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Riding on 40-55mph Road?

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Riding on 40-55mph Road?

Old 12-22-21, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
i've forgotten about that colloquial idiom.
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Old 12-23-21, 03:15 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by CruizingB View Post
I live in the Coachella Valley and the average speed limit here is 40MPH. There are streets that have bike lanes but some of them are pretty thin. I hate using the sidewalks because they aren’t wide enough for both me and pedestrians. I plan on using Google maps for more safer routes, but I still need to go into traffic. Any thoughts on this or advice?
rode all the major streets and many of the lesser so traffic conduits out in coachella valley multiple times in the last two decades. some roads are maddeningly no-go for
a spell (such as palm canyon/hwy111 from vista chino all the way to date palm and then again from fred waring to deep canyon...or country club from cook west to monterey)
then okay (hwy 111 east of deep canyon, country club west of monterey). some roads are generally a go to like indian, vista chino, e. mesquite/dinah shore, gene autry, da vall, frank sinatra, alessandro, cook, portola,
gerald ford, washington, jefferson. some roads are a hard no for their majority like ramon, monterey, varner and fred waring.

area is a little more complicated than many because of the seasonal "snowbird" flow in the winter, an absolute ton of construction worker traffic year-round, the weekend warriors/visitors and a huge, elderly contingent that
still hits the roadways. add in the nearly, entirely gridlike map of straight arrow streets and 90 degree angled intersections and you'll always have people driving waay faster and much slower than many expect.
the yellow lights out in the coachella valley are longer than the average bear...just saying. adapt and overcome. beware the dillon ave loose dogs north of the 10 fwy...

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Old 12-23-21, 08:46 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Here's a still from this morning's ride.
Yep, that appears to be a very narrow shoulder. It also doesn't appear to be the same road/shoulder you posted on msg #35 Typical Traffic that was under discussion.
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Old 12-23-21, 09:20 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Yep, that appears to be a very narrow shoulder. It also doesn't appear to be the same road/shoulder you posted on msg #35 Typical Traffic that was under discussion.

If it's a different stretch of the same road, would it really matter? I know I'm not likely to stick to a shoulder that widens and recedes intermittently, especially if the quality of pavement on it isn't very good. Bad shoulder pavement and inconsistent widths seem to go together in my experience.
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Old 12-23-21, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by CruizingB View Post
I live in the Coachella Valley and the average speed limit here is 40MPH. There are streets that have bike lanes but some of them are pretty thin. I hate using the sidewalks because they aren’t wide enough for both me and pedestrians. I plan on using Google maps for more safer routes, but I still need to go into traffic. Any thoughts on this or advice?
Ditto on the many suggestions others have provided.

Lighting -- more, more, more. A couple of rear-facing ones with a different flashing pattern.
Reflectives -- "safety" vest over everything else; reflectors and/or "conspicuity" tape on seat stays, panniers/bags.
A "flag pole" for safety -- can get one of those safety flags mounted high on a graphite pole, for visibility from behind.
Side mirror -- to see what's coming, so you can "brace" for it or move slightly further over for the duration of that pass.
Riding with a buddy -- packs of riders can be more easily seen and less easily passed with inches to spare.
Selecting times of travel during times of reduced traffic flows.

Aside from finding alternate routes, there's not much else one can do.

Spent 25yrs in a spot where there were only a handful of north-south routes between towns. Two were 55mph+ roadways, and one was a tight and twisty two-lane country road without any shoulder (let alone a bike lane) to speak of. Bad news, all of them. Though, the highway did have a fairly wide emergency lane off to the right, although one had to put up with the ~60mph vehicles whizzing by. Not all that bad, though the 18-wheeler tractor rigs were bad.
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Old 12-23-21, 09:53 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Yep, that appears to be a very narrow shoulder. It also doesn't appear to be the same road/shoulder you posted on msg #35 Typical Traffic that was under discussion.
It is, in point of fact, the exact same route. Perhaps of you picked a specific spot in the video, I could shoot a still from that very spot. The "shoulder" there is very representative of the roads on that route, It is possible you are confusing the 10-30 inches of loose gravel on the sides of the road for a shoulder.

If you're really interested, here's the route: https://www.strava.com/activities/6411100381 - I ride it 1-3 times a week throughout the year.
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Old 12-23-21, 11:09 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
It is, in point of fact, the exact same route. Perhaps of you picked a specific spot in the video, I could shoot a still from that very spot. The "shoulder" there is very representative of the roads on that route, It is possible you are confusing the 10-30 inches of loose gravel on the sides of the road for a shoulder.

If you're really interested, here's the route: https://www.strava.com/activities/6411100381 - I ride it 1-3 times a week throughout the year.

My experience with videos and photographic stuff is that it's really bad at distinguishing fine detail like whether something is actually smooth vs. just smooth-appearing, and people just fill in those details based on their own agenda.

If you tell me that shoulder is unrideable, I'm going to take your word for that because I can't see why you'd lie about it, and I can't judge based on my perception of a video whether I'd find it rideable or not. But hey, some people seem to be impervious to the knowledge that camera angles, lighting, number of pixels or any number of things can make a video incomplete proof or even entirely misleading.

I still think it's weird that you thought your state law made it illegal to ride on the shoulder, though. Are you saying that even if that shoulder was really wide and smooth, you still wouldn't ride on it?
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Old 12-23-21, 11:20 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Are you saying that even if that shoulder was really wide and smooth, you still wouldn't ride on it?
IF a shoulder is wide, clear, and consistent, AND traffic is very heavy or on a steep climb, I'll ride it, but in my experience, I still get much closer passes on the shoulder than in the lane, so its decidedly the exception rather than the rule.
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Old 12-23-21, 11:27 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
IF a shoulder is wide, clear, and consistent, AND traffic is very heavy or on a steep climb, I'll ride it, but in my experience, I still get much closer passes on the shoulder than in the lane, so its decidedly the exception rather than the rule.

I'll have to take your word on that, it's literally the opposite from my experience, and neither of us is going to convince the other otherwise.
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Old 12-23-21, 08:59 PM
  #85  
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I don't live in NH. Every state I have lived in currently does not require by law that you ride on the shoulder. I use well maintained shoulders when practical. I avoid riding on narrow laned roads when I have another choice. When there is no choice then I take enough of the lane so those mentally impaired types are required to pass me in another lane like they do when they are passing a car. I ride down portions of a state highway that has a shoulder of varying widths. The speed limit ranges from 40mph to 65mph. There are two lanes going east a center lane and two lanes going west. in areas were the shoulder narrows some people fell it is necessary to put there car to close to me when passing. So in these areas I ride in the right wheel track of the inside lane and everybody passes me in the other lane. This is not illegal, dangerous or ignorant.
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Old 12-23-21, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
I don't live in NH. Every state I have lived in currently does not require by law that you ride on the shoulder. I use well maintained shoulders when practical. I avoid riding on narrow laned roads when I have another choice. When there is no choice then I take enough of the lane so those mentally impaired types are required to pass me in another lane like they do when they are passing a car. I ride down portions of a state highway that has a shoulder of varying widths. The speed limit ranges from 40mph to 65mph. There are two lanes going east a center lane and two lanes going west. in areas were the shoulder narrows some people fell it is necessary to put there car to close to me when passing. So in these areas I ride in the right wheel track of the inside lane and everybody passes me in the other lane. This is not illegal, dangerous or ignorant.
NH has a quirk in its bike statute that requires shoulder riding when practicable. The traffic code uses "way" instead of "road" and defines way very broadly to include the entire pavement (long story about a DUI case going to the state Supreme Court causing that definition). Thus, the shoulder is the farthest right part of the way, and if practicable, that's where you're supposed to be.
I actually do a lot of riding in MA, which doesn't have a FRAP law but, to tell the truth, I really don't see much difference in how people ride on highways between the two states. If there's a decent shoulder, the bicyclists are riding on it.
I'm not riding on a randomly varying shoulder either, but I think you guys are fooling yourselves if you think you're more visible in the middle of a 50 mph lane. People often don't see what they don't expect to be there, and so few people take the center of a 50 mph lane on a bicycle that drivers are quite possibly going to misinterpret what they're looking at.
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Old 12-24-21, 12:29 PM
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When there's no shoulder--no matter the speed limit-- I take the whole lane by default. It forces people to pass only when there isn't oncoming traffic. Even when the road has lots of turns, it's easier to see someone in the middle of the lane. It lets them know that they have to switch lanes, so drivers slow down much sooner, instead of making a last second decision if they can pass; or worse, try to pass when there's a bottleneck. If it seems like a driver won't switch, I'll look back and move closer to the yellow line. This all but eliminates close, dangerous passes. Sometimes, if I sense someone's about to teach me a lesson, I use the "jam and fade technique", which means I move towards the yellow line as they approach, then fade right as they close in. The further in the lane you are, the more room there is to get out of the way. To hug the white line is to invite trouble. And yes, I've ridden in every region in the country. Works everywhere. Perfectly legal too.

The two things I try to do are move over when I can see it's safe to let people pass, and if there's more than three cars behind me, I get off the road. Rarely ever happens though. I also wave to friendly, patient drivers.

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Old 12-24-21, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Comfort is King View Post
When there's no shoulder--no matter the speed limit-- I take the whole lane by default. It forces people to pass only when there isn't oncoming traffic. Even when the road has lots of turns, it's easier to see someone in the middle of the lane. It lets them know that they have to switch lanes, so drivers slow down much sooner, instead of making a last second decision if they can pass; or worse, try to pass when there's a bottleneck. If it seems like a driver won't switch, I'll look back and move closer to the yellow line. This all but eliminates close, dangerous passes. Sometimes, if I sense someone's about to teach me a lesson, I use the "jam and fade technique", which means I move towards the yellow line as they approach, then fade right as they close in. The further in the lane you are, the more room there is to get out of the way. To hug the white line is to invite trouble. And yes, I've ridden in every region in the country. Works everywhere. Perfectly legal too.

The two things I try to do are move over when I can see it's safe to let people pass, and if there's more than three cars behind me, I get off the road. Rarely ever happens though. I also wave to friendly, patient drivers.


As a driver and a rider, I have not observed that there's any guarantee that people will wait until the opposite lane is clear or that they're going to move wider on the pass in the lane. There's plenty of jokers who will speed up like crazy to " shoot the gap" and cause a game of chicken in the oncoming lane.
​​​​ I tend to ride pretty close to the right line, have never been hit doing so, and find it works just fine. BTW, your method would clearly be illegal in most states as they have FRAP rules.

I'm always struck by how little evidence there is for the notion that riding on the right is somehow so dangerous. Frankly, it's obvious that that's where the VAST majority of cyclists ride. But obviously, your safety intuitions are clearly superior to ours because reasons.
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Old 12-24-21, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
As a driver and a rider, I have not observed that there's any guarantee that people will wait until the opposite lane is clear or that they're going to move wider on the pass in the lane. There's plenty of jokers who will speed up like crazy to " shoot the gap" and cause a game of chicken in the oncoming lane.
​​​​ I tend to ride pretty close to the right line, have never been hit doing so, and find it works just fine. BTW, your method would clearly be illegal in most states as they have FRAP rules.

I'm always struck by how little evidence there is for the notion that riding on the right is somehow so dangerous. Frankly, it's obvious that that's where the VAST majority of cyclists ride. But obviously, your safety intuitions are clearly superior to ours because reasons.
You didn't refute a single point. First, when there's no shoulder, it negates the FARP. Go ahead and look at any state's MVC. Every one I'm aware of carves out a list of exemptions, one of which is when the shoulder isn't safe (snow, debris, exc), another is when there isn't a shoulder. That's why they stipulate FARP as practicable, not possible. Words matter.

Second, just because you haven't been hit hardly constitutes solid evidence. There is evidence out there. I've seen videos where people control the lane and film behind them. It's so clear that there's a stark difference compared to when they don't. It's exactly how it is when you do it for yourself. It's not even close! Such a dramatic difference. I wish more cyclists would grow a pair and do what the law allows and what safety mandates. The more others do it, then the more it's normalized. Lane control absolutely eliminates close passes, which makes it incontrovertibly safer, so therefore better.

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Old 12-24-21, 04:02 PM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by Comfort is King View Post
You didn't refute a single point. First, when there's no shoulder, it negates the FARP. Go ahead and look at any state's MVC. Every one I'm aware of carves out a list of exemptions, one of which is when the shoulder isn't safe (snow, debris, exc), another is when there isn't a shoulder. That's why they stipulate FARP as practicable, not possible. Words matter.

Second, just because you haven't been hit hardly constitutes solid evidence. There is evidence out there. I've seen videos where people control the lane and film behind them. It's so clear that there's a stark difference compared to when they don't. It's exactly how it is when you do it for yourself. It's not even close! Such a dramatic difference. I wish more cyclists would grow a pair and do what the law allows and what safety mandates. The more others do it, then the more it's normalized. Lane control absolutely eliminates close passes, which makes it incontrovertibly safer, so therefore better.

I'm not going to bother trying to teach you how to read a statute, but it doesn't negate the FRAP, it moves the FRAP somewhere to the left of the shoulder. This doesn't mean anywhere you choose to be in the lane, it has to be the right-most position practicable. In very few cases will that be the center of a traffic lane.

You really think a few videos prove anything? There's plenty of videos of people on the right being passed safely. And the notion that controlling the lane actually prevents a close pass is obvious BS. They can just do it slightly to the left of wherever you happen to be.

Incontrovertible, my butt.

There's good reasons almost no one rides the way you're describing, and you making a bunch of nonsensical assertions is not going to convince them to start.

BTW, I'm very aware of the actual exceptions to the FRAP rule in my state, and do take the lane where the statute clearly authorizes it.
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Old 12-25-21, 11:20 AM
  #91  
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if there are state signs posted that established the presences of a bicycle being possible, I'll camp in the right lane. If state signs are not posted as mentioned, I'll do my best to stay on a safe & maintained shoulder. I try to do my best in identifying state signs, especially state signs that prohibit pedestrian traffic , such as, "Motorized Vehicles Only".
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Old 12-26-21, 07:48 PM
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I'm not going to bother trying to teach you how to read a statute, but it doesn't negate the FRAP, it moves the FRAP somewhere to the left of the shoulder. This doesn't mean anywhere you choose to be in the lane, it has to be the right-most position practicable. In very few cases will that be the center of a traffic lane.
My state does not require me to ride on a shoulder. My state has a sub standard lane law. Meaning when the shoulder is not safe to use I dont use it. Meaning when the lane is to narrow for a car to pass me safely in the same lane I control the lane.

You really think a few videos prove anything? There's plenty of videos of people on the right being passed safely. And the notion that controlling the lane actually prevents a close pass is obvious BS. They can just do it slightly to the left of wherever you happen to be.
The video proof in recent years shows the proper way to ride in those situations. I am 64 and learned by example from other riders. These riders were members of the League Of American Wheelmen. I was 17 and taking the lane for safety works. I have seen thousands of riders ride like this.

Last edited by Rick; 12-26-21 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 12-26-21, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
My state does not require me to ride on a shoulder. My state has a sub standard lane law. Meaning when the shoulder is not safe to use I dont use it. Meaning when the lane is to narrow for a car to pass me safely in the same lane I control the lane.

The video proof in recent years shows the proper way to ride in those situations. I am 64 and learned by example from other riders. These riders were members of the League Of American Wheelmen. I was 17 and taking the lane for safety works. I have seen thousands of riders ride like this.

I'm pretty sure no state is going to make you ride on an unsafe shoulder.

In your previous post, you were bemoaning how few people ride in the lane, so you seem to want to have it both ways.

I think it's hilarious you think videos "prove" anything. All I know is I keep reading hysterical nonsense about how dangerous riding on the right supposedly is, yet no one seems to "prove" that with anything resembling evidence.
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Old 12-26-21, 10:52 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
My state does not require me to ride on a shoulder. My state has a sub standard lane law. Meaning when the shoulder is not safe to use I dont use it. Meaning when the lane is to narrow for a car to pass me safely in the same lane I control the lane.



The video proof in recent years shows the proper way to ride in those situations. I am 64 and learned by example from other riders. These riders were members of the League Of American Wheelmen. I was 17 and taking the lane for safety works. I have seen thousands of riders ride like this.
It doesn't really matter if its legal or not frankly. If you take the lane I think you should keep your ears open and be prepared to swing right and wave cars past you. At the end of the day, if you give a cager an inch they may take a mile, which is why so many cyclists take the lane to prevent that from happening. There are lots of ways to approach this situation tbh tbh.
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Old 12-27-21, 08:06 AM
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It makes things so much more difficult to assert our legal rights when even fellow cyclists are against us. Especially when they don't understand the fundamentals of lane control. A cursory search about it would reveal how it's legal to occupy THE ENTIRE LANE whenever there's no shoulder. It is impracticable to share the lane with another vehicle. Whenever there isn't room to safely share the lane, you have the right to the whole lane. Even more so when there's a 3-foot passing law. Think about it. Google it.

Seven years ago, I was on a rural, 2-lane highway with no shoulder in California (my favorite because then I can ride in the middle and cars can switch lanes and pass without effort), when a highway patrolman got behind me and started yelling at me to move over. I refused his order because it was unlawful. When he finally pulled me over, I told him to get out the MVC. After a debate and discussion, he realized how very wrong he was and apologized. I also explained why it's actually safer to ride in the middle; and to his credit, he admitted that he could see me much sooner than if I had been hugging the white line. I also refused to move over for a cop in Washington, Michigan and Massachusetts.

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Old 12-27-21, 11:57 AM
  #96  
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Right or wrongly I tend to believe given equal traffic volume and other risks for a given route, speed differential must matter a lot.

Sure, there's 35mph streets or roads less safe than faster......but there's something very different about those two to cause that. Like volume, or sight distance (curves or hills), width, etc......

Isn't this why mopeds and vehicles under 45mph or 55mph aren't allowed on 70mph interstates? The speed differential?

I mean, if you're going 20 and the speed limit is 35 that's twice as long somebody has to see you and make a decision versus you're going 20 and they're doing 55. Not to mention the impact difference between those two also. Assuming in both situations the car is speeding.

Is there any sense in that thought? There must be a reason why bike lanes here are a real lane uphill then a shared use lane downhill in town?
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Old 12-27-21, 12:25 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Right or wrongly I tend to believe given equal traffic volume and other risks for a given route, speed differential must matter a lot.

Sure, there's 35mph streets or roads less safe than faster......but there's something very different about those two to cause that. Like volume, or sight distance (curves or hills), width, etc......

Isn't this why mopeds and vehicles under 45mph or 55mph aren't allowed on 70mph interstates? The speed differential?

I mean, if you're going 20 and the speed limit is 35 that's twice as long somebody has to see you and make a decision versus you're going 20 and they're doing 55. Not to mention the impact difference between those two also. Assuming in both situations the car is speeding.

Is there any sense in that thought? There must be a reason why bike lanes here are a real lane uphill then a shared use lane downhill in town?

Seems pretty damn reasonable to me--all other things being equal, speed differential is going to be inversely related with reaction time. . I also think that drivers on the faster road are less likely to slow down suddenly as they'll be more nervous about the possibility of being rear-ended by a motor vehicle behind them.
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Old 12-27-21, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Comfort is King View Post
It makes things so much more difficult to assert our legal rights when even fellow cyclists are against us. Especially when they don't understand the fundamentals of lane control. A cursory search about it would reveal how it's legal to occupy THE ENTIRE LANE whenever there's no shoulder. It is impracticable to share the lane with another vehicle. Whenever there isn't room to safely share the lane, you have the right to the whole lane. Even more so when there's a 3-foot passing law. Think about it. Google it.

Seven years ago, I was on a rural, 2-lane highway with no shoulder in California (my favorite because then I can ride in the middle and cars can switch lanes and pass without effort), when a highway patrolman got behind me and started yelling at me to move over. I refused his order because it was unlawful. When he finally pulled me over, I told him to get out the MVC. After a debate and discussion, he realized how very wrong he was and apologized. I also explained why it's actually safer to ride in the middle; and to his credit, he admitted that he could see me much sooner than if I had been hugging the white line. I also refused to move over for a cop in Washington, Michigan and Massachusetts.

There is no provision in NH law or most other state's law that state that it's per se reasonable to ride in the center of the lane if there's no shoulder. Unless you're operating at or above the speed of the cars, FRAP applies. As an attorney, I would have a field day with you in court if you tried to argue that it's inherently unsafe for bikes and cars to be passing each other in the same lane when the statutes specifically allow that kind of passing. There's a difference between "not understanding" your "legal rights" theory and just not buying it. Put me firmly in the latter category.

I don't "hug" the right margin, I'm just a lot closer to it than I am the center line. As a driver, I've never had a problem seeing a cyclist in that position, and as a cyclist, I've actually had more problems with drivers not knowing what to do when I'm in the lane (happens frequently for left turns, unrideable margins, avoiding right margin when cars can turn right).

I defy you to find any data other than untested assertions that supports center lane as being a safer default position.

MA doesn't have a FRAP provision, BTW. Bicyclists in MA stay FRAP in that state pretty much as often as they do in other states because they feel safer that way. You ever consider for one second maybe they're right and you're wrong?
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Old 12-27-21, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Isn't this why mopeds and vehicles under 45mph or 55mph aren't allowed on 70mph interstates? The speed differential?
Aside from the "cycle" classification; mopeds are classed by a few factors, such as performance, design, & purpose.
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Old 12-27-21, 05:26 PM
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There's only a couple of 45 mph stretches on my island, so it isn't a big issue (per the topic). On those few areas there are shoulders and everyone rides them. The FRAP law was specifically amended to allow bikes or mopeds to use shoulder as an alternative to FRAP. There's a couple spots on one of the 45mph roads where bridges don't have shoulders so obviously you have to merge and FRAP. I don't think on those bridges it really matters where in the lane you position, you are effectively "controlling" it regardless. I suppose it could also fit the "substandard lane width" exception.

We do have in general 35mph roads, and pretty much the same applies. There is one road which gradually ascends/descends on a series of s-curves with a narrow shoulder and HiDOT in their wisdom rolled in rumble strips making them unavailable. Before they did that I would ride uphill just to the right of the white and traffic could squeeze by which I didn't find all that much a problem, other than the occasional AH you see anywhere. But now I don't because I know it would cause a huge traffic jam. I do ride it downhill and can average 35 (speed limit) in the lane but even then you get passed (and this is on S curves!). The issue is getting cut off when they have to duck back into the lane.

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