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Thread: New commuter

  1. #1
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    New commuter

    Could someone either tell me or point me to a thread that addresses the proper commuting etiquette as it relates to drivers and other (faster) cyclists. Specifically:

    If I am going to make a left hand turn at what point should I pull to the near center of the road?

    When should I pull my bike off the road in terms of traffic impedance?

    What is the proper communication between cyclists when passing or being passed?

    Any other tips.
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  2. #2
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    If you feel it necessary to notify another cyclist that you are passing, you can yell, "on your left" as they should be to the right and you should pass on the left. Typically this is unnecessary.

    Move to the left of the roadway when you feel that you can do it safely. If that means doing it two blocks in advance because of heavy traffic, then do that. If you can wait until just before the turn, do that.

    Unless your state has laws against cyclists impeding traffic for whatever reason, you do not need to pull off the road. Typically you only have to ride as far to the right as what is safe and practicable. What state are you in? Check your laws. Typically bicycles have a right to the road and cars a privilege as they are licensed by the state, as are drivers.

  3. #3
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    I'm in southwest ohio and I am unfamiliar with the laws here.
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    So basically what this says is that I have as much right as my motorized buddies to be on the road but I should accommodate the drivers need to pass because I will invariably be going slower than them in the majority of instances.

    So I must ask, when on a rural road 50mph+ and significant traffic is approaching from both directions does everyone here just say,"Forget you, you can wait. I'm allowed here." Or do we alleviate the traffic and pull over?

    I'm concerned because I want to commute to my office but it's about 14 miles from my house and about 10 miles of that is on the roads I described. The morning commute should be a non-issue since I'll be on the road at 430 but the evening commute would be during rush hour.
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  6. #6
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    Well, if your law permits it, ride on the shoulder of those highways. Otherwise ride on the road. How accommodating you want to be is up to you. I read the laws. Fairly similar to Wisconsin. You do not have to move out of the way if it is a standard lane width. If it is a substandard lane width (a bicycle and a motor vehicle cannot safely coexist, or pass safely without leaving the lane) you can ride anywhere in the lane.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fyrfytr310
    So basically what this says is that I have as much right as my motorized buddies to be on the road but I should accommodate the drivers need to pass because I will invariably be going slower than them in the majority of instances.

    So I must ask, when on a rural road 50mph+ and significant traffic is approaching from both directions does everyone here just say,"Forget you, you can wait. I'm allowed here." Or do we alleviate the traffic and pull over?

    I'm concerned because I want to commute to my office but it's about 14 miles from my house and about 10 miles of that is on the roads I described. The morning commute should be a non-issue since I'll be on the road at 430 but the evening commute would be during rush hour.
    Yes, Legally you have exactly the same rights but are required to "accommodate" drivers due to the speed difference. Here in CO the law reads something like you have the same rights and responsibility but "must not impede motorized traffic" or some such B.S.

    As far as your rural roads thats kind of a judgment call. Personally I'd say it depends on your shoulder. During my morning commute home (I work Nights) most of the high speed roads have a nice shoulder except for one small portion where the shoulder becomes another lane. Personally I take the whole damn lane, don't try to stay on the edge, your just gonna get clipped because drivers WILL try to pass you. I'm sure it pisses some people off, but I'd rather tick some people off than get hit again (a very long story) and they can just get to work 30 seconds later IMHO.

    Do a google for Bike commuting. I've found some excellent tips doing just that, some that in retrospect have probably saved my ass. I found this one http://www.bikecommute.com/ which seems to have some good stuff, especially the one about NOT hugging the curb. Buy a GOOD headlight and tail light. Wear a helmet, and ride like your invisible. But mostly have fun. Commuting has been a life changing experience for me.

    Edit to add some links:
    http://www.bicyclinglife.com/SafetySkills/RoadVogue.htm

    http://www.bikeleague.org/
    http://www.bicyclinglife.com/SafetySkills/index.html
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  8. #8
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    In simple language, here it is...

    1. Drive on the right side of the roadway; never on the left, and never on the sidewalk.

    2. Obey all traffic signs and signals.

    3. When you reach a more important or larger road than you are on, yield to crossing traffic.

    4. When you intend to change lanes or move laterally on the roadway, yield to traffic in the new lane or line of travel. Never move laterally (sideways) on the roadway without checking behind you first to be sure the way is clear.

    5. When approaching an intersection, position yourself with respect to the direction of your destination – Right turners are next to the curb, left turners are near the centerline, straight through drivers are between these positions.

    6. Ride in the right-most lane that’s going where you want to go.

    7. Between intersections, position yourself according to your speed relative to other traffic. Parked drivers are at the curb, slow drivers are next to them, and fast drivers are near the centerline. Never overtake on the right, generally overtake on the left.

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