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View Poll Results: should competent cyclists ride safely right to share the road with faster traffic?
yes 13 86.67%
no 2 13.33%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-15-10, 08:31 AM   #1
Bekologist
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should vehicular cyclists ride safely right?

Should competent vehicular cyclists choose ANY lane position regardless of the width of a lane or road,

or should competent vehicular cyclists ride safely right to share the road with faster traffic?

(this does not imply 'curbhugging'. standards about shareable width vs substandard width lane provisions apply.)
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Old 08-15-10, 08:23 PM   #2
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I voted 'no' because it's a trick question. Sharing the road always has to involve give and take and a competent cyclist always chooses the correct lane position (rather than 'any lane position') for a given situation. Sharing is not a thing any road user can do at all times. There are times when every vehicle has to take control of the lane for the very reason that it's safer to do so for everyone involved. If I ride right in a left turn or straight-ahead situation at an intersection, I am not acting safely. In the former instance I am acting illegally, while in the latter instance I may even be needlessly denying vehicles access to a right turn when it would be better for everyone if I took the central or left part of the lane and let cars through on the right.

The question's bias is shown by asking the same question in respect to automobiles: "Should competent automobile drivers drive safely left to share the road with slower traffic?" The question forces people who answer 'yes' to accept a more confining definition of safe and competent driving (presumably laying a trap to allow a straw man argument in response), while the question attempts, by its wording, to make a 'no' answer look selfish.

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Old 08-15-10, 09:10 PM   #3
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oh, i'd disagree it's a trick question. you're affirming the parameters.

if it's not safe, you object. i agree with you.

safely right.
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Old 08-15-10, 09:32 PM   #4
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Yep, safely is the key word. I voted yes.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 08-30-10, 02:22 PM   #5
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Approaching intersections, I position myself according to my destination.

Between intersections, I ride no farther to the left than is necessary to achieve an acceptable level of safety and visibility.

The optimal road position varies dynamically in space and time in relation to destination, speed, speed differential with other vehicles, traffic density, lane width, sightlines, the need to pass other vehicles or obstructions, the presence of parked vehicles, and roadway surface conditions. There is no single, unvarying, safe path through traffic that can be delineated by static markings on the pavement.
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Old 08-30-10, 02:48 PM   #6
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In other posts you have proven yourself capable of good writing. Why the awkward wording here?

Should competent cyclists share the lane when doing so is safe?
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Old 08-31-10, 07:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
In other posts you have proven yourself capable of good writing. Why the awkward wording here?

Should competent cyclists share the lane when doing so is safe?
You're right. Slammed it out on my way out the door yesterday. Not my best work.

Of course cyclists may share a lane when it is safe to do so. Why would you believe otherwise? I'm not sure I qualify as being "competent" according to your definition of the word, but I share wide outside lanes every day during my comings and goings. I wish there were more such lanes to reduce the friction between cyclists and motorists. I enjoy riding my bike more when my safety does not require that I become an obstacle in someone's path. Needlessly obstructing traffic is a game enjoyed by sociopaths, not by vehicular cyclists.

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Old 08-31-10, 07:38 AM   #8
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i agree with high roller -

needlessly obstructing traffic is sociopathic cycling not vehicular cycling.
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Old 08-31-10, 08:46 AM   #9
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i agree with high roller -
We should probably mark this date on our calendars.

Maybe we should frame the argument not in terms of how far RIGHT we should be riding, but on how far LEFT. In my case, it's never farther left than is necessary to achieve an acceptable level of safety and visibility.

Sometimes that's centerish, when I'm riding in a narrow lane that would be suicide to share. Sometimes it's far left, when I'm trying to get on someone's radar who's pulling out of a driveway on the right. Sometimes it's closer to the edge, when the outside lane is wide enough to accomodate it. And sometimes it's even in a bike lane, when it's not in the door zone or full of glass, as so often is the case around here.
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Old 08-31-10, 08:51 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by High Roller View Post
We should probably mark this date on our calendars.

Maybe we should frame the argument not in terms of how far RIGHT we should be riding, but on how far LEFT. In my case, it's never farther left than is necessary to achieve an acceptable level of safety and visibility.

Sometimes that's centerish, when I'm riding in a narrow lane that would be suicide to share. Sometimes it's far left, when I'm trying to get on someone's radar who's pulling out of a driveway on the right. Sometimes it's closer to the edge, when the outside lane is wide enough to accomodate it. And sometimes it's even in a bike lane, when it's not in the door zone or full of glass, as so often is the case around here.
Yeah, I'd say we should mark the date!

when high roller says "no further left than is necessary" he's also saying "as far right as is practicable"

His nontraditional framing of this vehicular bicycling principle is spelled out differently in state traffic code.

"As far right as practicable" is the standard wording of that road positioning rule as spelled out in state traffic codes, wether bike specific or not.

high roller, would you want cyclists to have explicit rights to claim even a wide lane for safety reasons like debris, etc?

Last edited by Bekologist; 08-31-10 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 08-31-10, 09:48 AM   #11
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Oh goodie, another Helmet Head poll!

wait, what?
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Old 08-31-10, 09:56 AM   #12
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chipcom, explain your problem with the wording of the question,

"should cyclists ride safely right to share the road with faster traffic"?

Please, explain your derision.

the question is about as basic as it comes, as are the multiple choices. Maybe the answers are what is throwing you?
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Old 08-31-10, 11:29 AM   #13
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No, I just have a hard time distinguishing between you and HH anymore.
I sometimes think that you were and still are two personalities (there could be more in there, for all I know) of the same person.
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"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
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Old 08-31-10, 11:33 AM   #14
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...that sounds like senility.

I just like keeping a dialogue in here, focused on what's important. with the debate raging about the Texas reckless rider fiasco, i thought a VC based poll on how to share the road was in order.

seems so far that an uncompromising 'I own a lane of this road' is not coming out the sensible choice.
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Old 08-31-10, 11:43 AM   #15
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high roller, would you want cyclists to have explicit rights to claim even a wide lane for safety reasons like debris, etc?
Of course. But if by "explicit" you mean via a law written specifically to govern cyclists' position within a lane, then the answer is no. If the state defines bicycles as vehicles, then we already have the right to occupy any part of a lane that we deem necessary. I as an individual cyclist should determine where "no further left than is necessary" is, and accomodate faster traffic on a voluntary basis when my safety needs have been met. Laws targeted specifically to a minority inevitably lead to discrimination and loss of equal rights. Societies have a pretty dismal track record when it comes to legislating morality, cooperation, and common decency.

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Old 08-31-10, 11:44 AM   #16
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Should competent drivers, when practical and safe, position themselves on the right side of the roadway to share the road with faster traffic?

yes
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Old 08-31-10, 11:51 AM   #17
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traffic should always be on the right SIDE of the roadway. absolutely. where does the sharing come into play, and how?

left lane line fever, or sharing by riding safely right?
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Old 08-31-10, 11:57 AM   #18
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What do you mean by 'safely right' safely correctly?
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Old 08-31-10, 11:59 AM   #19
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al, like the language of slow moving vehicle laws common to most states. safely right to share the road. how does Arizona's go, as far right as practicable on single lane and unlaned roads?

you don't understand how to operate a bicycle as far to the right as is safe to share the road???

This shouldn't be a foreign concept to any bicyclist.
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Old 08-31-10, 12:06 PM   #20
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right of what? AZ law defines where using a reference - including 'edge of roadway' or 'curb' or 'right-hand lane then available'. your poll and questions just say right which makes no sense.
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Old 08-31-10, 12:09 PM   #21
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oood grief and good luck with all that.
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Old 08-31-10, 12:09 PM   #22
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Some people will never get it through their heads that when it comes to cycling legislation, less is more.
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Old 08-31-10, 12:09 PM   #23
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An example of "safely right" on my commute this morning:

I was coming down a hill, single lane in each direction (no shoulder), approaching a Stop sign, reasonable chance of oncoming traffic coming from the intersection, car back. I took the middle of the lane until just before the intersection, when I signaled and took the right turn lane. Basically, though, "safely right" meant taking the lane.

After making the turn, long straightaway with good visibility, and a dashed center yellow on a road with one lane in each direction, still no shoulder. I started in the center of the lane. As the two cars behind me passed me by moving all the way over into the oncoming lane, I took the right tire track to give myself even more room.

About a half mile later, approaching a blind curve just before a Stop sign, car approaching from behind, I again took the middle of the lane. The car kept back a respectful distance. After the Stop sign, we both turned right onto a multi-lane road. I took the right tire track of the right lane (debris near the curb); the car passed me in the left lane.

Managing the oncoming cars with lane positioning = good.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 08-31-10, 12:23 PM   #24
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I
am
safe
legal
practical
courteous
advantageous
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Old 08-31-10, 12:26 PM   #25
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ride
safely right
to
safely share
road
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