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where to ride on the road

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where to ride on the road

Old 12-13-14, 07:26 AM
  #1  
tycobb73
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where to ride on the road

When you're riding with traffic and a car is behind you do you move over onto the shoulder, even off the pavement? I've always felt this was the thing to do even if i felt unsafe doing it because it meant going into uneven terrain or letting cars pass very close to you. What is the right thing to do? Should i use more of the lane?
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Old 12-13-14, 08:16 AM
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Letting cars move along is nice when you can do it, but don't be afraid to use the whole lane if you need. There are going to be times that cars can't pass safely and are just going to have to wait.

You could probably be polite and move aside most of the time, but don't put yourself in danger for it.
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Old 12-13-14, 08:17 AM
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No I do not!!! In the event that I see that when cars cant pass and several are piled up, I will pull over if safe to do so.
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Old 12-13-14, 08:34 AM
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can you show us pictures of your roads?
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Old 12-13-14, 08:44 AM
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I'm going out in a few hours. I'll snap a picture.
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Old 12-13-14, 10:23 AM
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Depends on the road. If it has a wide shoulder I'd probably be over there in the first place. If the shoulder is narrow, I'll move over if it looks safe. If there is any doubt I'll stay in the lane until I know it's safe. They can wait.
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Old 12-13-14, 10:37 AM
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You should start to answer your question by finding out what the local law is.
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Old 12-13-14, 10:51 AM
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It depends on the situation with me. If I'm on a main road, yes, I will move over to the right and let traffic go. At other times, I will take the lane because it's safer, such as when I pass through road construction, or over a bridge.
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Old 12-13-14, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Fargo Wolf View Post
It depends on the situation with me. If I'm on a main road, yes, I will move over to the right and let traffic go. At other times, I will take the lane because it's safer, such as when I pass through road construction, or over a bridge.
↑↑↑↑ This. There's too many variables to answer the OP question. Different roads, different circumstances, different speed limits, door zone considerations, visibility, time of day, etc.etc. Every decision as to whether to take the lane or move over is made at the time with all the variables in mind. There's no hard and fast rule.
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Old 12-13-14, 04:32 PM
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Here is pretty much what the roads are like all the way through. Here is also a picture of my bike. I'm going to get my road bike of roughly the same age up and running shortly. I realized I'm going to need to dodge potholes every now and then. I rode along the center of the lane today and most cars passed on the other side of the double yellow, which I just assumed was illegal. Hardly any cars are on this road as I encountered about 10 on a 1.5 hour ride. The fog was pretty thick. Good thing for the color of my bike. No flat land, constantly rolling hills but not the mountains.
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Old 12-13-14, 04:45 PM
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That's ugly. Speed limit? Actual speed cars drive? How heavy of traffic? What state?

I'd avoid a road like that if possible unless cars drive quite slow and there are very few of them. The combination of no bikeway or shoulder and double yellow is nasty. In any case I'd likely be well in to the lane to make sure that when cars do pass they only do so when it's safe for them to move to the other lane. Around here if I rode close to the edge on that road I'd get some folks trying to pass without going over the double yellow line even if that meant their side mirror hitting my elbow.
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Old 12-13-14, 05:12 PM
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It's Michigan farm country. Not many cars which is why it was appealing to me. About 1 every 5 or 10 minutes. Sometimes i can smell the cows. Speed is probably 40~50 mph. I guess instead of being courteous i need to be out in the middle so they see me. I also have a paved rail trail but sometimes you want a change.
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Old 12-13-14, 05:21 PM
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If there are several 'motorized' vehicles behind me, I keep 'taking the lane'. Not just because it is my right. But also because, they should only pass when it is safe to do so.

Also, A motorist can't accurately see the right side of their vehicle. Because they can't see through the passenger-side door. So I 'take the lane' to ward off the 'close pass'.

I normally ride on roads with speed limits no greater than 40mph

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Old 12-13-14, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by tycobb73 View Post
I also have a paved rail trail but sometimes you want a change.
For me I'd take the trail every time no matter how boring. A road like that with cars traveling that fast and not expecting to see (or not see) someone riding a bicycle is not something I'd ever want to be on.

You should press your county (assuming county road?) to put in a MUP alongside this road.
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Old 12-13-14, 05:41 PM
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Most people would be happy if the county would fix the pot holes.
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Old 12-13-14, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tycobb73 View Post
It's Michigan farm country. Not many cars which is why it was appealing to me. About 1 every 5 or 10 minutes. Sometimes i can smell the cows. Speed is probably 40~50 mph. I guess instead of being courteous i need to be out in the middle so they see me. I also have a paved rail trail but sometimes you want a change.
Looks like the roads where I ride most of the time. I take the lane.
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Old 12-13-14, 10:07 PM
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That looks like a lot of the roads I ride. The guiding principle is to not try to share a lane with a motorist unless the lane is wide enough to do so safely. That one isn't, therefore you need to take the lane (ride somewhat centered in it). However, if there is a safe place to allow a pass, go ahead and facilitate it.
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Old 12-13-14, 10:47 PM
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I'd normally just ride to the right... 1 to 2 feet from the edge of the pavement, sometimes less.
Assuming infrequent cars, and good visibility, there is no reason to go into the dirt.

Sometimes I'll be a bit more in the middle of the lane until I see/hear a car coming.
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Old 12-14-14, 03:10 PM
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Back East I rode many of these shoulder-less "blue highway" roads.
I say, take the lane until you're sure they see you, then ease back to the right as much as you feel comfortable.

It's funny.. at first the folks in the car will exclaim: "What an A-HOLE!"
And then: "...ohh OK, he's moving over... "
Then they slow down, because... evidently, you're not really an A-hole/
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Old 12-15-14, 12:47 AM
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If the potholes are spread out along the road tbh I'd take the whole lane. Last thing I'd want is to be squished into a pothole ridden section of the road by a car who passes too closely. And of course if there are cars on the other oncoming lane and you don't feel like there's enough room for the car to pass you within the same lane, just take it. They can wait.
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Old 12-15-14, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
That's ugly. Speed limit? Actual speed cars drive? How heavy of traffic? What state?

I'd avoid a road like that if possible unless cars drive quite slow and there are very few of them. The combination of no bikeway or shoulder and double yellow is nasty. In any case I'd likely be well in to the lane to make sure that when cars do pass they only do so when it's safe for them to move to the other lane. Around here if I rode close to the edge on that road I'd get some folks trying to pass without going over the double yellow line even if that meant their side mirror hitting my elbow.
I'm wary about these roads too. Sometimes people drive way too fast. Riding near the edge I'd be wary of going into the grass as well (roads where I am have gravel on the sides sometimes - very dangerous).
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Old 12-15-14, 08:19 AM
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I'd ride in the right tire track and watch my mirror for cars. Unless traffic was light, I'd find other roads to ride on. Narrow + 50mph != fun ride.
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Old 12-15-14, 09:57 AM
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I would ride 6 inches in from the edge of the pavement. I would also add a bright rear facing strobe. Front light of some kind too.
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Old 12-15-14, 01:39 PM
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I ride in exactly those situations - in Michigan, mostly farm country. Ride in the lane, right tire track or left if the right side is messed up. I find that people change lanes to pass me and never give me any trouble. There are so few cars that it's rare that they can't just pull into the other lane. There's certainly no reason to pull off the road.

My rule is, if someone is behind me for more than about 10 seconds, I'll pull off to let them over. So far I've ridden close to 35,000 miles in 11 years and I've done that about 4 times. Two of those were within 3 minutes of one another, and happened because some idiot car driver in the oncoming lane was doing about 15 MPH in a 50 zone, and had (seriously) a 2 mile line of cars behind her. Even though I was riding in a shoulder, the cars behind me were so freaked out by the weird occurance that they refused to pass me - they could have done so with a good 5 feet of clearance. I just stopped and let them past.
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Old 12-15-14, 02:19 PM
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Right tire track.
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