Tuesday, August 11

Lanes That Narrow

Roads widen and narrow in ways cyclists sense, while motorists may be less aware of the condition. Such is the case on my commute on the 7600 block of Shady Grove Road in North Richland Hills. Going west, the road opens up at this point and life's good. Going east, there's a seam and a joggle that narrow the road up even more quickly that appearance would suggest, as one crosses Davis Lane.

A cyclist wishing to avert close passes at this point, if familiar with the street, rides about where the road centerline would be, knowing that shortly he'll be in the middle of the lane once the double yellow line picks up. I usually move over even further and earlier than the arrows suggest. Motorists don't like that seam over on the far side of the road much more than I do, which makes them want to get cozy.

While they may be puzzled at why I ride way left, they typically decide the seam's not going to hurt them and pass while it's easy and safe to do so. Once in a while, I get a "Nervous Nellie" that follows all the way in to the double yellow part of the road. Even they will usually pass (illegally at that point) with a little encouragement.

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1 comment:

Doohickie said...


When I first started riding in the lane, when I encountered a situation like this I would stay to the right as far as possible, and even after things narrowed down I would still try to make my own little bike lane along the gutter.

No more. As soon as I see the narrowed section is imminent, I wait for an opportunity to take the next lane over, and signal and take it, usually somewhere between the left tire track and just to the right of it. Motorists figure that out pretty quick.

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