Where on the road do you ride?

I typically try to ride only on designated trails, MSU campus, or in my immediate neighborhood. But, occasionally, I have a need to ride on public streets. When I first got serious about cycling some 45 years ago, I was taught that bicyclists are entitled to a full vehicle lane on public roads, and that the proper place to ride in a lane in just LEFT of the center oil slick of any lane. The idea is that it makes you most visible to traffic. My good friend Rick, who was in a serious cycling accident earlier this year always argued the proper place to ride was to the RIGHT of the oil slick roughly 18" left of the fog line (the solid white line between the road and the shoulder). I have no idea what the current thinking is on this topic, or if there is a right or wrong answer, but I am interested in what the great minds of my fellow forum participants have to say on the topic, so where do you ride?

Comments

  • I seldom ride on public highways but I do stay on the right side of the lane only to have an escape to the shoulder if needed.On the left side of the lane your choices are oncoming traffic or a longer move to the right shoulder.
    Yesterday I was a participant in a triathlon with 900 entrants and everyone rode on the right side of the lane. Our biking club advises right side riding and state of Michigan says : Section 257.660a of the MVC states:
    A person operating a bicycle upon a highway or street at less than the existing speed of traffic shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except as follows:

    (a) "When overtaking and passing another bicycle or any other vehicle proceeding in the same direction."
    (b) "When preparing to turn left."
    (c) "When conditions make the right-hand edge of the roadway unsafe or reasonably unusable by bicycles, including, but not limited to, surface hazards, an uneven roadway surface, drain openings, debris, parked or moving vehicles or bicycles, pedestrians, animals, or other obstacles, or if the lane is too narrow to permit a vehicle to safely overtake and pass a bicycle."
    (d) "When operating a bicycle in a lane in which the
    traffic is turning right but the individual intends to go straight through the intersection."
    (e) "When operating a bicycle upon a 1-way highway or street that has 2 or more marked traffic lanes, in which case the individual may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable."

    Regardless what the law or fellow riders suggest or state a trike is a very vulnerable target on public highways. Closing rates along with hills, curves, lack of shoulders and other sight line issues can be a problem. A trike going 10 mph in 65 MPH zone will be closed on at a rate of 80 feet per second. So once the driver sees your flag, light or trike moving they need to slow down and decide how and when to pass you. That's a lot of decision making you're placing in that vehicle operators mind, hands and feet.
    We all know our reaction times decrease with age and if that an elderly person approaching their reaction times will be degraded. You also have drunks, drug users and people texting or distracted by a myriad of thing.
    Be safe and don't expect the law, lights or flags to protect you.
    ed
  • edited June 2017
    Follow the law if possible. Try to ride on less busy tarmac paved secondary roads. In town paved shoulder of main highway. On main provincial highway 17 to the right side on pavement with wary eye on mirror. And pull off when possible, if I have a line up or being overtaken by a big truck... just being courteous. Very few bike trails here, paved or otherwise. More cautious of American tourists pulling boats and campers as many have no idea how much wider their trailer is than their vehicle. Also wandering texters are noticeable. Always ready for a dash to the ditch. Lights, flags and strobes seems to make visibility great for 98% of drivers. It's the other 2% that give me the willies.

    Try to be in the right at all times, just careful it's not dead right.
  • @TCEd, Thanks so much for the Michigan Vehicle Code listing of precisely what the law is. It sounds like the best idea is to keep to the right and keep vigilant, as your post illustrates, the amount of time a driver has to react to us trikers at speed, is far to little to assure our safety. And the points that squirrelpie0 makes are not lost on me either. Thanks guys.
  • edited June 2017
    The "take the road" mindset works for many but I'm thinking they are doing it when roads and conditions are favorable. I cannot see it working in all scenarios as an absolute although that is what some preach.
  • State of Michigan - riders should ride to the right of the center-line of the lane but NOT on the shoulder and are not required to be to the right of the while line. Nor are you required to use bike paths, especially if you are turning and the bike lane does not.
  • Jrobiso2 wrote: »
    State of Michigan - riders should ride to the right of the center-line of the lane but NOT on the shoulder and are not required to be to the right of the while line. Nor are you required to use bike paths, especially if you are turning and the bike lane does not.

    state of Michigan says : Section 257.660a of the MVC states:
    A person operating a bicycle upon a highway or street at less than the existing speed of traffic shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except as follows:

    (a) "When overtaking and passing another bicycle or any other vehicle proceeding in the same direction."
    (b) "When preparing to turn left."
    (c) "When conditions make the right-hand edge of the roadway unsafe or reasonably unusable by bicycles, including, but not limited to, surface hazards, an uneven roadway surface, drain openings, debris, parked or moving vehicles or bicycles, pedestrians, animals, or other obstacles, or if the lane is too narrow to permit a vehicle to safely overtake and pass a bicycle."
    (d) "When operating a bicycle in a lane in which the
    traffic is turning right but the individual intends to go straight through the intersection."
    (e) "When operating a bicycle upon a 1-way highway or street that has 2 or more marked traffic lanes, in which case the individual may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable."
  • I got what I said directly from the DOT pamphlet, "What bicycle riders need to know in Michigan".

    It is specifically clear that you are NOT required to ride to the right of the white line (in the shoulder)
  • Jrobiso2 wrote: »
    I got what I said directly from the DOT pamphlet, "What bicycle riders need to know in Michigan".

    It is specifically clear that you are NOT required to ride to the right of the white line (in the shoulder)

    Who said that ? I posted the Michigan Vehicle Code which does not say anything about keeping to the right of the white should line.
  • A DOT pamphlet my wife brought home the other day. She must have put it away, because not I can't find it where it was. (She cleaned the house :-( )
  • Too much Traffic nowadays to ride much on the public roads here, and little by little "most" have been curbed with no run-off shoulder....pretty much Greenways/Trails when We ride now..... :)
  • Wished this part of Idaho had bike trails. Seems those are only found in the bigger cities.

    ¬ ITL
  • Wished this part of Idaho had bike trails. Seems those are only found in the bigger cities.

    many of our friends have traveled to Idaho to ride this http://wallace-id.com/CdA_trail/
  • edited June 2017
    Can only imagine the terror coming down the new White Bird grade from Grangeville, Idaho would be like on a trike. The old switchback might be way more fun. :D The new highway is 7% all the way down, with a few emergency off-shoots.

    http://www.cs-music.com/features/photos/white-bird-grade_sign.html

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/b1/24/45/b12445567b241f67432bca381286e898.jpg

    Here's the ride on a Goldwing ;) Use the speed up feature on YouTube

    ¬ ITL
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