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Thread: Its Your Lane; Use It!

  1. #1
    From MARS
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    Its Your Lane; Use It!

    Most of my riding is done riding alone on two-lane highways. Over the years, I've become a very defensive rider.

    On an empty road, I ride the inside track of my lane. This position gives me the best view of what's ahead and keeps me as far from the potential danger of critters running onto the road as is possible. But when faced with an approaching vehicle, I purposely drift over to the right track since the potential danger from an oncoming vehicle outweighs that of the suicidal critter, then I return to the center when the threat has passed.

    The extent of the danger from an oncoming vehicle was brought home recently by the death of a motorcyclist that was struck by a piece of pipe which had shifted on a trailer as they met. As I heard the story, the biker was hugging the centerline; so the pickup driver moved over to give him more room. The considerate move resulted in a piece of irrigation pipe, which was not secured properly, striking a culvert marker and spinning on the trailer to protrude across the centerline by several feet. It hit the rider in the chest.

    Yesturday, I decided to closely monitor what effect my actions had on oncoming drivers. I found that 9 out of 10 drivers responded by also moving to the right as we approached each other resulting in a greater safety margin between our respective vehicles. Their reactions also gave me comfort as an indication that I was seen.

    So, the next time you're out riding the two-lane roads, do your own experiment and see how the drivers in your area react.

    Tom

  2. #2
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    I ride similarly, I don't completely move to the right track always, but do add some space. On narrow twisty stuff, I stay right unless I have good sight lines.

  3. #3
    From MARS
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    I ride similarly, I don't completely move to the right track always, but do add some space. On narrow twisty stuff, I stay right unless I have good sight lines.
    I live in KS......What's a "twisty road"?

    Seriously though, I do the same thing in the twisties and when topping hills, too....especially on those roads without a centerline.

    Tom

  4. #4
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    I generally (always exceptions..) try to split the hazards. On a road with no oncoming traffic, I'll often ride near the centerline - splitting the hazards from critters coming in from the left or right. When there is oncoming traffic, I'll tend to ride centered in my lane (if possible) - again, splitting the hazards. On corners - the position changes mostly to optimize my view through the turn.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
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  5. #5
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    We prefer the two lanes as well.

    If I even think there are cars waiting to pass others coming at me, I move to the right to be seen as soon as they pull out. Seems most folks tailgate the vehicle they intend to pass and swing out to check if it is clear...especailly bad with an 18 wheeler in front...if I am on the inside track, they may pull out not seeing me until I am in their view angle and right there....Not good! I know it's only a few feet of lane width, but it makes a huge difference in that view angle.

    If I have clear views of the curved road...I take the best line for me. And Helen chooses hers as she leaves me in the dust
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  6. #6
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by From MARS View Post
    ...Seriously though, I do the same thing ...when topping hills, too....especially on those roads without a centerline.

    Tom
    Me too.
    Dan

  7. #7
    No bugs in winter OHScot's Avatar
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    Have had many cell phone users and texters drift left of center.
    "Wow I didn't know BMW made motorcycles, Yeah I think Honda does too."

  8. #8
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    I generally (always exceptions..) try to split the hazards. On a road with no oncoming traffic, I'll often ride near the centerline - splitting the hazards from critters coming in from the left or right. When there is oncoming traffic, I'll tend to ride centered in my lane (if possible) - again, splitting the hazards. On corners - the position changes mostly to optimize my view through the turn.
    i believe this is called lane management. i read somewhere that you want to be moving away from potential trouble so that you're always going in the right direction should trouble occur

    as i ride, my position in the lane changes often. for instance when passing someone in the lane immediately to my right on the freeway, as i approach the car i position myself in the right side of my lane so that i have the best chance of showing up in their side view mirror, should they choose to use it. then, as i get closer, i am over in the left side of my lane, moving across the lane by the time I pass so that if they do move left, i am already in the best position i can be in. hopefully the move is seen by the driver to the right in their side view mirror.

    my sin is riding too close to things. when i tried the rider simulator that we bought for the MOA, i was constantly judged as being too close and riding too fast. well, i managed not to kill myself, so that must be why i am pretty comfortable riding in places like Mexico, where the concept of lane ownership is foreign and you only get as much space as you need.

    ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
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    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e

  9. #9
    Rpbump USN RET CPO Rpbump's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    I generally (always exceptions..) try to split the hazards. On a road with no oncoming traffic, I'll often ride near the centerline - splitting the hazards from critters coming in from the left or right. When there is oncoming traffic, I'll tend to ride centered in my lane (if possible) - again, splitting the hazards. On corners - the position changes mostly to optimize my view through the turn.
    ++ Ride Safe

  10. #10
    From MARS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    ......................as i ride, my position in the lane changes often. for instance when passing someone in the lane immediately to my right on the freeway, as i approach the car i position myself in the right side of my lane so that i have the best chance of showing up in their side view mirror, should they choose to use it. then, as i get closer, i am over in the left side of my lane, moving across the lane by the time I pass so that if they do move left, i am already in the best position i can be in. hopefully the move is seen by the driver to the right in their side view mirror..................

    ian
    +1.

    The biggest advantages we have over most other vehicles are our accelleration rate and manuverability. I use both.........a lot!

    I recall one instance out in Western Kansas where I was passing a truck that was hauling one of the wind turbine towers which dot the landscape. As I was about half way around, a car came over a slight rise about a mile ahead. Another vehicle had pulled out to follow me around the truck; so I cranked the throttle on the K12RS and completed the pass with room to spare. The oncoming vehicle turned out being a state trooper who totally ignored my triple digit top speed. I figure he understood my situation.

    Tom

  11. #11
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by From MARS View Post
    The oncoming vehicle turned out being a state trooper who totally ignored my triple digit top speed. I figure he understood my situation.
    oh, that must've felt GREAT! i just love K-bike roll-on.....
    (which is why i cannot be allowed to have K-bikes...)

  12. #12
    From MARS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    oh, that must've felt GREAT! i just love K-bike roll-on.....
    (which is why i cannot be allowed to have K-bikes...)
    You may notice in my sig line that I don't own one now for the very same reason! I've had to totally recalibrate my passing clearance requirements since becoming an airhead.

  13. #13
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by From MARS View Post
    You may notice in my sig line that I don't own one now for the very same reason! I've had to totally recalibrate my passing clearance requirements since becoming an airhead.
    About as different as going from a K12 to a thumper 650
    Talk about an adrenaline rush NOT having the acceleration you are used to
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  14. #14
    From MARS
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    You're absolutely right, Steve. When I made the transition from the K to the PD, I found myself grabbing for more throttle on occassion only to find there was no more! But I adjusted. Then I went to the 650, which topped out about 15mph less than the PD, to have a lighter, shorter bike, and I knew the pendulim had swung too far. I'm finding the R100R to be, for me, just the right combination of power, weight, and height. I've refined my traffic management skills to match the bike's abilities.

    Tom

  15. #15
    advrider.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by From MARS View Post
    I've had to totally recalibrate my passing clearance requirements since becoming an airhead.
    I've noticed that in no matter what vehicle I'm in, whoever I pass is then glued to me for a little bit after the pass. So, going from 55 to 75 for no reason? Thanks a lot!

    With that in mind, while I was in the mountains in California on my R75 following my friend on his ZX11 or Buell, he would pass first, maintain the slow speed, then I'd pass, and we'd speed up and continue together trying to avoid one of us being tail-gated during the pass. Kinda like leap-frogging.

    Yeah, an airhead could use a little more throttle, but they're fun anyways.

    Back to the OP: I pretty much do the same thing, but like Ian, I think I follow too closely sometimes.

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