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  1. #1
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    Sometimes I understand why drivers dislike us

    I know this is a very specific example but it never fails to irk me. Part of my commute is down a 4 lane highway (55mph) with a jersey wall in the middle. On both sides there is a paved shoulder that is easily rideable and nearly as wide as the traffic lanes with a continuous rumble strip dividing it from the road. I always ride on that shoulder but several times I have seen cyclists riding in the road to the left of the white line. They don't fully take the lane, but they are in the road nonetheless. I get the whole vehicular cycling thing and believe me I usually adhere to it. But in this instance should common sense not prevail a little bit? When I see this as a driver I always think how dangerous and idiotic it seems. Am I justified in thinking that even though it is not exactly "by the book", one should have the sense to get over on the shoulder to avoid semi trucks and people passing each other at 65mph?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member jbarham's Avatar
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    I think a wide shoulder on a road occupied by vehicles moving in excess of 50 mph would get my use.

  3. #3
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbarham View Post
    I think a wide shoulder on a road occupied by vehicles moving in excess of 50 mph would get my use.
    Yep, no brainer for me too. I generally avoid any roads with more than a 35 mph limit unless there is a wide bike lane.

  4. #4
    Laid back bent rider unixpro's Avatar
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    I'll ride the lane if there's no reasonable shoulder, or if the shoulder is full of debris, but if it's nice and wide and clean, it gets my vote.

  5. #5
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    With my randonneuring club I've ridden my fair share of divided highways, and I rarely find it necessary to be left of the shoulder line. The only places where I have, it's been slightly uncomfortable; merging into the traffic lane to be sure I'm seen and not squished while crossing an exit ramp, for example.
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  6. #6
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    I stay to the left of the line on such roads (to avoid flat causing debris, nails, glass etc..) but move to the right of the line as traffic approaches from behind (as seen in my mirror)

  7. #7
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    When there is a wide, safe shoulder available to ride on, anyone who is taking the lane is just plain being inconsiderate to others. Understanding that there are times when you might need to take the lane of course.

  8. #8
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    It depends on the traffic load. If light, then I'd be in the road and drivers can easily change lanes to pass. If heavy then I'd ride the shoulder. My concern in heavy traffic is that an impatient motorists may try to use a wide shoulder to pass me on my right, and I don't want that.

    The shoulder always has more debris and is less smooth than the road.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Ron View Post
    I stay to the left of the line on such roads (to avoid flat causing debris, nails, glass etc..) but move to the right of the line as traffic approaches from behind (as seen in my mirror)
    Right, except in this case the rumble strip may make that uncomfortable to do.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member 1fluffhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Ron View Post
    I stay to the left of the line on such roads (to avoid flat causing debris, nails, glass etc..) but move to the right of the line as traffic approaches from behind (as seen in my mirror)
    Same here, but it also depends for me which bike I am riding. Those shoulders can be filled with all kinds of nasty debris that like to eat into skinny road tires.
    Quote Originally Posted by diff_lock2 View Post
    so what if it's custom, are you suddenly NOT a jackass?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kojak's Avatar
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    Man, I hate riding on roads like that.

    I'll generally find any possible way to avoid it to the point of even adding quite a few extra miles to my trip, especially if it's a commute where you have to do it every day. I realize that sometimes there are no alternatives, but man, the noise alone makes for a very unpleasant ride.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    I wouldn't ride like that, and I don't get why someone would, but I get that more than I get why anyone would think that drivers would (or should, or are entitled to) "dislike" cyclists because one person does this.
    You have the right to your own opinion. You don't have the right to your own facts.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by unixpro View Post
    I'll ride the lane if there's no reasonable shoulder, or if the shoulder is full of debris, but if it's nice and wide and clean, it gets my vote.
    Same here, unless I need to position myself at an intersection to turn left or avoid a right hook when going straight.

  13. #13
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    The only thing I understand is how silly these threads are to me.

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    the only thing i understand is how silly these threads are to me.
    -1

  15. #15
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    +2
    I negated your idiotic -1 and added one. I win.

  16. #16
    cyclocommuter hairyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshwa View Post
    I always ride on that shoulder but several times I have seen cyclists riding in the road to the left of the white line.
    They're passing you

  17. #17
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    I can live with it on a 4 lane highway, especially considering the debris issue.

    There's plenty of better reasons for drivers to hate certain cyclists, and for responsible cyclists to hate certain cyclists (if you can even call them "cyclists"). Riding on the wrong side of the road is at the top of my list somewhere.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Eutychus's Avatar
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    About a mile and a half of my 16-mile commute to work is on a four-lane, mostly divided highway, with 7-foot paved shoulders and ususally 6 feet of gravel beyond that. I have no trouble riding on the shoulder, and there is rarely enough debris to worrry about. I'm with the OP on this one.
    As to riding on the wrong side of the road/street: I had been accustomed to riding on the left side of the 1 1/2 block side road that led to the main road that carried me to my r2t, but decided to obey the law and be courteous to drivers. On the very day I made the move, a car came out of a commercial driveway on my right, looked right at me, and ran into me, fortunately not very fast. I landed on his hood, and the bike landed under his left front tire. I was not injured, but the bike cost 92 dollars to repair, which the driver cheerfully paid.
    All's well that ends well.

  19. #19
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Ron View Post
    I stay to the left of the line on such roads (to avoid flat causing debris, nails, glass etc..) but move to the right of the line as traffic approaches from behind (as seen in my mirror)
    The OP mentioned a rumble strip. Probably just shoulder-side of the fog line. So every time you want to move left or right, you'll get "Rumbled". Depending on the bike, the rider's speed, and the type of rumble strip, it could be uncomfortable or dangerous crossing the thing time and again.

    I have biked on roads just like that with shoulders. Before the 3 foot law was passed, I stayed left of the stripe unless the shoulder was perfect or a wide-load was approaching from behind (using my rear-view mirror). Generally there is more debris on the shoulder that I can see but cars can't. I often wondered if motorists had a clue why I was in the road, but so long as they could pass without slowing down, I never saw the problem. I don't care if a wide vehicle cuts it a bit close. I can always bail over the rumble strip if my mirror shows a too close pass.

    Now with the 3-foot law, I guess I have to reassess my thinking. Not sure what to do now. I'm not 100% fond of the 3-foot rule for a few reasons. This scenario is certainly one of the biggies.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshwa View Post
    I know this is a very specific example but it never fails to irk me. Part of my commute is down a 4 lane highway (55mph) with a jersey wall in the middle. On both sides there is a paved shoulder that is easily rideable and nearly as wide as the traffic lanes with a continuous rumble strip dividing it from the road. I always ride on that shoulder but several times I have seen cyclists riding in the road to the left of the white line. They don't fully take the lane, but they are in the road nonetheless. I get the whole vehicular cycling thing and believe me I usually adhere to it. But in this instance should common sense not prevail a little bit? When I see this as a driver I always think how dangerous and idiotic it seems. Am I justified in thinking that even though it is not exactly "by the book", one should have the sense to get over on the shoulder to avoid semi trucks and people passing each other at 65mph?
    I'm not sure what else I could write - I simply couldn't agree with you more. :-)

  21. #21
    Senior Member d2create's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
    +2
    I negated your idiotic -1 and added one. I win.
    Score!
    +1 for data's original post and another +1 for this quote.

    I'd say that puts you way out in the lead now.
    Thread over.
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  22. #22
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    Sweetness


  23. #23
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshwa View Post
    When I see this as a driver I always think how dangerous and idiotic it seems.

    Yeah... another "driver" coming in here to preach to us as one of our own.

    Tell me, as a driver, does your common sense tell you to drive on the shoulder?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
    I wouldn't ride like that, and I don't get why someone would, but I get that more than I get why anyone would think that drivers would (or should, or are entitled to) "dislike" cyclists because one person does this.
    Amen to that.

    Does the OP feel the same sense of self-loathing when he witnesses a fellow motorist doing something he can't explain?
    "The automobile became a hypnosis, the opium of the American people..." -James Agee, Fortune, September 1934

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerB View Post
    Amen to that.

    Does the OP feel the same sense of self-loathing when he witnesses a fellow motorist doing something he can't explain?
    Sheesh, some people are really a little oversensitive.

    You could turn this around and ask if you would be so sensitive about the topic (assuming you also drive) if we were complaining about bad driver habits. I imagine you would not.

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