Tuesday, December 04, 2007

How many bicycling advocates can dance on the head of a pin?

(Rube Goldberg image from mousecontraptions.com)

On the LCI email list, someone posted the following regarding lane positioning:

2. Safety

* Do not ride where you are subject to poor road conditions constant hazards
* Give yourself ample room to your right to maneuver in an emergency
* Ride in the right third of the lane if there is not sufficient room for lane sharing

http://www.bikeleague.org/resources/better/roadrules.php

The discussion has revolved around whether it's best to ride in that right-hand third and realize there's a potential for motorists to attempt to 'squeeze by' in the same lane, or move further to the left and force them to pass only when safe.

My advice is to ride with two thirds of the lane to your left and one third of it to your right. Assuming the typical Oklahoma lane width of 12 feet, this puts 8 feet to your left and 4 feet to the right, pretty much squarely in the right hand tire track.

But bike advocates being bike advocates....

The discussion quickly devolved to a comparison of the minutiae of individual teaching points and personal beliefs.

So, here's my unvarnished, fully detailed description of lane positioning, taking into account prevailing traffic, lane width (in millimeters), the solunar tables, wind direction, time of day, sun angle, local religious and sexual practices, previous experience with lane use in that particular area with special attention to the historic record of indigenous nomadic people who may have used that roadway and their archaeological artifacts, sales records of American automobiles, trends in NRA memberships, tall, blond women of Scandinavian ancestry and their shoes, tire pressure, the Dow Jones average....and what the hell were we talking about?

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4 Comments:

Blogger Bujiatang said...

I agree with your lane position.

riding too far to the right is like an apology to drivers, and the cyclist is then seen as being guilty.

It sounds like something out of Kierkegaard, but if we apologize then we must be guilty.

I say take enough lane to be seen and command space.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Paul Tay said...

Apology or Not? You decide.

To: NewOBC@yahoogroups.com
From: "Adam Vanderburg" NIMO61@SBCGLOBAL.NET
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2007 09:58:42 -0600
Subject: Re: [NewOBC] WOTLs and NOTLs

I don't think there is any consideration here to traffic volume or speed...WOLs are very desirable in high volume traffic with high speeds. I prefer to share a wide lane in this case as opposed to backing up traffic and creating dangerous passing scenarios.
Adam Vanderburg
www.trektulsa. com
www.leesbikes. com

11:43 AM  
Blogger Fritz said...

"indigenous nomadic people" you crack me up, Ed. :-)

We're talking about proposed changes to Caltrans Highway Design Manual right now in California, and a lot of the discussion is along those same lines (and probably involves many of the same people on the LCI list).

1:23 PM  
Blogger Fritz said...

Oh, here's a real life example:

"Any updates to the design standards should acknowledge
that the tri-modal population of bicyclist behavior is not as simple as the essentially mono-modal distribution of motorist behavior, and that each of these fundamental bicyclist behavior modes are impacted differently by facilities and governing laws in CA.
"

1:25 PM  

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