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Old 10-10-13, 10:29 PM   #26
JohnJ80
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Yeah, I agree. I've been a fan of taking the lane for years. But there is the "big boat rule" too - the big boat rules. At some point, on some roads, it's just better to not be there on a bike. You may be right but you may not live to see it. This road looks like it's sort of approaching that point depending on traffic.

Where I dismount is on a country road where the speed limit is 55mph but typical traffic is well over that. There is a left turn that I need to make where there is the regular lane and then a passing lane on the right (T intersection to the left). There are often serious accidents here and in the years I've lived here multiple fatal crashes (car to car). The shoulder is wide - 10' but the passing lane takes it all up. Traffic flow behind me has to crest a slight hill that obscures visibility of the intersection until about 200' away (not long at 60mph). Almost always, I ride through the area, and get to the wide shoulder on the other side several hundred feet farther down before I make the decision to turn (essentially a U turn). About 30% of the time I dismount and wait for optimal conditions. There is no way I want to be in the middle of a car turning left, a car passing on the right and me trying to go left all with 60mph traffic around me at a known deadly intersection. Yeah, I could take the lane make a left and I just might get completely mowed down from behind too. In those cases, discretion is the better part of valor and it pays to just wait it out in a safe spot. You, however, may not have a safe spot.

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Old 10-10-13, 10:55 PM   #27
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Definitely get a glasses mounted mirror, such as the Third Eye. Give it a week to get used to it and you'll never want to ride without.

I also have a busy left-turn / exit going uphill similar to yours on my trip home (often after dark). To my surprise and delight, the city just painted sharrows on it.
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Old 10-10-13, 11:01 PM   #28
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I don't know... fietsbob gave you a less thorough maybe, but no less viable option. What is it about "taking the lane" that is so attractive? I mean, any road that has exits is going to have speed limits in the 45mph arena. Do you really want to get in the middle of a lane with 45mph traffic and "make them suck it up"? Really? In a situation like that, and I ride regularly on highways like that here, I am over to the rightmost edge of the lane that is not peeling off for the exit. That's where drivers expect you to be, and they can pass you on your left as needed. Most won't. A few might. Being struck in such a situation has never happened. To anyone. In my city. Ever. What is "unsafe" about that?
I agree with you as long as the lane you're in is wide enough for the cars to pass you safely (i.e. 3 feet apart) while you're on the right side of the road. If that's not the case, then the cyclists have no choice but to take the lane.
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Old 10-11-13, 05:23 AM   #29
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Definitely get a glasses mounted mirror, such as the Third Eye. Give it a week to get used to it and you'll never want to ride without.

I also have a busy left-turn / exit going uphill similar to yours on my trip home (often after dark). To my surprise and delight, the city just painted sharrows on it.
Glasses-mounted mirror sounds nice, but I'm worried about rain. It rains about half the time in Vancouver. I don't wear glasses usually, but I would expect them to be a visual hazard with raindrops on them. Maybe helmet-mounted might be a better choice for this climate?
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Old 10-11-13, 06:06 AM   #30
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I agree there is no right answer. Fwiw my preference would be to follow the exit lane keeping hard right - up to a little ahead of the dark coloured exiting car in your photo. I'd stop and get off (keeping hard to the rail) and then walk (well run probably) across to the hashed neutral zone just ahead of the car when clear, and then resume riding the edge of the highway. Wear mountainbike shoes with recessed cleats. That is a horrible route, I'm guessing there's no alternative for you. Take care!

There are similar sliproads here in the UK where this is signposted as the advised approach.
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Old 10-11-13, 07:10 AM   #31
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Glasses-mounted mirror sounds nice, but I'm worried about rain. It rains about half the time in Vancouver. I don't wear glasses usually, but I would expect them to be a visual hazard with raindrops on them. Maybe helmet-mounted might be a better choice for this climate?

I hate using a mirror, but it's a necessity for me at times as it gets harder or me to turn and look behind me as I get older. Also, with traffic getting more intense year on year, there just isn't time to turn your head as often when a quick glance will tell the story. Too, there are times when you need to know when it's productive to look behind. A mirror helps with that especially in situations like you describe.

Mirrors are pretty much like saddles, you have to find the one that works for you. A lot of people like the Take a Look ones, but they are not compatible with my riding glasses. I prefer this one which does attach to your helmet:

http://www.hubbubcustom.com/store/pr...sp?prod=helmir

and I also like this best of all but it may not be compatible if you have bags on a rack - you'll have to experiment. It's the most stable, and it provides the best view and it's not in your face.

http://www.bike-eye.com

For rain, you could probably treat the mirror with Rain-X or something.

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Old 10-11-13, 07:23 AM   #32
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THANKS GUYS!
I have been puzzling this exact situation for years.

I've tried all options and had uncomfortable stuff happen with each. Many illegal for them, and some down right hostile.

I've done my best to avoid the intersection, that's the only answer I can come up with.

I think least sub-optimum will depend upon the closing speed. I have one here, where the speed limit is 45. However, people regularly do 70+ there the merge ramp is like 1/2 mile long. I'll ride miles more to avoid that one. I don't think you can ride this one with any safety.

Grateful to hear your ideas, I hope this discussion continues.
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Old 10-11-13, 07:36 AM   #33
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and I also like this best of all but it may not be compatible if you have bags on a rack - you'll have to experiment. It's the most stable, and it provides the best view and it's not in your face.
http://www.bike-eye.com
That mirror is sold on Amazon. In the customer reviews it is said that panniers on the left side will block the view. I still think I might get one. It's by far the best, and really only, mirror option for me--on my bike. Though where I need one the most is where I carry the panniers.
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Old 10-11-13, 07:38 AM   #34
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That mirror is sold on Amazon. In the customer reviews it is said that panniers on the left side will block the view. I still think I might get one. It's by far the best, and really only, mirror option for me--on my bike. Though where I need one the most is where I carry the panniers.
Rack trunks tend to be worse than panniers but it really depends on your bike geometry. When I'm commuting, I use an Arkel Bug and I just set it up for the other side of the bike and that seemed to work pretty well.

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Old 10-11-13, 07:55 AM   #35
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Move the red line into the straight lane and you'll be okay. Be prepared for cars to pass you on the left and right. Once the exit lane has exited, move back over onto the shoulder. Signal your intent and double-check before moving into the lane. Some drivers won't understand and will zip around you only to move to the exit lane.

Remember that most drivers don't want to hit you. Do what you need to to stay safe.
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Old 10-11-13, 08:30 AM   #36
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I agree there is no right answer. Fwiw my preference would be to follow the exit lane keeping hard right - up to a little ahead of the dark coloured exiting car in your photo. I'd stop and get off (keeping hard to the rail) and then walk (well run probably) across to the hashed neutral zone just ahead of the car when clear, and then resume riding the edge of the highway. Wear mountainbike shoes with recessed cleats. That is a horrible route, I'm guessing there's no alternative for you. Take care!

There are similar sliproads here in the UK where this is signposted as the advised approach.


Thanks, I appreciate the ideas. With this particular exit ramp, I don't think there is enough shoulder though. See attached photo - see how the white shoulder line just fades out? That's from endless car tires running it over. And it's a tiny little distance between the white line and the concrete barrier. I really don't think I should be there, at all. If a driver zones out for a moment and does not see me, I could get crushed pretty easily.

The more opinions I hear about this, the more I think I ought to try an alternate route or avoid busy times of day there.
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Old 10-11-13, 08:50 AM   #37
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I would definitely not go to the right. I don't think it has been mentioned that whenever there is a tiny gap in traffic going in that direction, cars will be hurriedly left-turning onto that ramp from the opposite direction. You need to make sure you are visible going through there and not hiding along the edge.
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Old 10-11-13, 09:01 AM   #38
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Thanks, I appreciate the ideas. With this particular exit ramp, I don't think there is enough shoulder though. See attached photo - see how the white shoulder line just fades out? That's from endless car tires running it over. And it's a tiny little distance between the white line and the concrete barrier. I really don't think I should be there, at all. If a driver zones out for a moment and does not see me, I could get crushed pretty easily.

The more opinions I hear about this, the more I think I ought to try an alternate route or avoid busy times of day there.

Agree. Too, with the junk in the way and the wall/guard rail you would be hidden to a car taking the exit ramp.

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Old 10-11-13, 03:42 PM   #39
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I haven't read everybody else's responses, so I bet this was recommended already. I would ASAP slide even further left than the red line, and try to ride the dotted paint -- very straight and no wobbles, try to give cars a sense of security that I'm not going to dart one way or the other.

Be aware that car traffic moves in "cohorts", as groups are released from stoplights. So well in advance of the intersection, be watching for a gap between cohorts, and signal with your arm and safely move left to the lane line. It helps to have a mirror to be able to monitor rearward traffic continuously, so at the right time you can look backwards to double-check, and then make your move.
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Old 10-11-13, 04:14 PM   #40
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There's something like that on one of the routes I take. I do what many others have suggested and basically follow the red line but it's also a matter of establishing yourself as you approach the transition, signal early and try to find the best break in traffic to merge with. I also use a mirror. The yellow line is more of what a pedestrian would do.

The bottom line is do what you feel is the safest approach and follow your instincts.
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Old 10-11-13, 06:06 PM   #41
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There's something like that on one of the routes I take. I do what many others have suggested and basically follow the red line but it's also a matter of establishing yourself as you approach the transition, signal early and try to find the best break in traffic to merge with. I also use a mirror. The yellow line is more of what a pedestrian would do.

The bottom line is do what you feel is the safest approach and follow your instincts.
One thing I've learnt is that when I make a move, I'd want to be assertive. If I look like I may or may not move to take the lane, for instance, the car behind me may decide to go ahead and pass me. If I make up my mind right at that time, I may end up getting rear-ended. OTOH, if I move quickly as soon as I see enough room to do so behind me, the car coming up will have no choice but to let me in.
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Old 10-11-13, 07:04 PM   #42
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The drivers in the exit lane have to slow down (pretty much). Talking the lane there isn't really going to hold drivers up much.

If you travel the yellow path, you are not being clear about where you are going (it's confusing) and you encourage drivers to try to pass you on the left (across your path). The only way the yellow path makes sense is if you are prepared to stop on the shoulder (to cross like a pedestrian).

I'd probably ride in the middle of the exit lane and, if there was a car behind me that was cooperating move to the red path to let them pass on the right. (I have used this approach more than once for a higher-speed exit.)
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Old 10-11-13, 09:00 PM   #43
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Glasses-mounted mirror sounds nice, but I'm worried about rain. It rains about half the time in Vancouver. I don't wear glasses usually, but I would expect them to be a visual hazard with raindrops on them. Maybe helmet-mounted might be a better choice for this climate?
Probably so. When it rains here (seldom), I just tilt my glasses down and peer over the top. Mirror is still useful.

You might want to try glasses and a mirror on clear days for a bit until you determine your ideal angle for your mirror, so that when you glue a helmet mounted version on, you'll have a better idea of where you want it. They're only $13US on amazon.
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Old 10-11-13, 09:30 PM   #44
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+1 To post #39 RubeRad The yellow line is mostly a poor choice.
That's what I do on those shorter exits. Cars can then decide to go in front or behind/right.
Depending on traffic I will go a bit left or right of the divider dots.
On the long highway merges I mostly cut accross to the pointy part where the shoulder starts or ends.
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