Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

The Wrong Way To Make a Left?

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

The Wrong Way To Make a Left?

Reply

Old 07-11-07, 06:28 PM
  #1  
Novakane 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Novakane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canada's Capital
Posts: 556

Bikes: Sekine RM40 1980, Miyata 1000LT 1990, Raleigh Mixte Sprite 1980, Raleigh Grand Prix 1979

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
The Wrong Way To Make a Left?

I hate making left-hand turns in traffic during my commute, but I generally need to make at least one a day on my way home. I always indicate my intention of changing to the left lane, take the middle of it wait my turn in the queue like a good rider.

Today, I'm the second 'vehicle' in the lane, with a few cars lining up behind me. The light is red (naturally, since we're all stopped) and there is a second lane to the right with cars making right hand turns or going straight.

Strangely, this cyclist filters up the middle of the two lanes (to my right) - past both lead cars. Not right away, mind you - he filtered to their front, stopped then moved forward as a pickup was making a left from the intersecting lane. He had to turn to the right to get out of it's way, into the right hand turning lane. I'm pretty both drivers where likely freaked out by this unorthodox maneuver. To make matters worse, as the left light comes on and we all start making our turn, he shoots out into the middle of the intersection, makes a sharp left at the opposite crosswalk, then rides it and continues on the paved shoulder.

This particular road is not very wide and has a posted limit of 80kmh, but has very wide paved shoulders where cyclists can (and do) ride safely. Me, I was aiming for that after making my left - knowing that I have an accelerating car on my back wheel with no room to pass my slowly accelerating bicycle. Well, then this cyclist takes the left side of the shoulder near the line, leaving me no room to get out of the cars way onto the shoulder. I figure, OK, I'll ding my bell and speed up and get into his field of view and he'll let me over. Slowing down wasn't an option as I had a line of accelerating cars behind me.

He starts speeding up and matching my pace. I called out, 'Hey!', to get his attention so he could let me over, but no dice. I kept peddling but stopped accelerating to let him pull away, so I could eventually move right. The whole time he never looked to see what was coming up on his left and completely ignored the bell and shouting. I guess that shouldn't surprise me, given his behavior a few moments before.

Other than totally boxing me into the car lane, he went through an intersection very recklessly and certainly not in a predictable manner. Heck, I was on a bike and had no idea what this guy was gonna do next. I was quite happy to hang back in the end and let him put some distance between us. I'd rather not be a witness to his wreck. For some reason this whole incident just ticked me off. This intersection has crosswalks and lights on all four sides - if he wanted to take the crosswalk, it's there. Why risk people's lives zipping dangerously through traffic like this?
Novakane is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-07, 06:42 PM
  #2  
I_bRAD
Call me The Breeze
 
I_bRAD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Cooper Ontario
Posts: 3,700

Bikes: 2004 Litespeed Siena, 1996 Litespeed Obed, 1992 Miele (unknown model), 1982 Meile Uno LS.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
That sounds like the most complicated left hand turn ever.

On a road like you describe, where car traffic is moving faster than bike traffic (pretty rare where I ride) I'd go to the front righmost of the left turn lane(s) and then go wide on the turn so the cars in a hurry can still cut by safely.

The other guy on the bike was just an added complication. If he sped up then cool. He'll either keep it up or drop off after you're not worried about the intersection anymore and you can just pass him then.
I_bRAD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-07, 06:49 PM
  #3  
CommuterRun
Conservative Hippie
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Wakulla Co. FL
Posts: 4,271
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm a little surprised a JAC like that didn't just go ahead and run the light.
CommuterRun is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-07, 06:57 PM
  #4  
AEO
Senior Member
 
AEO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: A Coffin Called Earth. or Toronto, ON
Posts: 12,258

Bikes: Bianchi, Miyata, Dahon, Rossin

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, there is the left turn from the right most lane manuver in australia... erm canberra?

Usually I have to go wide when turning left where I ride. Not that I want to, but simply because I'd rather not drop a tire in the tracks.
__________________
Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm
AEO is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-07, 07:31 PM
  #5  
Novakane 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Novakane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canada's Capital
Posts: 556

Bikes: Sekine RM40 1980, Miyata 1000LT 1990, Raleigh Mixte Sprite 1980, Raleigh Grand Prix 1979

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Originally Posted by I_bRAD
That sounds like the most complicated left hand turn ever.

On a road like you describe, where car traffic is moving faster than bike traffic (pretty rare where I ride) I'd go to the front righmost of the left turn lane(s) and then go wide on the turn so the cars in a hurry can still cut by safely.

The other guy on the bike was just an added complication. If he sped up then cool. He'll either keep it up or drop off after you're not worried about the intersection anymore and you can just pass him then.
This is what I was trying to do - other than I stayed in my place in line since the light was red already as I approached the intersection and the cars arriving behind me had plenty of time to see me signal and move over. He didn't actually block me until just after the turn, where he came right up beside me on my right... As the cars are picking up speed in the straight away and I assume expecting me to get out of the lane like most everyone else I see on this road everyday.
Novakane is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-07, 07:32 PM
  #6  
Novakane 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Novakane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canada's Capital
Posts: 556

Bikes: Sekine RM40 1980, Miyata 1000LT 1990, Raleigh Mixte Sprite 1980, Raleigh Grand Prix 1979

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Originally Posted by CommuterRun
I'm a little surprised a JAC like that didn't just go ahead and run the light.
If I had to guess, I would say that was his intent prior to almost killing himself on a pickup-truck's grill. All in all, not my problem I suppose, had he not decided to then cut me off and pull me into his strange riding technique.

I'd have guessed he was a novice rider, but given the speed he was able to achieve on an MTB, and knew the shortcuts to get from that road to the MUP - I'd say he should have known better.
Novakane is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-07, 07:48 PM
  #7  
hubcap
One Man Fast Brick
 
hubcap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,121

Bikes: Specialized Langster, Bianchi San Jose, early 90s GT Karakoram, Yuba Mundo, Mercier Nano (mini velo), Nashbar Steel Commuter, KHS Tandemania Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I can't stand JABs.

I always wait my turn in line for left turns. I can usually accelerate as fast or faster than the vehicles into the intersection and through the turn. I take the turn wide right and then let them pass me.
hubcap is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service