Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: SW Washington, USA
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree with your assertive approach, for the most part. It works smoothly when drivers (both autos and cyclists) are aware, follow safety rules, and show courtesy. John Forrester has summed it up best in "Effective Cycling
"; I've been riding by that philosophy long before I heard of him, and I've only been hit once
You've got to be flexible, one of the rules of the road for any vehicle is "The Right of Way cannot be claimed, it can only be yielded." For that reason, a mirror is essential. Claim the lane assertively until the RV approaching from behind demonstrates that they're not worried about your safety. But if there's a bike lane (on the road) or wide enough shoulder, it makes no sense to invite confrontation by riding in the 'fast' lane. Where there's no shoulder, you have every right to the lane.
As for the Pacific Coast, here's three observations to consider:
1) Motorists typically respect cycling tourers more than day-riders.
2) A motorist's treatment of a cyclists depends mostly on the actions of the last 2 or 3 he passed.
3) The PCH in the summers is chock-full of RV's. These guys are maneuvering a behemoth that they drive only once or twice year. Assume they have no clue where their right fender is.
To reinforce #1 and #2, I respond with a wave or salute when a driver shows safety and courtesy to me. As far as #3, I've got my eye on my mirror and I'm ready to bail.
Have a great ride!