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  1. #1
    Senior Member dguest's Avatar
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    If we want respect from motorist, we need to respect the rules of the road.

    On my home from work tonight I observed an incident that made me start thinking about other cyclists. I normally travel the Interstate from my job to my home, but today I decided to take the scenic route home. First because I wanted to just relax and drive, second the route is a very polular bike route and I enjoy seeing the other cyclists out and about. On this one section of the route there is a 1.5 mile climb out of the river valley leading to a long straight flat section. While in the car about 4th back in a line of about 10 cars we were going about 10 mile an hour. After rounding a bend I could see a group of cyclist on the road 2 abreast. We continued further at the same speed when a car went into the left lane and started to pass, the cyclist continued 2 abreast and one cyclist moved even further towards the center of the lane. We continued about another half mile at this rate when 2 cars behind me a Silver Dodge Charger pulled into the left lane got up about beside me and actived his blue lights. (Unmarked State Trooper) The Trooper passed the line of cars and pulled along side the cyclists and said something to them as he was beside them then backed off and pulled in behind the cyclists. Once they got to a church parking lot the cyclists all exited into the lot with the trooper behind them. I then continued home. Since I am retired from govenrment law enforcement, I know the trooper. So once I got home I called his cell phone and told him I was in the line of cars. He told me all he did was remind the cyclists that here in NC the statute states that cyclists do have a right to be on the road, but the statute states you must ride to the right as far as practicable and that 2 abreast is lawfull only in situations where a vehicle can safely pass a group that is 2 abreast. He did not issue any citations this time but did advise the riders he would in the future.

    this was a good reminder that respect earns respect.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member dguest's Avatar
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    Want Respect show respect

    On my home from work tonight I observed an incident that made me start thinking about other cyclists. I normally travel the Interstate from my job to my home, but today I decided to take the scenic route home. First because I wanted to just relax and drive, second the route is a very polular bike route and I enjoy seeing the other cyclists out and about. On this one section of the route there is a 1.5 mile climb out of the river valley leading to a long straight flat section. While in the car about 4th back in a line of about 10 cars we were going about 10 mile an hour. After rounding a bend I could see a group of cyclist on the road 2 abreast. We continued further at the same speed when a car went into the left lane and started to pass, the cyclist continued 2 abreast and one cyclist moved even further towards the center of the lane. We continued about another half mile at this rate when 2 cars behind me a Silver Dodge Charger pulled into the left lane got up about beside me and actived his blue lights. (Unmarked State Trooper) The Trooper passed the line of cars and pulled along side the cyclists and said something to them as he was beside them then backed off and pulled in behind the cyclists. Once they got to a church parking lot the cyclists all exited into the lot with the trooper behind them. I then continued home. Since I am retired from govenrment law enforcement, I know the trooper. So once I got home I called his cell phone and told him I was in the line of cars. He told me all he did was remind the cyclists that here in NC the statute states that cyclists do have a right to be on the road, but the statute states you must ride to the right as far as practicable and that 2 abreast is lawfull only in situations where a vehicle can safely pass a group that is 2 abreast. He did not issue any citations this time but did advise the riders he would in the future.

    this was a good reminder that respect earns respect.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    Good post. I've been thinking for some time that this would be a logical approach for law enforcement to take. Not issue any citations right away, but simply advise people of what the law is. I think there are a surprising number of people who simply don't know the basics, or, they've been given misinformation by well-meaning, but misguided authority figures in the past. (i.e. Mom, dad, weird uncle, scout leader, etc.)
    I thought I was suffering from depression once. Turned out, I was simply surrounded by idiots.

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    Sounds like your trooper buddy knows his stuff; good on him for handling it so well.

    While motorists are the MAIN ones that need re-training, they aren't the ONLY ones. (I'm in the process of teaching proper cycling to my kids, 17,13, & 8, and it IS a process!) I get a little ****ty when I see riders older than me salmoning, and I've barked at kids doing it.
    Last edited by unterhausen; 09-06-11 at 06:18 PM. Reason: please don't defeat the censor

  5. #5
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trackhub View Post
    Good post. I've been thinking for some time that this would be a logical approach for law enforcement to take. Not issue any citations right away, but simply advise people of what the law is. I think there are a surprising number of people who simply don't know the basics, or, they've been given misinformation by well-meaning, but misguided authority figures in the past. (i.e. Mom, dad, weird uncle, scout leader, etc.)
    add activist cyclists to that list of misguided influences maybe.
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    ... statute states you must ride to the right as far as practicable and that 2 abreast is lawfull only in situations where a vehicle can safely pass a group that is 2 abreast
    Which statute is that? The one that appears relevant in NC is Section 20-146 which specifies that one must travel in the righthand lane *OR* as close as practicable to the right side of the road - this appears to allow either option in order to be legal. Not saying that it wouldn't be proper courtesy by the cyclists to make it more convenient for other traffic to pass, but I do wonder what legal justification the officer had for his statements.




    §20-146. Drive on right side of highway; exceptions.
    (a) Upon all highways of sufficient width a vehicle
    shall be driven upon the right half of the
    highway except as follows:
    (1) When overtaking and passing another
    vehicle proceeding in the same
    direction under the rules governing
    such movement;
    (2) When an obstruction exists making it
    necessary to drive to the left of the
    center of the highway; provided, any
    person so doing shall yield the right-ofway
    to all vehicles traveling in the proper
    direction upon the unobstructed portion
    of the highway within such distance as
    to constitute an immediate hazard;
    (3) Upon a highway divided into three
    marked lanes for traffic under the
    rules applicable thereon; or
    (4) Upon a highway designated and
    signposted for one-way traffic.
    (b) Upon all highways any vehicle proceeding
    at less than the legal maximum speed limit
    shall be driven in the right-hand lane then
    available for thru traffic, or as close as
    practicable to the right-hand curb or edge
    of the highway, except when overtaking and
    passing another vehicle proceeding in the same
    direction or when preparing for a left turn.
    Last edited by prathmann; 09-06-11 at 05:30 PM.

  7. #7
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Good cop. There have been times when I was riding with people who could use a warning like that.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Let me guess, the lane was too narrow for a safe pass anyway without motorist moving into the oncoming lane. So riding two abreast and moving farther left were the safest methods for the cyclist on the climb. Yet you with your motor, plus being on BFs since 2008 and your trooper buddy still fail to understand this safest riding practice by cyclist and feel good that they got wrongly threatened by your ignorant trooper buddy.

    Show some patience until it is safe to move completely into the other lane for the safe pass.

    PS - your post did demonstrate yours and the troopers lack of respect for the cyclist, so we can see why these cyclist would have less respect for the trooper and motorist in the future.
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  9. #9
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Good cop. There have been times when I was riding with people who could use a warning like that.
    Seriously, the cop went into oncoming traffic when no emergency existed.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  10. #10
    Senior Member dguest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Let me guess, the lane was too narrow for a safe pass anyway without motorist moving into the oncoming lane. So riding two abreast and moving farther left were the safest methods for the cyclist on the climb. Yet you with your motor, plus being on BFs since 2008 and your trooper buddy still fail to understand this safest riding practice by cyclist and feel good that they got wrongly threatened by your ignorant trooper buddy.

    Show some patience until it is safe to move completely into the other lane for the safe pass.
    Save your breath if your are so ignorant to right and wrong. I have been riding for 5 years and was a police officer for 27, There was room to safely pass if the cyclists were single file. I ride that route all the time. The warning was at the officers discression, but numerous violations could have been cited, as with any statute is at the interpritation of the officer. With cyclist thinking the way you do it is no wander motorist get so aggressive. The problem is it is usually the courtious rides that get hurt over this.
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  11. #11
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    The two abreast rule is not understood by any LEO I have ever met. On edit: link to a google street view or it didn't happen.

    I think cyclists are by far the most courteous and considerate road users out there. I can say this from my experience as a motorist without even referencing the criminal behavior I see from motorists almost daily while riding my bike. Every cyclist I have ever ridden with or seen riding has ridden with consideration for the motorists around them. I'm sure there exceptions to the rule, but not many.
    Last edited by unterhausen; 09-06-11 at 06:26 PM.

  12. #12
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Seriously, the cop went into oncoming traffic when no emergency existed.
    Were you there? The OP did not say there was oncoming traffic.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  13. #13
    Senior Member dguest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Let me guess, the lane was too narrow for a safe pass anyway without motorist moving into the oncoming lane. So riding two abreast and moving farther left were the safest methods for the cyclist on the climb. Yet you with your motor, plus being on BFs since 2008 and your trooper buddy still fail to understand this safest riding practice by cyclist and feel good that they got wrongly threatened by your ignorant trooper buddy.

    Show some patience until it is safe to move completely into the other lane for the safe pass.

    PS - your post did demonstrate yours and the troopers lack of respect for the cyclist, so we can see why these cyclist would have less respect for the trooper and motorist in the future.


    Save your breath if your are so ignorant to right and wrong. I have been riding for 5 years and was a police officer for 27, There was room to safely pass if the cyclists were single file. I ride that route all the time. The warning was at the officers discression, but numerous violations could have been cited, as with any statute is at the interpritation of the officer. With cyclist thinking the way you do it is no wander motorist get so aggressive. The problem is it is usually the courtious rides that get hurt over this.
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    CBHI has it right. If the lane is not wide enough for a motorist to safely pass a cyclist while staying in the lane, as far to the right as practicable is towards the center of the lane. Most states that I have lived in give substandard lane widths as one of the explicit exceptions to FRAP. Once one of a group of cyclists has established control of the lane, it actually makes passing easier for motorists if the remaining cyclists double up, since the passing length is halved. For some reason, double file cyclists get motorists' knickers twisted. If they would think it through, they would realize that it is being done for their benefit.

  15. #15
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Good cop. There have been times when I was riding with people who could use a warning like that.
    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Were you there? The OP did not say there was oncoming traffic.
    "1.5 mile climb out of the river valley leading to a long straight flat section" certainly sounds like a winding road with blind curves. Since your post imply you may have been there, please clarify the situation.

    In fact, most rants like the OP are a case of a narrow road where it is safer for the cyclist to take the lane until they have a turnout or reach a safe section for motorist to move entirely into the other lane to pass. Simply hugging the right portion of the narrow lane only invites unsafe, very close passing.

    If the lane was so wide or has a nice wide clean shoulder, why would the OP leave that fact out?
    Last edited by CB HI; 09-06-11 at 07:09 PM.
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    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dguest View Post
    Save your breath if your are so ignorant to right and wrong. I have been riding for 5 years and was a police officer for 27, There was room to safely pass if the cyclists were single file. I ride that route all the time. The warning was at the officers discression, but numerous violations could have been cited, as with any statute is at the interpritation of the officer. With cyclist thinking the way you do it is no wander motorist get so aggressive. The problem is it is usually the courtious rides that get hurt over this.
    So how wide was the lane, 12 feet?
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  17. #17
    Randomhead
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    if my experience is any guide, the presence of the LEO probably contributed to the backup more than the cyclists. Although if there really was a 10 car backup, there is a responsibility to pull off and let the line of cars go. After over 35 years of driving, I'm still waiting for a motorist to do this. And around here I see plenty of motorists with well over 10 cars lined up behind them.

  18. #18
    Senior Member dguest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    "1.5 mile climb out of the river valley leading to a long straight flat section" certainly sounds like a winding road with blind curves. Since you post imply you may have been there, please clarify the situation.

    In fact, most rants like the OP are a case of a narrow road where it is safer for the cyclist to take the lane until they have a turnout or reach a safe section for motorist to move entirely into the other lane to pass. Simply hugging the right portion of the narrow lane only invites unsafe, very close passing.

    If the lane was so wide or have a nice wide clean shoulder, why would the OP leave that fact out?
    Read the original post again, In that post I did say there was a curve, but I also mentioned it was after that curve that the car attempted to pass, You will also see that I did state in the follow up post that the lane was wide enough to pass with a enough clearance if the cyclist would have been on the right edge. I also stated that I ride the route regularly and have been safely passed while single file and even a wheen track a good foot from the white line.
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  19. #19
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    I suspect that the 1.5 mile climb did not have any turn outs and had the OP and trooper simply waited to see what the cyclist did when they got to the church, the cyclist would have turned out exactly per the slow moving vehicle laws require.

    But with the trooper impatience, we will never know for sure. The fact that the trooper did not immediately pull them over does give us some indication that a turn out would not be safe at that point.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member dguest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    So how wide was the lane, 12 feet?
    Honestly the lanes here in front of my residence are 13 feet from inside of white line to center between the double yellow, The lane on that road is about the same, I did not measure the exact spot but this is a very rural farming areas and the roads are designed to handle the larger farm equipment.
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  21. #21
    Randomhead
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    can you find this on google street view and provide a link so we can see the road situation for ourselves? The truth is that neither you nor the trooper seem to understand why a group of cyclist may be better off riding 2 abreast rather than single file. So I'm not sure I trust your judgement of the road width. I have done considerable amounts of riding in rural North Carolina, and I can't recall any roads that didn't have substandard lane widths. If the road has substandard lane widths, a car must use the opposite lane to pass, and the best course of action is that the cyclists should double up to make passing easier.

  22. #22
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dguest View Post
    Honestly the lanes here in front of my residence are 13 feet from inside of white line to center between the double yellow, The lane on that road is about the same, I did not measure the exact spot but this is a very rural farming areas and the roads are designed to handle the larger farm equipment.
    So you estimate the lane to be less than 13 feet wide. And 14 feet wide is the minimum width that is considered safe for sharing between motorist and cyclist. So the cyclist were riding in the safest manner for themselves and the motorist on that road.
    Last edited by CB HI; 09-06-11 at 07:10 PM. Reason: Fixed sharing typo to cut stress from BluesDawg
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  23. #23
    Godfather of Soul SBRDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Let me guess, the lane was too narrow for a safe pass anyway without motorist moving into the oncoming lane. So riding two abreast and moving farther left were the safest methods for the cyclist on the climb. Yet you with your motor, plus being on BFs since 2008 and your trooper buddy still fail to understand this safest riding practice by cyclist and feel good that they got wrongly threatened by your ignorant trooper buddy.

    Show some patience until it is safe to move completely into the other lane for the safe pass.
    Considering that you are GUESSING about the situation, how about holding off the judgments and name calling.

  24. #24
    Seņor Blues on the path's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dguest View Post
    .....I ride the route regularly and have been safely passed while single file and even a wheen track a good foot from the white line.
    I'm open to correction on this, but isn't a bicyclist entitled to the entire lane? Yes, no? How about a motorcyclist? How about any vehicle, regardless of the number of wheels, providing that vehicle is going more or less in a straight line and not weaving left to right, etc.??

  25. #25
    Senior Member bhop's Avatar
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    If 10 cars are backed up behind the group, it seems obvious they'd been riding two abreast for longer than 1.5 miles. I doubt they're the turnout types...

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