Wednesday, January 12

No Line, But a UNIVERSE of Sweetness

Seeing as how our local LCI class is coming up, and I've noticed some lane position comments that might be right or wrong depending on the situation, I decided to revisit "the line of sweetness." In reality, there is not a single line of sweetness. Rather, there's a universe of sweetness that varies from situation to situation. Often, I DO ride in the "left center" position, shown below.

Lately, however, even on the road indicated, I notice that I feel better riding on the right edge of the rough center, much as the Yeti, shown below.

Unlike him, when so riding, I would be VERY reluctant to jog to the right into the right wheel track - I'd hate to sucker a motorist into attempting a pass without a lane change when the lane is simply too narrow. The real danger of riding in the right wheel track is not that position, but that a small waver might sent the WRONG message to a following motorist, resulting in an awkward situation for both parties. Mostly, I think it better to clarify things in the minds of my following motorists so they change lanes early and keep moving along smartly.

However, sometimes, it'd seem churlish to ride in the main traffic lane at all, such as in the situation below. OTOH, the line indicating "my path" is, technically, illegal in most states even though it presents no risk to me and does not slow anybody down by even a millisecond. I've also never seen any motorist, even one wearing a badge, object to the indicated position and it IS recommended in both of the authoritative cycling books I know of. In such a situation, jogging right to avoid a hazard would not entice any following motorist to do something ill advised.

In SOME cases, however, as shown below, the only smart thing is to GET OUT OF THE WAY because some vehicles will run you down  to get ahead - and they'll even laugh about it. So much for the rules of the road. Sometimes, those rules get trumped by the cross. The cyclocross.


John Romeo Alpha said...

It's interesting that most of your positioning criteria seems to boil down to indicating to motorists what they need to do to operate their machines safely and legally. Which is what is needed, probably. Until the rules get trumped by the 'cross.

RANTWICK said...

You are right, sometimes sweetness abounds and avoiding the sourness that entices drivers into bad passes is the only thing to look out for. That's what I do. Avoid the sourness.

Anonymous said...

I hate the pit of dooms in TX...

Steve A said...

I think the pits of doom are why Texans like BIG trucks. It keeps them from being swallowed so easily.

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