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Riding Safely(5 posts)

Riding Safelywily in pacifica
Oct 2, 2003 11:11 AM
I ride home from work and near the end I decend 500 feet in Just over a mile. This road has a 30MPH speed limit and I can go down around 35-40 since it has a couple of sweeping turns. It is two lanes in each direction with a wall between opposing lanes. The shoulder is semi wide but there are grates along the way.

So When I get up to speed I take the slow/right lane but it never fails that some car/truck will try to skirt by me rather than change to the other lane. Or worse they will tailgate me. I don't think they are doing it to intimidate me they just don't really give it a second thought that I am dealing with heavy winds off the ocean and various road bumps etc that they have no idea are out there.

My Co-worker, who does not ride, says that for safety sake I should either move more to the right or not take that road home. He thinks my safty is more important than the rules, I do as well, but doesn't understand that by me taking the entire right lane it is the saftest way for me to get down the hill. Noone drives 30MPH on this road.

For safty he thinks one day someone will hit me from behind and I tell him that if I rode on the shoulder, or closer to the shoulder, I probably would have already been hit or run into the weeds.

How do I explain to him that by taking one of the two lanes I am being as safe as I can.

Again, The shoulder is not safe in about 25% of this decent due to grates and debris. Overall the road is in great shape in the two lanes.

If anyone lives in the Bay Area I am talking about Sharp Park Road that takes me from Hwy 35/Skyline down to Hwy 1 in Pacifica.

Willy in Pacifica
re: Riding SafelySteve_0
Oct 2, 2003 11:26 AM
You arent required to explain anything to anybody. Do what makes you feel safest.
Behave like a vehicle - that is the safestKerry Irons
Oct 2, 2003 4:52 PM
It's a standard recommendation that if you can't safely share the lane, should should take the lane. This can be because the lane is too narrow, your speed is to high to ride close to the edge, uneven road surfaces, crosswinds, etc. Your descending at speeds > the speed limit is a perfect example of when you should take the lane. This is well documented in the literature, and therefore a fundamental tennant of the Effective Cycling program. Timid cyclists and most motorists, of course, cannot accept this simple fact. Just as grandma wants you to ride your bike "against the traffic" so that you can dodge cars and never get hit from behind. It's hard to use logic on such folks, but there is your argument.
Old quote, "Ride fast, hog the road, act like traffic!"biknben
Oct 2, 2003 6:39 PM
In that instance, I'll take the lane. At least take enough of it that no one can "sqeeze" by me. They have another lane to pass. You are already exceeding the speed limit. It would take a real a$$ to have a problem with that. Most motorists would be checking the speedo in amasement that you are keeping up with traffic.

A portion of my commute is on a road with no shoulder and two lanes of traffic each way. It is flat so I'm only doing around 19 mph. There isn't enough room for two cars to pass me at the same time. I ride in the area where the passenger side wheels of the car would be. I'm not perceived as a "road hog" but it is obvious that you will have to go
i around
me. I get what I want/need without catching grief from motorists.
Old quote, "Ride fast, hog the road, act like traffic!"davidcuttler
Oct 2, 2003 8:06 PM
I live in Oakland, in the bay area, and like to do fast laps around Lake Merit in the middle of the city after I get home from work. I always stay way out away from parked cars & the shoulder, and generally take the RH lane. I am traveling between 17 & 23 mph so the cars leave me alone, and move to the LH lane to pass. I try to wave to the drivers when thay go by as a way of saying "thanks", and I think it helps. I also keep an LED blinky running on the rear, and a Cat Eye flashing on the front. It helps in an urban ride.