Discussion in 'Travelling, Commuting & Safety' started by sparky, Dec 10, 2011.
Just thought you guys would appreciate my new motto.
If you can keep up with traffic, you ARE traffic.
In my area of riding, if you cannot keep up with traffic, sooner or later, you WILL become a traffic statistic.:ack2:
There are some 2-lane roads where I go slower than the rest of the "travelers", but you know what...
When I claim the center of MY lane, those behind me have nowhere else to go.
If I lived on a densely populated volcanic rock, perhaps my mindset would be different... but here, it's my road when I want it.
I agree with you, sparky. It all depends on the area, traffic and mindset of cagers that you have to deal with.
I don't like to hold up traffic whether I'm on a bicycle, motorbike or car and I don't appreciate it when people can't have the common courtesy to yield to faster moving traffic. If you're one of those people and feel you have every "right" to do it, you have power/control issues and like to lay the blame on others for your own misgivings.
Every one of these situations depends on the scenery....
- How dense is the population? ... traffic?
- How flat, hilly is the terrain?
- What is the condition of the road? How many potholes?
- How many lanes are there?
- Is there a shoulder for you to allow others to pass?
- Is there ANYTHING to pull over on the side of the road? Parking lots and such?
- What is the speed limit? How fast is everyone else going?
- How many traffic lights, signs are there?
- How many curves are there in the road? ... or is it always straight shots?
- What is the nighttime lighting situation like?
- Are cagers typically friendly to cyclists?
- Do you typically make yourself visible and known to cagers?
Depends on the situation. No two roads are the same, but the majority of roads around here permit me to take up the roads when need be. When there is a sidewalk, it is perfectly legal, here, for me to ride on said sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, then the center of the lane you will find me.... the vast majority of the time.
Riding a bicycle SAFELY is more innate than people realize. But there are a select few who are afraid to claim the road when there should be no problem doing so.
The entire point of CLAIMING THE ROAD is simply to...
(1) *NOT* ride ON the solid white line, when there is
(2) NO SHOULDER,
(3) NOR ANYWHERE ELSE to "fall back"
You ride the line with no shoulder, and you're asking a driver to clip you while he gambles between hitting you or oncoming traffic.
Do people not realize this? If you were behind the wheel of vehicle, and you were st00pit enough to try to pass a cyclist on the solid white line... would you prefer to hit the oncoming traffic, or the cyclist??
Not saying you'd hit either one, but remember... you're st00pit... just like most cagers. Which one would you choose? I would opt not to hit the oncoming traffic, personally.... but in reality, I wouldn't put myself in that position to begin with.
HENCE, THE REASONING... why I claim the road. I won't let ANYONE get in that position. Because I'm sooo not st00pit to the point that I won't let ANY ol' st00pit potentially clip me.
So far, wherever the speed limit is more than 25mph I encounter a decent shoulder marked by a white line (fog line)- this is considered a bike lane in Okanogan County. Here I can lope along at 30MPH without being an issue to anybody else. When the speed limit is within the capacity of my two-wheeled agitated sewing machine, I 'own the road' in true fashion. Otherwise, I pull over to the side. Either way, I AM traffic and there is provision for me, both physical and legal. IF I decide to crawl down the center of a 55MPH zone at 30mph, THEN I am begging for trouble. Can there be any argument here? But within the constraints of the law you are correct- you ARE traffic as long as you obey local laws. IF YOU BLOCK TRAFFIC DUE TO AN INABILITY TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE SPEED, YOU DESERVE A TICKET... and should consider yourself lucky if that's the worst you suffer. Some 60MPH highways have blind corners and we who ride these things have (at best) a puny helmet...
the Old Sgt.:army:
What I'd like to know is, are traffic laws and safety no longer taught in driving school? Has commonsense been also been eradicated from the rules of the road? When I attended driving classes in high school oh so many years ago, we were taught when approaching slow moving traffic from behind, like a farm vehicle for example or perhaps even a (gasp) bicycle, or encountering a vehicle double parked into your traffic lane, you should slow way down behind the vehicle before crossing the center line into the approaching lane, at minimum a clear view ahead was mandatory before proceeding. Also, at times it might even be necessary to come to a (heaven forbid) complete stop behind the offending vehicle if the view ahead was not easily seen.
A couple of days ago I was riding in a friends car on a narrow 2 lane country road and in the other approaching lane a UPS truck was parked half on the road in front of a house, hazards flashing. Though this was on a blind curve in the road, just as we were getting abreast of the truck, a line of 5 cars began swinging way over into our lane around the truck, one after the other, and none of them slowing down appreciably from the speed limit. My friend was alert and on it, slowed and pulled far to the right. It's good that there was a bit of shoulder there at that spot that allowed him to do it.
:army:Sorry to say, most High Schools no longer teach driver's ed- education sees as many budget cuts as medicine, I'm afraid, due to the fact that elected officials fleece these budgets for their own purpose... usually involving pork towards re-election. This is the only political activity that is truly bi-partisan. I should point out that a fair amount of my warning regarding NOT holding up traffic is also flavored by the fact that for the amount of protection offered on a bicycle/motored bike/motorcycle, we might as well be naked. A little paranoia is a good thing when riding any two wheeler. Again... any argument?
the Old Sgt.
I think, therefore I am---Traffic
Well Sarge, I've said this somewhere before. Years ago, An older (at the time) H.A. buddy of mine gave me some advice I'll never forget. You're invisable on a bike. No one sees you till yer in their grill. It's worked for me for 40 years of motorcycle riding. So far(knock on wood) I've never been in a grill. A motorized bike is even worse. If a cage driver even see's you, he see's only a bicycle. (10 or 15mph,RIGHT?) They don't expect a bicycle to be doing 35mph and will make a right turn in front of you every time. So, they either don't see you at all or see only a bicycle. If I play the invisable game then they can do anything they want, I'm ready for it because I KNOW THEY CAN'T SEE ME. Of course, you gotta try to make yourself as visible as possible, But also know most drivers are too busy talking on the phone to pay attention to a st00pid bicycle. So, I'm INVISABLE. (I do like yer new motto though.)
I like Red's attitude. In the end it doesn't matter who has the legal right of way. The greater mass and velocity always win.
That's right toojung. Ya can't argue about your "right of way" from the morgue.
Shiney Side Up,
TRUE--------"Only the strong survive!" It doesn't matter if you have a "coliseum of lights", your still are on a bicycle. Think about it.........
Actually, only the smart and/or lucky MBers will survive in traffic.:ack2:
This past year has been a deadly one for bicyclists. One 80-something year old guy was killed while riding on the sidewalk! The motorist was exiting a driveway, making a right turn as he watched approaching traffic on his left.
One cyclist was killed while riding between a tour bus and the curb in the same lane. She proceeded to go straight thru the intersection, while the bus driver decided to turn right.....and ran over her.
On one of the most dangerous inclines on my route, I press the pedestrian "stop" button at the intersection. I need to turn left here. When
the light turns green, I have a 30-second headstart before the stopped traffic comes after me. I'm @ 35mph before the road goes downhill towards the next light. If everyone obeys the speed limit, I can make it to the next light. If cars in both lanes are approaching fast, I hop into the bike lane and slow down to 20mph.There's a merge @ the bottom of the hill, then another very steep hill. If there's gridlocked traffic, I ride the dirt path alongside the road. The cagers are agitated because I'm passing them by, so I ride thru the hilltop intersection and pull over. When the red light stops traffic, I have another 30 seconds' head start to reach the next two lights. Once there, I drop into the bike lane and slow down to 20mph. Traffic builds up again @ the bottom of the hill and the bike lane disappears. So I hop onto the sidewalk and ride @ jogging speed for the next 2 blocks, until I reach home.
One of the nice things about commuting to work is that you learn which way's the safest route, when to claim the lane, and when to surrender that claim.
Bigger vehicles and incoming fire have the right-of-way... :army:
Bigger vehicles? Mabe. But incoming fire has NEVER stopped THE UNITED STATES ARMY....EVER.... GO ARMY.
OK, I was Air Force. Incoming fire has the right of way with me.
It has been mentioned before but it is worth repeating that Google Maps has a bicycle route and walking route function. It is useful to compare both maps when planning a route to a first time destination to avoid the cagers.
Incoming fire has the right of way- simply yield laterally as you advance. It was never my job to die for my country- it was my job to bestow that honor on the enemy... :army:
we have some windy twisty roads with blind corners. all the lycra clad over-paid legal types on there $15000 dollar racers love them on the weekends, though i tend to overtake them just coasting down because i know the road...
the problem is that the fools tend to ride side by side.
nothing annoys me worse than having let two cars pass me, and getting the thankyou wave, because i show some respect for people behind me, only to have to slam on my brakes 100 metres up the road because theres a horde of leotards taking up the whole lane that WONT let the cars past...
one of them is that spineless tony abbot bloke...
i know that leagally theyre allowed to, but seriously! you do 10km/h up hill! the cars do 50! get out of the ****ed way!
Phooey on Tony Abbot. (Uh, who the Heck is Tony Abbot?!:dunce
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