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Discussion Starter #1
I've been riding a lot more this year than I ever have in my life. Because of this I have been running into more and more situations where I feel I am being "pushed" by drivers. It never ceases to amaze me that people will pass me at the crest of a hill while I know they cannot see if anyone is coming from the other direction.

I normally try to be courteous and stay to the right edge of the road. I say courteous but I am a bit wary of drivers in a rural area where there are not that many people that ride bicycles. I may have the right to be in their way but having the right of way doesn't mean a thing if I'm dead.

That being said if someone were to be coming it would be disaster for everyone. I am beginning to feel that I NEED to hog the road in some situations.

Comments and/or advice would be much appreciated as always.
 

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I base how close I ride to the edge by how wide the road is around me and if there is a curb. No curb and I have an out. Curb and I am a bit more concerned. If the lane is wide enough to pass me comfortably and the car not cross the centerline, I will ride as far right as possible. IF I feel I would be squeezed, I often move LEFT not right. That makes it impossible to put the squeeze play on without crossing the centerline. You have a right to the lane as much as a car. It is their job to pass without a problem. You can not drive the car anymore than an air traffic controller flies the airplane.

Yes you can be right, and be dead right. Yet if you are going to ride, you must trust something. The main thing you really need to trust is your instincts.
 

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I ride mostly in West Virginia, where there are cyclists, but not a whole lot. And of course, we have a lot of ********, and twisting, winding roads with lots of hills. But you know, most of the drivers here are really pretty decent. They usually hang back when they can't see the road ahead, and I'll wave them by when I can see the road is clear.

While you every right to the lane, I really think that on a 2 lane road, you run the risk of pissing some jerk off by hogging the lane. The danger is he'll stomp on the accelator while passing very close to you. I just keep to the right and hold my line. Now on a large multi-lane road I would be far more inclined to take the lane.

I think my signature says it all.

-Rob
"You own a car, not the road"
 

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Two skinny J's
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Hazy some of the "hills" we ride are a lot like what you explain and when the situation warrants I can make my bike( well when I had one :() very wide. It is in my mind a safety issue and for that reason my piss some motorist off. I feel very fortunate like robkyle stated generally it's not a major concern as most are courteous enough to wait. 3 exceptions come quickly to mind young kids in big trucks, dump truck drivers, and older folks who are of a different mind set about who has the right to be on their road :)

Make it wide and be safe, force them to wait WHEN it is a safety issue.
 

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I find the safest place for me to be is 2'-3' out in the road and in town always an arm's length to the left of parked cars. Drivers see me better because I'm not lost in the visual clutter that is along the road, there is no doubt that they can not squeeze by me and they must use the other lane. If they use the other lane they tend to give me a wider berth. Being out in the road also keeps me out of the loose gravel and glass. But again, I'm reasonable and I give when and where I safely can. No sense in being a Richard Cranium to drivers.
 

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What is it about these guys?! I've had close calls with 3 different ones over the last 2 days. :hate:
Now I don't mess with these guys or 18 wheelers. They can suck you right in under them. There was a woman who lived around me and she was always on her bike. Thousands of miles a year she would ride. She ended up being run over by a cement truck. 8(
 

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I find the safest place for me to be is 2'-3' out in the road and in town always an arm's length to the left of parked cars. ...
You might consider riding a couple feet farther than an arms distance away from parked cars. Four or five feet is considerably safer. [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TQ7aID1jHs]YouTube - Avoiding the Door Zone[/ame]
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the advice fellas. I hogged the road today while heading up a blind hill to block a motorist driving a small neon. When I got to a spot I could see oncoming traffic, or lack thereof, I moved over and waved her on. She waved back.:thumbsup:as she passed me.

Hopefully I can keep this up without incident.
 

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Who put that curb there?
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You might consider riding a couple feet farther than an arms distance away from parked cars. Four or five feet is considerably safer. YouTube - Avoiding the Door Zone
In High School I was passing on the right side a line of cars stopped at a stop sign. Someone in one of the stopped cars opened their door to get out. I leaned just enough not to go through the door but I still hit it. I ended up under the rear bumper of a parked car by the curb...with a broken clavicle. Lesson learned.
 

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Last Place Pete I have to disagree with you on one thing. Just because you FEEL safer doesn't mean you ARE safer. Perception does not always agree with reality.

As an example most pilots feel comfortable flying light airplanes at night. Yet the accident rate at night at the time was 7 TIMES HIGHER than it was during the day. No emotion. No perception. Just the facts. Knowing those facts, they can take steps to make it safer but its still a higher risk.

I know the old saying. There are liars, *&*@ liars, and statistics. The worst liars of all are politicians, and they often make the rules. You have to understand a politician is a different mindset, especially when they have a problem that really can not be fixed. After an accident they have to in their mind find a way to prevent it from happening again.

Trouble is humans by their very nature make mistakes. Unless you can eliminate mistakes, you won't eliminate accidents. Many of the rules by which we are forced to obey are often created during the high emotion of an accident. High emotion almost never leads to good policy which means more problems, more rules and the cycle continues.

Now everyone has their own way to evaluate risks. Here is a rough idea of the process I go through when making decisions that my hide is on the line.

1. Is it legal??? No and its a done deal, but being legal does not always equate to being smart.

2 Where are the hidden hazards? Look for places where people have been hurt, statistics show create issues or common sense tells you there is a problem there.

3 What can I do to lower the risks? Riding at night adds risk, but you can drastically lower those risks by wearing lots of highly reflective clothing, bright lights and being predictable.

4. Where are my outs? If you think about these ahead of time you sometimes can have a plan of action ready to implement if needed. What to do is more or less decided. You just need to implement. Cruising along on a road with no curbs. IF someone turns right across your path, without curbs you can take the ditch and turn right too if needed. I once had an old woman turn right from the left hand lane right in front of my bike. No time or distance to stop, so I had to turn right too. Yes that put me right in the ditch and skinned up a bit, but bike and me were more or less intact. Can't say I was surprised. I knew the old woman and she never knew she ran me in the ditch and just kept going.

Finally after all that, I ask myself is this something I still want to do? If so I can proceed relaxed and aware, but not fearful. If not, I don't do it. I am way too old to give a rats behind to care what others think of my decisions. Everyone has their own process, but most of the time these types of decisions need to be made well ahead of time in a reasoned calm environment, and that is exactly what the OP sounded like they were trying to do.
 

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Who put that curb there?
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Thanks for the advice fellas. I hogged the road today while heading up a blind hill to block a motorist driving a small neon. When I got to a spot I could see oncoming traffic, or lack thereof, I moved over and waved her on. She waved back.:thumbsup:as she passed me.

Hopefully I can keep this up without incident.
When someone gives me breathing room I always, ALWAYS without fail give them a thankful wave. They're free.
 

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i try to hold my position in traffic. i never pass cars even if that means i have to slow down, yes that does happen. i stay right but sometimes own my lane, like when turning at traffic lights and such. it is funny but here people pass cyclists, it used to freak me the hell out... back home they follow you and when they pass they pass you like they would a motorist. usually honking and waiving friendlily. but bikes and cycling are as valuable as wine in france!
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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Thay do wave here in the good old USA just with one finger.
 

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In High School I was passing on the right side a line of cars stopped at a stop sign. Someone in one of the stopped cars opened their door to get out. I leaned just enough not to go through the door but I still hit it. I ended up under the rear bumper of a parked car by the curb...with a broken clavicle. Lesson learned.
I learned the same lesson about passing on the right and got right hooked. I slammed on the brakes (wet) and dumped the bike just before hitting her. As she turned she ran right over my front wheel. I call these lessons a Stupid Tax and I have never passed on the right again.
 

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Hazy- here is a blog I found a couple weeks ago. I thought it was pretty insightful and think anyone that rides on public roads should give it a quick read-through. I guess what it ultimately comes down to is you doing what makes YOU feel safest.

Commuting 101: Top 5 Reasons to Claim the Lane (and why it's safer) | Commute by Bike
I love that blog! It's where I learned about claiming the lane. Have you read the book they brought out about commuting?

Bike to Work Book 2011 proof
 

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Mark- Whether or not it may be perception vs reality, when I am in the saddle I do what makes me feel safe. Certainly I pose little risk on my 30lb bike moving at 15mph to a person in a 3000lb SUV travelling 50mph... at that point I'm little more than a fleshy speedbump.

Some riders may feel safe stopping at a stop sign. Other riders may feel safe slowing down, looking both ways and then crossing. Certainly stopping at a posted stop sign is the legal thing to do. It also makes you a sitting duck, and sitting duck's get turned into statistics real quick when they get hit by an SUV that didn't see said sitting duck at a dead stop in the roadway.


...A moving bike is a safe bike.
 
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