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Old 08-11-18, 12:59 AM
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Happy Feet
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Originally Posted by clengman View Post
If you are observing cyclists positioning themselves next to the lead car at a traffic light, that is indeed unsafe. If I move up to the front I move all the way up front. I position myself in front of and to the right of the lead car. Right ahead of the front right bumper.

There's a lot to be said for making eye contact, too. Just like they told you in your first day of driver's ed. If I move up to the front, I make eye contact with the driver of the lead car just behind me and to my left. I also make eye contact with the lead driver on the other side of the intersection who may be planning to make a left turn. If I see everyone and I know that they have seen me while we are all stopped at the light, I'm a lot more comfortable proceeding when the light changes.

Now, say you are 2 or 3 or 4 cars back from the light and the light changes and you proceed with traffic through the intersection, how do you ensure that the car right ahead of you, or worse, the car that was behind you, but is now trying to squeeze by you on your left isn't going to make a quick right turn in front of you? How do you know that the car across the intersection waiting to make a left turn knows you are there? They aren't looking for a bike, they're looking for a gap in the oncoming traffic that's big enough to sneak through.

Those are the situations that I avoid by moving up to the front and making myself visible and making my intentions obvious.

However, as I said earlier, if the road is too narrow for me to safely move up to the front, or for cars in my lane to pass me without moving across the center line on the other side of the intersection, I don't do it. I take my chances riding in what I believe is a less safe position.
Yep. That is skillful defensive riding.

People who worry about slowing cars down because they need to pass twice don't really understand how they slow cars down by taking the lane in line and slowly accelerating through the intersection. That's usually the pinch point. By filtering up (and as you say, all the way up so the lead car sees me), I very quickly clear the intersection and then merge to the right so cars can pass me.

The very worst place to be is behind and to the right in a moving line of vehicles through an intersection. Opposing traffic cannot see you through the car ahead and may assume there is a clear spot to make a rapid left turn through. They will accelerate very fast to do so and be fixated on the car behind you and it's quite easy to get left hooked there.
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