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Old 06-16-05, 06:52 AM   #1
C Law
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New to commuting - What to do?

I have a question for all of you expert commuting types.

during a commute, and often times during regular riding, I come to an intersection where there is little room to the right or left of me while I am waiting for a red light to turn green to proceed straight. Maybe there is two feet of space between me and cars and two feet to the curb. I have to stop to wait for the light to turn red, effectively blocking the shoulder for bicyclists to pass me to make a right on red which is legal here in LI, NY. I cant really scoot forward to where the road widens as I would be in the crosswalk.

Normally I would 'take the lane' and sit in the line of traffic with cars but in this instance there are 30-40 cars sitting at the light and only ten make it through each green light. To me, sitting in the line of traffic with them would defeat the purpose of riding to avoid traffic.

Last week, A fellow cyclist came up behind me and passed to the left (went around the cars) and yelled at me ''you are blocking the lane you expetive deleted dummy''. I am used to people in cars yelling at me all the time but this is the first time a fellow cyclist yelled at me and got me thinking If I am doing this right.

So, what should I do in this instance? Maybe just make sure I look back to see if any other cyclist is coming so that I can hop up on the curb? Do I have to get in with the cars? Should he have just said' biker back' or rung a bell. I would have gladly got out of his way if I knew he was coming.
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Old 06-16-05, 07:02 AM   #2
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Toll hell with the other fella, do what makes you safe and comfortable, the others can piss off.

From the looks of your post you were not in a bike lane but rather a wide lane, am I assuming correctly?
Just look at the situation as though you were a car in traffic. You are sitting on a single lane - two directional road waiting for the red light to turn green so that you can go straight. The guy behind you wants to turn right. It is not your problem that he is behind you and you are perfectly legal in what you are doing. This guy then passes you on the left into the oncoming lane, cuts in front of you and turns right, all while the light is still red. This is not a legal move. So the cyclist that passed you on your left, and going around the cars at the same time can go to hell, don't let him ruin your ride because he is impatient, makes me wonder how he acts when he is behind the wheel of a car.
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Old 06-16-05, 07:48 AM   #3
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I'd get to the left side of the right lane and move all the way up to the crosswalk. Cars that want to turn right should then be able to do so, and for cars in the left lane, it's pretty clear that you're going straight.

If there's so much traffic that you don't feel safe getting across the lane, then I'd just dismount and cross the intersection as a pedestrian.

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Old 06-16-05, 08:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unsuspended
during a commute, and often times during regular riding, I come to an intersection where there is little room to the right or left of me while I am waiting for a red light to turn green to proceed straight. Maybe there is two feet of space between me and cars and two feet to the curb. I have to stop to wait for the light to turn red, effectively blocking the shoulder for bicyclists to pass me to make a right on red which is legal here in LI, NY. I cant really scoot forward to where the road widens as I would be in the crosswalk.
Sounds like a spot were a bike lane would relieve some of the congestion for cyclists!

First: in that sort of situation I normally stop one or two car-lengths behind the curb, that makes sure I am not blocking any right-turning cars at the intersection. If there are already cars there waiting for a green light to go ahead, then I go right up to the stop line, maybe a little past (but not into the cross-walk) to ensure maximum visibility. I don't usually try to take the lane in these situations, traffic congestion often makes that undesirable.

As to the other cyclist, the heck with him. Intersections sometimes become blocked at peak hours, this is normal, it happens to all vehicles types. Ignore the road rage, and don't let it get to you.
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Old 06-16-05, 08:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unsuspended
I have to stop to wait for the light to turn red, effectively blocking the shoulder for bicyclists to pass me to make a right on red which is legal here in LI, NY. I cant really scoot forward to where the road widens as I would be in the crosswalk.

Last week, A fellow cyclist came up behind me and passed to the left (went around the cars) and yelled at me ''you are blocking the lane you expetive deleted dummy''.

I would have gladly got out of his way if I knew he was coming.
Why couldn't he be the one to "hop up on the curb?" You were there first.

The difference between you and him is attitude.
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Old 06-16-05, 10:52 AM   #6
C Law
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linchpin
From the looks of your post you were not in a bike lane but rather a wide lane, am I assuming correctly?.
Actually it is single lane road where normally it is wide enough to pass on bikes but at intersections they (the local town or DOT) sandwich two lanes (a left turning lane and a straight and right turning lane) into a space designed for only one lane, effectively erasing the shoulder.
Quote:
Originally Posted by patc
Sounds like a spot were a bike lane would relieve some of the congestion for cyclists!
If they just has a shoulder wider than a foot it wouldn't be a problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by donD
I'd get to the left side of the right lane and move all the way up to the crosswalk.
You mean cut through the cars waiting in traffic already there to get to that point?
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Old 06-16-05, 11:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unsuspended
Actually it is single lane road where normally it is wide enough to pass on bikes but at intersections they (the local town or DOT) sandwich two lanes (a left turning lane and a straight and right turning lane) into a space designed for only one lane, effectively erasing the shoulder.

If they just has a shoulder wider than a foot it wouldn't be a problem
You mean cut through the cars waiting in traffic already there to get to that point?
Sounds exactly like the roads I ride on and I take a differant approach dependant upon how I feel and how much traffic is there.
Sometimes I'll just pull right up front and sit next to the lead car, making sure that they can see me. As a curtness to them I veer to the right just a little when we take off so that they have anough room to feel comfortable.
Sometimes I'll take up the shoulder and wait to go straight and anyone who has an issue with that can be damned, I'm not budging.
And if the line is short enough I'll hop right in and act as regular traffic.
Really the decision is up to you and I think what some of us were trying to convey to you with our previous posts is that the "other" cyclist was just being a prick and that you were in the right by sitting there.
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