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Riding on the wrong side of the road.

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Riding on the wrong side of the road.

Old 09-07-12, 04:07 PM
  #1  
jfowler85
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Riding on the wrong side of the road.

The thread I was arguing on - cheap fun! - got locked up, so I will now turn my attention to:

People riding on the wrong side of the road. Am I missing something here? I see it often around these parts, i.e., folks riding against traffic on the shoulder. Lately actually, two buddies and I were riding home from the lake at dusk, when one of them crossed over to the left shoulder and remarked "it's safer on this side because you can actually see who is coming and not be suprised." Since this was during low ambient light, it seemed very foolish to me because of how easily I lose sight due to pupil constriction as a reaction to headlights in my face, which is disorienting a bit. Even in full daylight, riding into traffic is just pain unsettling, and on that I speak both as the cyclist and as the driver encoutering the wrong-way rider. Additionally, state and city laws specifically prohibit riding against the flow of traffic on the shoulder of a public motorway.
This also presents a bit of a problem when I see another cyclist coming right at me, and I end up yielding by swinging out into traffic. This is not fun on busy roadways. I wish I could stop and talk with the people doing this and convince them to ride with the flow of traffic, i.e., legally.

Now, I will admit that during the last leg of my commute home I do ride on the left shoulder for a stretch of about 100ft, but this is because 1) I need to get over and at that point the right shoulder disappears all the way to the white line, and this is a road that hosts a constant 55-60mph flow of traffic, and 2) the left shoulder is very wide due to intermittent turn lanes, so I can ride a full 8ft away from the actual lane. I find this reasonable, but when cyclists are cruising against the flow of traffic I think to myself "why?"

Is this as common as I think it is? Do any of you all do this? Does anyone want to start a debate about politics or abortion?
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Old 09-07-12, 04:12 PM
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We have a forum for politics.
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Old 09-07-12, 04:17 PM
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I don't get it.
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Old 09-07-12, 04:18 PM
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Not only is it against the law on many roads (as you pointed out) but it's also unsafe. The closing speeds going head on into traffic is greater so there's less time for anyone to react to a potentially bad situation and the greater speed differential can hurt a lot more (cyclist doing 20mph and a car doing 30mph is the difference of 50mph (head on) vs 10 mph (rear ended)). If a rider wants to be aware of traffic coming from behind, they should use mirrors... that's what they're for.

I come across a lot of salmon on my rides and they think they are being safer but then they don't seem too bright to begin with... Darwinism in action.
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Old 09-07-12, 04:22 PM
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The main reason you don't want to ride on the wrong side of the road is because drivers are not looking for you when they pull out of their driveways. They'll scan to the right to see if there's a ped coming, but most of their focus will be to their left, because that's where all the traffic is coming from. It's not unusual for them to keep looking over their left shoulder as they accelerate into traffic. Then, wham! They nail a cyclist coming from the wrong way. It's very common, especially where they route bike paths along the sidewalk where driveways emerge, or where they run part of a ride route along a sidewalk, but on the left side of the road. I saw a rider almost get clobbered in that situation on a big organized ride.

And if you're actually on the wrong side of the road, and you get nailed by a motorist coming out of a driveway, you are likely the one at fault because you are not riding "as far to the right as practicable."

And I haven't even touched on the dangers of riders coming at you in the proper direction who will hurl insults, brush you with their shoulders, or even throw punches, as I have been tempted to do whenever I see these clowns!

Luis
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Old 09-07-12, 04:53 PM
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"I drive on the wrong side of the road so I can see the cars coming at me better." Ask him if that makes any sense?
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Old 09-07-12, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post
Not only is it against the law on many roads (as you pointed out) but it's also unsafe. The closing speeds going head on into traffic is greater so there's less time for anyone to react to a potentially bad situation and the greater speed differential can hurt a lot more (cyclist doing 20mph and a car doing 30mph is the difference of 50mph (head on) vs 10 mph (rear ended)). If a rider wants to be aware of traffic coming from behind, they should use mirrors... that's what they're for.

I come across a lot of salmon on my rides and they think they are being safer but then they don't seem too bright to begin with... Darwinism in action.
Social Darwinism, I believe. My sentiments exactly.
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Old 09-07-12, 06:30 PM
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This topic is a perennial favorite and has most recently been discussed at:

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...be-a-good-idea

Also, if you do an Advanced Search on "salmon" in Titles Only, you will pull up a number of lengthy threads.

This seems to be one topic in A&S where there is a strong consensus -- nearly everyone agrees that riding against traffic is a bad idea, with the exception of the occasional short stint for convenience.
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Old 09-07-12, 10:26 PM
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In WA, cyclists riding on the roadway are required to ride with traffic. However, assuming no sidewalk, pedestrians (pedestrians also include skateboarders, and most of the time wheel chair operators, etc), are required to walk opposite traffic. Not my opinion, but state law...
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Old 09-08-12, 02:14 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by lhbernhardt View Post
The main reason you don't want to ride on the wrong side of the road is because drivers are not looking for you when they pull out of their driveways. They'll scan to the right to see if there's a ped coming*, but most of their focus will be to their left, because that's where all the traffic is coming from. It's not unusual for them to keep looking over their left shoulder as they accelerate into traffic. Then, wham! They nail a cyclist coming from the wrong way. It's very common, especially where they route bike paths along the sidewalk where driveways emerge, or where they run part of a ride route along a sidewalk, but on the left side of the road. I saw a rider almost get clobbered in that situation on a big organized ride.

And if you're actually on the wrong side of the road, and you get nailed by a motorist coming out of a driveway, you are likely the one at fault because you are not riding "as far to the right as practicable."

And I haven't even touched on the dangers of riders coming at you in the proper direction who will hurl insults, brush you with their shoulders, or even throw punches, as I have been tempted to do whenever I see these clowns!

Luis

*Emphasis in Bold Added

A dangerous assumption to make. Not trying to put you down but there is absolutely no guarantee that the driver of a motor vehicle will look to the right before turning to the right some will only look to the left and when they see an opening they punch it and pull out into it and when I say only left I do mean only left and they won't even look straight ahead much less to the right. No scan, no nothing, just turn their head to the left as they approach and look for an opening and then go when they see it still looking to the left at oncoming traffic until they are about half way out into the street and then they look forward. I've almost been run over as a Ped. in a crosswalk as a result, from now on I don't walk out into a cross walk in front of a stopped car without making eye contact with the driver while stepping out in their plain view. The "head frozen to the left" drivers it isn't safe to walk out into the cross walk in front of, common sense should have told me that before I had to have a close call to figure it out but sometimes I'm sort of dense and have to learn things the hard way.

Long story short, don't assume they will see ANYTHING coming from the right when they are looking to turn right even if it is straight in front of their bumper and just looking forward before hitting the gas is all that is required and they don't even have to look right just stop looking left and look at what is right in front of them before hitting the gas.

And no that isn't a problem unique to motorists because they are evil or something. It is simply just very bad driving habits that some people have and if the exact same person who does that in their car habitually is on a bike (and riding on the right and correct side of the road) they might do the same thing on their bike and they could end up in a bike/bike or bike/Ped. collision the same way if a bike or Ped. was coming from the right on the sidewalk or roadway edge or even the crosswalk dead center in front of them simply because all they did was look left and left only before making their right hand turn.

Last edited by turbo1889; 09-08-12 at 02:21 AM.
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Old 09-08-12, 03:10 AM
  #11  
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We beat it into kids that they should walk on the left side facing traffic and many people can't seem to make the transition when they start cycling.
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Old 09-08-12, 10:05 AM
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People cycle down the wrong side of the road for many of the same reasons posters start new threads without first doing a search on the topic.
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Old 09-10-12, 06:33 AM
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Why does it bother you for someone to post a new thread on an old subject, you don't get much response when you comment on an old thread! So why if you see a new thread on a old subject would you click on it and take the time to post that instead of just moving on to a subject that interest you?
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Old 09-10-12, 08:04 AM
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Daily Salmon Report

Had to drive today so I'm making a right (side street to side street) and who's there? An adult Salmon in a MTB right in the lane I'm turning into !
and then to make matters even better he drifts into the left gutter I did roll down the window and "told" him to ride with traffic.

Seen him before on the morning commute- not a very responsive guy
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Old 09-10-12, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by jfowler85 View Post
... one of them crossed over to the left shoulder and remarked "it's safer on this side because you can actually see who is coming and not be suprised...
While that is true for walkers, joggers, and runners, it is not for cyclists, as cyclists should ride in the same direction as the traffic.
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Old 09-10-12, 08:55 AM
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there is a reason they all dont make it home.
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Old 09-10-12, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by jfowler85 View Post
The thread I was arguing on - cheap fun! - got locked up, so I will now turn my attention to:

People riding on the wrong side of the road. Am I missing something here? I see it often around these parts, i.e., folks riding against traffic on the shoulder. Lately actually, two buddies and I were riding home from the lake at dusk, when one of them crossed over to the left shoulder and remarked "it's safer on this side because you can actually see who is coming and not be suprised." Since this was during low ambient light, it seemed very foolish to me because of how easily I lose sight due to pupil constriction as a reaction to headlights in my face, which is disorienting a bit. Even in full daylight, riding into traffic is just pain unsettling, and on that I speak both as the cyclist and as the driver encoutering the wrong-way rider. Additionally, state and city laws specifically prohibit riding against the flow of traffic on the shoulder of a public motorway.
This also presents a bit of a problem when I see another cyclist coming right at me, and I end up yielding by swinging out into traffic. This is not fun on busy roadways. I wish I could stop and talk with the people doing this and convince them to ride with the flow of traffic, i.e., legally.

Now, I will admit that during the last leg of my commute home I do ride on the left shoulder for a stretch of about 100ft, but this is because 1) I need to get over and at that point the right shoulder disappears all the way to the white line, and this is a road that hosts a constant 55-60mph flow of traffic, and 2) the left shoulder is very wide due to intermittent turn lanes, so I can ride a full 8ft away from the actual lane. I find this reasonable, but when cyclists are cruising against the flow of traffic I think to myself "why?"

Is this as common as I think it is? Do any of you all do this? Does anyone want to start a debate about politics or abortion?
This is insane. You need to get that road fixed.
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Old 09-10-12, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
We beat it into kids that they should walk on the left side facing traffic and many people can't seem to make the transition when they start cycling.
Championing the head-on collision, I see.
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Old 09-10-12, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post
Not only is it against the law on many roads (as you pointed out) but it's also unsafe. The closing speeds going head on into traffic is greater so there's less time for anyone to react to a potentially bad situation and the greater speed differential can hurt a lot more (cyclist doing 20mph and a car doing 30mph is the difference of 50mph (head on) vs 10 mph (rear ended)). If a rider wants to be aware of traffic coming from behind, they should use mirrors... that's what they're for.

I come across a lot of salmon on my rides and they think they are being safer but then they don't seem too bright to begin with... Darwinism in action.
+100
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