Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
ZAMM Fanatic
Joined
·
2,732 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I tried explaining to a lady scooter rider the other day ALL the reasons not to ride to the far right of the lane, or shoulder.

her deal was, "I'm moving slower than traffic sometimes and I don't want to hold anybody up..."

I'm like...."Take your lane, they can wait, it's unsafe over there."

For starters, if you're behind a car or truck, left turners can't see you.

Secondly, car/truck tires "sweep" the two "stripes" where their tires run of debris. Every piece of garbage, rock, pebble gets hurled somewhere else.

Sometimes right back into the stripe, but often, into either the center of the lane or over on the shoulder.

Over time, 99% of the debris ends up on the shoulder. Including sharps, glass, gravel...

It generally stays on the shoulder because A) crown of the road + gravity, and B) few tires go over it there to hurl it somewhere else.

How do I know this? I'm a cyclist. And an unswept shoulder quickly becomes a minefield of gravel, glass, nails and deck screws lost out of the back of pickup trucks.

It's the LAST place you want to ride a bike or motorcycle.

Oil and grease in the center of the lane isn't nearly as much of a concern anymore to me than the sharps on the shoulders, and the lack of visibility when riding in the right "stripe."

I won't even pull my bike off onto the shoulder anymore if I can avoid it. I'll wait for a driveway.

If I absolutely MUST pull off onto the shoulder, I wait till no one is behind me, I signal, thendo all my braking in the roadway, THEN pull onto the shoulder. Ditto for getting back on. Want to travel as few feet in that minefield as possible.

I flatted on my inaugural ride on my new bike, I believe, because of debris on the shoulder when I pulled over to secure my load. @#$#$

Ride safe!
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
18,682 Posts
Stop telling everyone that wade. I like the fact they all want to ride over there. Not nearly as hard to get around. That is where all the trash goes though. I don't understand why folks like riding there myself but they do. I think they are scared of the on coming traffic myself so they feel "safer" there. They aren't but you won't convince them of that I don't think. I take advantage of it and never have trouble riding where I prefer in any group ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,169 Posts
When I am out riding in a staggered formation on a group ride the right side really bothers me in town. It is the pace you will be when someone starts to pull out and you have no time to react. Toward the left side of the lane you are far more visible to cross traffic and if they pull out on you anyway you have a bit more time to react. Out on the open road the right part of the lane bothers me much less. There are fewer distractions for cross traffic and less places that traffic can cut you off.
This is just a comparison with the left side vs right side strategy. No way am I ever going to ride on the shoulder. That is suicidal.
 

·
MODERATOR
Joined
·
6,509 Posts
I ride left of the center of the lane most of the time and in no traffic on country roads, I ride normally in the center so I can more easily drop in or out when approaching the corners. For some reason I, too am afraid of riding on the far right. Oncoming traffic may not see you at all if another vehicle is right in front of you and they may turn left in front of you!

Sam:):coffeescreen:
 

·
Very Famous Person
Joined
·
9,695 Posts
--

All the responses above may not be differentiating the same place, i.e.: there are four places one can ride on a single lane. The left auto track, right auto track, the middle space between the tracks, or the shoulder.

We can all agree that the shoulder has debris in it, so not a good place to be.

The left track has the most visibility and is good for oncoming vehicles to see you if you are close to the larger vehicle in front of you. It also is best to use to keep someone following you from trying to 'squeeze' by and force your bike over. However, since it is also more vulnerable to being hit head on by a vehicle coming in the opposite direction swerving across the middle line, I usually move to the right track shortly before approaching an oncoming vehicle.

The right track has the most oncoming vehicle space, but allows someone following to attempt to 'squeeze' by. Therefore, I use it only when I'm alone on the road.

The center space between the tracks is a good compromise most of the time if you don't want to move around side to side. It also gives you more maneuverability in case you are drifting slightly one way or the other, you want to zig-zag for road obstacles, or the road is narrow. These days, the middle space doesn't have the oil drips from leaky engines anymore like it used to 30-40 years ago, so that's usually not a factor.

--
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,928 Posts
--

These days, the middle space doesn't have the oil drips from leaky engines anymore like it used to 30-40 years ago, so that's usually not a factor.

--
you are correct, but at the same time you have to think about how the road is crowned in the middle....especially with the cheap way they build roads these days....where I ride in the lane, like most others here, depends on several factors....other traffic, area I'm in (in town, downtown, out in the sticks), and what the road itself looks like
 

·
Nightfly
Joined
·
3,721 Posts
I agree with you Ron. All things considered, the center is usually the best place to be. Of course I know there can always be the exception.
 

·
Very Famous Person
Joined
·
9,695 Posts
--

A lot of the time, when feeling adventurous, I purposely ride in the center rise or the overlap line of asphalt which make my bike swerve on its own. My body has to react to the movement in order to keep a straight line (although I'm wobbling a bit). I figure this is good practice to keep my senses sharp and to automatically react to changes.

It's like the first time you ride in a canoe. You will wobble all over until you either dump and get wet, or you pull the paddle in (hopefully) and grasp the sides in fear until the canoe stops wobbling. After a while you get so your body automatically adjusts to the movement and it magically goes away. You know what I mean? :biggrin:

--
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
18,682 Posts
Haven't you noticed you can sometimes spot a biker who has been forced to drive a cage for what ever reason. They still lean into corners. Watch. You'll see.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,169 Posts
Haven't you noticed you can sometimes spot a biker who has been forced to drive a cage for what ever reason. They still lean into corners. Watch. You'll see.:)
I get crap for that every time my wife and I take the cage. Last year my bike got 13000 miles and the car still doesn't have enough miles to need an 3000 miles oil change. Driving a car is a chore I do not look forward to.
 

·
Nightfly
Joined
·
3,721 Posts
I don't know, those who wear enough riding gear that they look like a gladiator would seem to be a bigger chore then just slipping behind the wheel of an auto.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
518 Posts
Wait. Are yall talking about people riding on the actual shoulder of the road? To the right of the solid line? To the right of the drunk bumps? Because if yall are, I've a good reason not to. It's illegal! That's for breakdowns and emergency vehicles. Who the hell is riding on the shoulder as a travel lane? Do they have a driver's license?
 

·
Commute Racer
Joined
·
2,225 Posts
I don't know, those who wear enough riding gear that they look like a gladiator would seem to be a bigger chore then just slipping behind the wheel of an auto.
10 minutes of gearing up saves me 30-40 minutes off my commute and another 10 minutes of parking time vs 5 minutes of getting normally dressed and hopping in a car to sit in traffic as I approach the city, then park several blocks away from work and walk in.

With the bike I ride straight to work, park close, walk to my locker and change clothes.

Not everyone's routine is the same. The guy you see in full leathers may take half an hour squeezing himself into them, but he probably has a good reason.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,336 Posts
10 minutes of gearing up saves me 30-40 minutes off my commute and another 10 minutes of parking time vs 5 minutes of getting normally dressed and hopping in a car to sit in traffic as I approach the city, then park several blocks away from work and walk in.

With the bike I ride straight to work, park close, walk to my locker and change clothes.

Not everyone's routine is the same. The guy you see in full leathers may take half an hour squeezing himself into them, but he probably has a good reason.
I will second that.

Yesterday l was registering for school and running late, so l just drove my truck straight to work rather than stopping to get my bike. When l got to work, l realized that l couldn't just pull into the bike parking like l normally do. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the busiest days at hospitals...they do the most surgeries on those days and, therefore, have the highest number of staff. So what normally took me 30 seconds to park, dismount and walk in ended up being a drive around the entire garage, leaving and going into another garage, and then having to take my time to cram in beside that guy who thinks he needs one and a quarter spaces for his precious Hummer. I decided he could give me a hummer and parked about 2 inches from his driver's side door. In the end, though, the amount of time l spent fiddlefphucking around in the garage would have easily made up for the time it would have taken me to ATGATT
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I live in Castle Valley Utah and ride 25 miles into Moab on SR128 that runs alongside the Colorado River. Lots of blind corners and hills on that road along with tourists and bicyclists. I ride the outside line on the way in and the inside line on the way back out. All too often I'll come around a corner and a car coming the other way will be straddling the center line. A lot of motorcycle tourers will ride the center line not having a clue how dangerous that is on this road. On a regular road where I can see traffic I take my lane andride the center of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
Haven't you noticed you can sometimes spot a biker who has been forced to drive a cage for what ever reason. They still lean into corners. Watch. You'll see.:)
I do it all the time in my truck, I catch my self lifting my cheek like I'm gonna lean my way into a turn, takes me a milly second to remember to use the wheel......
 

·
Shaper Of All Things Metal
Joined
·
2,802 Posts
Haven't you noticed you can sometimes spot a biker who has been forced to drive a cage for what ever reason. They still lean into corners. Watch. You'll see.:)
Ingrained habits are hard to overcome. Back in my flying days, when I got home from a long flight, on the drive home, I was always looking for rudder pedals. :eek:
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top