Keeping to the right

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Anonymous's picture

Safety is the number one concern of the NYCC. All riders must accept the possiblity of unforseen dangers of the road. Some issues are debatable; this communication does not intend to touch on the matter of helmets. But can anyone out there in cyberland defend riding out in traffic while there is a wide enough clean shoulder? I understand that when there is not enough room to the right for both car and bicycle, the cyclist must seize the whole lane least he be forced off the road. This is not the case when the shoulder is serviceable. Yesterday on the STS A Classic be had instances of serpentine pacelines that hogged the road. Traffic backed up. Cycle haters were born or confirmed. Safety was jeprodized.

Anonymous's picture
Sean Kelliher (not verified)

"Hank, thanks for bringing this up. Yes, this does seem to be a problem on some rides and yes it does compromise safety (and brew frustration). As many of you know, last season Victor Chan was struck by a Verizon van while riding near the middle of the road. Fortunately, his injuries were not serious.

Intersections are also another location where this ""owning the road"" issue becomes a problem. Riders bunch up, the lane gets blocked, and motorists understandably are frustrated.

For safetly and diplomacy, ""staying to the ride"" is advisable.


Anonymous's picture
Chuck Lam (not verified)
Right is Right

"""But can anyone out there in cyberland defend riding out in traffic while there is a wide enough clean shoulder?""

There are no valid arguments for taking up more real estate than we need, but we see it all too often in group rides. All it takes is one person to ride in the middle of the lane and everybody follows. Another to ride further left than they have to, and traffic backs up *NEXT* to the riders in the rear. I don’t think people intentionally like to block traffic, but we need to be more conscious of what is going on behind us. People like to stagger (offset) the wheels a few inches left when unsure of the rider directly in front of them, (which is perfectly fine) but after a few riders everybody is in the middle of the road. When that happens, you should offset the wheel to the right where you have wind protection AND a perfect view of the road. Also, the potholes of bad winters seem to cluster where the right wheels of cars ride, and cyclists instinctively ride to the left of those and soon everybody is in the middle of the lane again, (when there is perfectly fine pavement on the other side of the white line.)

Very often a loud ""CAR Back!"" will get everybody in line, and if that doesn’t work you have a whole different problem. As cyclists, we should show the same courtesy and consideration we would want in return. ""Share The Road"" signs means just what it saids.

Having said all that, S*** happens even when you do everything right. A cop car (NY’s finest blue and white) almost nailed us on the return from Armonk towards the B’way Bridge on Saturday. I was in front w/ 14 in single line riding under the tracks, concrete pillars to the right with traffic inches on the left. The cop car comes up from behind and SEES(?) us and speeds up a little and decides the driveway to the Police Station was coming up and turns to cut us off with inches to spare. I was preparing for the hood spread with bike attached, but he stopped because the driveway was backed up. I don’t know how I stayed up and I worked my way onto the sidewalk while the whole line had to stop and go around the cop car on the left.

This was more excitement than the occasional fist fights we see in The Bronx.

Question to lawyers–

Is it against the law to curse out a cop in The Bronx, or do they expect the Bronx cheer in return?

cycling trips