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Old 08-17-07, 10:53 AM   #1
notfred
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So I almost caused an accident this morning.

So, here's a little relevant information:
"lane splitting" in california is legal. Lane splitting is riding in between lanes of traffic. Motorcyclists typically do this on the freeway when there's traffic and no one is moving, so they ride between the lines of parked cars. Anyway, it's also legal on city streets, and for bicycles.

So, this morning:
I was riding a route that I don't normally take to work. I had just made a left turn onto a 5-lane, one-way street, so I was at the far left side of the street. I needed to be at the right side of the street to make a right turn. Traffic wasn't moving, everyone was waiting at a stoplight almost a full block ahead.

I started riding, doing my lane splitting thing, and whenever there was a enough room in front of a stopped car, I'd move over one lane to the right and continue. Well, I was moving to the right, about two lanes over from where I started, and I began to pull into the space between lanes. At that instant, a young guy on a moped sorta thing (looked kinda like this), went by me in that same space. He looked back and sort of glared at me through his full-face helmet, and I shouted "Sorry" and gave him a "sorry' wave, and he kept going.

I do this lane splitting thing all the time, but I guess I've gotten used to the fact that hardly anyone else does it in the city. Most of the streets are too narrow for motorcycles to fit between cars, and most bicyclists stick to the edges of the road.

From now on I'll have to be more careful to check the space between cars before I start using it as my own lane.
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Old 08-17-07, 11:07 AM   #2
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You almost collided with the moped?
That would have been a horrible accident, probably worse for you than for the moped guy.
Having a collision in that space between cars with another bike/moped would be a nasty sight. I am imagining mangled bikes, bodies, and cars all mixed up together. I never check to make sure that space is free either.

Do you lane split traffic when it is flowing at a normal speed? My favorite is to fly down post towards union square from leavenworth, splitting the lane when i need because i am usually going faster than the cars anyway, what a rush!
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Old 08-17-07, 11:25 AM   #3
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Whenever I lanesplit or change lanes in stopped traffic, I'm terrified that I'm going to get poleaxed by a motorcycle. There's this one intersection where I have to get in the left turn lane across a few lanes. No problem at a red light when there's some cars backed up, I just tiptoe around the cars. But my helmet-mounted rear-view mirror is *just* in the right spot where it would block out a motorcyclist, if I'm unlucky.
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Old 08-19-07, 07:04 AM   #4
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not to sound preachy, since i don't think this applies to you, but that's a good example of why riding with headphones is a bad idea... of course it's ideal if you can visually scan the road, but the ability to *hear* things coming is quite valuable.

that being said, i've been thinking lately that i can't decide if i'm ok with mopeds, or hate them. i spent some time in italy years ago and lots of people use them; they certainly can reduce traffic congestion. but they're bloody loud, still burn fuel (albeit less than a large vehicle) and then use bicycle priveledges like parking on the sidewalk.

part of me thinks "get the heck outta the bike lane or get a real bike you lazy somethingsomething" and the other part thinks "well at least it's a step in the right direction and are ok for people with mobility issues and long commutes and if more people used them that refused to ride bikes it would be better than nothing"...

but yeah, a collision with one of those things would be brutal.
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Old 08-19-07, 07:25 AM   #5
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When being traffic and lanesplitting, having your sense of sight and sound at 100% is essential. I do those types of lane jogs in stopped traffic every day. Standing on the pedals as tall as I am, combined with good hearing keeps me from being sketched out by it. The one sound I am particularly listening for in those situations is our two-wheeled friends with motors. Then again, in your situation mister moped should probably have been being just as wary as anyone else splitting traffic in that situation should be.
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Old 08-19-07, 09:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippered View Post
that being said, i've been thinking lately that i can't decide if i'm ok with mopeds, or hate them. i spent some time in italy years ago and lots of people use them; they certainly can reduce traffic congestion. but they're bloody loud, still burn fuel (albeit less than a large vehicle) and then use bicycle priveledges like parking on the sidewalk.
Don't forget that they also pollute A LOT more than your average car.
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Old 08-20-07, 05:51 AM   #7
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Don't forget that they also pollute A LOT more than your average car.
The 2 strokes will. The 50cc - 125cc four strokes no way.

A 600cc motorcycle probably DOES pollute more than a 2.0L car - the car has a catylytic converter where most motorcycles don't. (why not should be mandatory).
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Old 08-20-07, 03:21 PM   #8
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hmmm i was wondering that... if they're not actually less efficient, then i can be justified in my animosity
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Old 08-21-07, 07:19 AM   #9
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Don't forget that they also pollute A LOT more than your average car.
and they use 1/20th of the gas
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