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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-27-06, 01:49 PM   #1
nukemm
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Who splits lanes?

How many of you are consistently guilty of lane splitting during your commute? Is it something legitimately illegal? I'm just curious, because I got pulled over & counselled for speeding & lane splitting (52 in a 35 + splitting traffic that was doing ~40MPH). I understand that it was a bit wreckless, but there were only two pairs of cars that I split, then I had the road clear in front of me. -1 point for me for being wreckless. Karma got me back, though, my rear blinkie bounced off this morning, but fortunately I rescued it and it didn't break.
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Old 10-27-06, 01:58 PM   #2
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I do not. However, the last time I said I never performed a particular maneuver, I found myself doing the opposite (filtering). So, I reserve the right to hurt myself in ever imaginative method possible.
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Old 10-27-06, 02:01 PM   #3
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Sorry, you were "filtering" at 52mph?

This thread is worthless without pics.

Edit: Or maybe HDTV video clips.
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Old 10-27-06, 02:07 PM   #4
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Sorry, you were "filtering" at 52mph?

+1
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Old 10-27-06, 02:08 PM   #5
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I'm assuming you were on a motorcycle at those speeds.

I do it on my bicycle, never a motorcycle. Mostly because folks around here are not used to it, and it freaks them out when you're moving. So if cars are stopped in a jam or a huge line, I filter to the front. Typically this is in downtown traffic, where I simply accelerate ahead, take the lane, and travel at the speed of traffic.

Probably not the safest practice, and I know some folks detest it, but it is one of the #1 things that I enjoy about being on a bike: traffic really doesn't slow you down like when you're driving a car.
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Old 10-27-06, 02:10 PM   #6
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cop shoulda given you a speeding ticket, was very kind instead to just give a lecture which if it sunk in may save your butt later.

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Old 10-27-06, 02:12 PM   #7
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Lane splitting is, AFAIK, legal in California. It's not all that unusual to be passed between lanes by motorcycles on the freeways. I assume it's also legal for bikes.

As for filtering...when I was in Paris a few years back, I got a kick out of watching all the motorcycles lane split and filter forward at every red light. As soon as the light turned green, they would all charge off in a pack.
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Old 10-27-06, 02:13 PM   #8
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I'm not convinced that I was doing 52MPH, though with over a mile downhill grade it may be possible, but I don't know that I could do it. The gun was probably out of whack a bit, but the cop said she saw a near-steady 52 as soon as I emerged between the cars. If she's right, props to me for being one fast dude, but I doubt I could do 52MPH with my backpack on my rack, even with a 3+ mile stretch without a stop and staying in top gear. Who knows, maybe I'm fast? No speedo yet on the roadie, just on the MTB. I'd like to see 52MPH someday!
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Old 10-27-06, 02:13 PM   #9
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I filter and split in downtown traffic up to say 50km-ish per hour.
If you were doing that at 50+mph on a bike that's kinda twisted sick.
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Old 10-27-06, 02:29 PM   #10
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On a mountain bike with a rack and you not knowing it? Not possible, I think. That's why you got only a lecture and not a ticket.

I split lanes all the time, but only if the cars are crawling.
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Old 10-27-06, 02:32 PM   #11
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I split lanes all the time as long as I can keep up w/ traffic. Sometimes it's safer than being in the right lane going at the same speed and having some cager pull a right hook.
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Old 10-27-06, 02:33 PM   #12
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grip it and rip it dude... I ride a bike so i can filter and split lanes...

at 52mph I'd prefer and open road with no stoplights...
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Old 10-27-06, 02:41 PM   #13
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only if traffic is stopped and even then rarely
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Old 10-27-06, 02:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bklyn
On a mountain bike with a rack and you not knowing it? Not possible, I think. That's why you got only a lecture and not a ticket.

I split lanes all the time, but only if the cars are crawling.

Not on a MTB, on a roadie.
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Old 10-27-06, 02:50 PM   #15
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I only split lanes on one section of my commute that for some reason is totally gridlocked about half the time I ride home from work. The other half of the time its 2 lanes of not much. Bad traffic planning I guess. Anyways, I filter there because theres never enough room at the curb (every fifth car will be jammed right up against it for some reason), and because theres less chance of getting doored.

Every once and a while some guy will be blocking my path because he has done a half-lane change, so I have to do a really tight U between car bumpers towards the curb and then back into between lanes. I also watch out for pedestrians and found that even when close and audible a bell is useless and you MUST yell at them.

There is no way in hell that I will EVER wait in line behind 2 kilometres of cars for an hour sucking fumes waiting to get by a section I can ride in minutes.
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Old 10-27-06, 02:51 PM   #16
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Yeah, if there not much chance of a sudden lane change and if traffic is really slow. AFAIK, California is the only place it's legal on a MC, I don't know about bicycles.
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Old 10-27-06, 02:52 PM   #17
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How much clearance between you and the vehicles you split?
Is all you are concerned about in this case is the legality? (which may or may not be depending on your state/local laws)

Al
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Old 10-27-06, 02:52 PM   #18
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all the time on motorcycles and bicycles. been splitting lanes for more than 30 years with only 1 accident.
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Old 10-27-06, 02:53 PM   #19
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When my bag, makes the *whiff* sound on the mirror, I'm almost too close.
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Old 10-27-06, 02:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSP
Lane splitting is, AFAIK, legal in California. It's not all that unusual to be passed between lanes by motorcycles on the freeways. I assume it's also legal for bikes.

Yes, lane splitting is legal in California. Here's what the CHP says.

http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/answers.html

Though I can't really figure out any difference between filtering and lane splitting.
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Old 10-27-06, 03:07 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
How much clearance between you and the vehicles you split?
Is all you are concerned about in this case is the legality? (which may or may not be depending on your state/local laws)

Al

I've got enough room that I could easily fit my Honda Shadow with the crash bars in between and ride comfortably, probably 3' or so on either side, so equal or greater room than I normally have on the edge of the lane, especially since there is no shoulder (bridge, and it's got a raised sidewalk with guardrail that is not safe to ride on, especially with peds). I normally take the full lane on this section of my commute, but occasionally traffic is slow or bumper to bumper, door to door, in which case I feel safer being between the cars than behind/in front of them, mainly due to my inate fear of being smashed from behind (been rear-ended several times in cars in traffic, go I-5!) because someone is not paying attention. Is it normal to feel safer between cars instead of in line with them?

Oh, and I think the difference between filtering and lane splitting from what I'm hearing is that lane splitting is actively passing cars while moving, and filtering is passing cars that are stopped or very slowed at an intersection?
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Old 10-27-06, 03:14 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukemm
I've got enough room that I could easily fit my Honda Shadow with the crash bars in between and ride comfortably, probably 3' or so on either side, so equal or greater room than I normally have on the edge of the lane,...
Oh, and I think the difference between filtering and lane splitting from what I'm hearing is that lane splitting is actively passing cars while moving, and filtering is passing cars that are stopped or very slowed at an intersection?
Wow, that is a lot of space ~9ft. wide it seems, basically a full lane width. I was imagining you doing this between the more typical 4-5' gap.... and yes splitting is when vehicles are moving.
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Old 10-27-06, 03:17 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
Wow, that is a lot of space ~9ft. wide it seems, basically a full lane width. I was imagining you doing this between the more typical 4-5' gap.... and yes splitting is when vehicles are moving.
Al

Pretty much it's almost wide enough for a third lane, except when large vehicles pass through. Maybe people give me more space because they think I'm crazy because I'm faster than they are?
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Old 10-27-06, 03:37 PM   #24
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I split lanes all the time. I draft trucks and busses every chance I get, and I smoke through every single ... OOPS - don't want to get ahead of myself here...

Fux cagers - thats why I ride a bicycle.
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Old 10-27-06, 05:56 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
How much clearance between you and the vehicles you split?
A foot on either side more or less. It varies cuz cagers rarely drive in the middle of their lane.
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