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  1. #1
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    Trike specific road safety, concern

    My worst fear was realized yesterday while on a random road ride as I was climbing a rather steep section of road, very slowly, coming over a blind hill. A couple of vehicles met at the same moment as one was illegally passing me and nearly caused an accident. Unfortunate to say, but this condition exists several times no matter which way I leave the house. Overall I would call the area very conducive to trike riding, especially during the week days, but there is no way around my being met with this exact issue time and time again with either of the routes I use to leave.
    My trike is flagged and I use blinkies. I always wear a brightly colored shirt while riding the bent on the road. At the time I was climbing I was practically in the ditch, but there was no shoulder to "retreat" to. I have been met with mostly positive experience with drivers on the road so far but have to admit I was a bit shaken by the encounter.

    Is it one of those grit your teeth and hold on deals you just get "used to"?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I doubt if I would ever get used to riding on truly dangerous roads with a trike. I've tried riding a few times on lightly traveled rural parts of my own state and in Utah and decided I would never do a long distance trip on any of those roads. Riding between a campground and a fishing lake was bad enough. It was just too nerve wracking. I've even seen a few large bicycle tour groups use the same roads in Utah but they were followed by a sag wagon that would prevent motorists from coming up behind the group and unexpectedly coming upon them. I pick and choose my roads carefully at home. Luckily there are multiple ways to get from one place to another and it is just not worth riding the worst of them.

  3. #3
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Take the lane if it's not safe to share the lane. If it's obvious they need to slow down, they will. Hugging the white line isn't safe, regardless of what you're riding.

    I doubt it was illegal for a car to pass you. Most (maybe all) states allow cars to pass bicycles in the presence of a double yellow line. However, they must do so safely. It sounds like the driver you encountered wasn't being safe.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    The car illegally passing you on a hill, in a place where the driver couldn't have possibly seen if the way ahead was clear, had nothing to do with being low or on a trike. It had to do with the driver being impatient enough to put your life at risk in order to save a few seconds. It's something that all of us have to live with, but never get used to.

  5. #5
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    Take the lane if it's not safe to share the lane. If it's obvious they need to slow down, they will. Hugging the white line isn't safe, regardless of what you're riding.

    I doubt it was illegal for a car to pass you. Most (maybe all) states allow cars to pass bicycles in the presence of a double yellow line. However, they must do so safely. It sounds like the driver you encountered wasn't being safe.

    I am NEVER a fan of "take the lane". The law states that you ride as far right as is safe and practical. Had I been an inch further over I would have been involved in a very messy front seat to a head on collision beside and above me.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
    I am NEVER a fan of "take the lane". The law states that you ride as far right as is safe and practical. Had I been an inch further over I would have been involved in a very messy front seat to a head on collision beside and above me.
    We'll just have to disagree then. I have fewer close passes when I'm controlling the lane, and it's legal for me to do so when required for my safety. Personally, I wouldn't ride on the road you describe if my only option was to hug the white line.
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
    I am NEVER a fan of "take the lane". The law states that you ride as far right as is safe and practical. Had I been an inch further over I would have been involved in a very messy front seat to a head on collision beside and above me.
    Statistics bear out that taking the lane prevents most of those improper passes in the first place. People who are afraid of traffic and hug the fog line end up creating their own reality because their actions actually encourage cars to pass them closely. I take the lane where appropriate and I rarely get passed closely.

    My state's laws (Michigan) specifically allow me to take the full lane anytime it's not wide enough to safely share; which is most of the time.

  8. #8
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
    I am NEVER a fan of "take the lane". The law states that you ride as far right as is safe and practical. Had I been an inch further over I would have been involved in a very messy front seat to a head on collision beside and above me.
    I agree with chandltp and others: If the road isn't wide enough to be passed with the other car staying in the same lane, then I ride so (s)he has to cross the double yellow line (or whatever) in order to pass. This doesn't necessarily mean saying that I ride in the middle of the lane, but far enough over. This violates neither the spirit nor the letter of the state law.

    As for your conclusion, in general, I'll disagree. On windy roads, by riding where they would have to cross over, I find cars are less likely to try and do something stupid. If they do regardless, at least you have space to move out of their way (where as if you're hugging the white line, you're out of space).

    On windy roads where I can see it's not safe to pass, I'll gesture this to the cars behind me (I'll stick out my left arm with palm toward them and shake my head no). Yes, they are free to disregard this, but I find that almost all cars wait when I do this.

    For whatever it's worth, I don't think this is a trike issue, or even a 'bent issue (although I agree that many trikes are lower and need to take more care to be visible).
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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  9. #9
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    It's gonna happen, trike or not, hill or not, taking the lane or not.

    Last year I was in a flat section and had just rounded a corner, taking the lane to try and influence car drivers to only overtake when they can safely do so in an open oncoming lane. Well a truck blew around me and despite the fact that there was perfect visibility around the corner he passed around wide completely into the oncoming lane, as he should of but there was an car coming. Coming very close and this dude not only passed me but STAYED in the left lane as I watched the oncoming car squeal his brakes and have to jink hard to HIS left right into MY lane. I watched from the ditch I pulled into as the car and truck passed each other on the wrong sides and the truck just sort of meandered back into the right lane about 100 feet later. Luckily the "ditch" was extremely shallow and mowed lawn so I didn't lose control and could exit quickly.

    It happens, a LOT. Just keep your whits about you and watch out like a hawk, keep the lane as much as possible so that you DO have somewhere to go to, don't allow yourself to be pinned against the curb.

    Ride safe friend!

  10. #10
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    I always try to ride about 6" to 1' from the white line in order to get out of the debris and to leave myself a bit of wiggle room in a situation like this. I feel that is safe and practical in most situations. The reason I was on the ditch in the first place was because it was evident in my rear view that the guy wasn't going to leave room for the three of us. Had I stayed where I was the guy would have swiped me as he realized the car was there. It was one of those one in a million situations that could happen any time we ride...it just DID this time.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    The Law states you must stay to the right and NOT take the lane if the traffic is moving FASTER than you on your Human powered vehicle.

    You may only 'take the lane' IF you can keep up with traffic flow..


    Besides with people texting I will not take any lane, and I am not on a low tadpole flagged or not....
    Scott Spark 760, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  12. #12
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    In the US, the law is different in every state. That being said

    Quote Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
    The Law states you must stay to the right and NOT take the lane if the traffic is moving FASTER than you on your Human powered vehicle.
    Wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
    You may only 'take the lane' IF you can keep up with traffic flow..
    Nope.

    Your interpretation would be deadly.

    IF it is not safe for a car and you to occupy the same lane, you should just let yourself get run over?

    Quote Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
    Besides with people texting I will not take any lane, and I am not on a low tadpole flagged or not....


    So you think that texters won't hit you because your at the side of the road? Part of lane position is for making yourself more visible. On curvy roads, sitting at the edge can be a great way to get hit by ​"texters".

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  13. #13
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    Cplager I'm digging for where I got that, It is 'Miss Worded', my bad.

    http://www.transitmiami.com/fdot/tak...a-bicycle-laws
    Scott Spark 760, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  14. #14
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    In Illinois the law states that cyclists must ride as close and practicable as safe to the right hand curve or edge of roadway, except under certain conditions. If you are in the middle of the lane it will all depend on how the LEO interrupts the law if you get a ticket or not. http://www.isp.state.il.us/docs/5-035.pdf
    RANS Xstream | RANS V3 Ti | Catrike Speed | RANS Alterra 700 | RANS Dynamik Duo

  15. #15
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    You take a lane down here your hit,
    You move to the right they miss you by inches,

    A bike lane,, Pfft,, I jumped out of one and onto a sidewalk once with no time to spare..

    I have to say My Interpretation has kept me alive so far, never been hit yet, I will stay to the right XD
    Scott Spark 760, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  16. #16
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    OP, everyone has roads that they choose Not to ride on.

    You found one.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  17. #17
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
    Cplager I'm digging for where I got that, It is 'Miss Worded', my bad.

    http://www.transitmiami.com/fdot/tak...a-bicycle-laws
    That's a nice link that describes the law in Florida. From that link they describe when you can "take the lane":

    3. When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition, including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, or substandard-width lane, that makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge
    .

    Where they go out of their way to explain substandard width:

    For the purposes of this subsection, a “substandard-width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
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  18. #18
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
    I am NEVER a fan of "take the lane". The law states that you ride as far right as is safe and practical. Had I been an inch further over I would have been involved in a very messy front seat to a head on collision beside and above me.
    Where you were wasn't safe, and was hardly practical. Taking the lane forces a full lane-switch by drivers, something that driver probably would have thought twice about. Hugging the line invites drivers to try to squeeze by.
    Craig in Indy

  19. #19
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
    You take a lane down here your hit,
    You move to the right they miss you by inches,

    A bike lane,, Pfft,, I jumped out of one and onto a sidewalk once with no time to spare..

    I have to say My Interpretation has kept me alive so far, never been hit yet, I will stay to the right XD
    Yes, but in Florida, you can be taken out even when you're on a sidewalk. There are no repercussions unless the driver is drunk.

  20. #20
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
    . . . .

    Is it one of those grit your teeth and hold on deals you just get "used to"?
    For years I had similar experiences but after learning some traffic practices the incidence of potential serious problems is way, way down. You may find this interesting and instructive.

    http://bicyclesafe.com/

    For what it may be worth, even though I use my lane position to give other road users an indication of whether or not the lane is wide enough for safe sharing and strongly advocate the practice, if my speed were low enough I could well have been found in the same unhappy position you were.
    George
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  21. #21
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    Got my Bran spankin new NightRider Lumina 550 Headlight,, Going out at 5 AM tomorrow XD

    My 'Pair' of CatEye 150 candle power triple LED lights we not cutting it..
    The Lumina 550 on medium puts out 250 Lumens I think,, should be plenty.
    http://www.niterider.com/performance...50-bike-light/

    On a walk test the Lumina on low put out about 10 times the light of BOTH of the CatEyes, they had a total of 300 candlepower..
    Two different ratings I know, my best estimated comparison would be,
    the Twin CatEyes put out about 20 Lumens, maybe 30..
    Last edited by osco53; 09-13-13 at 02:19 PM.
    Scott Spark 760, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  22. #22
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    Just as a follow up....

    After reading advice given in this thread and having been following a couple of triking journals on CGOAB I decided to take a more "aggressive" (possessive?) stance on my place in the lane. Instead of hugging the line I have been riding out in the right tire track about a foot off the line at most times when there is no (wide) shoulder present. I have noted in the couple of rides I have done this that cars are more prone to slow down behind me and wait to pass rather than trying to squeeze by (as was mentioned I believe). Even the route that prompted me to start the thread was much less stressful, along with the alternate route to/from my neighborhood.

    Thanks for the tip
    One Foot Less

  23. #23
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
    Just as a follow up....

    After reading advice given in this thread and having been following a couple of triking journals on CGOAB I decided to take a more "aggressive" (possessive?) stance on my place in the lane. Instead of hugging the line I have been riding out in the right tire track about a foot off the line at most times when there is no (wide) shoulder present. I have noted in the couple of rides I have done this that cars are more prone to slow down behind me and wait to pass rather than trying to squeeze by (as was mentioned I believe). Even the route that prompted me to start the thread was much less stressful, along with the alternate route to/from my neighborhood.

    Thanks for the tip
    Thanks for the report. Ride safe.
    http://Charles.Plager.net
    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

  24. #24
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    I'm relatively new to trike riding, but here are my observations so far:

    Recumbents are novelty out here in central Texas, and a motorists generally give me a very wide berth as they think that I take up more space than I really do. That's a good thing!

    But, I suspect that motorists (as well as serious cyclists), see me and think that I'm somehow handicapped. Some motorists think that I shouldn't be on their road (go to YouTube and search for "Recumbent Has A Close Encounter With A Cement Truck" - I posted that yesterday.

    Living in Sun City, I have to deal with more elderly motorists and golf cart drivers who leave their turn signals on, don't wait their turn at intersections, etc. and I get advice/grief from them who insist that I should have a flag on my trike. I do fly a flag, but only to appease my wife. My view is that if a motorist can't see me without a flag, they're not going to see me with one.

    But then, I have to consider the possibility of being in an accident - not having a flag my be construed by investigating police as a contributing factor, especially if the motorist claims he/she didn't see me. So, there it is. But at least I can sport a little attitude - I live in Texas, but was born in Mexico, so I fly a Mexican flag! AARRIIBAAAA!!!!
    Glass Knees

  25. #25
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iambent View Post
    In Illinois the law states that cyclists must ride as close and practicable as safe to the right hand curve or edge of roadway, except under certain conditions. If you are in the middle of the lane it will all depend on how the LEO interrupts the law if you get a ticket or not. http://www.isp.state.il.us/docs/5-035.pdf
    No problems with LEO's around here. Once my daughter took the lane on her lowracer and was followed by a cop for about 3/4 mile before she turned off. Pretty nice as no one wanted to pass the cop and the cop wasn't going to cross the double yellow. If you're not feeling safe with FRAP, you can take the lane.
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

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