Bicycling in and around Atlanta.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Thinking About Lane Position

Yesterday on my way back from the thrift store I was passed by another cyclist. This is nothing new, I'm kind of slow, people pass me all the time. But what struck me was our difference in lane positions. While I ride inside what would be a cars passenger side tire track (sometimes even further to the left) the guy who passed me rode right on the white line.

Now in metro Atlanta most roads do not have shoulders; so for my safety I take the lane, but I'm in the minority. Most cyclist I see ride almost on top of the white line. Now if there is a shoulder and it's sufficiently wide (at least two handlebar widths) I will use it, otherwise I'm out in the lane forcing cars to go around me. So how about you? Where do you ride?

8 comments:

Jett said...

I try to use my lane position as a signal for whether I want cars to pass me or not. I normally travel in the same spot you do - about where the right wheel of a car would be - and then move to the white line as vehicles approach. If we're near an intersection however, I move toward the center of the lane and stay there through the intersection. If we come to a stop at the intersection and I'm going straight and the car behind me is turning right, I'll move further to the left so they can make their turn behind me.

ha1ku said...

For me, it depends mostly on width of the lane and, to a smaller extent, the general speed of motorized traffic. If I think two cars could fit side-by-side on the lane, I'll occupy the right-most half to third of the lane -- but always outside of any door zone. If the lane is narrower, I take the whole lane. When I need to turn, I take the whole lane to increase visibility.

I'm still not confident enough to cycle on single lane traffic where cars are going faster than what I am comfortable with. If I sense drivers won't be able to react quickly enough to the slower moving cyclist in front of them, I look for alternate routes. But, if I have no other alternatives, I will tend to move more to the right to allow passing room.

秘密 said...

很好啊 ..................................................

A Midnight Rider said...

I haven't visited in a while. Thought I would drop in to say hello.
#2 Son is still living in Atlanta but was stuck in warmer places during the cold snap.

rigtenzin said...

The road size, paint lines, shoulder, and conditions all combine to make me choose something that I feel comfortable with. Right now, the ice/snow layers are acting like curbs and forcing me out into the street farther than I like, so I ride as close to the ice/snow curb as possible which is a compromise. I'd rather be at least a foot away from it, but I hate to block the usable lane for the auto drivers. They really hate us being out in this crap.

Stephen Touset said...

If the road is too narrow to ride side-by-side with a car safely, I take the lane and ride down the center. If it's wide enough, I'll ride a few feet from the shoulder to still give myself maneuvering room. But no matter what, at stop lights, I take the lane so cars don't squeeze me off to the side and prevent me from being able to re-integrate into the flow of traffic.

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