Motorbicycles in traffic, take a lane ?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by retromike3, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. retromike3

    retromike3 Member

    If I am on a road in the berbs and I need to take a left turn or there is a section of road without a bike lane should I take a lane of traffic if I can keep up with the speed limit? (officially I can only go twenty-five:whistling:) Or do I stay in bike mode and keep hugging the right side?

    What do you think?

    Mike Frye-the bike guy
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009

  2. caprirs302

    caprirs302 New Member

    I always ride in the lane, it is much safer. Just watch out for those a-holes that want to pass you on a two lane road in a no passing zone. You don't even know that they are there and all of a sudden there is a car to your left, flying by.
  3. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman Active Member

    Shoulder until I'm either in a curve, crossing a bridge, or turning..then take the lane.
  4. spad4me

    spad4me Member

    In sunny Bullhead city there is no shoulder , no curb, no sidewalk .
    Only the broken edge of the two inches of asphalt that passes for a roadway here .
    I always use the roadway .
    But I do not ride at 800, 1200, 1 , 3 or beer thirty.
  5. kerf

    kerf Guest

    Most people have a phenomenon occur whenever they slip behind the wheel. A speed limit sign that says 35 MPH is always read as 45 and one that says 40 is always read as 50. The point being, unless your riding in a school zone, it's almost impossible to keep up with traffic. This does create the hazard of being overtaken by cars, just have to pray the driver's not texting or drunk. In my area I have no bike lanes and I never ride shoulders. I try to stay away from high volume, high speed roads, in my case this means early morning rides. I generally keep as far right as possible but sometimes that isn't wise.

    On narrow two lane roads, people will pass you by trying to slide between you and an oncoming car. Not only do they get too close to you but if things get dicey, they'll sacrifice you to keep from hitting another car. Sometimes, in these situations, I get right in the middle of my lane so they can't pass. Better to be cursed at than buried.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2009
  6. mlcorson

    mlcorson Member

    There are some good tips here:
    Yes, take the lane when you are turning left. I ride where there are no sidewalks and no bike lanes as well. I stay off the large boulevards, and plan my trips to use smaller side streets. Watch for drivers trying to pass you on the left as you change lanes. My biggest dilemma seems to be I'm generally traveling at a higher speed than a leg powered bike. On a 2 lane street, this sometimes requires drivers to exceed the speed limit when passing me and swing into the opposite lane. This could create a dangerous situation if someone is entering the road from a side street.
    This book was a good read, but I wouldn't buy it. I found it at the local library.
    Effective Cycling -John Forester
  7. andyszyd

    andyszyd Member

    Fact of life as previously stated is that every car driver goes 5 to 10 miles over speed limit most of the time meaning 40-50 MPH.

    "Keeping up with traffic" mantra frequently posted here is just an illusion, dangerous if tried, unless your bike can cruise at at least 45 MPH which is generally speaking not very likely.

    I ride on sidewalks which in my town not even hookers use, when I smell a pig around I fake pedal.

    So far so good.
  8. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    It's a good question and one with any amount of MB riding one can't help but mull over. In practice I've come to keep right pretty much all the time with some exceptions:

    -Turning left on roads with clear view and light (usually very rural) traffic.
    -In an urban or downtown area where traffic is slow and speed limit under 25, then I claim a lane for left turns.

    A lot of times on roads near me when the traffic is more high speed and getting crazy, to turn left I'll pull right and stop and then use the light or crosswalk.
  9. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman Active Member

    You in Birmingham, Al...if so lets get together some time and ride Oak Mountain in Pelham...It is a great ride. Also Cheaha State Park would also be a good one. Been to both, only rode HT at Oak Mountain.

    Kerf.. I don't know where you live (probably a berb of Birmingham USA?) If so, yes we have the same problem here in Calera, 30 miles south. Also the terrain is hilly and curvy where most speed limits are 45 (no way I'll do that) even if traffic is. On occasion I've encountered the guy that wants to pass you not only crossing the double yellow line around a curve but at the same time up a hill. Although it hasn't happened to me but a couple of times, HT's are unusual here, drivers see a bike, and then pull out in front of you as they didn't judge your speed as being say 30MPH. Talking on cell phones, texting, inattention, and drinking STSOOM. I don't ride during high volume traffic hours and I don't ride when the sun might be in a position to hinder a driver...
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
  10. kerf

    kerf Guest

    I'm in the NE portion of Jefferson County, a ride in Oak Mountain would be great. I know that Calera isn't where it used to be, everything is becoming a berb of somewhere around here. Used to be when you left Alabaster, you drove through the sticks forever to get to Calera, not so much now. One more housing boom and it'll be solid berbs all the way to Montgomery.
  11. SirJakesus

    SirJakesus Guest

    I claim the road on city streets with limits up to 30mph if there's traffic. Otherwise I take the bike lane or stay about a foot off the edge of the pavement. When turning left I check the mirror, signal (lights or hands) and claim the lane at the safest time before taking the turn. I try to time the left turns to be between traffic. Otherwise if its too heavy (which I generally avoid) I wait at the shoulder until I can do a hard acceleration across both lanes and down the side street. I generally avoid main roads unless they have bike lanes which pretty much all the main roads do.
  12. retromike3

    retromike3 Member

    how fast?

    The reason I posted this question was I live in Beaverton OR. a suburb of Portland OR. one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the country. Just yesterday I tried to get to my H.M.O. trough downtown and it was almost impossible to get around if you did not take a lane, which I did.

    There were literally thousands of cars but only a handful of cyclists. of the few cyclists a large percentage were in the the DWI club and of course no other MBs. Maybe I'm a bit jaded because of the horrible Christmas traffic, but I felt safer in the middle of downtown Portland on the road than I do in a bike lain in Beaverton.

    My record is ten years in Portland OR no accidents. Four years in Beaverton five hits(car hitting me). Two years on a MB no hits(might just be luck)I still ride my bicycle at night because of no good lights on my MB.

    I do admit that on a MB I am more aggressive(because I am faster) My unofficial top speed on my MB on the flat is about forty.(36 tooth cog,SBS pipe, thinner head gasket)

    I guess I have to take every road as unique at treat it like that. Any Ideas?

    Mike Frye-the bike guy
  13. Elmo

    Elmo Member

    I have been riding bikes for at least 20 years before my motor. I always ride in the right tire track of my lane. people pass me like I am a car. In all this time only one a*****e tried to come as close tome as he could without hitting me. This was on a 4 lane road with no other traffic. I looked for him for a couple of weeks in my pickup with my iron dog with me. Thank God I never found him.
    Always use good mirrows and keep up with the traffic behind you it may save your life.