View Full Version : Taking Control ...

02-21-2009, 06:02 AM
After too many close calls while trying to stay as far to the right as possible, I've decided to take the right lane most of the time! Too many times while I'm trying to stay as far right as I can, cars zip past me and nearly hit me too many times!!

Ever since I started taking the right lane, just like a car would, I've had fewer problems. Some people still honk their horn, but usually don't even pay any attention, and just keep pedaling, or try to pedal harder, and whenever I can, I move over to the right as much as possible.

The laws regarding bicycles do provide for us to take the entire right lane when the riding conditions would otherwise be dangerous, like piles of stuff in the road, dangerous debris, pot holes, large cracks in the road, parked cars, etc.

02-22-2009, 05:52 PM
Way to take the bull by the horns. Two thumbs up from this guy. I do the same thing when road conditions or jerks make me feel the need to.

03-16-2009, 03:54 PM
So I'm going for a ride after school and I'm on SE Bybee Road to the east of SE 192nd Ave. (Google Map (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=1800+SE+Bybee+Rd,+Camas,+Clark,+Washington+98607&sll=45.608574,-122.468419&sspn=0.021496,0.034804&ie=UTF8&ll=45.608514,-122.468376&spn=0.171965,0.278435&z=12&iwloc=addr))

Take a look at it in street view. The sight lines are even worse than they look there. It's a normal two-lane county road, and heading eastbound, it's heading uphill through two blind curves. Naturally I take the lane, just as I always do. A few cars end up backing up behind me. The second one, a large delivery-size truck begins honking repeatedly. The first car, likely pressured by the truck passes me. With nowhere to leave enough room to pass, I just continue up the road, knowing that in a block it will be safe for him to pass. Nope. He honks again and starts yelling out of his window as he is driving only a few feet behind me. I signal to a stop and call the cops, immediately reporting the plate and location, lest anything bad happen. I tried to ask him to pull over, when he began pulling forward and ended up hitting my leg with his bumper. It was only a slight tap, and there wasn't an injury.

After waiting for the cops for a little bit, we got to talking, and he eventually calmed down when I explained what my view of the situation was and we came to an understanding. Basically, he was upset that I was slowing him down, and I was just taking the lane to protect the both of us from a collision. It seemed that he was a decent guy, and that he had just gotten a little hot-headed behind the wheel. I told him I wasn't interested in pressing charges, just that he needed to understand the rules of the road. Not wanting to waste any of each other's time, we both signed a paper stating that he had not committed a hit and run and I let him go on his way after he apologized and I got his information.

If anything, it seemed like he was most surprised that someone called him out for his actions. It would seem to be that he learned his lesson, as he did say that he would be more courteous to cyclists in the future. Later down the road, he waved at me, (all five fingers) so it would seem he wasn't too angry about the situation.

Oh well. I'm still taking the lane. Much safer than getting pushed off of the road.

One thing that did worry me was that apparently the officer was not able to find me based on the location that I told the dispatcher. Even if you just put 'Bybee Road' into Google Maps, you get the location. What could have happened as a result had I actually been hurt?

03-16-2009, 05:13 PM
Wow, you handled that extremely well. I'm sure some luck played a role in the outcome of that - both that the leg tap didn't turn into anything worse and he managed to get control of himself.

Come to think of it, I don't think *I'd* be able to regain control of myself if someone deliberately tapped me with their car or truck. You're a pro, dude.


03-22-2009, 10:16 PM
Oh yeah, I can't access the forums while at work anymore...

Jr, I'm glad to hear that you weren't hurt, but do be careful out there. I think you're well on your way to winning an Alice, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you do in the future.

Rubberside Down!

04-24-2009, 09:46 PM
A few slightly humourous encounters in the past week, generally related to taking the lane:

So on Wednesday, I was heading westbound on NE 28th St at the narrowest point in the pavement, a few blocks before the bike lane began. It was still wide enough to safely share, and that's exactly what I was doing. A car drives by and yells a standard "Get the F*** off of the road!" I end up catching up to them at a light half a mile down the road and I ask politely, "Did you say something, sir?" Same response as before, and I tell them that I have more of a legal right to be on the road than they do. They say that I need to get an "*expletive* motor."

Last time I checked, I'm pretty sure my legs were working just fine. :cool:
Oddly enough, these weren't some teenage boys, but an elderly couple. (White sedan w/ handicapped plates)

Later that day, I've just crossed I-5 into downtown Vancouver on Fourth Plain. The right lane goes only to I-5 SB, so I'm taking the left-hand lane as I come to a stop at the light. The city recently took out the right-hand lane at the light, so it's only this one until an off-ramp from I-5 adds a right-hand lane again. Take a look at it on Google Maps for a visual (http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&ll=45.63936,-122.66414&spn=0,359.995644&z=18&layer=c&cbll=45.639527,-122.664089&panoid=IGoTqDW3gTDGzKin8sakrQ&cbp=12,153.25519881398355,,0,6.995073891625619). I'm stopped at the light in the left-hand tire track, for the express purpose of taking the lane, and a man drives up in a large white Ford pickup truck, only to stop a few inches to my left, almost entirely outside of the lane. He gives me the "What the F*** are you doing?" look, but I take no notice, as I quickly pass him in the bike lane when he gets stuck at the next light. :cool:

Today I was enjoying the weather by going for a ride down Old Evergreen Highway. For those of you not familiar, it's only 20 feet wide at the maximum for most of its length, still consisting mainly of old and broken concrete slabs. Take a look:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3616/3472662128_86a8fd5f3f.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jr98664/3472662128/in/set-72157617282113106/)
(Keep in mind, that's one of the better looking sections so far as the pavement is concerned.)

Unless you have a death wish that involves being crushed by a rich Vancouverite in their SUV, it's pretty much a given that you take the lane in its entirety. I always do as such, and most motorists are happy to pass safely. Not this guy. As he passes me within only a foot or two, he informs me of his interest in birdwatching by way of a simple gesture. I politely wave back (with all five fingers) and wish him a nice day. He slams on the brakes and starts burning rubber in reverse towards me. I take out my phone to call the cops before this crazy guy tries to run me over for wishing him a nice day only to discover that it was dead. Good thing he couldn't tell that I wasn't actually on the phone with the cops. Just as quickly as he saw me put the phone to my ear, he sped off in the direction he had originally been going. (White Jeep Wagon with WA ###-WIR plates)

It would appear the problem has something to do with white cars. Maybe the white paint gives off fumes that incite incidents of stupidity.