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Taking The Lane

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Old 02-01-19, 09:30 AM
  #76  
mr_bill
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Florida is a leisure state with warm weather -- the warmest in the nation -- most of the year. That by itself increases the amount of people that will be outside and riding bikes.
Best kept secret in America.

Not only that, but Florida is almost as flat as European Netherlands.

This has led to THRONGS of people on bikes taking to the streets in that cycling paradise known as Florida.

I've heard people compare Amsterdam to Orlando for example!

-mr. bill
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Old 02-01-19, 10:19 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Best kept secret in America.

Not only that, but Florida is almost as flat as European Netherlands.

This has led to THRONGS of people on bikes taking to the streets in that cycling paradise known as Florida.

I've heard people compare Amsterdam to Orlando for example!

-mr. bill
You are one of the smartest people regularly posting in A&S. How did you manage to fall for group think and miss the "per capita" in my quote? Florida is not skewed in the rankings because of its outlier population of cyclists because of its amazing weather. Actually places like Minneapolis and Portland and NYC that have far worse weather have more cyclists per capita. No, Florida's ranking reflects the temperature of the society as a whole. There is not a lot of tolerance for ... disagreement. I pick my battles. I've made it to 60 by knowing "when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em, when to walk away and when to run" ... when emergent Millenials bring A&S enlightenment to meet Down Home Cussedry, the result is another story on local news.
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Old 02-01-19, 12:08 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
You are one of the smartest people regularly posting in A&S. How did you manage to fall for group think and miss the "per capita" in my quote? Florida is not skewed in the rankings because of its outlier population of cyclists because of its amazing weather. Actually places like Minneapolis and Portland and NYC that have far worse weather have more cyclists per capita. No, Florida's ranking reflects the temperature of the society as a whole. There is not a lot of tolerance for ... disagreement. I pick my battles. I've made it to 60 by knowing "when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em, when to walk away and when to run" ... when emergent Millenials bring A&S enlightenment to meet Down Home Cussedry, the result is another story on local news.
OK, let's talk about how you two are talking about different things.
  • (pedacyclist deaths)/(capita) - the statistic that you provided, an actual fact, which is pathetically high for Florida. It's also pathetically high for many cities in Florida.
  • (pedacyclists)/(capita) - the statistic that KraneXL postulates, without fact, that might be very high indeed for Florida, because weather.
  • (pedacyclist deaths)/(pedacyclist) - the statistic that KraneXL postulates, without fact, that might actually be good for Florida, or at least not too bad, because weather.
The problem of course is the number (pedacyclists)/(capita). The ACS numbers are pretty much the only numbers we have, and they only count people who commute to work by bike as their primary (by miles) mode of transport.

People who ride bikes for other reasons? Really bad data available.

So, KraneXL can postulate all they want, it is *possible* that Florida is a biking paradise. They have no data to prove that it is. Nobody has data that would prove to them that it isn't.

(It's bloody unlikely Florida is a biking paradise, but....)

(Having worked in Greater Boston and Greater Orlando during February, I can tell you which city has throngs of people walking and throngs of people riding bikes, even in February, and which city has small throngs, very small throngs, nano-throngs of people walking and people riding bikes, even in February.)

-mr. bill
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Old 02-01-19, 01:54 PM
  #79  
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As a person who honed his commuting skills in Greater Orlando before it had bike lanes, and for a while thereafter .... The problems in Florida (IMO) come from severely distracted drivers trapped in gridlock on a badly conceived road system completely insufficient to handle the volume of traffic, along with a significant population of transients (not homeless, but rather low-income people who come for a short time looking for mostly labor jobs,) and a Huge seasonal population of elderly snowbirds and tourists as well as a large population of year-round elderly.

None of these people know the roads, and many of them are extremely marginal drivers. The workers tend to be more distracted/impaired (based on my time traveling in their cars as well as riding among them,) the elderly are often limited in vision and reaction time, and are frankly a bit overwhelmed by everything---fine keeping it between the lines but not able to respond to sudden unexpected road obstacles. The tourists are stressed and lost and trying to cope with spouses, kids, maps, GPS, other bad drivers, and multiple choke points on poorly designed roads.

Throw in some cyclists, a little general stupidity, and the occasional excessively angry/tired/confused/distracted driver or two ... and cars drive into each other in 5-mph stop-and-go traffic, or 55-mph stop-and-go traffic, make unscheduled, unsignalled, and often illegal driving maneuvers, and also simply are too self-absorbed and overloaded by the environment to even think "There might be cyclists."

Maybe Some parts of Florida are like the Netherlands ... but the major urban/suburban areas are madhouses.

Things were getting better when I left, but I see St. Pete/Tampa still has some of the top fatality rates.

Of course, added to all the substandard drivers, there are also a lot of low-income transport cyclists riding salmon with no lights and four bags of groceries hanging off the bars and banging the wheels, and young, stupid cyclists (such as I used to be) trying to squeeze through every hole and weave through cars like the riders are indestructible.

But yeah .. Florida is not "cycling Nirvana" nor is it "The U.S. Netherlands." The hinterlands offer some very nice cycling, though it is pretty flat, but the populated areas are actually pretty bad. And please note, whatever the statewide numbers might be ... the cities are pretty dangerous. I am sure there are some number of fatalities on the back roads, same as anywhere---people on two-lane twisters not expecting a cyclist and such---but I'd wager it is the cities where most of the bad stuff happens. I know that regardless of what the statewide totals might be, the big Central Florida urban areas---major tourist destinations, Land of the Theme Parks---are always at the top of the Deadliest Cities list. Tourists in rental cars, in a hurry, on unfamiliar roads, combined with doddering elderly drivers and frustrated locals trying to get to work .....

Last edited by Maelochs; 02-01-19 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 02-01-19, 04:23 PM
  #80  
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Comparatively speaking, when I'm in Florida which is usually in February, I've been amazed by the number of cyclists and envious of the nice weather. So I don't doubt the relative throngs, at least in the Delray Beach/Boca area.
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Old 02-01-19, 04:39 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I don't like being directly in front of cars moving much faster than me, so I don't take the lane - the tire track - very often unless I have to. But when I do, communication is the last thing I want from it. Turn signals, brake lights and horn are communications. When I'm there, it is purely so that a car driver cannot pass me completely within the lane, and that is a safety measure regardless of what the motorist thinks about it. The only thing communicated is "I am not yielding way here".

I'm pressing this point because it looks like you've assigned "communication" as the sole purpose of taking the lane. It's better IMO, driving OR riding, that we don't communicate at all with other drivers other than by standard signals and legal yields and so on. Those communications are generally extra or outside of normal traffic parameters and disruptive more often than not. I'll wave a hesitant driver by sometimes but that's when they've become disruptive already, and that's about it for "extra" communicating. I'm not talking about waving to a friend or that sort of thing, but I AM talking about directing traffic or instructing someone, outside of the normal rules of traffic.
Point well taken. I was mainly questioning the idea that taking the lane is a form of communication. I just tend to assume that little or no communication is occurring. But I think we're largely in agreement here. I follow "defensive driving" as I learned it from my mom as a teenager: "Always assume the other drivers are idiots."
Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Making sure the law is understood is an issue for law enforcement. I have no control over those types of situations.You get hit in the center you have some chance for recompense. Get hit on the edge of the road and good luck trying to convince a judge or jury that you were in the right. All I can say is, I'll take my chance in the center and the law supports it.
It's possible that we have different approaches. I deal with uncontrolled situations largely through avoidance or evasion. Taking a chance is exactly what I'm not doing. I'm not seeking recompense, and have never needed it.
Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
I find the behavior of motorists indicates they understand perfectly well why I'm riding in the lane when I'm riding in the lane. Riding in a manner appropriate for the conditions works for everyone.
Thanks for sharing your experience. Other reported experiences include inappropriate passing, getting swerved towards, runned over, and scared the hell out of.
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Old 02-01-19, 04:43 PM
  #82  
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My "policy" that has served me very well - I use different schemes re: how close I ride to the edge and whether I allow vehicles to pass in different situations. Sometimes the best approach is obvious. Sometimes I just listen to my gut. Some truck drivers are aggressive. I've called into the police non-emergency number on one and a sheriff paid the driver a visit. I've had truck drivers thank me for taking the room I needed early because it made their job, while perhaps slower, far easier.

I've also pulled over and waved trucks and traffic on just to be nice and keep tempers down. Did that yesterday on a descent when I was on my fix gear and really didn't want a contractors truck on my wheel all the way down. (The driver was patient but thankful when I let him go and I had a better ride.)

Ben
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Old 02-01-19, 05:16 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Point well taken. I was mainly questioning the idea that taking the lane is a form of communication. I just tend to assume that little or no communication is occurring. But I think we're largely in agreement here. I follow "defensive driving" as I learned it from my mom as a teenager: "Always assume the other drivers are idiots."
Awesome, I must have misread that pretty badly because I'm on that same page.
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Old 02-01-19, 07:59 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
Location is everything.
Absolutely.

Both due to road conditions and driver attitude and capacity. What works on my roads won't necessarily work elsewhere.
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Old 02-01-19, 08:27 PM
  #85  
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Taking the Lane
Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
You proceed from an incorrect premise if you feel taking the lane is not a safety measure. Taking the lane doesn't make you invincible nor is that the intention. The intent is to be seen, and more importantly, to notify motorists that the road is too narrow to pass safely.

The idea that people may hit you is always a reality but never an absolute....
Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Do motorists know that? Is it specifically part of their training? Or do they believe that you're just being a rude, erratic daredevil by weaving in and out of traffic where you don't belong in the first place?

Naturally, that's not my view, because I'm a cyclist, and I've ridden in traffic. But communication between two people requires both of them understand the message in the same way. If drivers don't understand what you're communicating, then "taking the lane" is not achieving the purpose that you expect.

The perceptions and behavior of motorists determines whether "taking the lane" is a safety measure or not. This is what seems to be in doubt.
Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I don't like being directly in front of cars moving much faster than me, so I don't take the lane - the tire track - very often unless I have to. But when I do, communication is the last thing I want from it.

Turn signals, brake lights and horn are communications. When I'm there, it is purely so that a car driver cannot pass me completely within the lane, and that is a safety measure regardless of what the motorist thinks about it. The only thing communicated is "I am not yielding way here".

I'm pressing this point because it looks like you've assigned "communication" as the sole purpose of taking the lane. It's better IMO, driving OR riding, that we don't communicate at all with other drivers other than by standard signals and legal yields and so on.

Those communications are generally extra or outside of normal traffic parameters and disruptive more often than not. I'll wave a hesitant driver by sometimes but that's when they've become disruptive already, and that's about it for "extra" communicating.

I'm not talking about waving to a friend or that sort of thing, but I AM talking about directing traffic or instructing someone, outside of the normal rules of traffic.
I don’t direct motorists either, e.g by waving around, except perhaps for those “niceholes” who yield to cyclists, often disregarding the surrounding traffic.

FWIW. I have posted my position on taking the lane(especially as a form of “non-directing’ communication”),:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Just yesterday I posted about my new “position” on lane strategy, after decades of urban commuting, as suggested by @Paul Barnard, on a current thread,”Being part of the problem!!” It sounds just like "control and release."
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I was intrigued by your turn of phase, “a cocktail of risk mitigation strategies,” because that sounds similar to my survival strategy honed over four decades of a cycling lifestyle...

Regarding the question of taking the lane, I’ve always felt it is a question of pragmatism,though I probably too obsequiously favor keeping the drivers happy by staying FRAP...

My usual routes are pretty safe…early morning or after rush hour in the evening, in the reverse commuting direction, on residential (though somewhat busy) and light commercial thoroughfares.

On a few rides over the past few days I have tried out the more aggressive position, in the right tire track, with very good results. I can easily monitor the driver's responses in my rearview mirror...so far no aggressive maneuvers or honking


I also like your strategy of gently nudging towards the center, then relenting towards the right. And I always give a wave to the cooperative driver, either before or after their pass.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-02-19 at 04:15 AM.
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Old 02-01-19, 08:32 PM
  #86  
SHBR
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post

I've also pulled over and waved trucks and traffic on just to be nice and keep tempers down. Did that yesterday on a descent when I was on my fix gear and really didn't want a contractors truck on my wheel all the way down. (The driver was patient but thankful when I let him go and I had a better ride.)


Ben

This works well in rural areas, in crowded urban areas, you might be waiting awhile.
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Old 02-01-19, 10:12 PM
  #87  
Maelochs
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Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
This works well in rural areas, in crowded urban areas, you might be waiting awhile.
Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
Location is everything.
Good to know you agree ... with yourself ...
Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
There are no absolutes.
(except, perhaps, the idea that location is everything .... .

Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
Expect the unexpected.
Literally impossible ...

Communication is tricky.

I take the lane when I type to better communicate with readers. So far, none of them have hit me.
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Old 02-01-19, 10:52 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
My "policy" that has served me very well - I use different schemes re: how close I ride to the edge and whether I allow vehicles to pass in different situations. Sometimes the best approach is obvious. Sometimes I just listen to my gut. Some truck drivers are aggressive. I've called into the police non-emergency number on one and a sheriff paid the driver a visit. I've had truck drivers thank me for taking the room I needed early because it made their job, while perhaps slower, far easier.

I've also pulled over and waved trucks and traffic on just to be nice and keep tempers down. Did that yesterday on a descent when I was on my fix gear and really didn't want a contractors truck on my wheel all the way down. (The driver was patient but thankful when I let him go and I had a better ride.)

Ben
That's your choice but its not required by law. There are plenty of slow moving vehicles (as well as stationary obstacles) on the road every day. Cyclist are just one of many of those momentary slow down items.
Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
This works well in rural areas, in crowded urban areas, you might be waiting awhile.
All day, in fact. You can be perfectly safe and never get anywhere. Some people stand at the corner waiting for traffic to stop before they cross. That's their choice if they don't mind spending their life waiting at the wayside. There's risk in everything we do.
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Old 02-01-19, 11:30 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
That's your choice but its not required by law. There are plenty of slow moving vehicles (as well as stationary obstacles) on the road every day. Cyclist are just one of many of those momentary slow down items.
Seriously? You are now comparing a backhoe with a commuter cyclist? Those combines and wide load trailers can usually look out for themselves if an impatient cager gets stroppy. What are you going to do if you are unlucky enough to be in front of someone that's just been fired from their dream job? Could happen. You know I just had to save this and pop out of the reply window to make sure that we are still in a thread that started with the o.p. relating an incident with the irate driver of an 18 wheeler on a two lane.
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Old 02-02-19, 08:44 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
You know I just had to save this and pop out of the reply window to make sure that we are still in a thread that started with the o.p. relating an incident with the irate driver of an 18 wheeler on a two lane.
Awesome. We have reached a new depth of toxic surreality.
I'd say Most of us have found situations where letting some traffic pass was Absolutely the safest option ... but given some of the attitudes explained here .....
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Old 02-02-19, 11:31 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Seriously? You are now comparing a backhoe with a commuter cyclist? Those combines and wide load trailers can usually look out for themselves if an impatient cager gets stroppy. What are you going to do if you are unlucky enough to be in front of someone that's just been fired from their dream job? Could happen. You know I just had to save this and pop out of the reply window to make sure that we are still in a thread that started with the o.p. relating an incident with the irate driver of an 18 wheeler on a two lane.
Did they have those "what is the meaning of this paragraph" tests when you were in school? Sometimes I don't feel we're all from the same planet. If all those fears seem are real to you, then there are other health and fitness alternatives to road cycling.

Just invest in a stationary bike and spin to your hearts content in the comfort and safety of your own home with zero fears of homicidal, cyclist-killing motorist to worry about.
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Old 02-02-19, 12:02 PM
  #92  
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HERE again ^^^^^ My favorite LAB schmuck riding in the left tire track / Lane HOG comeuppance video. LOL Hillarious WHUP You have to be quick on the pause to see him on the hood of the car. This was a Police video. They couldn't find any fault with the cyclist. LOL
And he was an INSTRUCTOR of such NONSENSE. He is 99% at FAULT of his own fate.
On my 3,900 miles tour in the NW mountains, I rode FRAP 100%.
Riding up the river on the I84 in Oregon, I could see that trucks were reacting to where exactly I was in the wide shoulder, from 200 yards back. Many would move to the inside lane anyway. Not being seen is mostly a laughable LAB concept. Lots of times I would try to take advantage of the wind wake.
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Old 02-02-19, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7AVC1YCcO0

HERE again ^^^^^ My favorite LAB schmuck riding in the left tire track / Lane HOG comeuppance video. LOL Hillarious WHUP
I don't want to get banned so I will not say you are a (fill in the blank.)

Two points:

First, on a bridge like that I would Absolutely take the lane.

Second, he looks like he was pretty far to the right when he got hit.

One more point: I don't want to get banned so I will not say you are a (fill in the blank.)

Karma coming, watch out.
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Old 02-02-19, 03:11 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7AVC1YCcO0

HERE again ^^^^^ My favorite LAB schmuck riding in the left tire track / Lane HOG comeuppance video. LOL Hillarious WHUP You have to be quick on the pause to see him on the hood of the car. This was a Police video. They couldn't find any fault with the cyclist. LOL
And he was an INSTRUCTOR of such NONSENSE. He is 99% at FAULT of his own fate.
On my 3,900 miles tour in the NW mountains, I rode FRAP 100%.
Riding up the river on the I84 in Oregon, I could see that trucks were reacting to where exactly I was in the wide shoulder, from 200 yards back. Many would move to the inside lane anyway. Not being seen is mostly a laughable LAB concept. Lots of times I would try to take advantage of the wind wake.
Looked like there was a segregated MUP adjacent to the traffic lanes. If I were riding there I would have used that instead of riding with traffic, but that's just me. If, however, that option didn't exist and I had to cross the bridge I would have done the same thing as the cyclist. The fact that he was hit from behind by an inattentive/drunk/high/stupid driver was just bad luck on his part, and to say that it was 99% his fault is just plain ridiculous. I doubt many here would find that scenario 'hilarious' as you do, but like @Maelochs says, I won't tell you what I think of your post or what your post says about you. We all have it coming to us, some deserve it more than others.
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Old 02-02-19, 03:20 PM
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I know of a draw bridge with similar construction but a much higher arch. It is prohibited to ride on the pedestrian walkway, so you can either dismount (where passing others would be difficult) or ride across on the roadway. BTW, there is no MUPs, there's just a service platform.
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Old 02-02-19, 03:26 PM
  #96  
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The driver was none of those. He was lead-footing and too anxious to pass the bus maybe.
Maybe you haven't figured out that the car was right behind the bus with NO view and the bike was right beside the bus.The car pulled over and had NO options but slam on the brake. His quick actions saved the schmuck as much as causing the crash. Unlike you guys, I have NOT been hit by a car.
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Old 02-03-19, 05:41 AM
  #97  
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The bus driver apparently saw the hit and run in his mirrors and deliberately blocked both lanes. Admirable.
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Old 02-03-19, 06:30 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
The driver was none of those.
He was stupid!

Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Unlike you guys, I have NOT been hit by a car.
Good for you. Your luck may run out someday.
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Old 02-03-19, 11:46 AM
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There are other things that are and were in the video. The cops edited out where he wobbled 2 feet from the line, really close to a passing van.
There is the 5 car line behind him before the bus, all in the outside lane. So the first 2 vehicles pulled over to pass just fine, then the third didn't catch on to the bike so fast and hadn't checked the other lane yet, so they had to SLAM on the brakes to slow to 10 mph. The 4th and 5th had to brake hard as well. A partial lane change is nowhere near as complicated or dramatic. So this guy demonstrated BOTH ways why riding in the left track is STUPIDLY DANGEROUS or is it dangerously STUPID??
Your HERO. LOL

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Old 02-03-19, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
There are other things that are and were in the video. The cops edited out where he wobbled 2 feet from the line, really close to a passing van.
There is the 5 car line behind him before the bus, all in the outside lane. So the first 2 vehicles pulled over to pass just fine, then the third didn't catch on to the bike so fast and hadn't checked the other lane yet, so they had to SLAM on the brakes to slow to 10 mph. The 4th and 5th had to brake hard as well. A partial lane change is nowhere near as complicated or dramatic. So this guy demonstrated BOTH ways why riding in the left track is STUPIDLY DANGEROUS or is it dangerously STUPID??
Your HERO. LOL
You just described all driver errors.
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