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  1. #26
    Senior Member ianbrettcooper's Avatar
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    Firstly, I try never to use the shoulder. The shoulder is about as safe as cycling on the sidewalk - in other words, very unsafe.

    About the only times I don't take the lane are when I want to clear the road behind me for some reason, or when the lane is very wide so that cars can pass safely within the same lane. In every other situation, I try to use up enough of the road so that cars can't pass within the same lane.
    1997 Jamis Aragon (converted to touring bike), two white 1974 Gazelle-built Raleigh Grands Prix, two red 1973 Gazelle-built Raleigh Grands Prix.

    All I need is a bike and a road, and to be left with the same freedom any other road user has to decide what's the safest lane position.

  2. #27
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    I take the lane when, all things considered, that seems like the safest option. For me, the things considered include:

    • presence or absence of marked bike lane or good shoulder
    • lane width
    • obstacles in far right of lane
    • traffic speed and frequency
    • my own speed
    • density of intersections
    • intended turns
    • optional routing

    In short, nothing fancy.
    George
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  3. #28
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    I don't 'take the lane' when it safe to move right to facilitate passing by drivers traveling faster than me.

  4. #29
    Godfather of Soul SBRDude's Avatar
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    To get in and out of my neighborhood, I ride on a similar road every time, with the exception that it might be hillier and it doesn't have a proper shoulder - just a white line next to the edge of the pavement. I generally ride about 18 to 24 inches from the edge. When I'm going faster, especially through a corner, I will check for traffic behind me and then take more of the lane. When I'm riding slower, I try to stay further to the right. This stretch is only for about 1.5 miles. Whenever I am slowing down a car, it's never for very long and they have an opportunity to pass in short order. This kind of give and take works very well. I don't consider it an unsafe place to ride, but whenever I talk with someone in my neighborhood about riding on this street, they always assume it's unsafe. I even thought it might be unsafe before actually riding on it, so I guess that speaks to the difference in perception between being a motorist and cyclist on the same road.

  5. #30
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianbrettcooper View Post
    My default philosophy is this: if in doubt, go to the centre of the rightmost lane.
    Quote Originally Posted by ianbrettcooper View Post
    Regarding overtaking cars and trucks, I always try to ride so that they have to move. Whether they change lanes to do it is up to them, and the usual situation that develops in the real world is what leads me to refer to them as "f***ers" or (if I'm feeling less profane) "nutcases" LOL.
    Quote Originally Posted by ianbrettcooper View Post
    Anyone who rides 1 to 2 feet from the right is asking to be sideswiped or right hooked. Statistics show that drivers either don't see, or think they can ignore, cyclists who ride so far to the right. They hit such cyclists all the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by ianbrettcooper View Post
    Firstly, I try never to use the shoulder. The shoulder is about as safe as cycling on the sidewalk - in other words, very unsafe.

    About the only times I don't take the lane are when I want to clear the road behind me for some reason, or when the lane is very wide so that cars can pass safely within the same lane. In every other situation, I try to use up enough of the road so that cars can't pass within the same lane.
    Can this poster, or anybody else, post a specific source for the alleged "Statistics" that support statements/boasts that taking a lane (especially a default policy of riding in the center of a lane) is safer than riding 1 to 2 feet inside the rightlane or using an available highway shoulder?

  6. #31
    Godfather of Soul SBRDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianbrettcooper View Post
    Firstly, I try never to use the shoulder. The shoulder is about as safe as cycling on the sidewalk - in other words, very unsafe.

    About the only times I don't take the lane are when I want to clear the road behind me for some reason, or when the lane is very wide so that cars can pass safely within the same lane. In every other situation, I try to use up enough of the road so that cars can't pass within the same lane.
    What about with higher speed traffic? Still take the lane when cars are going 50 to 60 mph and there is a 12 foot shoulder? If so, what would be the point? If not, then where to you draw the line?

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Can this poster, or anybody else, post a specific source for the alleged "Statistics" that support statements/boasts that taking a lane (especially a default policy of riding in the center of a lane) is safer than riding 1 to 2 feet inside the rightlane or using an available highway shoulder?
    There has never, to my knowledge, been a study specifically of this point. However, the general car-bike collision statistics (the Cross study) show that a great many more car-bike collisions are associated with cycling close to the edge of the roadway than are associated with, or reasonably caused by, taking the lane.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    There has never, to my knowledge, been a study specifically of this point. However, the general car-bike collision statistics (the Cross study) show that a great many more car-bike collisions are associated with cycling close to the edge of the roadway than are associated with, or reasonably caused by, taking the lane.
    This, of course, is because, the vast majority of cyclists ride close to the edge of the roadway. The vast majority of cyclists in accidents are also wearing clothes too (and that doesn't mean cycling naked is safer).

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    This, of course, is because, the vast majority of cyclists ride close to the edge of the roadway. The vast majority of cyclists in accidents are also wearing clothes too (and that doesn't mean cycling naked is safer).
    Not quite. Note that I was cautious about cause and effect, because we don't know, but there is a difference between car-bike collisions that would be definitely caused by taking the lane and those whose causes are most likely to be aggravated by riding close to the edge. For an obvious example, the motorist improper right turn car-bike collision type is far more likely to be associated with riding close to the edge than to be associated with taking the lane.

  10. #35
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBRDude View Post
    What about with higher speed traffic? Still take the lane when cars are going 50 to 60 mph and there is a 12 foot shoulder? If so, what would be the point? If not, then where to you draw the line?
    definetly valid questions for the original poster. especially because even the grandfather of vehicular bike operation will use a well provided and safe for use shoulder as a vehikular cyclist without exhibiting an inferiority syndrome.....

    EVERY traffic savvy bicyclist - while not blowing smoke on the internet - recognizes the value of ample shoulders along high speed roadways.



    i'm betting on 'boast'.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 09-17-11 at 08:54 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    definetly valid questions for the original poster. especially because even the grandfather of vehicular bike operation will use a well provided and safe for use shoulder as a vehikular cyclist without exhibiting an inferiority syndrome.....

    EVERY traffic savvy bicyclist - while not blowing smoke on the internet - recognizes the value of ample shoulders along high speed roadways.




    i'm betting on 'boast'.
    Bek, you have always been fixated on the idea that the use of particular kinds of facilities demonstrates something important about the cyclist. For instance, you have long argued that the use of a bike lane is contrary to vehicular cycling principles. I don't know whether or not you have given up that argument; you may have. The more reasonable principle, which I have always stated, is that the cyclist should always obey the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles, which obedience will sometimes put him into the bike lane and sometimes outside it. In the present discussion, the use of a shoulder does not demonstrate either cyclist-inferiority or vehicular-cycling motivation. What is important is the actual motivation and its effect. The cyclist who is motivated by cyclist-inferiority will ride the shoulder right up alongside motor traffic that is turning right, while the cyclist who is motivated by vehicular-cycling will then leave the shoulder to ride with the straight-through traffic. What is important is the motivation of the cyclist and the effect of that motivation upon his behavior, not what kind of facility that cyclist is using at this particular moment.

  12. #37
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    no, i do not feel riding in bikelanes automatically contradict operation of bicycles in a vehicular manner, but that is neither here nor there. glad to see john makes some concession that vehicular cyclists can indeed ride in bikelanes and do so vehicularly..... that is my contention as well.

    we are in agreement on this, john.

    in a discussion of Ian's boast to never operate on the shoulders -

    as a counterpoint - a cyclist who refuses to ride to safely right and in accordance with vehicular cycling principles exhibits a clear cut case of cyclist inferiority syndrome.

    ian's purported riding style is exemplary of a certain, peculiar variant of 'cyclist inferiority' syndrome.

    and if the line of traffic is long enough, a vehicular cyclist CAN advance along stopped cars to the right of them, especially if on a safe shoulder or in a clear and safe roadway bikelane./...... this use of a bikelane to the right of stopped cars, since it is a separate traffic lane, does not contradict vehicular operation.

    EVERY traffic savvy bicyclist recognizes the value of ample shoulders along high speed roadways.

    QED.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 09-18-11 at 11:29 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  13. #38
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    . . . . EVERY traffic savvy bicyclist recognizes the value of ample shoulders along high speed roadways . . .
    And, I would hope, the value of extra caution when riding the shoulder in an area with many intersections or driveways.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  14. #39
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    yes, and most high speed roadways with shoulders have limited numbers of both of those.

    i was evoking rural shoulders on state highways, not your local 40mph strip mall zone.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker
    This, of course, is because, the vast majority of cyclists ride close to the edge of the roadway. The vast majority of cyclists in accidents are also wearing clothes too (and that doesn't mean cycling naked is safer).
    Not quite. Note that I was cautious about cause and effect, because we don't know,
    I probably should not have used the word "because" (I was talking about correlation not causation).

    Riding at the right is, sometimes, a causal element of a collision. Regardless, all cycling collisions are going to be strongly correlated with riding at the right since that's where cyclists are in an overwhelming frequency.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    but there is a difference between car-bike collisions that would be definitely caused by taking the lane and those whose causes are most likely to be aggravated by riding close to the edge. For an obvious example, the motorist improper right turn car-bike collision type is far more likely to be associated with riding close to the edge than to be associated with taking the lane.
    Yes. As I said earlier, there are situations where taking the lane might be safer and other situations where it might not be.

    It's the notion that one or the other is always safer that I object to.

    Riders need to know more than simple lane positioning to make the right (ie, safest) choice!
    Last edited by njkayaker; 09-20-11 at 10:00 AM.

  16. #41
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I take the lane by default, unless it is more than 14' wide. I cede the lane if traffic is behind me and by doing so I can facilitate a safe pass. I'd rather be out in the lane and give it up (a gesture of good will), than ride the shoulder and veer into the lane due to debris. For cars approaching from behind the way I ride, it's

    , then

    If I rode the other way, drivers would be

    , then

    By the time they pass me I want them to be
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    I take the lane by default, unless it is more than 14' wide. I cede the lane if traffic is behind me and by doing so I can facilitate a safe pass. I'd rather be out in the lane and give it up (a gesture of good will), than ride the shoulder and veer into the lane due to debris. For cars approaching from behind the way I ride, it's

    , then

    If I rode the other way, drivers would be

    , then

    By the time they pass me I want them to be
    I agree. It seems that if I am going to be in the right tire trace when I am passed, if the motorist saw me move from the center of the lane to get there he/she will give me ample room when passing. If they saw me move from the fog line or a disappearing shoulder to the right tire trace, then I will most often be buzzed.

  18. #43
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chalupa102 View Post
    I meant to put a poll with this, but my computer messed up and didn't let me.

    The options where going to be:

    - 2 lane road w/ wide shoulder, I use the shoulder
    - 2 lane road w/ wide shoulder, I take the lane
    - 2 lane road w/ narrow shoulder, I use the shoulder/ride the white line
    - 2 lane road w/ narrow shoulder, I take the lane
    - 4 lane road w/ shoulder, I use the shoulder
    - 4 lane road w/ shoulder, I take the lane
    - If using shoulder, I ride in the middle
    - If using shoulder, I line on/near the white line
    - Other
    The poll doesn't have the option of 'All the time'.

  19. #44
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    If the lane is wide enough to share, share it. If not, own it like you stole it.
    +1

  20. #45
    Resident smartass. Fargo Wolf's Avatar
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    I'll take the lane when and where it's safe to do so. Mostly it's because of being able to ride on "clean" pavement. When I lived in N. Vancouver, BC, I took the lane so I would be in the correct lane to make a turn type thing.

  21. #46
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    I ride on side streets unless there is a bike lane. I take the lane until there is a car approaching from behind, at which point I move over to the right to let them pass (but frustratingly, they often just crawl along tailgating behind even though they have plenty of room to get by).

  22. #47
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    Hello Friend's
    your are right...

    i full agree with you.

  23. #48
    Senior Member loneviking61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    I agree. It seems that if I am going to be in the right tire trace when I am passed, if the motorist saw me move from the center of the lane to get there he/she will give me ample room when passing. If they saw me move from the fog line or a disappearing shoulder to the right tire trace, then I will most often be buzzed.
    That's been my experience as well. I also tend to ride there as where I live there are lots of disappearing shoulders and lane widths that suddenly vary. You don't want to be in the shoulder, or just to the left of the shoulder line and suddenly have it disappear leaving you to either be in the dirt or suddenly have to merge back into traffic!

  24. #49
    Senior Member nerys's Avatar
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    I assume by taking the lane you mean "occupying" it like a car.

    #1 a bicycle is a vehicle and has to adhere to the same basic rules as a car.

    #2 I "take the lane" when it logically makes sense to keep me safer.

    if I am on a multi lane low speed road with an unsafe shoulder I TAKE the right lane that is the safest place for both me and the drivers.

    when I make a left turn and there are no cross walks I TAKE the turn lane as if I am a car. its just safer. if you give the cars room to lane share with you or "split" lanes with you many of them "WILL" and this is a recipe for disaster.

    if a road appears unsafe for both cars and bikes I avoid that road if at all possible. just not worth it :-)

  25. #50
    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    Well said, nerys. When I was younger, and my bicycle was my only vehicle, I would split the lanes between the right turn lane and the straight through lane when going through an intersection (if I had to stop). I would do the same in left turn lanes, basically getting between the cars going straight and the left turning vehicles. At intersections where I was going straight through, and there was a right turn lane (which is most intersections in Tucson, where I lived at the time), I would take the right turn lane and proceed through, to prevent right hooks.

    Now, I take the right through lane when it's feasible, and take the left turn lane. I get in line behind the cars in a left turn lane, unless that would leave in in a more exposed position, but I make it clear to the cars stopped behind that they also have to wait for me to at least clear the intersection.

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