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Discussion Starter #1
Most would agree that when riding on a four laner one's best bet is to ride in the left tire track of the right lane or right tire track of the left lane while watching the mirrors for overtaking traffic and moving over accordingly. The left tire track also works well for two lane rural roads with light traffic. However, when oncoming traffic is heavy on a two laner it might be wise to ride in the right tire track because you are more visible to approaching traffic that might want to pass the vehicle in front of them. It also puts you closer to your 'bail-out' area on the shoulder should, heaven forbid, the need to use it arise.

Being a biker, I've heard some grumbling from our 4 wheeled friends that bikes they meet who are riding too close to the center line may cause them to have to take the shoulder when meeting them, especially on curves.

I'm not posting this as a matter of doctrine, just food for thought.
 

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Well I can tell you where not to place ur big ape hanging harley on a two lane parkway with your extremely load pipes... Riding up the poor excuse for a breakdown lane with grooved pavement sitting in my blindspot. Heard his pipes so did what all the rest were doing.. Inching over to right to let him lane split (although illegal here) but no he was not coming up the left. His pipes made me aware of him but caused me to almost move into him on the right. I get traffic is heavy but IMO it was too narrow to ride safely and sure enough 3 miles up. Some guy moved to the right when he heard the pipes and hit him. Neither were hurt but it was ridiculously easy to call that one. Oh and now more traffic delay. Cranky....


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Not an official safety expert here but ride where the oncoming traffic can see you best. If you can't see them they can't see you. Too many times I see oncoming bikes all the way to the right of the oncoming lane, tailgating to boot, behind an SUV and they are essentially invisible. If I am approaching an oncoming vehicle waiting to make a left across my lane I move to the right side of the lane so if or when they start to turn I have quicker escape route to the shoulder if needed. Then return back to the left.
 

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I just try to be visible. People detect motion so, I vary my speed, move around in my lane, change lanes, move through traffic. Stretch my arms, shake out my throttle hand. I will move into the right side of my lane next to trucks to my right so he can see me (if you can see his mirrors, he can see you).

What I try and avoid at all costs is just being there, cruising along at the same speed as everyone else. That's how we forget there is someone right next to us. We, riders, have the advantage of being car drivers so we know the things they do that are dangerous to bikes and we have the advantage of being riders who know what the risks are and how a little lane incursion that is just an 'oops' for cars can be fatal for us, real quick.

I wanna be visible.
 

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In on coming traffic a bike on the far right can appear to not be on the road, rather the shoulder.
Also staying close to the shoulder invites dangerous situations like, sand or other obstetrical that can hinder traction. Animals, domestic and wild can spring up out of bushes on the side of the road leaving you with little to no reaction time.
Also riding on the right leaves you only one direction to dodge things in the road.
Knowing all of this my wife still feels more comfortable taking the right lane. I usually ride wing to the left a bike length or two behind her if not right beside her. This gives the appearance to on coming traffic of a full sized vehicle.
Wife recently experienced the wild animal jumping from the side of the road in front of her, a 150 full grown deer. lucky we were on the mountain road to or house that you can't go more than 35 mph. She was gong about 25 mph and had absolutely no time to react. I watched the deer spin hoofs trying to get traction to get going. It made it by only inches.:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good discussion gentlemen, and a lot of truth from varying points of view. To summarize what's been said thus far:
1. Position yourself to optimize your field of view.
2. Position yourself to make yourself as visible as possible to others.
3. Leave plenty of space between yourself and the vehicle that you're following.
4. Watch your mirrors to prevent surprises from behind.
5. Ride mindfully, always analyzing the situation in which you find yourself.
6. Try to anticipate the errors and lack of alertness of others.
7. Positioning can't be dictated by a simple statement. It will be dictated by momentary conditions that are constantly changing. Don't be afraid to use your whole lane as momentary conditions warrant to keep yourself as safe as possible.
Any other suggestions?
 

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I agree with all of the above.

If I'm riding on a 2-lane then I will usually ride in the left track towards the center of the road mainly because I want room in case a deer or a dog (or a bear or a kid or...) comes out of the bushes along the side. The right track is more likely to have pot holes in it and is more likely to have sand or gravel especially on curves to the right where cars might have had a tire off the pavement to kick debris out into the road. And in town you've got to worry about cars pulling out of parking spaces or drivers of parallel-parked cars opening their door in front of you.

Having said that, it is stupid to hug the center line on a blind curve because you never know when a car is going to be coming from the opposite direction.

Also about curves, the painted lines can be slippery and the reflectors can really be a problem if you hit one while leaning through a curve. So move within the lane all you want but be careful not to push the limits too far.
 

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On two lanes you will find me I. The left lane usually riding the right tire. If there are several turns and cross streets I stay more in the left trite so oncoming can see me. I rarely stay in the rich lane except when I know I need to turn right. Staying visible is key and yes I'm the annoying guy who will rev from time to time sitting at a stop light as well. Nothing crazy just a light throttle pull to get the cell phone army aware that I'm still there before the green.

I never try to lane split as road rage is comin here in Texas and I don feel like dealing with a pissed off soccer dad. On one lane roads I'm always moving between the left and the right tire tracks so that I'm visible to the cars on botht the on coming lane and the cars pulling into the lane. I also leave a big and I mean big enough hole between me and the car in front that could fit a semi with a trailer. If someone gets pissy I just apply brakes move to the right and let them pass to usually ride the ass of the person I was following and jus get my space back again... Pretty much the 4 second rule from MSF class is key in the city however such as downtown Dallas or Fort Worth I have to be a lot more aggressive that I like and situational awareness plays a huge role on that one. Mirrors head and bike need to be on top of everything. Hell even pedestrians will step out in front of you as they are to busy walking and texting.
 

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...and yes I'm the annoying guy who will rev from time to time sitting at a stop light as well. Nothing crazy just a light throttle pull to get the cell phone army aware that I'm still there before the green.
I do the same thing. I didn't realize how much I was doing it and how well it works until I spent a week driving my truck instead of riding the bike. Just a little blip on the throttle when I know the light is about to turn green, then I see them pull their head out of their whatever* and look around to see what the noise is about, the light turns green and they move through the intersection.

So much better than having to waste 5 seconds of the light, hit the horn, wait for them to figure out what's going on then finally move through the light just as the sensor on the traffic signal decides that it doesn't see anybody moving and turns the light yellow and leaves everybody except for the ******** sitting at the light for another cycle.
 

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Good points from all !

I also ride in the left tire strip on all lanes, and will dart to the right if I see a car sitting at an intersection or driveway, ready to roll out behind the passing cars. I also run my headlight pulser, it has saved me a bunch of times, I watch wheels, not the drivers faces. I have had a few people ask me why the dart to the right then back to the left for the opposing traffic that may also be waiting to turn left. Once they realize what I'm doing, it's OH I never thought of that one. Some of these folks are newbies in our Star riding club. Plus my Girlfriend asked me about it.
Oh and for the intersection (stops) good points also. I do like to be the one in front as we all know how long it takes some folks to pull heads from their asses and get going. They have to hit the send text buttons, then shift back to driving mode. ( I wish that cell phones had never been invented, I hate the little monsters. )

My See me now brake lights do me a favor also. Plus the small blip on the gas when I get ready to leave. I'm still running the stock pipes on the Strat, and have noticed after some time, it does change sounds a bit, or maybe I'm just hearing it better, but hearing the echo off of other vehicles, they can't miss me with my take off's.
Now for a reminder for myself, and for all of you, I had a very near miss the other day, with my lady onboard. I noticed a very wet, oily spot at the main intersection of our small town, so drifted far right to miss it, and then put my foot down on the edge of it, and almost lost it. I jerked enough to catch myself scaring my lady somewhat. She realized what the problem was and settled down again, hey folks it was 92 degrees, no rain that day, and I found a fresh mess in the typical stop area. It almost got me, I know to never ride through or in the center of any lane near intersections. Someone was looking out for me that afternoon. I don't want to test my Lindby bars again. Enjoy the summer, and pay attention to everything that can get you !
 

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Love to hear everyone's experience in how they ride. I have been only riding two lane county roads so far in my limited riding. I typically ride in the left tire track and move to the right when oncoming traffic approaches mainly because if they are multitasking while driving and cross the center line I have a small buffer zone.
 

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In that case I move to the middle to leave room to swerve and still be on pavement.

On four lanes I stay in the left tire track of the left lane, but if I'm alone and there's traffic tryin to pull out, I move to the center of the left lane, so I don't get "lost" in traffic goin the other way. Put clean background behind me rather than dirty, so to speak.

On curves I try to stay on the inside edge of the grove away from the turn, just shy of the center; sort of a right curve/left groove thing. Room to lean and be seen, and still to avoid or straighten up. I'm not an aggressive rider until I hit a straight. ;)


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Love to hear everyone's experience in how they ride. I have been only riding two lane county roads so far in my limited riding. I typically ride in the left tire track and move to the right when oncoming traffic approaches mainly because if they are multitasking while driving and cross the center line I have a small buffer zone.
I move. A lot. Left side, right side, lane changes, speed up, slow down. I stretch my arms, weave in my lane when there is room, change foot position, move around in the saddle.

Humans have 'predator' vision. We get locked onto something very easy and can miss all sorts of peripheral things. Even stuff we think should be obvious. This is why we so often hear about a car driver looking 'right at' a biker who was wearing day glo pink, orange and green and had a faux hawk sticking out of his helmet as they pull into their path. Or lane incursions or whatever.

The good news is 'predator' vision readily detects motion. If they see me because I was moving around, changing lanes, shaking off a clutch cramp, whatever, that's a plus for me.

I never, ever get in a traffic pattern and just keep pace and lane. People forget there is a tractor trailer next to them. They damn sure can forget I am there.

Move. A lot.
 

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I just try to be visible. People detect motion so, I vary my speed, move around in my lane, change lanes, move through traffic. Stretch my arms, shake out my throttle hand. I will move into the right side of my lane next to trucks to my right so he can see me (if you can see his mirrors, he can see you).

What I try and avoid at all costs is just being there, cruising along at the same speed as everyone else. That's how we forget there is someone right next to us. We, riders, have the advantage of being car drivers so we know the things they do that are dangerous to bikes and we have the advantage of being riders who know what the risks are and how a little lane incursion that is just an 'oops' for cars can be fatal for us, real quick.

I wanna be visible.
This is what I needed to see. very good info and insight. thanks for the post
 

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This is what I needed to see. very good info and insight. thanks for the post
Let me add that this is in context of being totally aware of your surroundings; not just blindly changing lanes or moving or what have you at the wrong time.

We call it 'spatial awareness' or 'being in the moment', whatever it takes to describe the state of 'being' where you are very much paying attention and interacting with what is going on; traffic, weather, road surface, space and time.

Vision is, to me, THE biggest skill a rider can have and develop and work at. We are predators and have 'predator' vision. We target fixate, naturally. 'Prey' vision, our peripheral vision, isn't as natural and is why cars kill riders all the time and 'didn't see him'. They, literally, didn't. They were fixating on something else. Looking through us at the truck behind us. Staring off into space.

As everything with people is variable, someone who is thought of as a natural rider, someone who took to it readily, they are better at NOT target fixating. Their peripheral visions is better and, hence, their awareness.

Motion through traffic helps me work at my peripheral. How many times have we, in cars, just been riding along and forget that there is a car right next to us? We 'lose' awareness unless we keep working at it.
 
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