I'm taking over the lane.

Discussion in 'Travelling, Commuting & Safety' started by mlcorson, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. mlcorson

    mlcorson Member

    I ride in the suburbs on 2 lane roads that mostly are 30-35 mph limit and have double yellow lines that forbid passing. Recently I've had people pass me in unsafe conditions. What makes it more of a problem is that I'm going 20-25 mph myself. I typically would ride at the far right like a peddle powered bike. This seems to invite people to pass at at least 45-50mph even when cars could be coming over the hill, cars could be entering the road on the left, or I even had one driver pass me on on a curve, etc. I'm sure when push comes to shove and they need to avoid oncoming traffic, I'm going to be sacrificed. I have since decided to take the entire lane and at least not be an invitation for unsafe passing. Most of these road stretches are short and I usually let cars pass me at an intersection, stop sign, etc. Other justifications include, better road conditions, more time to react with better visibility to cars entering on the right.
    From now on, I'm taking the lane.

  2. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

    Just be careful that you don't become a hood ornament.
    If you make yourself clearly visible and stay to the right you should be fine.
    If some impatient person passes you and plows headlong into another vehicle, it is not your fault. You did not force them to turn the steering wheel and push the gas pedal.
    If you get a reputation for hogging the road and slowing traffic, you will most likely get the revengeful type driving behind you and that never leads to good.
    Most state's laws only allow riding at the far right side of a road anyways, check your local MB laws to be sure you are not giving the law a reason to mess with you.
    If the law says MB's and bicycles stay to the right, and you are "hogging the road" staying in the center of the lane, and an a car goes to pass you anyways and wrecks, lawfully who was in the wrong?
  3. mlcorson

    mlcorson Member

    I agree...just need to find a balance where both myself and others drivers are safe. The dilemma is that by riding too far to the right, a careless driver might see that as an invitation to pass, even if the circumstances don't allow for it to occur safely.
  4. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    This is a quandary.

    Even when driving a car I'd often get pizzed off at folks who, in oncoming cars, can't seem to understand they might have to wait a few seconds behind a pulled over delivery truck or some similar slow moving vehicle, farm machine, etc rather than crossing the center line to go around and into my lane.

    Don't they teach that any more in driving school?
  5. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

    I often call today's society a microwave society. They want everything done instantly.
    Faster food, faster computers, faster cars, faster commutes, faster appointments, instant messaging, instant coffee, high speed internet, speed dialing, one touch function, the list can go on and on.
    I can't blame individuals for all of this as the newer generation has grown up to this as being the norm. They are a product of their environment. I can also say supply and demand.
    People demand it and technology supplies it.
    This whole genera of thinking had definitely spilled into the streets and highways. Road rage anyone? People want to get to where they are going without any delay. Often safe driving is of no concern to them. They will do anything, pull all kinds of stupid driving maneuvers, just to keep moving forward as fast as possible.
    Typically all this reckless effort will only save them a minute or two of their commute time.
    Is a minute or two worth someone's health or life being risked?
    This is one of the reasons why I like MB's so much. They don't go fast. You can smell the roses as you putt by. Everything moves slower. It is like a whole 'nother world where you are in it for the enjoyment of the wonders that take time.

    I kinda went off subject a little bit, sorry.
  6. robin bird

    robin bird Member

    "This is one of the reasons why I like MB's so much. They don't go fast. You can smell the roses as you putt by. Everything moves slower. It is like a whole 'nother world where you are in it for the enjoyment of the wonders that take time." ---today i proved the truth of that i even pedalled 10 miles along an abandoned service road lined with thousands of fragrant red native roses and Mockoranges and Yarrow-butterflies flitted in front of me.
  7. fm2200

    fm2200 Member

    If you take a defensive opinion while riding a gas bike, it could clearly be your worst option. I never see myself as an equal when riding in traffic, I really feel as though this could easily be the day I will regret for a long time. I maintain a realistic position when trying to get where I'm going, to challenge other drivers is not for me.
  8. AussieSteve

    AussieSteve Active Member

    In my area, I often need to 'take over' the lane too. 2-lane roads, very heavy peak-hour traffic and lots of drivers who hug the kerb. (A few weeks ago, a car hit my mirror and adjusted it for me.)
    I only do it, though, if I can keep up with the traffic. In my opinion, that's much safer than riding in the gutter. (I typically ride on 50-60 kph, (30-38 mph), roads.)
  9. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    Similarly, I recently read an op-ed article thing that talked about how people are no longer used to being inconvenienced-- We aren't just saving time by shopping online, we no longer know how to wait patiently in line for something. We don't make friends with our boring next door neighbors because we can seek out people with whom we have LOADS in common (even if they live so far away we will never see them in person)

    It's harder for people to appreciate simple things because EVERYTHING comes easily.
  10. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest


    The only time I don't claim the lane is if my bike is ailing, or still under test and tune. However, if I slow down on a moderate hill, I pull as far to the curb as possible, until I can keep up with traffic.

    Then I'll ride slow and safe, as far away from traffic as possible.:bowdown:

    My GP460 engine is literally almost in my lap. I keep a small screwdriver in the handlebar grip, so I can adjust my carb's high/low mixture screws...on the fly.:detective:
  11. bonzelite

    bonzelite New Member

    The other day I went out and practiced on the streets with my yet-unconverted Electra chopper pedal bike. I ventured out into the actual middle of the street (in Los Angeles) and was terrified. The sense of exposure is nearly enough to scare you half to death unless you keep in perspective.

    I had no mirrors, no lights, nothing, just the bare bike. I instantly realized how harrowing changing lanes is and how easily you can get boxed in if you pace or travel with a car to it's right side blind spot (or left if you're in the UK or Oz, etc...).

    I see the importance of taking the whole lane up (when called for) all for yourself even if it seems wrong. Often that is the only way to be properly seen. One must have "no fear" yet be very aware constantly of danger. A bike cannot compete with a car or truck. It doesn't matter who is right or wrong if you're the one going down.

    Thankfully LA has lots of bike paths, some closed off along side the Orange Line bus lane/path. And the bus system has bike racks on the fronts of the buses. I may figure out that system and use it to my advantage. The bike path along the Orange Line is toatally closed off to traffic and spans for about 20 miles across the valley.

    Riding a bike does give one a totally different perspective on where one lives and on life in general. It's much nicer to do if one is willing to figure it out.
  12. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    If I am on a two lane (per direction) road, I do not even remotely feel bad taking over a whole lane-- I'm going 25 mph on the flat, generally on roads where the speed LIMIT is 30-35. If they think I'm not going fast enough, they have a whole lane to pass me.

    Now, if I have to go up a pretty steep hill which will slow me way down, I move over. Luckily the way I go to work, the steep hills have what equates to a dedicated bike lane (I think it's a bike/bus lane)
  13. bonzelite

    bonzelite New Member

    That makes sense totally, yes. I've typically only ever ridden BMX or on sidewalks, going out into the street is new to me. I'll have to adapt to it. The conditions are more serious out on a street.
  14. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    I moved into town, so the commute to work is only 3 miles now. Speed limit is mainly 25-30mph, unlike those crazy 40mph sprints from my old place.

    I still claim the lane and keep up with traffic.. There are four and eight-lane boulevards. There's lots of room for impatient drivers to pass me, going 10mph over the speed limit.
  15. A-TownTX

    A-TownTX Member

    me too

    I as well take the whole road now if they slow down enough for me I might scoot over a little and let them pass. I am an aggressive rider w/out the motor but a very cautious rider w/a motor I have had sum close calls since I finally got my bike upto parr. TAKE THE ROAD BACK but be curtious because they are alot bigger .:auto:
  16. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    I run 35-40 mph on the flats in a 35 mph zone. I STILL get passed by drivers going 45 mph.:ack2:

    Of course I still claim the lane. There is now way I'm hugging the curb at that speed.:whistling: