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  1. #76
    Senior Member work4bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RISKDR1 View Post
    I have been cycling for 25 years. The one thing that comes to mind that I see cyclists doing is riding two or three abreast in a large group on a narrow road where it is difficult to pass them. In situations like this cyclists should skinny down into a single pace line. It just makes sense and is common courtesy. I see cyclists violate this and understand why motorists get irritated.
    I agree and in my state (and I suspect a lot of states) this is illegal.
    "The aim of science is to make difficult things understandable in a simpler way; the aim of poetry is to state simple things in an incomprehensible way. The two are incompatible."

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  2. #77
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
    Agreed ... I didn't want to sound like an "internet bada$$" but yeah, my phone is always handy and if I feel in the least bit threatened or concerned I'll break it out and start filming/taking pics
    From personal experience, by the time I got out a phone or camera, the offending motorist is already a small spec heading toward the vanishing point, and why I video all my commutes with front and rear cameras.

  3. #78
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RISKDR1 View Post
    I have been cycling for 25 years. The one thing that comes to mind that I see cyclists doing is riding two or three abreast in a large group on a narrow road where it is difficult to pass them. In situations like this cyclists should skinny down into a single pace line. It just makes sense and is common courtesy. I see cyclists violate this and understand why motorists get irritated.
    Yet many motorists will sit back and wait when behind a slower semi or farm equipment, and then make a pass. For cyclists to skinny down to a single pace line usually invites much faster/closer/unsafe passes being made by motorists.

  4. #79
    Senior Member work4bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    Yet many motorists will sit back and wait when behind a slower semi or farm equipment, and then make a pass.
    And as the OP stated pedestrians...

    That's why I say we need more cyclists, but not more cyclists riding in a manner that is irrational, such as taking up an entire lane.

    Is that lawful in your state?
    "The aim of science is to make difficult things understandable in a simpler way; the aim of poetry is to state simple things in an incomprehensible way. The two are incompatible."

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  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    That's why I say we need more cyclists, but not more cyclists riding in a manner that is irrational, such as taking up an entire lane.

    Is that lawful in your state?
    Depends on the circumstances. California, and Florida and quite a few other states, have an explicit exception to the 'far right as practicable' (FRAP) rule when the lane width is insufficient for a motor vehicle and a bicycle to safely share the lane while riding side-by-side. Doing so requires a width of about 14' when considering the width of the bike, motor vehicle, ~3' passing distance, and some maneuvering space. Most roads where cyclists ride have lane widths under 14' so on these roads the FRAP rule doesn't apply, therefore allowing the cyclist to choose a position anywhere within the lane.

    So yes, in many cases that is lawful in my state - and in yours as well (exceptions being roads with unusually wide lanes and roads with appropriate bike lanes).

  6. #81
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    The last thing I want to do here is stir the pot, but it is incumbent upon us (cyclists) to demonstrate courtesy to motorists on every ride and avoid situations to the extent practicable that are natural irritants to drivers.

    I recently observed a cyclist on a three wheeler who had traffic backed up about 3/4 mile going across a long bridge. There was a wide concrete sidewalk on the bridge with easy access on both ends, but the cyclist chose the road during 5pm traffic; and he was slow. To me, given the circumstances, it was an opportunity to allow traffic to flow without giving up the cyclist's right to share the road. It was an opportunity to avoid being an irritant.

    We are a small minority in terms of total traffic population, but we are the ones who create the complete image of cyclists in our communities. I firmly believe our behavior can shape the image favorably by being courteous and thoughtful, clearly signaling our moves, letting people know we appreciate their conscious efforts to give us space, and by being friendly.

    We have rights, and they must be exercised in order to preserve them. We also have the responsibility to be good will ambassadors. Our goal should be to positively advance the image of cycling in our community while tolerating the ass holes we could never impact in a favorable way.

  7. #82
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    Well said SwampDude. I agree completely. We all know to "take the lane" when space is tight and you can't be passed safely. We should also all learn to "give the lane" when conditions are reasonably safe for passing. And if you're not super-pressed for time, load yourself up with a little bonus karma by pulling out of the road entirely once in a while if you're accumulating a line of cars behind you.

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by RISKDR1 View Post
    I have been cycling for 25 years. The one thing that comes to mind that I see cyclists doing is riding two or three abreast in a large group on a narrow road where it is difficult to pass them. In situations like this cyclists should skinny down into a single pace line. It just makes sense and is common courtesy. I see cyclists violate this and understand why motorists get irritated.
    Except with a large enough group a single line can be too long to pass safely.

    Motorists simply tend not to understand that if it's not safe to pass - and the cyclist is the one who gets to decide - they need to wait.

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwampDude View Post
    The last thing I want to do here is stir the pot, but it is incumbent upon us (cyclists) to demonstrate courtesy to motorists on every ride and avoid situations to the extent practicable that are natural irritants to drivers.

    I recently observed a cyclist on a three wheeler who had traffic backed up about 3/4 mile going across a long bridge. There was a wide concrete sidewalk on the bridge with easy access on both ends, but the cyclist chose the road during 5pm traffic; and he was slow. To me, given the circumstances, it was an opportunity to allow traffic to flow without giving up the cyclist's right to share the road. It was an opportunity to avoid being an irritant.

    We are a small minority in terms of total traffic population, but we are the ones who create the complete image of cyclists in our communities. I firmly believe our behavior can shape the image favorably by being courteous and thoughtful, clearly signaling our moves, letting people know we appreciate their conscious efforts to give us space, and by being friendly.

    We have rights, and they must be exercised in order to preserve them. We also have the responsibility to be good will ambassadors. Our goal should be to positively advance the image of cycling in our community while tolerating the ass holes we could never impact in a favorable way.
    It isn't legal to ride on the sidewalk in Florida. See Bicycle Traffic Law | Florida Bicycle Association
    Without doing something illegal, I don't see how the cyclist you are annoyed with can exercise his rights, and yet be a good will ambassador (with good will ambassador defined as someone who does not bother motorists)
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  10. #85
    Senior Member andyprough's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by treadtread View Post
    It isn't legal to ride on the sidewalk in Florida. See Bicycle Traffic Law | Florida Bicycle Association
    Without doing something illegal, I don't see how the cyclist you are annoyed with can exercise his rights, and yet be a good will ambassador (with good will ambassador defined as someone who does not bother motorists)
    The website you cited says: "Sidewalk Riding (see Section 316.2065, F.S.) When riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks, a bicyclist has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian. A bicyclist riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and must give an audible signal before passing."

    Doesn't say anything at all about sidewalk riding being illegal. Same as in Texas.

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyprough View Post
    The website you cited says: "Sidewalk Riding (see Section 316.2065, F.S.) When riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks, a bicyclist has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian. A bicyclist riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and must give an audible signal before passing."

    Doesn't say anything at all about sidewalk riding being illegal. Same as in Texas.
    Ah, my mistake - guess I read what I wanted to read there. Looks like Florida is an exception - riding on sidewalks is illegal in California.
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  12. #87
    Senior Member andyprough's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by treadtread View Post
    Ah, my mistake - guess I read what I wanted to read there. Looks like Florida is an exception - riding on sidewalks is illegal in California.
    Sidewalk riding is actually encouraged by the City of Austin for riders who would feel "uncomfortable" in the traffic lane: "If you are not comfortable taking the lane, and it’s too narrow to share, either choose a different route or ride carefully along the sidewalk if one is available."

    Seems that sidewalk riding laws have a lot of variability around the country.

  13. #88
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    In California, local governments can adopt ordinances allowing for sidewalk riding. Otherwise, it's forbidden although rarely enforced.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    In California, local governments can adopt ordinances allowing for sidewalk riding. Otherwise, it's forbidden although rarely enforced.
    I don't know of any state law in California that specifies the legality of sidewalk riding. AFAIK, it's a subject that's left up to the local authorities, so in the absence of any local ordinance it would be legal. But many communities do have laws restricting it, especially in business districts.

  15. #90
    Senior Member andyprough's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    I don't know of any state law in California that specifies the legality of sidewalk riding. AFAIK, it's a subject that's left up to the local authorities, so in the absence of any local ordinance it would be legal. But many communities do have laws restricting it, especially in business districts.
    Yup. Here's the California Highway Patrol website regarding bike laws in the state: "Some cities and counties prohibit riding bicycles on sidewalks. Other local laws deal with parking of bikes and use of pedestrian or special bicycle facilities. Check with your local government to learn what these laws are."

    The code is California Vehicle Code 21206.

    So it would appear sidewalk riding is legal in California unless the municipality decides otherwise.

  16. #91
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Sorry. I had it backwards.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  17. #92
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    Apropos this thread, part of my commute is on a rural two-lane road with no shoulder to speak of. The road is really not wide enough for two cars and a bike to fit abreast safely at cruising speeds, so I ride far enough away from the edge to strongly discourage drivers from trying to pass me against oncoming traffic, without offending their sense of bicycles belonging AFRAP, if on the road in the first place. That has generally worked fairly well, as I haven't sensed excessive aggression against my presence (just the usual moderated aggression from a few drivers). Some drivers have misjudged relative speeds while passing and squeezed against me as oncoming traffic approaches, but in that case I have some room to my right to manoeuver. My expectation is, that if I consistently rode further to the right, I would be getting squeezed and buzzed much more frequently, with no margin to manoeuver.
    Anyway, getting to the point, the majority of the road was double-yellow lined until today; and I did notice a lot of drivers were respecting the double yellow while waiting to pass me when it would have been feasible other than crossing the double yellow, i.e. previous to today. There are many rolling hills, so the double-yellow lines were not there for nothing. However, it seemed to me that the no passing zones were very conservatively laid out, perhaps not considering the relative speed difference between regular motorized traffic and bicycles (I'm the only cyclist I've seen so far on that road). So, whether there is a connection between my recent presence (just starting this spring) or not, perhaps the latest relaxation of the no-passing zones will reduce the tension level a bit. I will still take my share of the lane to discourage 3 abreast situations, but the clearly legal opportunities for motorists to move into the opposite lane in order to pass, oncoming traffic permitting, are now greatly extended.

    To be clear, I should specify, this is not a busy road. Typically, a car behind me waiting to pass only has to wait a few seconds for oncoming traffic or a clear view ahead before passing.
    Last edited by old's'cool; 05-28-14 at 05:55 PM. Reason: to be clear
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  18. #93
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    I ride quite a bit on double lined 2 lanes. I've asked a number of cops whether it's legal to pass a bicycle over the line, and gotten a range of opinions, running from "of course" to "absolutely not", but all of then said they'd never cite a car for a violation (including those who said absolutely not) if there were adequate site lines and distance to an approaching car, based on speed and distance.

    As you point out, the no passing markings are based on the distance required to pass a car moving at or near the speed limit, and are very conservative for passing a bicycle (or tractor) moving at half that speed.

    BTW- my commute brings me into a number of school bus encounters. So, being me, I asked a few cops whether it was legal for a bicycle to pass a stopped school bus. MY favorite answer was "probably not, but don't hit any kids and we won't need to find out".
    Last edited by FBinNY; 05-28-14 at 05:58 PM.
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  19. #94
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Based on my observation, many drivers seem to think the center line is electrified. They exhibit far more care for a stripe of paint than for a fellow road user and human being.
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  20. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    Based on my observation, many drivers seem to think the center line is electrified. They exhibit far more care for a stripe of paint than for a fellow road user and human being.

    This.

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  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwampDude View Post
    The last thing I want to do here is stir the pot, but it is incumbent upon us (cyclists) to demonstrate courtesy to motorists on every ride and avoid situations to the extent practicable that are natural irritants to drivers.
    my right to the road is not dependent on being in the good graces of motorists. if a motorist cannot handle a slight delay then maybe they should try another transportation mode.
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  22. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    my right to the road is not dependent on being in the good graces of motorists. if a motorist cannot handle a slight delay then maybe they should try another transportation mode.
    Where I ride, the delays are "slight" because traffic isn't heavy and the opportunity to pass happens quickly. Most motorists are good citizens; they accept a slight slowdown and pass when the road is clear.

    All I'm suggesting is that cyclists and motorists reciprocate when it comes to good citizenship. Give a little here, take a little there, and everybody is better off.

    Goodwill points do have a way of building up over time. Thats what good reputations are made of. If we don't care how the community views us, chances are we will be viewed negatively.

  23. #98
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwampDude View Post
    Where I ride, the delays are "slight" because traffic isn't heavy and the opportunity to pass happens quickly. Most motorists are good citizens; they accept a slight slowdown and pass when the road is clear.

    All I'm suggesting is that cyclists and motorists reciprocate when it comes to good citizenship. Give a little here, take a little there, and everybody is better off.

    Goodwill points do have a way of building up over time. Thats what good reputations are made of. If we don't care how the community views us, chances are we will be viewed negatively.
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

  24. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    my right to the road is not dependent on being in the good graces of motorists. if a motorist cannot handle a slight delay then maybe they should try another transportation mode.
    I wouldn't want to live in a world where everybody operated based only on rights and legal obligations. And I doubt you would either.

    Getting on requires some mutual accommodation and courtesy. That's a two way street.
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  25. #100
    Señior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RISKDR1 View Post
    I have been cycling for 25 years. The one thing that comes to mind that I see cyclists doing is riding two or three abreast in a large group on a narrow road where it is difficult to pass them. In situations like this cyclists should skinny down into a single pace line. It just makes sense and is common courtesy. I see cyclists violate this and understand why motorists get irritated.
    I have to disagree with this. If it's a narrow road, then the car ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT pass unless he has the ability to completely change lanes (knows there is no oncoming traffic). Moving over is encouraging the driver to try to squeeze by when he can't tell if there's another car coming, and if there is, someone's going to be in trouble, and it's going to be someone on two wheels.

    Bunching up when there's not room to safely pass is actually doing the driver a favor - if you have 30 bikes in a group, if they're single file you need to pass maybe 300 feet. If they triple up, the car only needs to pass a line of 100 feet long. In both cases the car should completely change lanes.

    If it's a nice, wide road, then I can get behind going into single file because then cars can pass you within the lane.
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