Yeah, so, after nearly a year of sticking to the sidewalks, I'm mostly confident enough to move onto the road. It's a pretty busy street, 6-8 lanes, usually pretty backed up in rush hour without a dedicated lane, just those "hey, bikes to go here" symbols.
Let sidewalk riding hate commence lol. They're almost always deserted, I almost never pass anyone on the ride.
Anyway, had a question about etiquette. Since this road is almost always backed up, should I remain behind the car in front of me and move with traffic (particularly at stoplights), or should I use the gap to continue moving up to the lights? No honks yet doing that, anyway.
Still getting sudden attacks of weakness now and then while I ride, have to slow to a crawl
If you're in a WOL (Wide Outside Lane), usually the right lane, you can ride on the right of traffic to the light or behind whatever cyclists are in front of you. Sometimes, drivers hug the right side making it hard for you to pass comfortably. In that case, you can choose to wait behind them, or do what I do which is pass around them on their left, then move back to the right when there's room and it's safe to do so.
As for riding on the sidewalk in the suburbs where traffic generally moves at 60-90 kph, I'm not against it, but the law is so be careful.
HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR
We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!
I usually avoid riding on the sidewalk - but I make exception when I am transporting kids by bike - but even then I only use the sidewalk on the busiest streets. And I ride slow on the sidewalk - even though they are deserted - except for the people far to old to be riding on the sidewalk who are using the sidewalk as a contra-flow lane on one way streets (because moving up or down the short block to the next one-way would be asking far too much).
One thing to remember about riding a sidewalk is that traffic entering and exiting driveways are may not be looking out for bikes on the sidewalk. They should be. This is legal riding space for kids. But if you are bombing down the sidewalk as fast as your grown up self can go you will surely have issues with drivers exiting driveways because you will come up on them much faster than they will expect. Physics is on their side, eh? This is especially true if yo are riding contra-flow on a one-way. The driver may not spare more than a glance in your direction.
One thing that greatly complicates all of this is that so many people on bike don't know and don't care what the laws and rules are that regulate bicycle traffic - and even if they did they would not care to abide by those rules. The result is that bikes are extremely unpredictable. None of us - drivers, pedestrians, or cyclists - can reasonably predict what someone on a bicycle will do.
I guess the end of my ramble is that I am in favour of getting as many people as possible to know the laws an rules governing bike traffic and to follow them (as much as safely possible - that's another topic!) so as to increase general safety for all by increasing predictability.
Ironically - and I know this is a real problem - such a scenario will increase risk for scoff-laws.
So - passing traffic stopped at a light? 2 questions - what is the law, and what is safe?
... and is the car in question indicating (or hinting at) a right turn, eh?
Last edited by auldgeunquers; 09-12-14 at 07:09 AM.
Reason: adding a thought
if you are in a marked 'lane'
than I would think you should have no reason
legal or moral
to worry about passing on the right
watch out for people
using the bike lane to drive aggressively
letting off passengers
but otherwise no problem
if you are sharing a single rightmost lane
you should wait in line
just to not be a jerk
especially on a road where people are driving considerably faster than you between lights
you are talking about gridlock in a city core
and cars are unlikely to catch up to you between lights
then pass away
because if they aren't catching you you
then you aren't holding anyone up