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Riding close to the white line?

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Riding close to the white line?

Old 04-08-20, 05:31 PM
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Stateguy
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Riding close to the white line?

I wanted to ask a question with bicyclists riding on a highway
Why do they ride so close to the white line. When the shoulder is 6-8 ft wide
only thing I can think of is maybe debris is closer to the curb line. Because I see this all the time with cyclists
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Old 04-08-20, 05:36 PM
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Iride01
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Shoulders are usually filled with gravel and debris. I ride in the traffic lane. And if it's only two lane, then I get in the middle of my lane when there is oncoming traffic so other motor vehicles behind me don't try to squeeze by with insufficient clearance from me. With few exceptions, most motorist seem to understand or at least tolerate it around where I ride.

Riding in the shoulder just confuses the right-of-way issues.

Last edited by Iride01; 04-08-20 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 04-08-20, 09:35 PM
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Flat tires, but also safety as speed goes up- riding 30 mph on the shoulder is stupid.

Cars don't drive on the shoulder, but bikes should?
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Old 04-08-20, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Stateguy View Post
I wanted to ask a question with bicyclists riding on a highway
Why do they ride so close to the white line. When the shoulder is 6-8 ft wide
only thing I can think of is maybe debris is closer to the curb line. Because I see this all the time with cyclists
Yes
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Old 04-08-20, 10:46 PM
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Cars blow debris about three feet away from the typical car tire path, so many of us ride about two and a half from that tire path to stay out of the debris. Where this ends up being vs the white line varies as that line is often not a big concern of drivers. On a curvy road, drivers will typically hug the inside, so on left hand turns, be far from the white line or road edge whereas they will tend to hug those lines on right hand turns. (When that line defines a bike lane, you will notice that on left hand turns, often the entire bike lane is filled with debris. Cars often wear the bike lane stripe right off on right hand turns.)
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Old 04-08-20, 11:25 PM
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There's also the slope of the road- debris tends to wash down off the inside shoulder,

wind, gravel from trucks. bottle tossers, sloppy trash pickup, eroding banks, and on.

Stuff that's insignificant to motorists and car tires can be major to a cyclist.
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Old 04-08-20, 11:36 PM
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The two or three feet beside the fog line are effectively cleaned by drivers who are texting and drifting out of their lane. I often see semis drifting over the line after they pass me - no idea why.
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Old 04-08-20, 11:39 PM
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Riding too far to the right can limit a rider’s ability to avoid a car pulling out or turning right in front of the rider.
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Old 04-09-20, 01:31 AM
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If there are parked cars, you need to allow for opening doors and pedestrians diving out from between them too.
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Old 04-09-20, 04:54 AM
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First of all, do not ride on a limited access highway, it's too dangerous, and illegal in most araes.
I commuted on a highway for 5 years, the shoulders always had lots debris in them. I would ride so my left shoulder was at or near the white line. I would have the occasional close pass, but for the most part I rode without incident.
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Old 04-09-20, 06:44 AM
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As mentioned, debris. I never ride on the shoulder (most roads around here don't have shoulders anyway, so not really an issue lol).

I also don't hug the white line, I've found that hugging the line encourages drivers to squeeze past me while staying in the lane, whereas if I am a couple of feet off the line they'll actually give me some room when they pass.
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Old 04-09-20, 07:38 AM
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On backroads I often ride on the white line because it's often smoother and of course it's easier to see debris on a white background.
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Old 04-09-20, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
I also don't hug the white line, I've found that hugging the line encourages drivers to squeeze past me while staying in the lane, whereas if I am a couple of feet off the line they'll actually give me some room when they pass.
I have found this also.
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Old 04-09-20, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Pirkaus View Post
First of all, do not ride on a limited access highway, it's too dangerous, and illegal in most araes.
I commuted on a highway for 5 years, the shoulders always had lots debris in them. I would ride so my left shoulder was at or near the white line. I would have the occasional close pass, but for the most part I rode without incident.
I've ridden several stretches interstates out of necessity and one because the alternative had the potential for a fair amount of traffic and no shoulder. I didn't find them that bad at all. Just a necessary evil for a few miles. Me about to get on I-90 in western Montana last year. Had to do two stretches the first day and one the second day. Second year I had ridden them. The neat thing was that last year the second two were closed to motor vehicles in preparation for bridge work. I had the westbound lanes all to myself. (All Interstate mileage in the state is bike legal.) Stayed as far right as practical. Most of the trucker were veery courteous and moved over to the left.


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Old 04-09-20, 09:21 AM
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There are a few stretches of interstate where bicycle travel is permitted. Montana might be one of them where it's permitted. While I fully defend my right to the full lane. I'll only do so on roads where I'm permitted to be.
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Old 04-09-20, 09:22 AM
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Some paving at/near the shoulder can have more than just debris.

At side streets and driveway cuts, a homeowner or group of them can work up a pretty deep pothole.

If you commit to riding to the the right of the "fog line", motorists get confused if you swerve into "their" lane when you encounter glass, potholes, or large branches.

That said , I'll try to ride on a well paved shoulder and leave the main lane clear.
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Old 04-09-20, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Stateguy View Post
I wanted to ask a question with bicyclists riding on a highway
Why do they ride so close to the white line. When the shoulder is 6-8 ft wide
only thing I can think of is maybe debris is closer to the curb line. Because I see this all the time with cyclists
You said it. If you don't ride on it while you drive your car, cyclists won't do it either.

I use shoulders when they are 100% clean. Otherwise, I ride close to the white line.
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Old 04-09-20, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Stayed as far right as practical. Most of the trucker were veery courteous and moved over to the left.
Take the lane.
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Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
People here don't get it.
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Old 04-09-20, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
Take the lane.
I actually did ride somewhat in the lane on I-94 in North Dakota whenever the shoulder was crappy. It was early in the morning in the middle of nowhere. Think we got passed by maybe two cars in about 8 miles of road bike riding.
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Old 04-09-20, 01:13 PM
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There’s been for as long as I’ve been cycling a theory to be “visible”. That only partly has anything to do with the jersey color or a red blinking light, but can also mean to position yourself to be seen and recognized by a motorist. Riding on the right side/outer portion of a shoulder tends to put you in an “out of sight, out of mind” location for a motorist and they take no further action to avoid you. If you position yourself just to the right of the white line, but not actually in the lane of traffic (unless you need to be), but also not all the way over near the side of the pavement, a motorist now has to account for for your presence on the road and tends to move left to avoid you, not every driver does this, but many do. Near the white line has generally been thought of as a safer place to be.
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Old 04-09-20, 02:31 PM
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I've always ridden just to the right of the white line. In my neck of the woods the bike lanes / shoulders range in width from 1-3 feet, so there's not much space. These are single lane roads, but the majority of drivers usually follow the "3 foot" rule when passing a cyclist.
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Old 04-09-20, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I've ridden several stretches interstates out of necessity and one because the alternative had the potential for a fair amount of traffic and no shoulder. I didn't find them that bad at all. Just a necessary evil for a few miles. Me about to get on I-90 in western Montana last year. Had to do two stretches the first day and one the second day. Second year I had ridden them. The neat thing was that last year the second two were closed to motor vehicles in preparation for bridge work. I had the westbound lanes all to myself. (All Interstate mileage in the state is bike legal.) Stayed as far right as practical. Most of the trucker were veery courteous and moved over to the left.


50,000 SILVER $.

Also, I think I ran from the highway patrol on that frontage road once.
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Old 04-09-20, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
50,000 SILVER $.
Know exactly where it is. Was near it in 2017, but in 2019 I climbed Gold Pass from St. Regis into ID and then went down the St. Joe to Avery to pick up the Hiawatha Trail.
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Old 04-09-20, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
Take the lane.
Michigan law;
"A person operating a bicycle upon a highway or street at less than the existing speed of traffic shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except as follows: ... When riding as near the left-hand curb or edge as practicable on a one-way highway or street."
Also, 6-8 ft shoulders? They'd be a luxury around here. More often than not it's more l ike18-24" .. or less on the roads I ride.
​​​​​

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Old 04-09-20, 08:56 PM
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Seeing a car cannot legally cross the fog line and bikes are supposed to follow the rules of the road should we not also stay to the left of the fog line?
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