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Old 05-29-14, 12:24 PM   #101
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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.
This makes perfect sense to me. We would all have to be lawyers! Imagine that.

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Old 05-29-14, 12:30 PM   #102
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I have to disagree with this.
.
You may disagree, but not only is it common sense, it's the law in many states. When riding two or more abreast, cyclists should make an effort to create passing opportunities by merging to single file, and as I said many states require it.

IME the motorist that has slowed to match speed can pass safely even with fairly narrow clearance because the speed difference isn't great. So while I don't like close high speed passes, close low speed passes aren't an issue at all.

I see your issue with long groups, which is one reason I avoid them on open roads. But even long groups can break themselves up into multiple smaller groups so passing vehicles can leapfrog them in smaller bites. Truckers do this on mountain roads because they know nobody can pass a line of 60 footers, and they will make room for a car to tuck in as it leapfrogs around them. They don't have to, but understand that courtesy makes the road safer for everybody.
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Old 05-29-14, 12:38 PM   #103
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This is makes perfect sense to me. We would all have to be lawyers! Imagine that.
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Old 05-29-14, 01:05 PM   #104
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Old 05-29-14, 01:35 PM   #105
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Interesting video. Watching it all the way through I see they were trying to demonstrate taking and releasing the lane, but had no traffic until the one honker comes up, at which point the decide not to release the lane.

But outside of that, I generally do not ride in the lane as they did. I stay further to the right. On the street in the video, there were many cars parked on the side. As I come up to each one I would give a look over the shoulder to make sure a car wasn't barreling down. I've also found that the look over the shoulder lets any drivers who are being cautious know that I'm about to go around that parked car. After doing so I would get back to the right allowing that driver the chance to pass.
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Old 05-29-14, 01:49 PM   #106
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Old 05-29-14, 01:50 PM   #107
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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.
If you really want to earn the goodwill of the minority of motorists that views cyclists negatively you should stop riding your bike in the road.
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Old 05-29-14, 02:03 PM   #108
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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.
we are not guests who ride at the "courtesy" of the motoring majority. i'm courteous only when i feel it's safe to do so. and when taking the whole lane is the safer option i ride like i belong.

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Old 05-29-14, 02:25 PM   #109
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except that courtesy and accommodation is often a one way street. we are not guests who ride at the "courtesy" of the motoring majority. i'm courteous when i feel it's safe to do so. when taking the lane is the safer option i ride like i belong.
We are not 'guests' according to the law, but the motoring public knows little about our rights as cyclists. I'm guessing that 95%+ don't have a clue.

So, why not do whatever we can to build our image over time. (Sounds to me like you're doing it right.) If and when cycling initiatives like special lanes and trails emerge in the public forum, a positive image can only help gain support.

A little effort can go a long way.
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Old 05-29-14, 02:38 PM   #110
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We are not 'guests' according to the law, but the motoring public knows little about our rights as cyclists. I'm guessing that 95%+ don't have a clue.

So, why not do whatever we can to build our image over time. (Sounds to me like you're doing it right.) If and when cycling initiatives like special lanes and trails emerge in the public forum, a positive image can only help gain support.

A little effort can go a long way.
I'm split between Spare Wheel and Swamp Dude here.

I'm not worried about what motorists think about cyclists as a class, or about my rights to the road. I just want to ride in peace and get to my destination safely.

The balance between being courteous and being safe is for everybody to sort out for themselves. I find that leaning toward courtesy works for me, and don't feel that I'm giving up much safety, if any, when I create passing opportunities for cars that have already slowed behind me. In fact, I find the opposite to be true, and the sooner they go the better, while if held up too long (I'm in New York, where time is faster) the more likely they are to be impatient and aggressive.

I don't think a car need move halfway across the road to ass safely, and am comfortable in close quarters, but everyone has their own comfort level and needs to ride accordingly.

But I will leave folks with this thought. here, just outside of NYC I have very few negative interactions, and others report similar experienc in other parts of the country. So if you're routinely having negative motorist interactions, either, drivers in your area and nastier or more impatient than New Yorkers (hard to believe, but possible), or it's something about how you ride.
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Old 05-29-14, 03:16 PM   #111
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I often feel bad for drivers that don't know how to handle cyclists, but that doesn't change how i'm going to ride. It's their responsibility as a vehicle operator (as it is mine) to know the rules of the road and to follow them.

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Old 05-29-14, 07:31 PM   #112
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I worked as a delivery driver for a time, I spent many hours on the road as a driver. It amazes me how aggressive some drivers can be. Can't tell you how many times a speeding car would pull up way to close behind me before finally getting into the passing lane to pass. No other cars in sight, no reason they couldn't have changed lanes, but so many times would wait until the last possible moment to do so, as if it was a game of some sort. Doesn't matter if you're riding a bike, driving a delivery truck, etc...It comes down to one thing: we live in a world that rewards competition over sharing. You're challenging the driver on "their" road, taking up "their" time, why should they concede and have to go around you?
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Old 05-30-14, 11:46 AM   #113
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I think location has a lot to do with this.

Here in the great city of Minneapolis you see bikes every in the city and we have bike lanes, boulevards, and greenways to get where we want to go. Anyone who commutes in to the city or lives here (like myself) just expects to see cyclists. I've never been honked at or yelled at in the city. Now the story changes once I get out of the city, once I start hitting the suburbs people start to look at you funny like you're lost. I had a guy on a motorcycle tell me I should be on the sidewalk a week ago. Everyone pulls way too far in to the intersection when they stop which is another reason why I ride on the road.

Now there is a flip side to this where we as cyclists need to use common sense. Every once in a great while I drive my car, pretty rare but it happens. I do not get upset with cyclists and start yelling and honking at them but I see a lot of things that would upset motorists.

Prime example was Wednesday I had to drive and as I was driving down a very busy street that does not have much for lane space, but does have a few stop signs. 3 roadies decided to turn on to this street and take it the whole way down which caused a bit of a traffic jam as people are trying to skirt around them. No one is honking but I can see some displeasure in some peoples faces. A lot of this could be resolved by going one street over in either direction which is residential and follows this same road all the way to the end. Maybe this is just how I think but it is what I would have done in this situation. Compared to the roads on either side they are all about the same there is no major hill climbs or descents very flat stuff.
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Old 05-30-14, 12:26 PM   #114
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Prime example was Wednesday I had to drive and as I was driving down a very busy street that does not have much for lane space, but does have a few stop signs. 3 roadies decided to turn on to this street and take it the whole way down which caused a bit of a traffic jam as people are trying to skirt around them. No one is honking but I can see some displeasure in some peoples faces. A lot of this could be resolved by going one street over in either direction which is residential and follows this same road all the way to the end. Maybe this is just how I think but it is what I would have done in this situation. Compared to the roads on either side they are all about the same there is no major hill climbs or descents very flat stuff.
I agree with you, but if cyclists generally don't care what motorists think, 'circular animosity' is the result. Everybody is worse off.
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Old 05-30-14, 12:32 PM   #115
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I'm split between Spare Wheel and Swamp Dude here.

I'm not worried about what motorists think about cyclists as a class, or about my rights to the road. I just want to ride in peace and get to my destination safely.

The balance between being courteous and being safe is for everybody to sort out for themselves. I find that leaning toward courtesy works for me, and don't feel that I'm giving up much safety, if any, when I create passing opportunities for cars that have already slowed behind me. In fact, I find the opposite to be true, and the sooner they go the better, while if held up too long (I'm in New York, where time is faster) the more likely they are to be impatient and aggressive.

I don't think a car need move halfway across the road to ass safely, and am comfortable in close quarters, but everyone has their own comfort level and needs to ride accordingly.

But I will leave folks with this thought. here, just outside of NYC I have very few negative interactions, and others report similar experienc in other parts of the country. So if you're routinely having negative motorist interactions, either, drivers in your area and nastier or more impatient than New Yorkers (hard to believe, but possible), or it's something about how you ride.
+1 on this whole post.

+2 on the bolded section.

The video above, there was a long stretch where there were no cars parked in the bike lane, yet the riders didn't pull over. Yes, they're entitled to the road, but come on. Why would you counter bullying with passive aggressive behavior?

I've had at least one moment I can remember recently, where I got the finger, because I was in the right turn lane and holding someone up. Looking back at it now, I was going straight, I should have been in the straight lane and probably taken my spot in that lane, so I don't fault the motorist.

I have every right to be on the road ... but I don't need to act like an ass to prove that I hold that right.
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Old 05-30-14, 01:34 PM   #116
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You may disagree, but not only is it common sense, it's the law in many states. When riding two or more abreast, cyclists should make an effort to create passing opportunities by merging to single file, and as I said many states require it.
I think most states say "may not ride MORE than two abreast." Some may say single file. I've seen a LOT of people misread this as "may not ride two or more abreast" though.

It doesn't take any more effort for a car to pass two abreast cyclists in situations where in-lane safe passing is not possible than it does to pass single file. Unless turning the wheel another 10 degrees for 2 seconds counts as more effort.
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Old 05-30-14, 01:40 PM   #117
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Prime example was Wednesday I had to drive and as I was driving down a very busy street that does not have much for lane space, but does have a few stop signs. 3 roadies decided to turn on to this street and take it the whole way down which caused a bit of a traffic jam as people are trying to skirt around them. No one is honking but I can see some displeasure in some peoples faces. A lot of this could be resolved by going one street over in either direction which is residential and follows this same road all the way to the end. Maybe this is just how I think but it is what I would have done in this situation. Compared to the roads on either side they are all about the same there is no major hill climbs or descents very flat stuff.
I'm usually in the "courtesy works both ways" camp, but this one prompts me to ask. If you have two residential streets that go pallarel to the main street to the end, why don't those cars take those streets? I'm hoping your answer isn't "because the cars would have to drive more slowly on those streets."
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Old 05-30-14, 01:41 PM   #118
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I think most states say "may not ride MORE than two abreast." Some may say single file. I've seen a LOT of people misread this as "may not ride two or more abreast" though.
In Washington State, it is "more than two abreast" (RCW 46.61.770).
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Old 05-30-14, 01:51 PM   #119
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I think most states say "may not ride MORE than two abreast." Some may say single file. I've seen a LOT of people misread this as "may not ride two or more abreast" though.

It doesn't take any more effort for a car to pass two abreast cyclists in situations where in-lane safe passing is not possible than it does to pass single file. Unless turning the wheel another 10 degrees for 2 seconds counts as more effort.
While 2 abreast is legal, many states require single file if 2 abreast causes traffic backups (or something similar).

Passing room is subject to interpretation. While many here almost insist that a full lane change is made, that's rarely needed. I'm often (safely) passed by what I call a "European" pass. On narrow mtn roads there are fewer passing opportunities, and Europeans tend to drive at a wider range of speeds than we see here in the USA (probably due to a long history of underpowered cars and trucks), so there's often situations of passes on two lanes not completed in time. That woud be death here, but there they use their heads and everybody makes the necessary adjustments to crates a 3 lane road.

Likewise, people here will pass here moving only slightly over the center line, to make a safe pass for me, and oncoming traffic will make the adjustment if it's necessary. Riding 2 abreast on many 2 lane roads would block this possibility, as would long unbroken strings of bicycles.

It's not about rights, it's about making it work for everybody, and that really isn't so hard.
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Old 05-30-14, 02:08 PM   #120
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The video above, there was a long stretch where there were no cars parked in the bike lane, yet the riders didn't pull over. Yes, they're entitled to the road, but come on. Why would you counter bullying with passive aggressive behavior?
Much as I'd like to agree with you, in this case I don't disagree too much with the riders in the video. If you know there's another obstruction coming up shortly, then unless you're sure it's one car, I would continue staying in the lane. Otherwise you'd have to assume that some driver will let you in - not something you can always do. That being said, moving over to the right of center so that the car can more easily go by you is, in my opinion, common sense. Even if it puts you slightly into the door zone. This is where having a rear-view mirror is essential and makes things much easier and safer for everyone.

This is really the intersection between courteous and safe behavior and often-times there is no good answer. It's safe to assume that anytime you take the lane, cars will try to go around you. Which may create unsafe situations. As an example, I deal with an intersection every morning that I've yet to come up with the optimal way to get through. The road changes from 1 car lane + bike lane each direction and a center turn lane to 1 left turn lane, 1 straight lane, 1 bike lane, and two right turn lanes (from left to right, in my direction) coming up to a traffic light. 50% (maybe more) of traffic turns right, crossing the bike lane, and there is often back up from the traffic light in all lanes.

When there's little traffic, it's trivial. When there's a lot of traffic, there are often few opportunities to merge in. My question is always, do I merge into the car lane earlier and inconvenience cars (and create an unsafe situation, since people won't know why I'm in the car lane when there's a bike lane, or if I'm about to move right), or try to merge just before the intersection, inconveniencing people turning right (plus creating a dangerous situation, since I don't know if they're slowing down for the traffic light, or to let me by so that they can move right).
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Old 05-30-14, 02:21 PM   #121
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I see what you're saying ... but in that video, it's pretty clear IMO that they're impeding the driver "just because they can," and in fact, she laughs and says "I'm not moving." And there was a lengthy stretch of road where no cars were parked.

From what we saw of the video there didn't seem to be other drivers behind the "honker" either.

That said, yes, you have to assume the other driver will let you in. I don't know ... for me I guess it's a little different. There's usually enough room between the parked cars and their door zone, and where the cars would pass me on the left (including a stretch not far from work that's an actual boulevard with the center median).

Plus, and maybe this is just because I'm taller, but I can usually (not always, but usually) tell if there is someone seated in the car and possibly exiting. That said, in situations where I'm not sure (there's a descent as I get close to home after work) where I float out into the lane of traffic until I'm sure I'm passed the parked cars and any dooring opportunities.

And FWIW, in the case of your intersection, I'd probably place myself on the sidewalk and cross as a pedestrian just to be safe. Sometimes ensuring my personal preservation is more important than being taken seriously as a "member of traffic."
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Old 05-30-14, 02:44 PM   #122
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Yes, agreed, the riders in the video could have and should have done a lot more. And I, personally, try to be as considerate as possible and let cars by whenever I can. I think that's the only way to make drivers accept biking. The intersection I mentioned is the only problematic one, and luckily drivers here are very courteous and don't try to make it hard for me. The one time I fell (which happened to be at this intersection while trying to merge), I had two people stop to ask me if I was ok, and no one complained that it took me a minute to get off the road (no serious injuries). Getting a mirror (after that incident) has made my life 10 times easier.
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Old 05-30-14, 05:41 PM   #123
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Same in Florida, not more than two abreast... However, I wouldn't ever ride two abreast in traffic, because it doesn't only make it harder for cars to pass, but it's more dangerous, in the same way it's dangerous if someone rides too close behind you.

Florida Law Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

"(6) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway may not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two abreast may not impede traffic when traveling at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing and shall ride within a single lane."
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Old 06-02-14, 07:27 AM   #124
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I'm usually in the "courtesy works both ways" camp, but this one prompts me to ask. If you have two residential streets that go pallarel to the main street to the end, why don't those cars take those streets? I'm hoping your answer isn't "because the cars would have to drive more slowly on those streets."
As a motorist which would make more sense to you? Driving on a double lane two way street or down a single lane two way street? It's a main artery with veins shooting out of it.
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Old 06-02-14, 09:34 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by Mr Pink57 View Post
As a motorist which would make more sense to you? Driving on a double lane two way street or down a single lane two way street? It's a main artery with veins shooting out of it.
Without having driven in that particular vicinity, I would imagine it would make more sense for a driver to drive on the artery. That said, I haven't ridden there, either. Do you think those roadies chose to ride on the arterial street just to inconvenience the motorists? I wouldn't rule that out, but I'm guessing they had a good reason to do so.
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