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Gimme some room you Bast****

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Gimme some room you Bast****

Old 08-03-01, 12:56 AM
  #1  
Buddy Hayden
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Gimme some room you Bast****

G'day guys,I read someplace maybe on these here forums?,That if you ride real close to the shoulder ,the tin tops blow past real close as if to force you off the road ..but if you ride a couple of feet in they must kinda "go around" you, thus giving you some of your just deserved space..is this true or is this a ticket to the other side...??..
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Old 08-03-01, 02:07 AM
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I try to ride about two feet minimum from the curb or edge of the roadway. If there's not much traffic, I give myself a good deal more than that, and nudge over nearer the edge to let the occasional car go past.

I do get the feeling when I ride unusually close to the edge, that cars are especially eager to take advantage of those precious extra inches--after all, they are after every millimeter they can grab, aren't they?

So to me it makes sense to be assertive and take a little extra room.

And as our good friend Pete Clark once observed, if you're 2.5 feet out, and need to get over real quick, you can do it, but if you're one foot out, where are you going to go?

P. S. Hey, Buddy, a little Owrstralian bird told me you got some really good news--right?
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Old 08-03-01, 02:25 AM
  #3  
Chris L
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I think the law here in Australia is that they are supposed to give you 1 metre when passing on the outside. It's never enforced of course.

I generally ride as far to the left (which would be the right in the US) as safely possible, but I refuse to ride through potholes or poorly maintained areas though.

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Old 08-03-01, 05:33 AM
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It is absolutely TRUE that you have to take the lane. If you ride next to the curb many automobile drivers will assume the lane is theirs and grind you right into the curb or worse.

This is especially the case if you are on a road with enough space for two automobiles to ride side-by-side. If two cars are coming up on you side-by-side, the car nearest to you often will not make the choice to slow down, and of course, they can't move over because there is a car beside them. Instead, they hold their breath, keep their foot on the gas, and "Hope they don't hit that stupid guy on the bicycle!"

You have to take the lane so that the automobile drivers don't chose to take the risk. If the car driver misjudges, it is a lawsuit for him/her, but it is life and death for you.

It takes a lot of courage to take the lane sometimes when you are with a bunch of drivers on cell phones not paying attention. You have to do it, though for your own safety. Ironic - you have to do something dangerous to be safer.
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Old 08-03-01, 06:32 AM
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Hey Buddy, after 12 years commuting my experience is this, if you ride with some ownership of the road you will gain respect, what I do is ride around .5m or 1.5 feet from the gutter.I check and take up the whole lane through roundabouts and always try and use hand signals- even pointing straight ahead if an oncoming car is waiting. I even wave cars to go in behind me if I intend to take up the whole lane.
You have to be assertive,most car drivers are like sheep and follow the leader, so try it and see.
On those days when I am flat and haven't got the energy to ride quickly in traffic ( another tip for getting respect) I find that JonR is correct- cars will push past.
The law in Australia says that we must stay as far to the left AS PRACTIBLE so if there are potholes then move out!
Happy commuting, and give those courtious car drivers a wave, a bit of thanks earns us all a bit more respect.
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Old 08-03-01, 10:40 AM
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Buddy,

I think the closest call I had was when I was cringing too far to the edge, and (as Mike illustrated) two cars side-by-side tried to squeeze past me.

Well, the one closest to me had apparently moved over too far for the other driver's liking, and the other driver blew the horn.
This caused the first driver to honk, and squeeze back over in my direction! The horns scared me to pieces and I pulled into the gutter (and made an unfortunate gesture while narrating, all for the entertainment of an elderly couple nearby who were absorbed in my performance). I ride the same stretch of road now, but the curbside lane is so narrow that I actually take the middle of it. Those drivers will have to pass me in the next lane.

Also, moving away from the edge helps you be seen better sometimes.

But I would like to add, "taking the lane" requires experience and/or training. Although easier to do than many would think, it still helps to know when to assert your position and when to give it up. I also agree that riding faster and appearing confident (as well as riding a straight line, perhaps the most important thing in communicating confidence to motorists) will gain you respect, which can be a life-saver.
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Old 08-03-01, 02:21 PM
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I have had two close calls in as many weeks. And both times involving semis.

My step-father was a truck driver, back when truck drivers behaved like the professionals they are supposed to be. Unfortunatly, I guess that breed has died off.

The first incident happened on the open highway. I was riding on the paved shoulder, fighting a head wind, and had my head down grinding away. All of a sudden, this semi passed within inches of me. At first I thought I had wandered onto the main traffic lane, but when I looked, I saw that I was fine, but the truck had actually had to put it's right tires just across the white fog stripe to get that close to me! There was no on-coming traffic, there are no prohibitions on passing in that area, so I am only left to assume that this driver is either incompetent and unable to safely control his truck, or delights in playing a sick and potentially very dangerous game.

The second incident occurred as I was leaving a town. The traffic lane is actually 5 lanes wide, and narrows to two traffic lanes and two shoulders. The right side of my lane was covered with gravel since no traffic ever uses it, and I was riding right at the edge of the gravel. Again, I was passed by a semi (not the same one as above!) who was only inches from me. I looked as he passed, and he could have moved 4 to 5 feet to the left, and still been in his own lane! There was no reason for him to be that close to me.

Whether you ride on the shoulder, or decide to exert your lawful place in a traffic lane, remember to keep an eye on the rear view mirror, and be careful! Don't want to loose any of the good folks here on this forum!!
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Old 08-03-01, 05:53 PM
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Originally posted by nebill
Whether you ride on the shoulder, or decide to exert your lawful place in a traffic lane, remember to keep an eye on the rear view mirror, and be careful! Don't want to loose any of the good folks here on this forum!!
This is good advice. Yes, we are entitled to be on the road, and yes, it's important to be assertive to make it clear. But remember, smog-boxes weigh a lot more than us, and sometimes discretion is the better part of valour.

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Old 08-03-01, 08:54 PM
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Originally posted by nebill
I have had two close calls in as many weeks. And both times involving semis.

...There was no on-coming traffic, there are no prohibitions on passing in that area, so I am only left to assume that this driver is either incompetent and unable to safely control his truck, or delights in playing a sick and potentially very dangerous game.
Truck drivers have been trained to operate their large vehicles and usually have logged enough miles to operate safely. These incidents impress me as examples of drivers who need to be reported. Unfortunately, you can't report a driver whose number can't be detected.

As a motorist, I have a great deal more experience with trucks than as a cyclist. I have found a small handful of drivers to be in need of basic instruction in areas such as following distance and safe travel speed in urban areas (which are more congested).

But just one bad driver is too much.

Last edited by LittleBigMan; 08-03-01 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 08-03-01, 10:35 PM
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I've only had one bad experience with a truck that I can recall, and that was when one had plenty of room to pass and plenty of opportunity, but wouldn't take it, and then sounded his horn for 10 seconds or more (that's a long time, look at your second hand) when he finally went around me.

Naturally I couldn't read the license plate.

I've been impressed by the patience and professionalism of almost all over-the-road drivers I've encountered. But I suppose impatience and so-called "rage" being so trendy these days, it will infect them like everybody else....
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Old 08-04-01, 06:38 AM
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Hi all, we cyclists have many traffic tales to tell, both good and bad.
Every ride I come across motorists who respect me and give me right of way, and I give them a friendly wave. If a truck or car gives me a wide berth, by going outside their lane then I wave to them too. I believe it balances those idiot cyclists who shoot the red light, ride on the wrong side of the road etc etc.......you know the ones who give us a bad name!
I also come across the car drivers who try to take you out- thankfully not too often. If I can I get their license plate, I head to the nearest police station- hey I know they are more interested in catching real law breakers!! But every so often you come across, a really nice cop who is interested enough to follow up your story, such as when 3 large semis (tractor trucks for you Yanks) passed me at 5.45am. The first one gave me a wide berth so I gave him a wave. The next must have thought I gave a rude sign so he pushed over and forced me off onto the gravel.
A kilometer up the road he stopped at a petrol station, parking on the shoulder, he hopped out of his truck as I went by and he said 'Get off the f****** road'. I got the truck rego and rode to the nearest police station and reported him. It was 6.30am and the cop was going off at 7am and was back on at 11pm that night.
The cop followed up over several nights, keeping me informed all along, the result was the truck owner told the cop he would speak to the driver as he didn't want bad reports about his drivers. Maybe he was talking crap but that is as good as I could expect.
So there are good and bad drivers, for me riding at the same time each day helps regular drivers recognise me and maybe give me some respect.
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Old 08-04-01, 05:33 PM
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Originally posted by sillystorm

A kilometer up the road he stopped at a petrol station, parking on the shoulder, he hopped out of his truck as I went by and he said 'Get off the f****** road'. I got the truck rego and rode to the nearest police station and reported him. It was 6.30am and the cop was going off at 7am and was back on at 11pm that night.
Have you ever noticed how that is the only phrase they ever use? They never actually say anything else! With such a limited vocabulary, is it any wonder that some of us really do believe that the motoring primate is a lesser species than the human being?!

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Old 08-04-01, 05:52 PM
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That was a really great post, sillystorm!
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Old 08-04-01, 10:34 PM
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I commute to work everyday. I have found that if you stay in the path where the right side tire of a vehicle would be, this is the safest zone. As a car approaches, I move slightly to the right, but not much, just enough for them to know that I am aware of there presense. Then the car must move into the next lane slightly to pass.
 

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