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  1. #1
    Senior Member BikeOnly's Avatar
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    Facebook Page: "Bicyclists Belong in the Traffic Lane"

    I hope it is OK to post this link here - https://www.facebook.com/BicyclistsB...TheTrafficLane

    I have no affiliation with this FB page. A couple of months ago I started following it in my FB newsfeed and have found it is helping me with cycling safety. It seems I have agreed with every post about how to ride and be safe that they have made.

    If you go to their photos and start here - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

    and then page forward in time (left arrow), you will quickly come across about a dozen slides (yellow/green coloring) that illustrate the most dangerous moves vehicles make and how to minimize your risk while cycling.

    For me, the yellow/green slides are very helpful.

    A few questions. Have you seen this page? Do you like it and agree or disagree with the philosophy? Anyone know who created and maintains this page?

    Again, I really like the page. It has given me more confidence riding and is helping me to mitigate my risk. Comments appreciated.

  2. #2
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    I'm not a face-book person, in-fact I'm rather hardened against that particular sight and will probably never have a profile over there just because I intend to be the last one standing on the planet without a face book account, if for no other reason.

    That said, I looked at some of the links you provided. Appears to be a rather strong militant "Always VC, Never Edge Ride" type of sight.

    I personally strong agree with VC style riding in the center of the main traffic lane taking the same lane positions and riding just like I was a motorcycle for low speed roadways, and even high speed rural roads that are narrow but have only light automobile traffic on them. For those situations I do agree that it is the best and safest way to ride and that is how I do ride and I believe so strong in such that on roads with a speed limit of 25-mph or less I absolutely refuse to get over to the right and hold the lane and my line without budging regardless of whether motorists want to get around me or not, and regardless of whether there is a rid-able shoulder edge or not, and quite often regardless of whether there is a bike lane or not since I refuse to use door zone bike lanes under the legal safety exception encoded in the law because such bike lanes are not safe enough to use which is pretty much all there is on such roads.

    BUT, when it comes to high speed highways with lots of automobiles going really fast, I strong prefer to edge ride to the right of the white fog line on a decent width and condition paved shoulder edge completely out of the main traffic lanes.

    My philosophy can pretty much be summed up as "Get IN or get OUT, choose whichever is best for the situation." On low speed roadways especially in stop and go in-town, square-grid traffic patterns it is far safer to "take the lane" and ride IN with the main flow of vehicle traffic in the main traffic lanes the same as I would if I were a motorcycle, and generally I can keep up at those speeds and just as often as not the cars slow me down rather then the other way around. Sometimes when climbing a hill that slows me down to considerably less then my normal pace (I usually push to just a little over 20-mph on the straights in-between breather breaks at the red lights) and there is a rideable shoulder edge outside of the main traffic lane then I will move over for a little while while climbing the hill in order to be a nice guy and I do it as two lane changes complete with hand signals. I treat the shoulder edge to the right of the white line as another lane that I am narrow enough to fit in. Riding like that in those kind of low speed traffic situations gives me both the best safety and the best effective ride to get where I'm going without a bunch of hassle. As far as the safety issue goes most of the danger comes from the sides and front and the danger of being rammed from the rear at speed is minimal so taking the main travel lanes is the best plan since it represents the best balancing of risks to get the lowest overall.

    But on high speed highways with lots of high speed automobile traffic, especially on curvy roads over hill and mountain like we have up here the danger of being rammed from the rear at speed is one of, if not THE, primary dangers and the danger from the front and sides, even right-hooks is minimal compared to riding in-town at slower speeds. In which case I much prefer to choose roads with decent shoulder edges to the right of the white line out of the main traffic lanes that I can use to edge ride on since in those cases riding OUT of the main traffic lanes is the better choice to minimize the over all risks. Now of course that assumes there is a decent paved shoulder edge of sufficient width and surface condition to effectively and safely ride on with a bicycle and stay to the right of the white fog line and completely OUT of the main traffic lane. That is not always the case and when I'm about to run out of room to ride OUT then I start looking for a good break in overtaking traffic in the main lane and then signal and do a lane change maneuver and switch to riding IN the main lane far enough out in it to be clearly visible and clearly indicate that overtaking automobiles need to change lanes to pass me, so even on a high speed highway if conditions do not allow for riding OUT as I prefer on a good shoulder edge then I will default back to riding IN and I will fully "take the lane" while doing so.

    The very last thing you will ever see me do is try to ride half-way in-between those extremes for any notable distance, that's a suicide recipe as far as I am concerned and is an act of exposing yourself to the maximum level of all the potential dangers simultaneously and minimizing none of them and practically begging overtaking motorists to pass you too closely and "slice you up" with the edge of their vehicle making contact with you as they pass within the lane or potentially even worse if its not just a sliding contact but rather and overlap situation.

    Get IN or get OUT don't hesitate between the two. When you change between the two treat it just like a lane change and signal and do a live saver over the shoulder check before moving laterally, especially when your moving back IN to the main traffic lane. Don't do a suicide swerve into the main traffic lane without checking over your shoulder first, thats how some cyclists get themselves killed. I don't care if there is tire grabber slotted storm drain grate at the bottom of a hill just around the edge of a blind corner. You never swerve IN or even OUT without first checking over the appropriate shoulder, if all else fails you stop instead of swerving or even hit the grate, killing the front wheel and going over the handlebars is better then going under the wheels of an automobile due to a "suicide swerve maneuver" IN or OUT of the main traffic lane. If you don't think you have to also be careful about moving OUT onto the shoulder edge, then think again, cars preparing for a right turn from behind you will move over into the shoulder edge and one of them could kill you if you moved OUT without checking before making that lane change.


    In Conclusion:

    ----- If its slow speed traffic (25-mph or less speed limit or speed at which traffic is actually moving whichever is lower, I don't care if motorists don't like it that they can't do 35+ in a 25 zone because I'm in front of them and doing just slightly over 20, they can just cool their britches) especially in-town stop and go traffic grid pattern traffic. I'm going to almost always ride IN the main lanes and "take the lane" and hold it and not give it up just like I was a motorcycle or another car, come hell or high water, and I don't care if there is a ride-able shoulder edge or even official bike lane off to the right of the main traffic lanes, I ain't using it and I'm going to ride IN the main traffic lanes and I'm going to "take the lane". Heck sometimes I even move over into the fast lane to pass slower moving cars !!! About the only exception on such low speed roads is when climbing hills that really slow me down if there is a usable shoulder edge then I'll often be a nice guy and switch OUT until I've climbed the hill but then I'm right back IN as soon as I can safely lane change back IN. It is possible for motorists to harass me into choosing to not be a nice guy and stay IN and hold the main traffic lane even when climbing a hill really slowly where there is a shoulder edge that would allow me to climb the hill riding OUT and be a nice guy, but that's something they have to start. Moral of the story don't harass me to the point where I decide not to be a nice guy otherwise you could get stuck behind me while I climb the next steep hill at only 5-10 mph even though if I wanted too there is sufficient option for me to get over and not hold you up behind me.

    ----- If its high speed traffic (45-mph speed limit or higher) at any noticeable traffic density and not just an occasional car every five minutes or so I strongly prefer to have a nice wide good condition paved shoulder edge to ride on as if it were a bike lane OUT of the main traffic lanes. You have to be a little more watchful for right-hook, left-T-cross, and nose-outs from motorists but the significantly higher speed at which they are driving compared to you as a cyclist actually make most of those incidents a non-issue and you hardly every have to hit your brakes. When motorists pass you on your left side and then make a right turn in front of you like you were standing still or oncoming traffic turns left across your path like you were standing still or entering traffic from the right acts like your standing still and aren't going to reach them before the pull out. If the speed differential is large enough between you as a cyclist and the automobiles so that you practically are standing still compared to them it makes those situations less dangerous then when your going nearly as fast as they are in slower traffic. So the slight increase in that danger is not a bad price to pay for a substantial reduction in the danger of being rammed into from behind by not being in the main traffic lane but rather being to the right of the white fog line completely OUT of the main traffic lane.

    ----- Now if its a high speed roadway and there isn't enough room or any room for that matter to ride OUT then riding IN is really the only sensible solution and trying to stay in the very right edge of the main traffic lane actually puts you in more danger. If your going to get OUT then get OUT all the way, if your going to get IN then get IN all the way and there is a time and a place for each and you be careful and treat it like a lane change looking over your shoulder and yielding to traffic already in the lane your merging over into and waiting for a good safe gap to switch. You never ever, ever "suicide swerve" IN to the main traffic lane from edge riding OUT on the shoulder edge (or a marked bike lane), and you even have to be careful and check over your shoulder when moving OUT since cars behind you preparing for a right hand turn can be over there on the shoulder edge and you don't want to swerve over in front of them either.

    ------ About the only time I ever am half way inbetween those two extremes of either IN or OUT is when I'm riding in the OUT position on the shoulder edge of a busy high speed road and a right-hand turn only lane starts up. In that case when I wish to continue straight through the intersection I don't continue to ride on the shoulder edge where I'd be to the right of the right-hand turn only lane just begging to get myself right-hooked but rather I will often ride in the far left edge of the right hand turn lane with the left edge of my handlebars about even with the road line separating the straight through main traffic lane and the right hand turn lane to strongly indicate my intentions to continue straight through and let right turning car drivers behind me know to move over to the right and go around me on that side so they won't right hook me. I am both very cautious and at the same time very assertive when crossing the point where the right hand turn lane starts to ramp off to the side and am definitely looking over my shoulder making eye contact with the drivers behind me wishing to enter the right hand turn lane and giving them the "wait" hand sign of the open palm until I've crossed the entry part of the right hand turn lane and have firmly established my position in the very left edge of it for me to continue straight through with right turning traffic to the right of me.

    I'm not a strict militant VCer that always takes the middle of the main traffic lane on any road and every road. Once the speed differential gets high enough between me and the cars I prefer to edge ride instead if possible but will only do so if I can be completely out of the main traffic lane and to the right of the white fog line. I will not cower in the right edge of the main traffic lane "asking for it" on close passes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BikeOnly's Avatar
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    Here is what hit my newsfeed from this FB page today. A little humor based on the truth.




    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by BikeOnly; 10-16-13 at 12:36 PM.

  4. #4
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    I agree, and on a road like that with almost no paved shoulder edge to the right of the white fog line I will indeed be riding in the main traffic lane, close to the middle of it and fully "taking the lane" and I don't care if it makes motorists don't like it. I will do what I have to do to stay half way safe and I will not encourage a dangerous close pass by cowering in the right edge of the main traffic lane.


    That said, on high speed roads with a nice wide paved shoulder edge to the right of the white fog line I prefer to ride there, a good example is the first picture in this old post of mine:

    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    On roads where heavy vehicle traffic is moving at speeds in excess of 25-mph and especially if speeds are 45+ mph I would much prefer a road that has a beautiful wide shoulder edge like this to ride on in the "Out" position:






    For in town traffic where speed limits do not exceed 25mph I find it much easier and safer to always ride "IN" or as I call it "ALL IN" and take a center lane position and ride as if I were a motorcycle:





    That post comes from an older thread where I posted a whole lot on my philosophy that is not strictly either VC or edge riding but rather where each technique has its time and place and you either "Get IN or Get OUT". Here is a link to that older thread where I made a bunch of posts with a lot of pictures on this topic, I don't claim to know everything or have yet figured out the very best way to ride a bike in traffic, but this "Get IN or Get OUT" technique is the best I've been able to develop so far and works the best for me:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ed-to-traffic?

  5. #5
    Senior Member hiller's Avatar
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    I need to ask, is this type of riding legal? I live in NJ and, like nearby NYC, people are stressed and almost always rushed. A biker trying to "take a lane" around here would be eaten alive! I've never seen it done by individual bikers except when turning left.
    Bike more, stress less.

  6. #6
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiller View Post
    I need to ask, is this type of riding legal? I live in NJ and, like nearby NYC, people are stressed and almost always rushed. A biker trying to "take a lane" around here would be eaten alive! I've never seen it done by individual bikers except when turning left.
    Yes, its legal in all 50-states and where it has been banned (or bicycles banned from the road period) those bans have fallen under U.S. Constitutional "freedom to travel" grounds. In fact mandatory licensing of automobile drivers is actually barely constitutional under the argument that you can still travel without licensing by riding a bicycle.

    Now it is true that laws that basically say that slower moving vehicles must move over to the right to allow faster traffic to pass when safe to do so have stood up under challenge when applied to bicycles.

    Long story short, if either it isn't safe to move over to allow a car to try to squeeze around you in the same lane or your going fast enough that a car would have to speed to pass you (your going the speed limit, darn close, or are speeding yourself on a bicycle) then not only is it legal its actually the case that if a state or local government or even the feds. try to make a law against it there are already multiple case precedents that can get the law thrown out under Constitutional grounds. Now they can ban bicycles and other low speed vehicles from specific high speed only roadways where there are other roads that provide alternate routes, that is the only way the Feds. were able to ban bicycles from the Interstates when they first started building them. At first they started out with a full blanket ban on cyclists and other non-automobile slow vehicles including of course animal (horse) transportation modes but also at that time also including most motorcycles but it was challenged and the rule had to be changed to allow use of even the Interstate highways when no other route is available for an individual operation a slower vehicle to go from point-A to point-B which does happen in some areas (thank President Eisenhower for that one, not the fix, but the original attempt at a full ban rule that got thrown out).

    The primary point that should be made in answer to your "is this even legal?" question is that, it has already been well established in the courts under Constitutional grounds that to travel by human powered bicycle vehicle on the public transportation right of ways (legal talk for roads) is not a privilege but rather a Constitutional Right within the "freedom to travel cause" where as to operate a motorized automobile on the public right of way has been also clearly established again by past case history is not a right but rather is only a Privilege. Realize of course that it is also true that the bicycle pre-dates the automobile and road legal status of the bicycle was already established before the automobile even existed. That can't be changed without amending the U.S. Constitution, which although certainly not impossible is a big step that takes a whole lot to accomplish.

    In more recent history, since the automobile became the dominant form of transportation in the U.S. there has been extensive legal (and illegal) action on both sides. As it stands currently the only Constitutional way that motorists or anyone else for that reason can ban cyclists from a road is to provide them with a satisfactory alternative. As to what the courts have generally established as an "satisfactory alternative":

    ----- It has been ruled that both riding off the road and just "off roading it" in the weeds in the ditch and or regulating bicycles to sidewalks meant for pedestrians are not satisfactory alternatives.
    ----- Bicycle lanes and bicycle paths have been generally shown to be satisfactory alternatives, but there have been exceptions usually based on sufficient demonstration in court that the bicycle facilities in question were a safety danger to cyclists due to either the way they were set-up or a bad state of dis-repair.
    ----- It is also been established as previously mentioned that bicycles and other slow vehicles can be restricted to use general roads and stay off of "Interstates", "Freeways", "Speedways", etc . . . but even then an exception is required for when such a road is the only road to reach a destination (which does happen sometimes although it is fairly rare).
    ----- It has also been established that laws requiring cyclists to move to the right when possible and safe to do so to allow (legally, not speeding) faster automobile traffic to pass without having to change lanes to do so are also not an unreasonable or Un-Constitutional limit upon the right to travel the public roads by bicycle.



    That last one there is the one that really sticks in the craw of "hard line VC cyclists". So it is legal to make laws that say when possible and safe to do so cyclists have to move over to allow faster non-illegally-speeding automobile traffic to pass easier. Some will argue that it is "never safe" to move over like that. An argument that if it could be proven beyond a doubt to be the case might be a legitimate one. Not an argument I personally hold to, however, and I do not think can be proven since its a universal negative.

    I do personally, however, strongly hold to the belief that there certainly are situations on some roads where it is certainly true that it is not safe and hardly even physically possible to try to ride to the right far enough to let faster overtaking automobiles to pass without having to change lanes and on such roads I do personally most certainly ride "VC style" and "take the lane" and I am totally legal in doing so and feel absolutely no guilt about doing so. There are other times, however, when it is not only possible and safe to move over but ridiculously so and in my opinion not doing so is just being a total @$$ and uncalled for. Here is a picture for example of such a road where with a normal width bicycle riding to the right of the white line on that nice wide beautiful shoulder is not only the right thing to do not just to be an @$$ but also probably safer on balance then riding in the main traffic lane VC style "taking the lane":



    However, in another situation I will most certainly take the lane which I am totally legal in doing so even if they decide to make a law against it. So long as they don't change the U.S. Constitution its legal even if they make a lower law against it. I also will feel no shame in doing so, remember my right to use the road on a bicycle is exactly that a right not a privilege, any motorists that gets all bent out of shape needs to remember that they on the other hand have no right to even operate their motor vehicle on the road and its only a privilege. Here is another picture to illustrate such a situation:



    That is a tunnel on the "Going to the Sun" road through Glacier Park which is just a little to the north of me (no that's not me in the foreground, that's another cyclists). Those tunnels are a death trap for any cyclist who does not aggressively and strongly take the lane slightly left of dead center. If you try to edge ride through one of those tunnels and a car tries to pass along side you or worse a big truck or bus and there is another automobile coming the other direction you will end up as a bloody smear on the side-wall. It's an extreme example but a very good one.

    Another situation where I'm going to absolutely "take the lane" and ride VC is on a road like this in town traffic:




    That one is an screen shot grab off of google maps street view, but at an intersection on a road I have traveled by cycle quite often. As you can see the lanes are very narrow, barely wide enough for cars much less wide enough for car to safely pass a bicycle within the lane. There is no shoulder edge and rarely a sidewalk even on the side of the road and usually then only on one side. When I'm bicycling on this road I absolutely ride VC and absolutely "take the lane" and have every legal right to do so and am not being an @$$ doing so. It's the only safe way to ride on that road. Often I use the right most lane, but there are certainly times I use the others as well when appropriate.


    As to the a cyclist "getting eaten alive" by motorists for daring to "take the lane". Yes, that is a risk, I do not deny it but one needs to be reasonable about that risk. It isn't as bad as most cyclists who haven't tried it think it is, but at the same time it isn't a non-existant risk like some hard line VCers try to claim. There are situations where taking that risk is justified because doing so avoids being exposed to even greater risks or not cycling altogether, there are other situations where taking that risk is unnecessary and does not help avoid any worse risks.

    Let us be clear though that ultimately it is not the cyclist who "has no legal right to be in the road" but rather a case of vicious and aggressive motorists using their vehicles as deadly weapons with which to threaten, harass, bully, attack, attempt to murder, and successfully murder cyclists who legally actually have a real right to the road and it is instead the motorists that it is only a privilege that they are allowed to operate their potentially lethally dangerous if mishandled machines on the public roads around other innocent people.

    At the same time though, cyclists shouldn't go around being a total @$$ and "taking the lane" when there is no legitimate safety reason to do so. More importantly its not smart as a cyclist to do so and place yourself in unnecessary mortal risk. There are certainly very good reasons in many circumstances where "taking the lane" riding VC style is the lesser risk to take that avoids being exposed to worse risks but the whole idea is to minimize the risks and balance them and be able to switch riding styles to use whichever style is the best for the situation to minimize the total overall risk.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    safe_image.jpg

    This is the [type of] imagery that keeps the "them against us" mentality going between cyclists and motorists. Seeing that motorists and cyclists have and will forever be of the same people..... these attitudes are ridiculous. Who profits from these conflicts? Seriously.... who is actually making profit through advocating haltered?

  8. #8
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    I don't hate motorists ~ Heck, I'm one myself since I'm not "car free". Although it is true that the car doesn't get used very much compared to the bikes. Heck during about half the year the car hardly ever gets used and I'm either on a bike or I'm driving a big truck to haul loads that not even I can do with a bike.

    I am, however, fully aware of the vicious criminal acts that some motorists are capable of perpetrating against cyclists, I have been the victim of including cases where criminal charges were successfully pressed against the perps. and I have also won some significant settlements and judgments in civil court. The most recent an out of court settlement with a school district where one of their school bus drivers deliberately and willfully tried to run me down with her school bus because she didn't like being behind me and going as slow as I was when I was already going slightly faster then the 15-mph school zone speed limit and ended up hitting a parked car with her school bus trying to get me as I escaped between two parked cars using them as a barrier between me and her.

    That doesn't mean they are all nuts, and I know they aren't all nuts. But some of them are and a whole bunch of the rest of them just don't have the guts to actually go through with it but think the same way and want cyclists the ^%@&%$@^ off "their roads" and the ^@%#&%&@ out of their sight.

    It's not a matter of trying to profit from hate. Its a matter of acknowledging that the hate is already there and some motorist equipped with lethal weapons in the form of their multi-ton sledgehammer on steroids under their control are deliberately attacking cyclists or trying to intimidate and bully them off the road. Hate crimes are already happening and are already going down, it wasn't the blacks who created the hate against them before and during the civil rights movement, the hate was already there and they just confronted it and called it out for what it was.

    I do agree that the way in which that pictured T-shirt is worded isn't quite the smartest way to say what needs to be said. But I'm getting really sick of this "but he shouldn't have even been on the road and if he wasn't it wouldn't even have happened so its his fault just for daring to be there whether its legal or not" attitude that even some cyclists (or possibly just those claiming to be such) have.

  9. #9
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    As to what would be a more appropriate way to say what needs to be said on the back of a T-shirt. I would go with something alone the lines of:

    "Bicycles are Legal Road Vehicles with Full Road Rights" or
    "State & Fed. Law = Bicycles May Use Full Lane. Change Lanes to Pass Safely" or
    "Bicycles have a Constitutional Right to use Roads. For motor vehicles it is only a Privilege" or
    "It is a Felony Offense to Threaten or Attack another person using an Automobile as a Weapon" or
    "Sharing (the road) doesn't mean the big one takes whatever s/he wants just because they are bigger" or
    "You are required by law to pass safely, I am not required to "get out of your way"" or
    "I am required to share the road with you the same way other cars share the road with you, and Vice-A-Versa !!!" or
    "Why would you want to run over an innocent human being legally using the public road?" or
    "The big and strong are required to protect the smaller and weaker not bully them. (Hint, your car is bigger then I am)" or
    "Bicycling is not a crime. Harassing or Attacking a bicyclist legally riding on the road is !!!" or
    "Roads are not just for cars (really, not a joke. Look it up, Dude)" or
    "Adults Bicycling on the sidewalk is illegal. Adult Bicyclists are required by law to ride in the road." or
    "You have to have a special license to drive a car on the road. Bicycles have a Constitutional Right to use the roads." or
    "I have to follow the same rules of the road as you do. Why am I in the middle of the road? Why are you?"

    There is no reason the the "F*** Off" and it will be the rare motorist who is actually convinced to alter their behavior for the better towards cyclists by reading that T-shirt. Something a little more educational and fact based would be my preference.

    Obviously there is a variation on how different people will take those suggestions of mine and some might be better in some areas then others. For example if your in Deep Red Political territory the ones with the "Constitutional Right" to use the road wording might work better where as the "Why would you want to murder an innocent human being by running them over with your car?" type wording might work better in Deep Blue Political territory.

    The "F*** Off" message probably isn't going to go over very well anywhere.
    Last edited by turbo1889; 11-14-13 at 10:32 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member BikeOnly's Avatar
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    Good info turbo.

    I am fortunate to live in a community where bicycling is a big deal. When I ride VC style I know many of the drivers passing me are cyclists or have children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews who cycle. They are very courteous to me.

    Of course there are exceptions. But there is a feeling here that if a motorist began to harass a bicyclist, there is a good chance that some fellow bicyclists or friends of bicyclists would come along in motor vehicles and come to the defense of the cyclists.

    I know two cases where it actually happened. Hopefully the offending motorists had experiences that changed their attitude and actions for the rest of their lives.

    It also helps that there are two avid road cyclists and several mountain bikers who are officers on our local police force.

  11. #11
    Senior Member hiller's Avatar
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    Thanks for the detailed response, Turbo1889. I didn't know that freedom to travel for Americans was interpreted specifically as giving a right to the roads for bikes.
    I like the tee shirt message you suggested: Bicycles are Legal Road Vehicles with Full Road Rights. That really spells it out for all parties.

    Looks like you had your share of road raging folks gunning for you which kind of surprised me in Montana. Seems like it would've been more of an urban phenomenon. I'd be afraid to get in front of a city bus driver around here for more than a few seconds, especially if he's running behind schedule!

    One reason I asked about legality is that, in addition to being honked and yelled at if I were to take a full lane, our local police would surely get calls. I wonder if they'd know that bikes have full road rights.

    Sometimes, on large group rides with the local club, we will take the full lane but usually just for turning. It's worse for motorists when we pass through an intersection. If it's a big group, it could take minutes for us to go through and drivers really need to be patient.

    Ron
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    Senior Member BikeOnly's Avatar
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    If you want a tee shirt design, I think this should be the standard - in a hi-viz color. I would also like to have a sticker of this to put in my cars' rear windows.

    1236141_422444284530697_1938628104_n.jpg

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    Senior Member hiller's Avatar
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    A bumper sticker would be great! Come to think of it, the bike shops around here don't have those cute things- bike charms, stickers, funny tees. I guess they're all too serious cyclists.
    Bike more, stress less.

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    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    As to whether the cops will know this stuff or not, that depends on the cops and the department they work for. I've done my fair share of "educating" and carry around print outs of the applicable state laws word for word and also some pamphlets with several important case histories refrenced with appropriate quotes from the decisions.

    I will say that it has become very apparent to me that for at least the last six years or so the MT state highway patrol troopers have been getting good education about bicyclist right to the road. Unfortunately many sheriff departments and small town cops especially the ones that have been on the force for decades can be highly problematic and sometimes you have to take it all the way to court fighting them off.

    So far I've twice had to pleasure of cornering a cop on the witness stand and forcing him to take the fifth amendment before the court concerning his actions while on the job in uniform. Which I can assure you any judge that is even half way close to balanced takes considerable note of.

    Like any right, if your don't use it you will loose it, and you occasionally have to fight to keep it.

    I'm the kind of personality that I don't mind challenging authority in a structured setting where I know I have a chance of winning based on hard facts. I'm not going to do it in a back alley. But staring down a crooked cop bent on enforcing his own personal opinion that cyclists do not belong on the road across a court room is something I actually enjoy, its like being back in debate class in college. For me its the same kind of fascination I got as a kid turning over rocks and watching all the creepy slimy crawlers scurry for cover when exposed to the light of day.

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    Senior Member BikeOnly's Avatar
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    Talking about what cops "know", this from Friday is disgusting -> http://www.streetsblog.org/2013/11/1...dge-bike-path/

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    I'm not a face-book person, in-fact I'm rather hardened against that particular sight and will probably never have a profile over there just because I intend to be the last one standing on the planet without a face book account
    Hey, that's my line... unless you happen to out live me, it's game on!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hiller View Post
    I need to ask, is this type of riding legal? I live in NJ and, like nearby NYC, people are stressed and almost always rushed. A biker trying to "take a lane" around here would be eaten alive! I've never seen it done by individual bikers except when turning left.
    Yes it is legal and yes drivers in our area don't like it very much when a cyclist rides VC. I could care less about how car drivers feel about how I ride. I care about my safety and ride legally and in a manner that will maximize my safety depending on conditions. This is usually consistent with the "In or Out" as referenced in one of the posts above.

    Here is a link to the New Jersey Department of Transportation Bicycling Manual. http://www.state.nj.us/transportatio...lingmanual.pdf

    This manual provides a nice reference for riding safely within the framework of New Jersey State Law.

    I agree with you that drivers are very aggressive and impatient in most parts of New Jersey. I piss off alot of drivers while riding as per the NJDOT recommendations. When it comes between deciding between my safety or accommodating car drivers who won't think twice about jeopardizing my safety to save ten seconds I choose my safety every time. I could care less how many drivers I piss off.

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    Senior Member hiller's Avatar
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    Thanks, JerseyJim, for providing the NJ bicycling manual pdf. It was interesting to read that full road rights were also extended to roller skaters and skateboarders. I do see a fair number of these in my neighborhood in the streets but never knew they were being legal. No mention of whether the skaters must flow with traffic, though. The kids on boards always flow against traffic, as many of the kids ride their bikes this way, too. It's very unnerving when I'm going the proper way on my bike and they're coming at me head on, especially when we're both going fast. (I tell the ones on bikes "wrong way" all the time, but to no avail.)

    Turbo1889, I wish you were around to be my mouthpiece in three cases I handled, or rather mishandled, on my own behalf. I had rock solid cases (in retrospect) in all three and lost all three miserably. I get really flustered in court. All were motorcycle-related where I was railroaded by prejudiced cops (prejudiced against bikes, that is). I was very surprised to hear cops lie in court, too. My naivete, I guess. I sure wouldn't look forward to another event in court about bicycling. I'm sure I'd lose no matter what the circumstances!

    Ron
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    Senior Member hiller's Avatar
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    VC example

    I should mention that I did try taking a lane a couple of weeks ago. A disaster. I was riding my bike on a quiet road in a country park, as I often do. It's the type of place where one often hears nothing but the whooshing of their tires. As I came to the edge of the park boundary, there was a highway ramp upcoming. Rather than have cars, which were then coming from all directions, perhaps cut right into me as I rode on the right edge, I decided it would be safer to take the full lane. This would give me more visibility and then people would have to wait til I passed to enter the highway. In any case, it was only to be for a couple of hundred yards.

    Well, wouldn't you know, about 10 seconds after I took the lane, an ambulance very quietly came right up behind me. When he got about 3 feet away, he decided to give me the sirens- full blast! The shock of that ear piercing screeching so close, especially after being so quiet, had me nearly jump off the bike. I thought I was in imminent danger and immediately went into the next lane (that's the oncoming lane). That jerk had no call to hit me with the siren like that, I thought at the time. Looking back on it, I think he was probably trying to send me a message- don't ride in the middle of the lane!

    So, one of the only times I ever tried a safe maneuver and look what happens. For now, I'm back to hugging the curbline while I ride, taking my chances riding real close to parked cars, and staying out of the lanes of traffic except to turn left at a light. It's my neck or my nerves, either way. I'll just have to risk it and stay alert. (I am a pretty good swerver, something I learned in MSF class, and kept up the practice.)

    BTW, in the NJ Bicycling manual that JerseyJim referenced, there is no mention of taking a lane because I think it's the safest course of action. It lists exceptions to a bicyclist riding all the way on the right, basically, as being: to avoid debris, to pass a slower vehicle, if travelling at the speed of traffic, or to turn left.

    Ron
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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiller View Post
    Turbo1889, I wish you were around to be my mouthpiece in three cases I handled, or rather mishandled, on my own behalf. I had rock solid cases (in retrospect) in all three and lost all three miserably. I get really flustered in court.
    It would be interesting to hear how any traffic court judge would respond to a defense mouthpiece who argued:
    "It has already been well established in the courts under Constitutional grounds that to travel by human powered bicycle vehicle on the public transportation right of ways (legal talk for roads) is not a privilege but rather a Constitutional Right within the "freedom to travel cause" where as to operate a motorized automobile on the public right of way has been also clearly established again by past case history is not a right but rather is only a Privilege."

    IMO, a defense based on the above Constitutional Right to travel by human powered bicycle vehicle on the public transportation right of ways, would be as likely to help as wearing a tee-shirt to court with one of the more obnoxious, in-your-face slogans from this thread to court.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    It would be interesting to hear how any traffic court judge would respond to a defense mouthpiece who argued:
    "It has already been well established in the courts under Constitutional grounds that to travel by human powered bicycle vehicle on the public transportation right of ways (legal talk for roads) is not a privilege but rather a Constitutional Right within the "freedom to travel cause" where as to operate a motorized automobile on the public right of way has been also clearly established again by past case history is not a right but rather is only a Privilege."

    IMO, a defense based on the above Constitutional Right to travel by human powered bicycle vehicle on the public transportation right of ways, would be as likely to help as wearing a tee-shirt to court with one of the more obnoxious, in-your-face slogans from this thread to court.
    No doubt a failure as probably everyone drove... but question... the above is in fact true, or do you know of something otherwise?

    It is something of an irony that the court, upon hearing that testimony, would likely ignore it.

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    No doubt a failure as probably everyone drove... but question... the above is in fact true, or do you know of something otherwise?

    It is something of an irony that the court, upon hearing that testimony, would likely ignore it.
    Really? Where can I find in the Constitution (not somebody's specious interpretation of it), "Constitutional grounds that to travel by human powered bicycle vehicle on the public transportation right of ways (legal talk for roads) is not a privilege but rather a Constitutional Right within the "freedom to travel cause."

    Whether everyone drove to traffic court or not is a red herring; bringing it up in traffic court (as well as this thread), would be another sure nail in a defendant's case. The best that could be hoped is that the traffic court would ignore it as well as a spacey defense based on an equally spacey interpretation of the Constitution to beat a traffic ticket.
    Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 11-18-13 at 01:12 PM.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Really? Where can I find in the Constitution (not somebody's specious interpretation of it), "Constitutional grounds that to travel by human powered bicycle vehicle on the public transportation right of ways (legal talk for roads) is not a privilege but rather a Constitutional Right within the "freedom to travel cause."

    Whether everyone drove to traffic court or not is a red herring; bringing it up in traffic court (as well as this thread), would be another sure nail in a defendant's case. The best that could be hoped is that the traffic court would ignore it as well as a spacey defense based on an equally spacey interpretation of the Constitution to beat a traffic ticket.
    It is NOT in the Constitution... it is in the legal interpretation of the Constitution by legal scholars, which by interpretation will always make specious interpretations.

    But since you don't want to read a specious interpretation, I guess case closed. BTW no one said it was actually in the Constitution... it says "Constitutional Right," not direct Constitutional quote. Rights are open to courts' interpretation. Sorry.

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    It is NOT in the Constitution... it is in the legal interpretation of the Constitution by legal scholars, which by interpretation will always make specious interpretations.

    But since you don't want to read a specious interpretation, I guess case closed. BTW no one said it was actually in the Constitution... it says "Constitutional Right," not direct Constitutional quote. Rights are open to courts' interpretation. Sorry.
    OK , how about a reference to some court's interpretation (not an Internet brand Legal Scholar) of the Constitution that resulted in finding that "Constitutional grounds that to travel by human powered bicycle vehicle on the public transportation right of ways (legal talk for roads) is not a privilege but rather a Constitutional Right within the "freedom to travel cause."

    BTW, I suggest you look up the definition of "specious".

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    OK , how about a reference to some court's interpretation (not an Internet brand Legal Scholar) of the Constitution that resulted in finding that "Constitutional grounds that to travel by human powered bicycle vehicle on the public transportation right of ways (legal talk for roads) is not a privilege but rather a Constitutional Right within the "freedom to travel cause."

    BTW, I suggest you look up the definition of "specious".
    You got me on specious... I thought it meant wordy... Ouch.

    Either way however you have me... as by definition anything I bring up is going to be some internet quote... I am not a lawyer, so at best I will only cite specious or verbose statements made by others.

    Here is one example... http://www.titanians.org/right-to-travel-is-guaranteed/

    I also am aware of a local trial where a walker was challenged in his right to walk through several well to do neighborhoods. He was a UCSD professor that just didn't fit the typical description of professor (no tweed jacket) and he was brought to court and won.

    But no... I will not debate Constitutional law.... I don't have the background. I was just looking for the right answer and hoped you would provide it, rather than attack and parry.

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