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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-24-2005, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Central IN
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Lane position

This may be old hat to some of you who have been through the MSF, but I was thinking about it this morning as I rode through the morning mist alongside the fields of corn.

Lane position can enhance both visibility and safety margins. When I ride in town, I typically position myself in the lane such that I have a quick, direct out, turning vehicles are more directly in front of me, and so that I'm on the smoothest strip of the road. For instance, just heading alone down a street I'll ride close to the center line so that viewing each side is equally possible. If I spy a car at a crossroad, I sometimes shift over to the right side of the lane and then back again, making me a more visible object. The gear helps too If I really want to be seen, I'll stand up on the pegs, but the timing and environment have to be pretty secure for that. When I stop at intersections, I'll usually be either far to the left or to the right (when turning) to offer larger escape routes for vehicles approaching from the rear.

Out in the country, the safest place is usually nearest the center line, it seems to me. This gives me an extra second or so in case a deer rears its horny head from the adjacent field from either side. If low-lying crops are on the right, however, I'll tend to hug that side, maximizing my distance from the forest of corn. Ditches should be avoided as if they were a field of high crops or dense woods. Most difficult of all is dealing with crossroads that have cagers running stop signs. The ones I know that are reknowned for this require a slow-down for me and I'll even re-route to avoid them if possible.

Anybody else have some special rules for lane positioning in their environment?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-24-2005, 07:48 AM
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In town I try to ride in the right (slow lane) on the left side. That way if an oncoming vehicle decides to turn on top of me, I got one lane buffer to buy me time to get out of his way. If someone is stopped on a side street and decides to turn into the road on top of me, I got lanesplitting as an escape. Of course I know for a fact, that this plan isnt fool proof. When a vehicle on the side road decides to cross the street I'm on and bump me in the process I have very little room to escape.
Of a great concern to me is pavement quality, as different streets require different evasion techniques. For example, there is a wide newly repaved street in town. An SUV decided to cross it, right as I was coming to the intersection (It had a stop sign, I didnt, It stopped, but didnt see me) I tried to panic stop, but the smooth pavement didnt offer enough traction, and the front tire quickly locked up before giving me good braking force. Luckily this made enough noise to alert the other driver, however If it wasnt for that I would have hit the suv in a broadside fassion (and we're talking 30 mph here). Other things to watch out for are paint. Its really slick, and trying to stop over the painted line (like the last "stop here" line, or the stuff that say "turn only") is almost sure to lock up your tire. So on roads with poor traction, I try to take my chances and weave out of the way of something menacing rather than stop before hitting it.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-24-2005, 01:32 PM
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In city or town roads I usually ride a bit to the left of center line. Most of out towns only have two-lane roads STILL a few have as much as 6 lands so I tend to ride the left & same as above UNLESS I am wanting to make a right turn then I hike it over to said right lane.

On the two lane hwys I pick the center line while on the four lane I will pick the slower lane & again same positiong though when I come upon slower traffic then I hike it to the passing lane, get by & swing back in always being a bie on the left to the center of the lanes.

Still kanwisch you do have a point about deer for to-day on a two-lane Mtn road out comes this Mule deer & I pedal down a cog, so now it is almost to the left shoulder when I look where it came from, being from the right side & out comes a SECOND deer.

You know when I stepped up the pace, after the 2nd deer got across & I could see no more, I noted I had shifted down 3rd but do not recall it. Proof that you do things so automatically you cannot remember.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 01:58 PM
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In town, I shift all the time to make sure everyone sees me and I see them.

In the country where I spend my time, I'm usually near the centerline. A car approaches, I move right a tad.

A tight left hander comes up. I'm near the right side of the road ready for a late apex.

Tight right handers I'm near the centerline to minimize lean angle as well.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-31-2005, 07:47 PM
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So on roads with poor traction, I try to take my chances and weave out of the way of something menacing rather than stop before hitting it.
after all the "almost" and close encounters i have had in my riding life i pretty much ruled out stopping incase of a emergency incase of a emergency, im a weave out the way guy all the way which means whereever im riding in whatever situation i always have a escape route, if i don;t im riding very slow

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-31-2005, 11:19 PM
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i tend to ride in left or right portions of the lanes cause in New Mexico there is a lot of dirt and sand blowing around and the middle of the lanes where the cages wheels dont go tend to gather sand and rocks, on even the simplest turn a little dirt can be the bane of our existance.
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