Two Spoke Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm seeing this trend in my hometown (Orlando) of cyclists rejecting the bike lanes and holding the street. Overtook a guy today who was jacking every motorist to come along by riding two feet out on a road with a great bike lane along the shoulder. Even with my saddlebags, I had to go well out to get around him (didn't feel like passing him on the right).

My blog on it here:

Share the road?

Is there some point to this? What's the general thought about this on two-spoke?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,223 Posts
Well was it marked as a bike lane, or did you just see a piece of pavement to the right??? Most places if its marked as a bike lane, they should be in it. Yet most of the time its a shoulder to the road, and though I almost always use them its not a legal requirement in most places. Some shoulders are barely able to be used for the emergency parking for which they are intended. Shoulders can be loaded with lots of things that are a real hazard to a cyclist. Loose gravel, lots of broken glass, pot holes that don't get fixed nearly as often because its not a travel lane, and all manner of road debris can put a cyclist on the ground before they have a chance to do anything. I have been a few places where the road was safer. They have every right to a lane, and the ENTIRE lane if they want or need it. At times its most definitely needed. Turning left I often take the entire lane at a light. The car knows what I am doing, there is no confusion and the extra 10 seconds for me to complete the turn holds no one up.

Why do they ride 2 feet from the curb? For the most part its safer. IF you are right next to the curb, the temptation for the driver is to try to pass and stay totally in their lane with traffic on coming. The end result is the cyclists handle bar can get bumped and they go down, often getting tangled up with the car and the cyclist loses. You might have taken it as being a jerk, but when no bike lane is around (and shoulders do not count) he might have been riding smart. Without a shoulder or bike lane, and especially with a narrow travel lane he WAS riding smart.

Moving over toward the center forces the driver to have to move over to pass. If they have to wait for on coming traffic to clear anyway, they can give you more room when they pass you instead of putting the old squeeze play on you. IF you pass them on the shoulder to the cyclist right, it will be you not the cyclist that gets a ticket. How many people pass a car on the autobahn on the right??? If you pass him in the bike lane, you both might get one.

Confrontational is not the word I would use, but we Americans do tend to be competitive and stand our ground. I believe that the main reason the country grew as fast and developed as much as it did so fast is that someone told them it couldn't be done. To prove them wrong they found a better way to do it. There are also just a few jerks, but my experience its very rare.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
No, this is clearly a bike lane. In fact, if you were shooting a movie about bike commuters using bike lanes, this would be a prime spot. There are markings (of little cycists) on the pavement (with arrows to show travel direction for the clueless). There are signs up. The lane is about 2 feet wide with no curb, no parked cars, nothing but grass. There are no potholes, road trash, and very little grit. There is no reason at all not to use it.

In two other places on my ride, the bike lanes cross railroad tracks and I will edge into the street (and take the lane if possible) because of all the crap that comes off constructions vehicals at these spots. I've blown tires here becuase of nails, even bits of wire. I understand the point of that.

I also have a bike lane were concrete has been dribbled by a cement truck waiting at a light. Fortunatly its on a hill so bike speeds are low, but on dark mornings its good to know about it.

But overall, there was NO hazard or reason to take the the lane. I'm not in his head, I can't tell what he was thinking, but it certainly looked that he was avoiding the lane and forcing an issue with traffic. I do know that there were local rules made recently that if a lane exists, the cyclist MUST use it, which raised the ire of pack riders who don't chose to do that (and infuriate motorists, which earns me a lot of blowback). I'm not sure if this was something to do with that.

That's just what we need - seemingly professional cyclists pissing off every passing motorist/voter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,867 Posts
"...take the lane if possible) because of all the crap that comes off constructions vehicals at these spots. I've blown tires here becuase of nails, even bits of wire. I understand the point of that..."

Perhaps he hasn't figured out that only short sections of the trail are unusable. Or maybe he was intentionally obstructing traffic. I'd probably do exactly what you do, ride in the bike lane where practicable. Kudos on passing on the left. It is a pet peeve of mine when bikes overtake between me and the curb. I try to position myself right of center when riding in traffic and move to my right when practicable to let cars pass. I never look to my right before moving closer to the curb, but I'm slowly learning it's probably a good idea, with so many newbie curb hugging riders trying to prove they're faster than me.

Pass on the left please! Thank you. OK, where were we?

I wouldn't worry about the guy riding in the road. Drivers who get infuriated by stuff like that want to be infuriated. Fury addicts.
 

·
Eocyclist
Joined
·
742 Posts
No, this is clearly a bike lane. In fact, if you were shooting a movie about bike commuters using bike lanes, this would be a prime spot. There are markings (of little cycists) on the pavement (with arrows to show travel direction for the clueless). There are signs up. The lane is about 2 feet wide with no curb, no parked cars, nothing but grass. There are no potholes, road trash, and very little grit. There is no reason at all not to use it.
We can make some good generalizations about where to ride on roads, but ultimately, the saftest lane position depends on conditions existing at the moment, including things like traffic speed and volume, road and weather conditions, and the cyclist's experience and equipment.

I also think that, if there is a safe, usable bike lane, cyclists should use it. But it is a judgement call as to whether or not the bike lane is safe and usable.

If that lane is only two feet wide, it is half the width specified by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. The AASHTO Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Bicycle Facilities specifies 4 feet as the minimum safe width for a bike lane on a road with no curb and no on street parking. The AASHTO Guide is 233 pages long, but worth the read. See page 72 for the bike lane width specs.

Personally, I would generally avoid riding in a two foot bike lane or on a two foot shoulder for the same reasons I avoid riding only two feet from a curb. It encourages close passes and makes me less visible to crossing traffic at intersections. ... But again, that depends on conditions.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
430 Posts
I'll use a bike lane if it goes where I'm going, and there aren't gangster rappers standing around in the middle of it, or people walking their dogs in strollers on it, or glass and bums sitting on it. If it is hazardous, or heads me away from the direction I need to go/turn, I'll just skip it. The cager mentality (GET ON THE SIDEWALK WHERE YOU BELONG) ticks me off, esp when it comes from bicyclists! I have a couple friends who like to bicycle at the park with me sometimes, but they openly declare that bicycles "don't belong on the road which is made for cars" and one complains about a recumbent rider that is "always in his way at the same time and same place every day" even though he rides a motorcycle and can just go around. Cagers are like barking dogs at the wheel of 4000lb SUVS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,223 Posts
Some people just like to complain. People in cars complain that bikes are in their way. People on bike complain about getting squeezed and yelled out from those in cars. Legally they are both vehicles and both have to follow the same set of rules. Common sense doesn't often affect rule making. A car that rolls a stops sign when no one but a cop is around is far more likely to get a ticket than a bike. Now a big wide lane that is big enough to be 4 lanes but is only two, you still have the legal right to take the entire lane. If you do though the name Richard Cranium is likely to apply when you could move over and share the road safely. Common sense, and as another poster said, an awareness of the situation around you is what determines what's safe.

As someone once said, "Common sense ain't so common." Being defensive and expecting the unexpected is the best you can do to keep yourself out of trouble. I'd also caution about letting emotion be too high when you ride. High emotion almost always leads to problems with proper actions. IF you get mad at a car that's done something, my advise would be to get off the bike for a few minutes to calm down. When I ride, its almost like the same switch that used to be flipped when I flew years ago. Seat belts on, everything else but job at hand off. Jokes stop. Outside world shut off unless it dealt with the act of flying. Lots of things happen that are unexpected in or on any type of machine, but its that focus that will get you out of trouble.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top