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Old 04-01-15, 05:59 PM   #1
BROOKLINEBIKER
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Safe riding with a child in a trailer

Hi,
I am writing for your recommendations on safe and legal riding practices. I own a Burley Bee trailer and ride my 2.75 year old to preschool in it on a daily basis at rush hour. I use mostly narrow non-main roads with no shoulders, residual snow, and a fair amount of speedy motorists. I tried riding to the right edge of the road and used to get a lot of close passes from automobiles. I then tried riding in the center of the lane. This seemed safer but generated some hostility from motorists. A local police officer pulled me over yesterday and said that whatever the legalities, "common sense" dictated that I should ride as close to the side of the road as possible to avoid accident. What do you all recommend?
Thank you!
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Old 04-01-15, 06:02 PM   #2
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He is Wrong...Take the Lane.
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Old 04-02-15, 07:29 AM   #3
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Taking the lane is safer, but you may alienate a lot of your neighbors....

Interestingly, all my close calls through the years have been on single upright bikes without a trailer. Whenever I have towed a trailer (Burley or BOB), or been on a tandem or recumbent, drivers seem to slow down a bit and give me a wider clearance. Just my experience.
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Old 04-03-15, 05:36 AM   #4
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How speedy are you referring? In residential areas with speeds of 25-35mph, I will take the lane in narrow curvy areas. I feel this is safest for everyone. I also transported preschool most of last year with my bike and a WeeHoo attached. The last stretch to our school (about 1.5 miles) is very narrow and curvy. One of our local police officers noticed that I rode often and was typically in the area when I got close to the school. Without asking he started following us, helped tremendously. Also started a goodwill type of relationship and I have on a few occasions worked with the department on helping educate the locals on bike safety!
A side note, I also try to leave a little early to miss the stampede of the school traffic. Usually 3-4 minutes after I arrive the constant busy flow of the school traffic starts. Trying to think of the situation from all sides
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Old 04-03-15, 06:38 AM   #5
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Since I have recently started to ride on the road again after getting hit, I am much more engaged with drivers approaching from the rear. I take the lane on blind hills and curves and will "hold" cars approaching from the rear with a combination of being in the lane and using hand signals if it is not safe for them to pass at that moment. When it is safe, I move back to the right and wave them by. I feel that they get the sense that I am plugged in and actually assisting with getting them on their way. I always try leave some space for an out if they decide to pass anyway and work hard to not get myself pinched or boxed in without an escape route. This means that I will actually slow down and time passing vehicles if I need to if there is a narrow bridge or guardrail sections coming up. In the past, I would mindlessly plow on and let the person driving the vehicle decide when and how to pass. My rides are much better and more safe now!
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Old 05-12-15, 10:42 AM   #6
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Take the lane where you need to and when there's insufficient space. I take the full lane of roundabouts but, when there's lots of space, I keep to the side.
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Old 05-12-15, 01:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikedLemon View Post
Take the lane where you need to and when there's insufficient space. I take the full lane of roundabouts but, when there's lots of space, I keep to the side.
Thanks SpikedLemon!
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