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Did I do this right?

Old 03-25-19, 01:34 PM
  #1  
dennis336
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Did I do this right?

I was on a ride yesterday and for a short time, was on a brief, but fairly busy section of road. I was riding along on the right side of the road but needed to make a left turn at an upcoming light. I looked behind me and I could tell the next car coming up was holding back - I assume, by seeing me look back, he was preparing that I might want to turn. I then signaled that I was going to be making a left turn so he continued holding back and giving me space. All was good. I came up to the light (there were a couple of cars ahead of me waiting for the light to turn green). By the time I stopped, waiting for the light to turn green and the cars ahead of me to go ahead, I had positioned myself in the middle, maybe left of middle part of the lane. As the light turned green and the cars ahead of me went on their way, I pulled up into the intersection of the intersection, probably more to the left of my lane at this time, and waited for the oncoming cars to go through. Once it was clear, i made my left turn and went right to the right side of the road I was turning onto. All seemed fine with the cars behind me and the oncoming cars. But there was a guy stopped at the light coming from the direction I was turning into and when I made my turn, he honked his horn, gave me a 'thumbs-down' and said something ... couldn't read his lips but I presume he was saying I did something wrong.

What say you ... my understanding has been that when looking to make a left turn, once you're clear, a cyclist should position himself towards the middle of the lane rather than trying to make a left turn from the right side of the road and risk getting hit. Of course, signaling your turn intentions clearly. Just want to know if I've been doing it wrong. Thanks
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Old 03-25-19, 01:42 PM
  #2  
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It sounds all good and proper to me!
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Old 03-25-19, 01:47 PM
  #3  
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You didn't have black cycling shoes with white socks, did you? (Rule #27 )
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Old 03-25-19, 01:51 PM
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Your ‘wrong’ was likely just the fact that you were on a bicycle.
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Old 03-25-19, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
You didn't have black cycling shoes with white socks, did you? (Rule #27 )
That's the thing ... I had black shoes AND black socks ... I just don't understand what the problem was
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Old 03-25-19, 01:52 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by dennis336 View Post
I was on a ride yesterday and for a short time, was on a brief, but fairly busy section of road. I was riding along on the right side of the road but needed to make a left turn at an upcoming light. I looked behind me and I could tell the next car coming up was holding back - I assume, by seeing me look back, he was preparing that I might want to turn. I then signaled that I was going to be making a left turn so he continued holding back and giving me space. All was good. I came up to the light (there were a couple of cars ahead of me waiting for the light to turn green). By the time I stopped, waiting for the light to turn green and the cars ahead of me to go ahead, I had positioned myself in the middle, maybe left of middle part of the lane. As the light turned green and the cars ahead of me went on their way, I pulled up into the intersection of the intersection, probably more to the left of my lane at this time, and waited for the oncoming cars to go through. Once it was clear, i made my left turn and went right to the right side of the road I was turning onto. All seemed fine with the cars behind me and the oncoming cars. But there was a guy stopped at the light coming from the direction I was turning into and when I made my turn, he honked his horn, gave me a 'thumbs-down' and said something ... couldn't read his lips but I presume he was saying I did something wrong.

What say you ... my understanding has been that when looking to make a left turn, once you're clear, a cyclist should position himself towards the middle of the lane rather than trying to make a left turn from the right side of the road and risk getting hit. Of course, signaling your turn intentions clearly. Just want to know if I've been doing it wrong. Thanks

Yup, all good. Jackass with a horn thinks he knows the rules but gets them wrong.

I've had several of these guys tell me to "get off the road," I'm "asking to get killed" when I refuse to ride on the right side of a right turn lane, usually one leading to a highway on-ramp. The statute says I don't need to do that, the DMV manual specifies that I shouldn't and warns drivers that it's their job to look out for me when I take the lane in that situation, yet these self-appointed experts get irate when I tell them they're wrong.
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Old 03-25-19, 01:53 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by seamuis View Post
Your ‘wrong’ was likely just the fact that you were on a bicycle.
It really felt like that although I tend to be self-critical so my first thought is that I broke some rule!
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Old 03-25-19, 01:54 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by deephate View Post
It sounds all good and proper to me!
Thanks! It sure seemed like it to me!
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Old 03-25-19, 01:55 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by dennis336 View Post
It really felt like that although I tend to be self-critical so my first thought is that I broke some rule!

What's funny in most of these situations is you're driving much like a car would, and don't actually inconvenience them more than any other vehicle turning ahead of them. The pedals just make them mad.
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Old 03-25-19, 01:59 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
What's funny in most of these situations is you're driving much like a car would, and don't actually inconvenience them more than any other vehicle turning ahead of them. The pedals just make them mad.
I think that's it ... probably thought cyclists should just ride on the sidewalks!
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Old 03-25-19, 02:08 PM
  #11  
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@dennis336 Sounds like you did everything correctly, or at least how I would do it. Unless you could hear what the honking driver said along with his "thumbs down" I wouldn't give his actions another thought.

He could have been voicing and showing his displeasure over...

a song that came on his radio.
an opinion expressed on the radio.
seeing a bicycle on the street, regardless of how it was being piloted in traffic.
the brand, color or type of your bike.
your outfit or kit.
how much more fit you are than he is.
a previous encounter with another cyclist that has nothing to do with you whatsoever.
any number of things ad nauseum...

...including that he thought you should be in a lower gear which he indicated by pointing down with his thumb.

If you start running a helmet cam, the next time such an exchange happens, you may be able to glean the specifics for what it's worth, if anything.

Meanwhile, I think it pays to be circumspect, and I always try to take the opportunity of some one else posting an incident to review my own riding strategies and habits.

Thanks for sharing (and ignore any abusive posts).
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Old 03-25-19, 02:15 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by dennis336 View Post
I think that's it ... probably thought cyclists should just ride on the sidewalks!
We should probably get rid of sidewalks, where I live in any case:

- Cars don't fit
- Bikes can't
- Roller skaters won't and/or can't, understandably
- Runners and walkers are content using the MUP or the street

So, what is it there for exactly ?

As for your issue, that's what I do when I can safely move from the right side of the road to the left-turn lane, i.e. without slowing cars down. When the light turns green, I gradually make my way to the right side of the street I'm turning onto. I'll do that especially when I know there's priority to turn, otherwise I'm a little uncomfortable as I might slow cars down too much, when there's traffic. Otherwise I'll just keep right, go straight then wait for the next light to cross over to where I want to go.
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Old 03-25-19, 02:18 PM
  #13  
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sounds like it was a two-lane road? & the intersection had just one lane in each direction like this but with a traffic light?

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Old 03-25-19, 02:22 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
sounds like it was a two-lane road? & the intersection had just one lane in each direction like this but with a traffic light?

Yes, that's the layout, but with lights
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Old 03-25-19, 02:42 PM
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Sounds like another one of life's bullies. Maybe you displayed some uncertainty in how you took the lane, he sensed that, and tried to belittle someone he perceived as weaker than himself. These cowardly sickos are legion, and found in every aspect of life, and especially in car vs. bike encounters. Grade school never ends, sadly.
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Old 03-25-19, 02:42 PM
  #16  
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Ignore that person. You did it correctly.
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Old 03-25-19, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
What's funny in most of these situations is you're driving much like a car would, and don't actually inconvenience them more than any other vehicle turning ahead of them. The pedals just make them mad.
this right here. Perfect summation. I have experienced this more times than I can even begin to count. I watch drivers literally break the law, to avoid a perceived inconvience because a bicycle, following the law, is ahead of them. Being self critical is always a good trait, but as cyclists, (and as most of us are likely also motorists) we need to be aware that following the law, and doing things right won’t spare you from the unwarranted rage a lot of drivers feel when sharing the road (or turning lane) with a cyclist. In fact, often, following the law can induce even more anger in motorists.

we could have a whole conversation about the use of automobiles, road rage, urban and suburban planning, commuting, etc. But I believe that at the core, the biggest issue is that (at least in the US) we have gotten too far away from the understanding that driving is a privilege, not a right. And with a lack of proper, through, drivers education, we have motorists that genuinely feel that the road only belongs to them, despite being angry about having to drive on them everyday. Throw a bicycle or pedestrian into the mix, that they perceive could cost them valuable seconds of their day and well, you get experiences like the one above.
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Old 03-25-19, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by dennis336 View Post
I pulled up into the intersection of the intersection
maybe he was questioning this part. were you waiting here to make your turn?

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Old 03-25-19, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
maybe he was questioning this part. were you waiting here to make your turn?

That is possible ... I don't think I had crossed over into the opposite lane while waiting to make my turn but it's possible he thought I was being a hazard. Didn't get any negative reactions from cars behind me or coming towards me, just the guy sitting at the red light who had a little spare time on his hands
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Old 03-25-19, 02:56 PM
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ignore the impatient, self important idiot. It sounds like you did the proper thing. I like to stay on the shoulder or side of the lane until I get close to an intersection, then I make sure its clear behind me and then take my space in the lane and proceed as if I am a car and obey proper laws by yielding, stopping and signaling as necessary. In my opinion if you stay on the shoulder or side of the lane at an intersection some drivers, usually from lack of understanding, try to pull to the intersection next to you causing a lot of confusion and hesitation from everyone at the intersection, and hesitation and confusion is when something bad happens.

dont lose sleep over the horn happy ding dong. Be assertive and dont hesitate once confirming traffic is clear and look drivers in the eye.

you have just as much a right to take space on the road as anyone, just be safe and hyper vigilant when riding with traffic.
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Old 03-25-19, 03:01 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by seamuis View Post
Your ‘wrong’ was likely just the fact that you were on a bicycle.
And riding on the streets that that guy's tax dollars pay for.
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Old 03-25-19, 03:01 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by superpletch View Post
ignore the impatient, self important idiot. It sounds like you did the proper thing. I like to stay on the shoulder or side of the lane until I get close to an intersection, then I make sure its clear behind me and then take my space in the lane and proceed as if I am a car and obey proper laws by yielding, stopping and signaling as necessary. In my opinion if you stay on the shoulder or side of the lane at an intersection some drivers, usually from lack of understanding, try to pull to the intersection next to you causing a lot of confusion and hesitation from everyone at the intersection, and hesitation and confusion is when something bad happens.

dont lose sleep over the horn happy ding dong. Be assertive and dont hesitate once confirming traffic is clear and look drivers in the eye.

you have just as much a right to take space on the road as anyone, just be safe and hyper vigilant when riding with traffic.
Yes! I am pretty good about not letting the occasional negative interaction spoil my ride and enjoy the vast majority of positive experiences. This one just got me to thinking afterwards to be sure my approach was correct.

Now that I know I was right, I'm going hunt this guy down and ....... no, scratch that
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Old 03-25-19, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
And riding on the streets that that guy's tax dollars pay for.
as a previous board member for my city’s bicycle advocacy organisation, the number of times I’ve had this conversation with clueless city officials seems to be equal to the number of motorists I subsidise as a tax paying full time commuter.
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Old 03-25-19, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by superpletch View Post
dont lose sleep over the horn happy ding dong. Be assertive and dont hesitate once confirming traffic is clear and look drivers in the eye.

you have just as much a right to take space on the road as anyone, just be safe and hyper vigilant when riding with traffic.
Absolutely. Taking your lane might bring forth the rage of some random motorist, but it’s safer for you than not asserting yourself. I’ve seen many cyclists afraid of their place and in turn found themselves in dangerous situations when careless motorists take their lane from them, often breaking the law to push a cyclist aside.
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Old 03-25-19, 03:53 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by dennis336 View Post
But there was a guy stopped at the light coming from the direction I was turning into and when I made my turn, he honked his horn, gave me a 'thumbs-down' and said something ... couldn't read his lips but I presume he was saying I did something wrong.
Likely he was saying, "Your socks don't match your jersey and you didn't wave,"
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