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Noob Question about Bike Lanes

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Noob Question about Bike Lanes

Old 01-10-20, 10:39 AM
  #26  
Ogsarg
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Didn't see it mentioned above so I would say, whatever you do, make sure you have a good tail light. The brighter the better for daytime use. Whether you are in a good bike lane or a section with no shoulder, you want people to see you from as far away as possible. I ride a lot of rural roads with little or no shoulder and feel pretty comfortable. I have a bright tail light (cygolite hotshot 250 pro) and wear jerseys or jackets that are highly visible.

Of course its no guarantee someone will see you, but will improve your odds substantially.
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Old 01-10-20, 11:25 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
That's not the law here.

"a person driving a motor vehicle may cross the center lane double yellow line if necessary to pass a bicycle and no traffic is approaching from the opposite direction."

https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/51leg/...ls/hb2545p.htm
And seeing as how this is in PHX, I'm pretty sure that's the law there (unless it's changed since I lived in AZ).

I would just ride the shoulder, but here are a few things to consider:
It's Phx. This time of year, 1/2 or more of the drivers are snowbirds who are only vaguely familiar with where they are going since they only live there a few months out of the year.
If the traffic is light, you can probably just stick to the curb, but leave yourself a couple of feet for dodging potential road debris. The cars are allowed to cross the double yellow if it's safe for them to do so (no oncoming traffic).
There is a bike lane that ends so motorists should be expecting bikes, at least in theory.

And I see a few other riders from the area have chimed in with more up to date advice. I'd listen to them. Maybe even see if they'll go on a ride with you.
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Old 01-10-20, 11:26 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Your logic is overwhelming.
Taking a full lane as you described only pisses off people( that have a 2 ton weapon).

You don’t need to ride in the middle of the lane, just to get motorists to cross a double yellow(and give us enough room). 1/3 of the lane is plenty. Share the road.
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Old 01-10-20, 12:13 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Taking a full lane as you described only pisses off people( that have a 2 ton weapon).

You don’t need to ride in the middle of the lane, just to get motorists to cross a double yellow(and give us enough room). 1/3 of the lane is plenty. Share the road.
At the beginning of my a.m. commute, I have a quarter mile gentle uphill of absolutely shoulderless 4-lane with a foot-high curb I could never ever hop. There are also "Bicycles May Use Full Lane" signs. I used to ride up the middle of the right lane with the idea of making it dead clear that there wasn't room to split. However, the amount of hostility and abuse I had to endure was simply astonishing. For the last couple of years, I take about 1/3 and it could be random chance, but I don't get the honking and yelling. The frequency of too-close passes is about the same, but I get to work happier.
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Old 01-10-20, 12:33 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
At the beginning of my a.m. commute, I have a quarter mile gentle uphill of absolutely shoulderless 4-lane...
Ugh, those are the worst - just enough of an incline that you can't really hammer and keep up with the flow of traffic. If I head west, on the road just outside my door, I have one of those stretches and I almost always get buzzed there. I can avoid it if I go about a half mile out of my way, and that's what I opt to do most of the time, now.
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Old 01-10-20, 12:47 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
I would do is ride at least 3' away from that raised strip and deep enough into the carriageway to make it clear that you are not intending to split the lane and that anyone intending to pass is going to have to move left across the center line.
wut
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People here don't get it.
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Old 01-10-20, 12:53 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
take the lane. Position yourself in the center of the lane, ride predictably, and obey all applicable laws. It's safe and legal.
lolz
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Old 01-10-20, 01:04 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Taking a full lane as you described only pisses off people( that have a 2 ton weapon).

You don’t need to ride in the middle of the lane, just to get motorists to cross a double yellow(and give us enough room). 1/3 of the lane is plenty. Share the road.
Your opinion is noted. The fact that it flies in the face of both experience and data is similarly noted. Thanks for sharing.

OP - There are easily 100 threads on this forum about lane position, to say nothing of the hundreds of websites, facebook groups, etc dedicated to the subject. It's a discussion that has gone on since the day bikes and roads both existed. Rather than belabor the point here, I'll encourage you to check out the cycling savvy website, then consult with noted authorities like Mr Soup above and then spend some time on teh road getting comfortable.

Have a great day.
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Old 01-10-20, 01:23 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Your opinion is noted. The fact that it flies in the face of both experience and data is similarly noted. Thanks for sharing.

OP - There are easily 100 threads on this forum about lane position, to say nothing of the hundreds of websites, facebook groups, etc dedicated to the subject. It's a discussion that has gone on since the day bikes and roads both existed. Rather than belabor the point here, I'll encourage you to check out the cycling savvy website, then consult with noted authorities like Mr Soup above and then spend some time on teh road getting comfortable.

Have a great day.
it’s funny how many “likes” I’ve gotten here with my “share the road” comment.

Just because you have a right to the full lane, doesn’t mean you should take the full lane. Doing that is a great way to antagonize motorists. “Owning the lane” makes you look like an ***hole.
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Old 01-10-20, 01:25 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
it’s funny how many “likes” I’ve gotten here with my “share the road” comment.

Just because you have a right to the full lane, doesn’t mean you should take the full lane. Doing that is a great way to antagonize motorists. “Owning the lane” makes you look like an ***hole.
Well, I suppose if you got 3 likes on Bike Forums, you must be correct. Party on, Garth.

BB
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Old 01-10-20, 01:30 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Well, I suppose if you got 3 likes on Bike Forums, you must be correct. Party on, Garth.

BB
Do you ever wonder why so many cyclists have confrontations with motorists?
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Old 01-10-20, 01:38 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Just because you have a right to the full lane, doesn’t mean you should take the full lane. Doing that is a great way to antagonize motorists. “Owning the lane” makes you look like an ***hole.
I don't know where the beanster is riding, but in these parts a solo rider is likely to be run off the road by a monster truck if he makes a habit of taking the lane.
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Old 01-10-20, 01:42 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Well, I suppose if you got 3 likes on Bike Forums, you must be correct. Party on, Garth.

BB
Not to belabor the debate, but I feel like we're splitting hairs a bit here. For a newer rider, I would just say: don't try to hug the curb, really in any situation. It's not safe for many reasons (road debris, nowhere to swerve if you have to, cars try to squeeze past you, kids running into the street, getting doored where there is parking). Whether you ride in the 1/3 or the 1/2 mark of a lane matters much less (to me) than staying away from the curb.

Also, if you find yourself biking a good amount, I'd highly recommend getting a Garmin Varia (or helmet mirror, though I have no experience using one). Knowing when cars are coming from behind can give you valuable lead time to think through your options when space is tight.
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Old 01-10-20, 01:48 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Do you ever wonder why so many cyclists have confrontations with motorists?
How many is so many?
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Old 01-10-20, 01:50 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
I don't know where the beanster is riding, but in these parts a solo rider is likely to be run off the road by a monster truck if he makes a habit of taking the lane.
Well, of course we've all seen the statistics on all the times monster trucks have run over cyclists in East Tennessee.
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Old 01-10-20, 01:50 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
I don't know where the beanster is riding, but in these parts a solo rider is likely to be run off the road by a monster truck if he makes a habit of taking the lane.
Same here.
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Old 01-10-20, 01:53 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
Didn't see it mentioned above so I would say, whatever you do, make sure you have a good tail light. The brighter the better for daytime use. Whether you are in a good bike lane or a section with no shoulder, you want people to see you from as far away as possible. I ride a lot of rural roads with little or no shoulder and feel pretty comfortable. I have a bright tail light (cygolite hotshot 250 pro) and wear jerseys or jackets that are highly visible.

Of course its no guarantee someone will see you, but will improve your odds substantially.
Thanks! I was actually thinking about buying a light. I'll check this one out.
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Old 01-10-20, 02:00 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by jkonst View Post
Not to belabor the debate, but I feel like we're splitting hairs a bit here. For a newer rider, I would just say: don't try to hug the curb, really in any situation. It's not safe for many reasons (road debris, nowhere to swerve if you have to, cars try to squeeze past you, kids running into the street, getting doored where there is parking). Whether you ride in the 1/3 or the 1/2 mark of a lane matters much less (to me) than staying away from the curb.
I've never seen this, in and of itself, as a reason to ride toward the middle of the lane.

There are a few short spots (mostly downhill curves) where I'll intentionally "take the lane" because I'm not comfortable with a vehicle passing there. But 99.9% of the time I know vehicles are going to be looking to pass, so why make it more difficult?
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Old 01-10-20, 02:06 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Ugh, those are the worst - just enough of an incline that you can't really hammer and keep up with the flow of traffic. If I head west, on the road just outside my door, I have one of those stretches and I almost always get buzzed there. I can avoid it if I go about a half mile out of my way, and that's what I opt to do most of the time, now.
My alternatives all suck too much to consider and it's a motivator to get moving early. There's less traffic when I hit it on the way home and then I can ride in the middle of the left lane if I so choose. No one gets pissed off when you're going > 30
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Old 01-10-20, 02:08 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Let me add that I'd love have that road to ride on.
Yeah... this time of year, there aren't many other places I'd like to be than here.
Check back in the summer time though
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Old 01-10-20, 02:11 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by jkonst View Post
Whether you ride in the 1/3 or the 1/2 mark of a lane matters much less (to me) than staying away from the curb.
This, to quote the late Mr. Zappa, is the crux of the biscuit.
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Old 01-10-20, 02:14 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
I've never seen this, in and of itself, as a reason to ride toward the middle of the lane.

There are a few short spots (mostly downhill curves) where I'll intentionally "take the lane" because I'm not comfortable with a vehicle passing there. But 99.9% of the time I know vehicles are going to be looking to pass, so why make it more difficult?
We're probably just dealing with different situations in our riding... I think a lot of this debate just comes down to context. I'm in NYC, and really don't want a car trying to squeeze past me when there's maybe (maybe) barely enough space for it to get by me. It's not safe, and I'll take lane to make sure nobody tries to squeeze by me.

I'm never trying to make things harder for anyone else, and I really don't want to piss anyone off - but sometimes you have to make an unsafe situation safer. On open roads I'm generally going to stick closer to the 1/3 rule, unless the situation calls for taking the lane.

BTW, to give you a taste of what riding is often like around here - this is pretty representative of street conditions here in our age of Uber and Amazon (and NYPD using bike lanes for parking):
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Old 01-10-20, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jkonst View Post
We're probably just dealing with different situations in our riding... I think a lot of this debate just comes down to context. I'm in NYC, and really don't want a car trying to squeeze past me when there's maybe (maybe) barely enough space for it to get by me. It's not safe, and I'll take lane to make sure nobody tries to squeeze by me.
Yeah, most of my riding is suburban, sometimes straying into the country. Nothing like NYC. LOL
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Old 01-10-20, 02:22 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
I've never seen this, in and of itself, as a reason to ride toward the middle of the lane.

There are a few short spots (mostly downhill curves) where I'll intentionally "take the lane" because I'm not comfortable with a vehicle passing there. But 99.9% of the time I know vehicles are going to be looking to pass, so why make it more difficult?
I'm with bbbean on this. If you hug the side around here cars just scrape by even if the opposite lane is completely empty. I always ride the middle and stay there if oncoming traffic is approaching. (preventing a close pass) if no oncoming traffic I will fade to the right to assist the pass. Also I am not riding busy roads only occasional traffic.
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Old 01-10-20, 02:46 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Razorrock View Post
I'm with bbbean on this. If you hug the side around here cars just scrape by even if the opposite lane is completely empty. I always ride the middle and stay there if oncoming traffic is approaching. (preventing a close pass) if no oncoming traffic I will fade to the right to assist the pass. Also I am not riding busy roads only occasional traffic.
situations differ, but on the section of road in the OP’s 1st post, taking a full lane is unnecessary. If you ever went for a ride on that section of Dove Valley Rd, you’d probably see that. I don’t hug the curb in that area, but ride about 3’ to the left of the white line.
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