- Four lane road with bike lanes (northbound Regents Rd north of La Jolla Village Drive, between Regents Park Row and Executive Drive).
- Because fstd (faster same-direction traffic) is present, and I'm between intersections, I'm riding in in the margin (which happens to be demarcated as a bike lane).
- Approaching a midblock intersection with a driveway to a large condo/apartment complex.
- The fstd passing me is comprised of a sedan, then a pickup, then a van. The sedan and pickup have already passed me, and the van has just started passing me.
Then the following happens:
- I notice the sedan up ahead starting to slow. I stop pedaling.
- I notice the pickup and van start to slow too, but the van is still going faster than me, and is continuing to pass me.
- The sedan has now turned right across the bike lane into the apartment complex driveway (it never merged into the bike lane).
- The pickup starts accelerating and the van stops slowing, but at this point I'm even with the back of the van and my coasting alone is causing me to pass it. Out of habit I resist a strong tempation to start pedaling, because I've habitualized myself to avoid passing on the right.
- I feather the brakes just enough to keep from passing the van.
- We're all still moving forward and by this time the van, which I am following a couple of feet back and off to the side, has reached the driveway where the sedan turned, and now it too suddenly and much to my surprise turns into it too.
Did my adoption of the VC best practice to avoid passing on the right as an ingrained habit save me from being right hooked? Maybe. Maybe not. If I had really accelerated I might have passed him before he turned right without him even noticing me. But then, I had no way of knowing the pickup was not turning, and if it had been, and I had passed on the right, that could have been bad too.
The way I stopped pedaling in (1) above, as soon as I noticed the sedan 3 cars ahead slowing, was totally subconscious. By that I mean I did it before I realized what I was doing and why. From what I observe in other cyclists, I don't think many others would have done that.
Anyway, I just wanted to share a first hand experience of avoiding a crash thanks to internalizing VC best practices into my traffic cycling habits.
When passing on the right, be slow and very careful, and avoid doing it altogether anywhere where there is some place for motorists to turn right, including a harmless looking apartment driveway.