop or turn signal lights, engine, unable to do the speed limit, etc. This one particular incident took place on a three lane one way street, with two adjacent lanes available at the time.
    Isn't it amazing how many people "know" things that are just plain false? I don't blame someone for not really knowing the rules, but I'm confused by how many people are so very sure of what the rules are when they've never looked.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tandem427's Avatar
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    I feel that when I am taking the lane I become part of the vehicular flow, as opposed to when I am riding on the shoulder. The vehicle in front always has the right of way, whether it is my bike or a motor vehicle. I keep my place in line even at red lights. I treat the other road users the same way I want them to treat me, as a vehicle.

    I ride distinctive bikes (recumbents) so when drivers see me again, they remember me. I want my encounters with other vehicles to be confident, friendly, consistent, and respectful. I think it's cool when many of the local 18-wheelers and dump trucks honk and wave (5-finger) when they pass me going in the opposite direction because they know I'll work with them and not against them.

    I realize that your laws, culture, and roads are different than mine so I don't expect you to agree with me.

  9. #9
    Don from Austin Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tandem427 View Post
    I feel that when I am taking the lane I become part of the vehicular flow, as opposed to when I am riding on the shoulder. The vehicle in front always has the right of way, whether it is my bike or a motor vehicle. I keep my place in line even at red lights. I treat the other road users the same way I want them to treat me, as a vehicle.

    I ride distinctive bikes (recumbents) so when drivers see me again, they remember me. I want my encounters with other vehicles to be confident, friendly, consistent, and respectful. I think it's cool when many of the local 18-wheelers and dump trucks honk and wave (5-finger) when they pass me going in the opposite direction because they know I'll work with them and not against them.

    I realize that your laws, culture, and roads are different than mine so I don't expect you to agree with me.
    Well, I agree with you.

    Don in Austin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tandem427 View Post
    I feel that when I am taking the lane I become part of the vehicular flow, as opposed to when I am riding on the shoulder. The vehicle in front always has the right of way, whether it is my bike or a motor vehicle. I keep my place in line even at red lights. I treat the other road users the same way I want them to treat me, as a vehicle.
    This is my behavior as well. There's advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, but this is what I feel comfortable with.

  11. #11
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    If you mean you pass cars at the red light that had previously changed lanes to pass you, then I think you have your answer. I'd be pissed off, too, if I were driving and you did that.
    Do you really think that I am going to sit parked behind your tail pipe breathing in your vehicle's toxic and environment-degrading emissions at a traffic signal because I am concerned about your feelings?
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

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    Senior Member mr_pedro's Avatar
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    On my morning training ride I go down a 2 lane street, where because of the morning traffic and because it is down hill, I am able to keep up with motorized traffic. Here I choose to take the lane because the alternative of riding between 25 and 30 mph close to parked cars is not so nice. At some parts there is a painted bike lane, which I also prefer not to use sometimes as the paint on the road seems invisible to right turning cars and again it is right next to parked cars. So, as is required by law, I am riding as far to the right as I can safely do. And even with me going as fast as the car next to me I sometimes also get honked at, and when they do manage to overtake they have to slam on the brakes a few seconds later.

    These types of reactions are only possible if you combine stupidity and arrogance with the seemingly anonymous environment of a car. One thing to consider is that by far most people around you in cars are civilized, but you only need 1% of bad apples to be confronted with this attitude on a regular basis.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlanoFuji View Post
    "In most US states, lane splitting is illegal with one notable exception being California. Additionally, the legal restrictions for lane splitting in each US state for motorcycles generally apply to bicycles as well.[7] However, in some states such as Nebraska and Utah, lane splitting is prohibited specifically and only for motorcycles and is therefore legal for bicycles.[8]" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lane_splitting

    The wiki falsely cites the CA VC site as evidence that lane-splitting is illegal. The legal status of lane-splitting for bicyclists in most states is ambiguous. Many states have other statutes about driving on lane stripes or dividers that may make lane-splitting illegal but this is in no way a settled matter in the vast majority of states. Moreover, it is legal for a cyclist in the far right lane to pass vehicles in lane (or the left on a one way) in most states.
    Last edited by spare_wheel; 06-18-13 at 10:42 AM.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    Do you really think that I am going to sit parked behind your tail pipe breathing in your vehicle's toxic and environment-degrading emissions at a traffic signal because I am concerned about your feelings?
    Feelings? So you have no problem with antagonizing potential socio-paths (just about the entire population), operating a weapon that can kill you at their whim? Well in that case you might want to read post #5 and do a little research about another reason you might want to reconsider your approach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    The wiki falsely cites the CA VC site as evidence that lane-splitting is illegal. The legal status of lane-splitting in most states is ambiguous. Many states have other statutes about driving on lane stripes or dividers that in some circumstances make lane-splitting illegal but this is in no way a settled matter in the vast majority of states. Moreover, passing vehicles in lane on the right (or the left on a one way) is legal in most states.
    The wiki cite I posted is correct for the two states I have spent the most time in (Texas and Florida). Perhaps you can provide some actual evidence of your claim?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    Do you really think that I am going to sit parked behind your tail pipe breathing in your vehicle's toxic and environment-degrading emissions at a traffic signal because I am concerned about your feelings?
    Try some empathy for a change. If I waited nicely to pass you in another lane, got half a mile ahead, hit a red light, and then had you squeezing through to get to the front of the line, I'd be pissed off and I'm a bike commuter.

    A little courtesy goes a long way.

  17. #17
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nd2010 View Post
    There's a road with 3 lanes in each direction and no shoulder for a few miles. The speed limit is 40 and there are plenty of lights. I take the right lane on my bike and go 15 mph. Most people just choose one of the other two lanes to pass me well in advance. But there are almost always a few idiots who honk. One time there was someone who leaned on his horn and followed me even though the middle lane was clear. I just laughed when he cursed at me.

    So I tried an experiment. I drove my car at a maximum of 15 mph in the right lane. No one honked, and everyone changed lanes. That was the case for three different trials in my car.

    Why do people get angry about a bike going "slow" in the right lane, but not a car going slow (or sometimes even a bus stopped in the right lane to pick up passengers). At least on a bike I can keep a higher average speed than a bus in the right lane or my slow moving car, since I can filter forward at red lights but a car or bus can't do that.
    Superiority, They think cyclists' are inferior to motorists', and therefore do not deserve respect.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    Superiority, They think cyclists' are inferior to motorists', and therefore do not deserve respect.
    Consider an alternative hypothesis; That the vast majority of people are self-centered a%^hol&^ and react with annoyance (at best) when some creature causes them any inconvenience...

    The beauty of this hypothesis is that it doesn't restrict itself to just one class, ie' motorists... Indeed it can easily be seen to apply to other classes, such as cyclists. Just read this thread concerning filtering, or others concerning reasons for Idaho stops, riding on MUPS and dealing with pedestrians, etc...

  19. #19
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Since I tally most of my miles commuting, I see a lot of the same people in their cars, day in and day out. They are on their way to work. I'm on my way to work. We have to play in the same sandbox, so yes, I consider my fellow commuters' "feelings." By obeying the same laws as the motorists on my route makes me more predictable, thus safer.

    When I pull up to a red light, the cars in line ahead of me probably just had to pass me. I suppose I could be a jerk (as well as a scofflaw) and filter up to the front of the line. They would then have to negotiate with the traffic in the next lane to move over and pass me again. Since I will see these same motorists on the road or at one of the stores along my commute, it behooves me to merge with the existing routine as smoothly as possible.

    Sure, I've been honked at. However, that is nearly always on a route that I don't take on a regular basis. On my usual routes, I get very little grief from motorists.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tandem427 View Post
    I feel that when I am taking the lane I become part of the vehicular flow, as opposed to when I am riding on the shoulder. The vehicle in front always has the right of way, whether it is my bike or a motor vehicle. I keep my place in line even at red lights. I treat the other road users the same way I want them to treat me, as a vehicle.

    I ride distinctive bikes (recumbents) so when drivers see me again, they remember me. I want my encounters with other vehicles to be confident, friendly, consistent, and respectful. I think it's cool when many of the local 18-wheelers and dump trucks honk and wave (5-finger) when they pass me going in the opposite direction because they know I'll work with them and not against them.

    I realize that your laws, culture, and roads are different than mine so I don't expect you to agree with me.
    This works for me, up to the point when the other traffic is starting to move at freeway speeds. Then the constant flow of motorists outpacing you and making sudden lane changes around (and playing sport with seeing how close they get...) you tends to become a bit intimidating... So above about 40-45 MPH, this falls apart. Taking a lane in 35MPH traffic does still work and the reactions from motorists is tolerable. Taking a lane at 25MPH is no problem.

  21. #21
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
    Since I tally most of my miles commuting, I see a lot of the same people in their cars, day in and day out. They are on their way to work. I'm on my way to work. We have to play in the same sandbox, so yes, I consider my fellow commuters' "feelings." By obeying the same laws as the motorists on my route makes me more predictable, thus safer.

    When I pull up to a red light, the cars in line ahead of me probably just had to pass me. I suppose I could be a jerk (as well as a scofflaw) and filter up to the front of the line. They would then have to negotiate with the traffic in the next lane to move over and pass me again. Since I will see these same motorists on the road or at one of the stores along my commute, it behooves me to merge with the existing routine as smoothly as possible.

    Sure, I've been honked at. However, that is nearly always on a route that I don't take on a regular basis. On my usual routes, I get very little grief from motorists.
    Long been my attitude... The only time I filter forward is when there is a BL that allows me to move up easily and be passed just as easily... otherwise I don't filter, I fit in. At times I have even lagged back to allow cars to move up, knowing I will then have a car free commute until the next pack catches up.

  22. #22
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    This works for me, up to the point when the other traffic is starting to move at freeway speeds. Then the constant flow of motorists outpacing you and making sudden lane changes around (and playing sport with seeing how close they get...) you tends to become a bit intimidating... So above about 40-45 MPH, this falls apart. Taking a lane in 35MPH traffic does still work and the reactions from motorists is tolerable. Taking a lane at 25MPH is no problem.
    Very reasonable. I think even the most hard-core vehicular cyclists, when given a choice will opt for a route using lower-speed roads (but then, I could be underestimating how hardcore some VH-ers are).
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlanoFuji View Post
    Feelings? So you have no problem with antagonizing potential socio-paths (just about the entire population), operating a weapon that can kill you at their whim? Well in that case you might want to read post #5 and do a little research about another reason you might want to reconsider your approach.
    Just because a sociopath somewhere attacked a cyclist does not cause me to assume my motorist neighbor is a sociopath. I am really tired of the self-serving exaggeration of cycling risk by safety nannies and cycletrackistas:

    Safety nanny: If cycling is unsafe we need more cargo-cult safety rituals and ceremonial clothing.
    Cycletrackista: If cycling is unsafe we need more physically-separated world-class cycling sidewalks.


    Cycling is very safe...so just ride!
    Last edited by spare_wheel; 06-18-13 at 02:05 PM.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    Try some empathy for a change. If I waited nicely to pass you in another lane, got half a mile ahead, hit a red light, and then had you squeezing through to get to the front of the line, I'd be pissed off and I'm a bike commuter.
    A little courtesy goes a long way.
    Spivonious,
    First of all, sitting behind an idling tail pipe is a significant health risk for someone who spends ~7-10 hrs a week cycling in traffic year round. I value my health far more than one-sided courtesy.

    Secondly, I find it amazing that you are asking me cede legal right of way (to pass a line of vehicles on the right). Can you provide a single example of a situation where motorists routinely give up their right of way to cyclists out of "courtesy".

    Thirdly, I think you are assuming a far greater speed differential than exists for most of my cycling. I cycle at or a touch below the speed limit on most of my routes (many roads in the PDX area have 25 mph speed limits). I have absolutely no sympathy for a motorist who wants to speed at 30 in a 25. If I slow them down a bit, I consider it one of my good deeds for the day.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    Just because a sociopath somewhere attacked a cyclist does not cause me to assume my motorist neighbor is a sociopath. I am really tired of the self-serving gross exaggeration of cycling risk by safety nannies and copenhagenistas.
    Safety nanny: If cycling is unsafe we need more cargo-cult safety rituals and ceremonial clothing.
    Copenhagenista: If cycling is unsafe we need more physically-separated world-class cycling sidewalks.
    Interesting rant...

    Just to be clear, I never said cycling was any more unsafe than any other activity where one is required to interact with people... I simply pointed out that the activity you proposed (filtering) is illegal in many areas of the country and it was a bad idea because it increases the likelihood of attracting the unwanted attention of potential socio-paths.

    In other words, getting into an argument with someone who has just shown at the very least certain anti-social tendencies (honking and perhaps shouting) toward another human being while they are armed behind a rather dangerous weapon (car) is simply a stupid risk. Much akin to getting into an argument with a car jacker, robber, or any other socio-path... All that said, you too seem to be exhibiting certain tendencies, so perhaps I should just let a potential Darwin award apply...
    Last edited by PlanoFuji; 06-18-13 at 02:12 PM.

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